City of Gloucester Welcomes New Director of Elder Services

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Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and the Board of the Gloucester Council on Aging announce the appointment of Gloucester native Elise Sinagra as Director of Elder Services.

Sinagra officially began her duties on July 6 and succeeds Lucy Sheehan, long-standing and much admired Executive Director of the Rose Baker Senior Center. The Director of Elder Services position will encompass the role of Senior Center Director as well as directing programs and services outside of the senior center’s scope.

Sinagra said, “I’m honored to serve my community in this important role. I can think of no greater privilege than attending to the needs of our seniors. Lucy left an incredible legacy of committed service to build on and it’s my goal to do just that. The amount of support I’ve already received from this great community is a testament to the love we have for our seniors.”

Her work will be supported by the Gloucester Council on Aging’s Board of Directors who are tasked with overseeing the COA’s well-being and progress toward its mission of serving as a focal point where seniors and their families can access a network of local, state, and federally sponsored elder services while providing an integrated array of health, nutritional, educational, recreational, and social programs for older men and women.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “Everyone knows how much I love my seniors. Elise’s enthusiasm is very energizing and her creative thinking will be critical to lead the important work for our seniors. This new and expanded role will be instrumental as we support Gloucester’s senior population and ensure they benefit from a greater quality of life. We are thrilled to have her join our team and under her leadership we very much look forward to increasing and strengthening our work in serving our seniors.”

Sinagra joins the Gloucester Council on Aging with more than twenty years of diverse experience including serving as Director of Community Integration for Seacoast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and as the founding Executive Director of Family Promise North Shore Boston, a successful family homeless shelter program that operates through a network of houses of worship. She also provided constituent services in the Office of Congressman John Tierney where she handled Social Security and Medicare constituent casework as well as liaising with senior centers across the district to disseminate information on the then newly enacted Affordable Care Act.

Fred Cowan, Chairperson of the COA Board said, “Elise has her work cut out for her in accepting this position of identifying and serving Gloucester’s seniors during such a rapidly evolving and unprecedented time where wearing personal protective equipment and practicing social isolation is encouraged. For many years we’ve benefitted from a highly committed board, the remarkable accomplishments of the Friends of the Council on Aging, and Lucy’s dedicated leadership to make the Senior Center hum with activity. When we can reopen the Senior Center to the public it’ll be a new day with new challenges for developing programs and activities and coordinating our resources to meet those needs. Although yes, it’s a tough time today to take on such an important role, we know that Elise Sinagra’s unique blend of experience and her deep knowledge of the community puts us all in a strong place to address our shared goals.”

Sinagra added, “I’m humbled by the list of people who will be my collaborators in this critical effort. From my colleagues at the city level to the skilled and caring leaders we have in our private, for-profit and non-profit institutions – we have so much talent and concern for the well-being of our seniors. I want to be a bridge that connects that community caring and talent to our seniors in meaningful ways. The Rose Baker Senior Center has benefited from annual increases in grant funding, expanded hours of operation, expansion of SeniorCare’s meals program and a wide variety of programmatic developments. I hope to be able to bring the next set of advances, especially some near term innovations to address critical needs that have emerged or worsened as a result of this public health crisis that’s disproportionately impacting our older adults.”

Sinagra serves on the board of directors of Action, Inc., the Disability Resource Center, and the First R Foundation and now as part of her new position will also sit on the board of the Friends of the Gloucester Council on Aging. She was born and raised in Gloucester where she currently resides.

 

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