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Minutes of Y’s Men Meeting of November 3, 2016

Senior Services Symposium Moderated by Peter Kolbrener

Y’s Man Peter Kolbrener, a member of the Westport Commission for Senior Services, moderated a panel discussion of the many helpful and useful services the town provides for its seniors.  Panelists were Susan Pfister, director of the Westport Center for Senior Activities, and Holly Betts, the Center’s program manager; Sarah Heath, director, and Elaine Daignault, assistant director, of the Westport Department of Human Services; and Kristen Witt, a social worker for the Department and the town’s Municipal Agent for the Elderly.

The meeting is best described by Y’s Man Bob Fatherley who is chairman of Westport’s Commission for Senior Services:  I’m delighted to report that today’s Symposium, put together by Peter Kolbrener was an unqualified success.  There were five experts on all aspects of senior services in town.  We had a full house and the information dispensed was invaluable to our seniors.  We don’t often have panel programs and this was, in my opinion, one of the best we've ever had.  It involved a lot of moving parts and preparation of participants which Peter engineered brilliantly.  I received a good number of positive reviews.  Besides disseminating valuable information, it was a chance to showcase the Department of Human Services, to publicize the mission of the Commission for Senior Services, and to remind us all of the invaluable role of Westport’s Center for Senior Activities and many of the amenities for seniors in Westport.  It also reminded us that the Y’s Men is an influential audience for publicizing, promoting, using and supporting the many causes espoused by Human Services and the Center for Senior Activities.  Both enterprises rely on private contributions for their work and I encourage you to support them.  

Prior to the panel, Marc Hartog, deputy director of the Westport Emergency Medical Service discussed the services his organization provides.  Over the past year, WEMS responded to more than 2,500 calls bringing the technology of the emergency room as a first response.  He emphasized the importance of knowing how to recognize serious medical problems, not delaying timely treatment because of a denial of symptoms, and following a simple rule – when in doubt call 911.