Theresa Bracher, LSW, has been selected as the Mom’s Meals USAging 2023 Community Champion. Bracher, a care manager in MyCare Ohio Aetna and a 25-year COA employee, was selected among many qualified national nominees.
The award is presented by Mom’s Meals, a leading provider of medically tailored, home-delivered meals, and USAging, the national association representing and supporting the national network of Area Agencies on Aging. Bracher was recognized at USAging’s Annual Conference and Tradeshow, July 16-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Community Champion Award, first introduced by Mom’s Meals in 2020, honors long-term care case managers for their outstanding achievements in the areas of nutrition, health and healthy lifestyles. The award underscores the value of the case manager’s role in supporting whole health in their communities and promotes awareness of the importance of nutrition in overall health — particularly to reduce the impact of social determinants, to support individuals who want to age at home, and to support the management of chronic conditions.
Bracher was nominated by COA’s Vice President of Managed Care, Terri Bunting. In the nomination, Bunting said Bracher “…stands out for her determination to ensure her clients are given every possible chance to remain in their communities as long as possible. The alternative for many of these clients would be to live in a nursing home.”
“Ms. Bracher thrives in her work, especially when working on behalf of clients who have more complicated needs. And because of Ms. Bracher’s dedication to her clients, they are more likely to experience more positive outcomes under her watchful eye,” Bunting said.
One example that stands out, according to Bunting, is Bracher’s work in assisting a Nepalese client (and caregiver) who was severely malnourished following a hospital stay. Bracher alerted the client’s primary care physicial, helped the caregiver create a health and safety plan to address the client’s nutritional needs, engaged the visiting nursing to monitor progress toward the plan, and connected the caregiver with a dietician.
“With the challenge of food insecurity, case managers are the true champions,” said John Phillips, vice president of national program development for Mom’s Meals. “They work tirelessly to ensure access to healthier foods to help their clients remain at home, out of the hospital and better manage chronic conditions. We are proud to be collaborating again with USAging to recognize case managers for their outstanding work in their local communities.”
“USAging’s members know how critical a role nutrition plays in staying healthy as we age,” said Sandy Markwood, USAging chief executive officer. “Our members also know that case managers who connect directly with older adults act as a bridge to nutrition and so many other services and supports that help ensure that older adults can live well at home, which is where they want to be. USAging is proud to partner with Mom’s Meals in recognizing the important role case managers play in helping improve the health and well-being of older adults and communities.”