This past year was filled with exciting opportunities and unexpected challenges that taught us about resiliency, tenacity and our ability to think creatively. The Columbia Gas Explosion crisis in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, along with the parking upheaval at our Lawrence offices, demonstrated our capacity to prioritize resources and use them where they were needed most – serving our consumers and the community.
New opportunities were abundant. Our service options were expanded to include a broader population serving younger consumers including those with disabilities who experience many complexities of daily living. New funding expanded our evidenced-based programming to other states in the New England region. We became an active member in the Lawrence Partnership as a member of the Board, as well as taking on leadership responsibilities with Accountable Care Organizations, Columbia Gas, the Essex County Community Foundation and the statewide Home Care network. In the field of aging, our work as thought leaders, change agents and innovators has positioned the agency as an important and willing collaborator for local state and federal leaders seeking new ways to address the Social Determinants of Health and long-term care concerns.
Most importantly, the past year focused on our merger with North Shore Elder Services. This new venture expands our resources and enhances our competitive edge with existing and new funders; serves five additional communities, totaling 28, and embraces a diverse staff of almost 500 members.
We are grateful to all our staff, who have been incredible, through the transition process and to our Board of Directors for their unwavering support while integrating two long-standing and successful organizations.
We will continue to embrace change as we adjust, adapt and evolve as an organization. However, what will remain steadfast is our mission of meeting the needs of our consumers and their families. This work is not done alone, and we recognize that our community partners’ commitment to this agency plays a crucial role in our continued success. Thank you for your continued support.
Chief Executive Officer