Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

May 12, 2011

Lois Steinberg Recognized for Service as Westchester Program Director at the
Medicare Rights Center
-- Luncheon Honors Ms. Steinberg and Westchester Volunteers,
Marks Older Americans Month --

Westchester County, NY –Lois Steinberg, Ph.D., who will be stepping down at the end of May as Westchester Program Director at the Medicare Rights Center, will be recognized for service at a volunteer appreciation luncheon on May 12. During her tenure at Medicare Rights, she developed and launched Seniors Out Speaking on Medicare (SOS), an award-winning program that trains and mobilizes volunteers to educate their peers about Medicare issues.

 “What Lois has achieved with the SOS program is truly remarkable,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “She built, from the ground up, a hugely successful program that empowers older adults to cut through the confusion surrounding Medicare and become their own health advocates. It is difficult to imagine our programs in Westchester without Lois at the helm, but her work has prepared us well for our current and future growth. We wish her all the best as she begins this new chapter in her life.”

 “Launching our educational programs in Westchester and watching them grow has been a great source of joy for me,” said Dr. Steinberg. “Although it is time for me to move on, the time is also right to continue and expand this work. Health care is becoming increasingly complicated and expensive, and being informed is the key to navigating the Medicare system and getting the care you need.”

At the volunteer appreciation luncheon, Medicare Rights will mark Older Americans Month and honor Dr. Steinberg and the team of volunteers that bring Medicare information to thousands of people each year in Westchester County.

“How fitting it is to honor our hardworking volunteers during Older Americans Month,” said Flo Brodley, deputy director of the SOS program in Westchester. “Navigating Medicare is no easy task, but our volunteers dedicate their time and energy to leading their fellow older Americans through the maze.”

In recent years, the SOS program has expanded far beyond Westchester County. SOS Medicare Minutes, the cornerstone of the SOS program, are currently being led by SOS volunteers in several New York locations (Westchester County, New York City and Long Island), and in New Jersey, Maryland and Kansas. In addition, new programs are scheduled for launch in Alabama, Florida and Wisconsin, with launches being planned in Arkansas and Maine.

A search is currently underway for a new coordinator for the Medicare Rights Center’s programs in Westchester. Dr. Steinberg is co-founder and current president of the Center for Aging in Place, an organization devoted to developing aging-in-place communities throughout Westchester County. She will continue to serve the SOS program as a consultant.

Dr. Steinberg holds two degrees in sociology, an M.A. from Columbia University, a Ph.D. from Fordham University and an M.P.S. from the Health Advocacy Program at Sarah Lawrence College. She was named a Purpose Prize Fellow by Civic Ventures in 2008, and was inducted into Westchester's Senior Hall of Fame in 2007.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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