Valley Health Donates $5,000 to Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging

On SAAA's front porch Thursday afternoon were, fom left: Dr. Robert Kendall, SAAA Board Member; Dena Kent, Valley Health Vice President of Ambulatory & Wellness Services; Mark H. Merrill, Valley Health President & CEO; John Hudson,SAAA Board Chair; Violet Carter, SAAA Board Member; and Cindy Palmer, SAAA Interim President/CEO.

Front Royal, VA (March 29, 2012) – This afternoon Valley Health System President and CEO Mark H. Merrill personally delivered a check for $5,000 to the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging in Front Royal. He also issued a challenge: Valley Health will donate another $10,000 to SAAA’s Forty Friends Campaign pending matching donations of $10,000 from the community.

“We are pleased to demonstrate our organization’s support for the vital and important work of SAAA in serving the needs of seniors and their families,” Merrill said. “We encourage and challenge others in this giving community to demonstrate their support to help SAAA maintain the valued services and facilities that are critical to the daily lives of our region’s seniors. This is just one way Valley Health and our communities can live healthier, together.”

Also in attendance at the check presentation were Dena K. Kent, Valley Health Vice President of Ambulatory & Wellness Services; John Hudson, Vice President, Bank of Clarke, and SAAA Board Chairman; Dr. Robert Kendall, SAAA Board Member; Violet Carter, SAAA Board Member and Cindy Palmer, SAAA Interim President/CEO.

Travis Clark, President of Valley Health’s Page Memorial Hospital and an SAAA board member, was unable to attend today’s event, but shared his perspective: “SAAA provides very important health and wellness services to the elderly in our regional communities.  In fact, many of our neighbors rely on their resources and expertise on a daily basis.  We encourage everyone to follow Valley Health’s lead in supporting SAAA because your contribution will promote a community that is truly healthier together.”

John Hudson, SAAA Board Chairman, noted that SAAA staff and Board “have done everything that can be done to cut expenses and increase revenue. Staff positions have been reduced since September from 72 to 53, with most of those reductions affecting the main office.  Expenses have been reduced by almost half a million dollars. However, SAAA truly needs a minimum of $40,000 and will be continuing its “Forty Friends Campaign” until that amount has been raised.”

With Valley Health’s $5,000 gift, SAAA’s Forty Friends Campaign is now at 39% of goal.  All new gifts to the campaign become doubly important as the next $10,000 will be matched to become $20,000 in support. SAAA Board Members and staff are turning to the community and asking for donations to match this $10,000 challenge gift from Valley Health and truly put SAAA on the road to recovery.

Since 1975 the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging has served older citizens and their families in the counties of Page, Shenandoah, Warren, Clarke, Frederick and the city of Winchester.  Under the Older Americans Act, the agency provides services that are free or on a sliding fee scale with an emphasis on low income, frail, and minority older persons.  SAAA also serves as one of ten Aging and Disability Resource Centers in Virginia.

SAAA’s mission is to provide support services that allow people to age at home, including Case Management, Meals on Wheels, Active Living Centers, Our Place (social model group respite sites), Personal Care, Homemaker Assistance, Ombudsman, VICAP (Medicare insurance counseling), WellTran (door-to-door transportation),  and RSVP (volunteer opportunities).

To make donations to SAAA’s Forty Friends Campaign, visit or mail your tax deductible donation to SAAA, 207 Mosby Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630.  Please put “Forty Friends” on the memo line.  Credit card donations may also be made by calling SAAA at (540) 635-7141 x 222.