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April 17, 2000

Governor Creates Elder Abuse Task Force

SPRINGFIELD--Governor George H. Ryan today announced the names of 31 individuals who will serve on a new Elder Abuse Task Force that will focus on helping thousands of Illinois seniors who are financially abused.

"Findings from the recent Summit on Aging that I convened reinforce the need to better protect vulnerable older people in Illinois from fraud and other crimes," the Governor said. "The job this task force will be to strengthen these efforts."

The Governor named Lt. Governor Corinne Wood as Honorary Chair of the new Task Force. As a State Representative, Wood sponsored legislation strengthening the state’s ability to respond to elder abuse. Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber will serve as Chair of the Task Force.

The Task Force will be asked to foster educational efforts and to recommend policies and/or legislation relating to the prevention of financial exploitation, consumer fraud and telemarketing. Emphasis will also be placed on maximizing resources to address current gaps in services.

Through the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, the Department annually responds to nearly 8,000 reports of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Community elder abuse provider agencies receive abuse reports, conduct assessments, and provide casework and follow-up services for many cases.

"An average of half of all reports involve financial exploitation, about one- third allege neglect, and about one-fourth involve physical abuse," Schreiber said.

"People often find it surprising to learn that elder abuse is a family problem, with three out of four abusers being a spouse, child or other relative. About 75 percent of the alleged victims are women, and the average age is 78," she added.

The task force, which includes a cross-section of professionals representing legal, banking, and social service and advocacy networks, will work in conjunction with the Department on Aging to formulate recommendations for the Governor and General Assembly.

The list of Elder Abuse Task Force members is attached.



Elder Abuse Task Force

Honorary Chair: The Honorable Corinne G. Wood

Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

Chair: Margo E. Schreiber

Director, Illinois Department on Aging


Lee Andersen, Director of the Illinois Elder Rights Coalition, Peoria

Linda Renee Baker, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Springfield

Rick Barkes, Public Affairs Director, Bloomington Police Department, Bloomington

Charlotte Berry, advocate, Springfield

Robert E. Craighead, Executive Director of the Illinois State Bar Association, Springfield

Stuart Gaines, Public Policy Chair of the Alzheimer’s Association, Skokie

Rosemary Gemperle, Executive Director of the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly, Chicago

Donna Ginther, Government Relations Specialist for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Springfield

Norbert Goetten, Director of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor, Springfield

Sister Mildred Gross, advocate, Herrin

Thomas J. Jurkanin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, Springfield

Candice Kane, Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Chicago

Linda Koch, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Illinois Bankers Association, Springfield

George Koertge, Director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Springfield

Barb Kolaski, Executive Director of the Illinois Council of Case Coordination Units, Yorkville

Jonathan Lavin, President of the Illinois Coalition on Aging, Oak Park

Gary Miller, Director of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Springfield

William Miller, Chief of the Illinois State TRIAD, Elgin

Sam Nolan, Director of the Illinois State Police Financial Crimes Task Force, Springfield

Michael O’Donnell, President of the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Bloomington

Kerry Peck, President of the Chicago Bar Association and an Elder Law Attorney, Chicago

Jim Ryan, Attorney General, State of Illinois, Springfield

Greg Sullivan, Director of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Sherman;

Joanne Thomas, Executive Director of the Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc., Peoria

Ron Weismehl, Executive Director of the Council for the Jewish Elderly, Chicago

Robert Wingert, Executive Director of the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, Springfield

Elaine Wright, President of the National Caucus & Center of Black Aged, Chicago

John Wyant, Member of the Board of Directors, Alzheimer’s Association ­ Central Illinois Chapter, Peoria

Maralyn Zeman, advocate, Waterman.


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