Council on Aging (COA) is overseen by a Board of Trustees. The board establishes rules for COA’s operation and directs the organization’s affairs in keeping with Council on Aging’s mission to enhance lives by assisting people to remain independent through a range of quality services.
Board members live and work in COA’s five-county service area and bring a wealth of professional and personal experience to COA and its leadership team.
Jeff Rhein, of Warren County, joined COA’s Board of Trustees in December 2023 and serves on the Board’s Program Planning and SOAR sub-committees.
Rhein has extensive experience and expertise in mental health services and currently serves as Deputy Director of Outpatient, Substance Use Disorder, Crisis & Criminal Justice Services for the Mental Health Recovery Board Serving Warren and Clinton Counties. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Xavier University and a therapist for BetterHelp.com.
Rhein enjoys music, serving as an usher at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati and singing in his church choir. He also enjoys supporting the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the University of Kentucky Wildcats, where his daughters attend school.
What interested you in serving on Council on Aging’s Board of Trustees?
We all age. It’s important that the aging population gets the attention it deserves and that individuals are connected to appropriate services when there is a need.
Looking ahead to the next five years, what do you see as the biggest challenge(s) facing Council on Aging and older adults in our community?
Understanding the community need and getting the word out about available services to support individuals as they (we) age. This is something we also struggle with in the mental health space. It is important that we are proactive in informing people about available services, so they know what’s available if they need us tomorrow. When we aren’t proactive, we end up meeting folks who are looking for services they needed yesterday.
What excites you most about COA’s future and how do you see yourself contributing to it?
I’d like to find ways to make navigating aging services easier for individuals and families. I recently dealt with my mother’s passing and before that had to coordinate her care and services [in another state]. I know from experience that these systems are not easy to navigate. I’d like to use my experience to help make the process a little easier for others.
Which COA value speaks most to you and why?
Compassion. You never know what a person’s experience is unless you ask, and then we need to empathetically listen.
Tell us about one of your role models or someone/thing that inspires you.
A collegiate cross-country coach inspired me to run each day with purpose and intention – to not simply “show up” for the race. When we show up with intention, we always know the “why” behind what we are doing.
What’s the last book you read?
No Time Like the Future, by Michael J. Fox