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Program Operations Manager
Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City
What Do You Do?
My work revolves around making Kansas City a great place to live and age well. As the Program Operations Manager for Jewish Family Services, I get to live out my passion through supervising a team implementing older adult transportation (JET Express) and older adult home maintenance (Help@Home). Our team also coordinates the agency-wide intake and referral for JFS services.
Who Do You Serve?
JFS serves all community members, regardless of age, race, religion, gender identity, etc. We serve the Jackson and Johnson County area around Kansas City. Our older adult programs are specifically for individuals aged 60+.
Any Accomplishments You'd Like to Share?
Through the last year, I am proud of our older adult technology pilot, Tech Connect. The goal was to provide internet and tablets to older adults who had either never had access before, or who didn’t have the financial means to keep up to date with technology. It was obvious that digital access to services like banking, doctor's appointments, and ordering food was a barrier for many to stay safe in the pandemic. We developed a program with lessons and learning cohorts and have graduated 5 groups of learners (both English and Russian speaking). This project was initially something that I struggled with. Teaching individuals how to use the internet and new technology can be time consuming – not because older adults are harder to teach – but because setting up internet is so individualized, because we are doing this all remote, because we were building and testing parts of the program as we went, etc. At this point, I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made and the infrastructure we have built. Our team is prepared, our lessons are planned, and we have a client portal where participants can watch and re-watch their lessons. Moving forward, we have a strong foundation on which we can build. Digital infrastructure is a necessary piece of living and aging well – I’m hopeful that our community will continue the investment in this infrastructure even after the pandemic is past.