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2019

WellCare Champions

2019 Champion

Barb Genton

2019 Champion

Kateri Spinella

2019 Champion

Jerry Cali

2019 Champion

Sharon Connor

2019 Champion

Sister James Peter Ridgeo
2019 WellCare Champions

Barb Genton

Barb Genton – SAGE Upstate

Barb has encouraged countless of older adults to live their most genuine lives, as a breast cancer survivor and an advocate for the LGBTQ community. Her work as a leader and volunteer for SAGE Upstate, an organization that promotes the well-being of older gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and allies in Central New York, has allowed the group to expand from one small office to their current location where it holds as many as 30 programs each month. Barb also has been an active volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, since before her own diagnosis.

Kateri Spinella

Kateri Spinella – Wellhouse Ministries, Inc.

After years of working as a hospice nurse in Oswego County, Kateri realized that the area had limited resources for people in need of end-of-life care. To address this she co-founded Wellhouse Ministries, Inc./Anthony House to help patients and their families. The program provides a home where those in hospice can live and receive 24-hour supervision and care, families can spend time with their loved one without the risk of caregiver burnout, all at no cost. The Ministry acknowledges the special relationship that develops between patient, family and caregiver.

Jerry Cali

Jerry Cali – Francis House

For more than 42 years, Jerry has shared his musical talents with residents of local Veteran Affairs Centers, Rescue Mission Shelters and skilled nursing homes in the Syracuse area, bringing music and memories to residents that may otherwise not be socially reachable. Jerry’s goal is to take away a bit of sadness and create an opportunity for joy through music. He plays as many as three locations a day.

Sharon Conner

Sharon Connor – Catholic Charities of Onondaga County

After retirement, Sharon immediately began traiing as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman to assist older adults in skilled nursing centers understand and exercise their rights to good care. During this time, she saw a need in herself and others to help seniors increase their muscle strength, as in many cases, this was their only physical limitation. Sharon started training in the Bone Builders program and since 2010, has logged more than 3,200 volunteer hours in the Strong Bones Program, helping nearly 500 older adults improve their overall fitness and life quality.

Sister James Peter Ridgeo

Sister James Peter Ridgeo – Franciscan Northside Ministries/Poverello Clinic

Sister James Peter was instrumental in founding The Poverello Health Center, the first center established in Syracuse designed specifically to meet the needs of the uninsured. She continues to coordinate staffing as well as direct patient care and through her work, the Center has been able to expand its services. Sister James Peter has advocated for patients on countless occasions for low or no cost care to assure healthcare for those in need.