I'm proud to be greeting all of you as SteppingStone’s new Executive Director. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Moli Steinert who retired on August 1st. Thank you Moli! I am looking forward to leading the organization to a strong future. Since becoming E.D. I've gained a whole new perspective. As a Program Director, I operated at the grass roots level, working with participants and employees and problem solving day-to-day. Using my background in Gerontology and licensed in Marriage Family Therapy, I worked to provide care for our participants so that they could continue to live independently in the community. Now as E.D. I am operating at a macro level—still passionate about serving San Francisco’s frail, low-income seniors and disabled adults but now focusing on efforts to ensure SteppingStone’s overall success.
Advocacy is a key part of my work as I broaden our outreach efforts. In addition to working with colleagues at other Adult Day Health Centers and non-profits, I will also be working with San Francisco’s Department of Aging and Adult Services and the Board of Supervisors. On the state level, I have been voted onto the Board of Directors at the California Association of Adult Day Services, allowing me to advocate and monitor developments affecting not only our organization but all other Adult Day Health Centers in California. We are thrilled that the Dignity Fund (Prop I) passed in San Francisco, ensuring funds to support seniors, adults with disabilities, persons with chronic illnesses, and veterans.
Fundraising is another essential area of focus. We are so very grateful to have been supported by generous foundation grants and gifts from individual donors. Thank you. Your donations make it possible for us to continue serving this frail population and providing respite to their families and caregivers. Please consider helping us today with a donation of any size.
I look forward to updating you about SteppingStone’s progress as we move into some very exciting times.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season!
Gertrudes: A Definition of Family
As the fourth of 12 children, Gertrudes was born November 16, 1927 in the Philippines. Her father worked for the military and her mother worked odd jobs to support the family. During WWII, times became difficult. The whole family worked hard—growing vegetables, milking cows and then walking miles to town to sell or trade in the market. When she was 10 years old, her mother passed away and although the family had suffered a great loss, they stayed together loving and supporting each other.
After finishing school, Gertrudes moved to Caloocan, Manila and worked as a sales clerk to help support her family. She met a man who had the same strong family values and they fell in love and got married. He worked for the government while Gertrudes stayed at home to raise their 3 children. After he retired, they moved to the United States in 1995.
Both of them wanted to stay active and find a community of their peers and that is how they started coming to Presentation Adult Day Health in October of 2006. In 2009, her husband took ill, and could no longer attend, but Gertrudes kept coming to the center. She said being with her friends at the center every day helped her to stay positive. The staff offered support and encouragement during her husband’s illness so that she could be strong for him. She remembers with great fondness how they came to visit in 2015 as he was nearing the end of his life. She remembers how happy he was to see them, how he talked with them, and how grateful he was that they would take the time out to visit him. He knew each and every one of their faces and names. After they left, he told her that it was so nice to see “family” again. Looking as if he were going to fall asleep, he said “See you later” and died peacefully in his sleep.
Now 86 years young, Gertrudes is a grandmother of 5, and a great grandmother of 2. October 23rd marked her 10-year anniversary at SteppingStone. She still comes to Presentation because she enjoys socializing with her friends and meeting people of different cultures and learning about them. She says that it keeps her mind, body and spirit strong and she will continue to come because the center has done so much for her. But Gertrudes has also done a great deal for the center. Nicknamed the “Nice Lady”, she is a friend to all. She is caring, loving, giving, and always supportive and encouraging to others. She has a smile that lights up a room and she truly personifies her own definition of Presentation—“Family”.Greetings from the Board President
Happy holidays! I hope this holiday season and the coming year will bring good health and happiness to all of you. I have served on the SteppingStone Board for 3 years and have first-hand experience with the important work that we do. My late mother enjoyed some happy days at our Mabini Day Health center and my family and I will always be so grateful for the excellent care that she received.
I am honored to serve as the new Board President for SteppingStone and I would like to thank my predecessor Nancy Meyer and our recently retired Executive Director, Moli Steinert, for leading the organization through some very trying times. I am looking forward to working with our Board and our new Executive Director Mollie Tobias to build a strong future for our organization.
By the year 2020, 20% of San Francisco’s population will be over the age of 65 and there will be a growing need for ADHC services such as the ones we provide. And yet the MediCal reimbursement rate falls woefully short of what it costs us to provide quality care. We are so thrilled that Prop I, the Dignity Fund will be established in the upcoming year and we are also making plans to increase our capacity to serve the City’s low-income seniors and disabled adults. But we need help from our community and I hope you will join me in making a gift today.
All of us at SteppingStone wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2017!
Maelin Wang, Board President.
Please consider making a gift to SteppingStone today!
Help our seniors and adults with disabilities to continue living independently in the place they call home. Thank you!
All photos by Karen Ande, karenande.com