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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Capitol Rally to Spotlight Elder Abuse Awareness

Press Release Date:  Monday, May 15, 2006  
Contact Information:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180; Vikki Franklin,
(502) 564-7042; or Kim Baker, (502) 564-7043

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2006) – FRANKFORT, Ky. – The public is invited to a rally next week recognizing efforts to protect older Kentuckians and stop elder abuse.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky Association of Gerontology, AARP and the Office of the Attorney General are sponsoring Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Tuesday, May 16, as part of Elder Abuse Prevention Month. The event will start at 10 a.m. in the Capitol rotunda.

Scheduled speakers include Governor Ernie Fletcher, Assistant Attorney General Pamela Murphy and Rep. Robin Webb (D-Grayson). Governor Fletcher signed a proclamation declaring the month of May “Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Kentucky.” At the rally, he will read the proclamation and present it to Division of Aging Services Director Bill Cooper.

Speakers from the cabinet include Children and Family Services Undersecretary Eugene Foster, Ed.D.; Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Tom Emberton Jr.; Inspector General Robert J. Benvenuti III; and Human Support Services Commissioner Marla Montell.

Louisville’s Carrithers Middle School choir will perform “My Old Kentucky Home” and other songs at the rally.

The state’s 39 Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs) and adult nurse consultants will be recognized.

The cabinet’s Adult Safety Branch has established an award to be given annually to the LCCEA that has made the biggest impact on public awareness of elder abuse. This year’s winner will be named at the rally and will receive $500 to be used for community outreach.

Cabinet adult protective services worker Tanda Dannelly will be recognized for receiving the 2005 National Adult Protective Services Association’s first “Spirit of the NAPSA” award. Dannelly is an investigator and provides ongoing protective services to adults in Madison County. She educates local law enforcement, bank personnel and attorneys on ways to recognize and prevent elder exploitation.  

Detective Ann Gutierrez of the Lexington Metro Police Department’s Family Abuse Section will be acknowledged for receiving the National Association of Police Organizations’ “TOP COPS” award. Gutierrez was nominated for her exemplary dedication and commitment related to a lengthy and complex elder exploitation investigation.

A reception will follow the rally on the second-floor mezzanine as will several informational sessions.

The state’s LCCEAs came under joint leadership of the Area Agencies on Aging and the cabinet’s Adult Protective Services staff in 2002. Members include cabinet staff, law enforcement officers, business leaders, health care providers and advocates for the elderly. Councils also monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of services and protection in their communities and coordinate the services of local groups that work with elder victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

For more information about elder abuse prevention, visit

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Last Updated 5/15/2006