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Dennis Streets to lead Chatham County Council on Aging

Posted Friday, April 4, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham County Manager's Office reports that Dennis W. Streets, who has served as director of the State Division of Aging and Adult Services for seven years, will become the executive director of the Chatham County Council on Aging on May 1, 2014.

"Dennis brings an abundance of work experience, professional bearing and a vast knowledge of aging issues to Chatham's Council on Aging. His impressive accomplishments at the state level say a lot about his command of those critical issues," said County Manager Charlie Horne. "He has lived in Chatham County for several years, so he also understands the specific challenges of our rural senior population."

Streets said, "I am excited and humbled to begin my work as director of our Chatham County Council on Aging on May 1, the start of Older Americans Month. As a long-time Chatham resident, I emphasize 'our' because I believe that all Chatham residents should feel a part of our Council on Aging and help contribute to its success through volunteerism, intergenerational activities, donation of expertise and resources, participation in programs, and other means."

Streets pointed out that Chatham is one of 59 counties in North Carolina to have more persons age 60 and older than age 17 and younger. "While we must provide quality services for seniors and their families, we must also assure that our older population remains actively engaged in all aspects of our community."

He added, "I look forward to working with our Council's Board of Directors, staff members, volunteers, public officials and residents all across the county to assist in continuing the Council's strong tradition of excellence."

Jim Hackney, who chairs the Board of Directors for the Council on Aging, said, "The board and staff of the Chatham County Council on Aging are excited to welcome Dennis. Not only is he aware of the emerging issues within the field, but he also brings over 30 years experience and a wealth of connections with expertise and insights."

Hackney added, "We know that Dennis will help us make even more strides in our mission of helping seniors live independently and stay in their own homes. He will help us identify all the areas of need in our senior community and develop effective strategies to satisfy these needs through private and public funding, and harnessing the talents of the citizens of Chatham."

Streets has led the State Division of Aging and Adult Services in the Department of Health and Human Services since 2006. Prior to that, he had been deputy director and also led the division's Planning, Budget and Support Section for 10 years, where he was charged with statewide and local planning for senior programs.

Among the highlights of his service with the Division of Aging and Adults Services are development of an operational guide for state response to sudden closures of adult residential care facilities and development of the first website within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Prior to joining the state division, Streets served as coordinator of the Center for Aging Research and Educational Services (CARES) as well as clinical instructor at the Jordan Institute for Families of the School of Social Work, both at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Earlier experience included serving as executive director of The Evergreens, Inc., a nonprofit long-term care organization. He administered its Greensboro facility with 360 beds, the second largest nursing care facility in the state at the time.

Streets worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in the mid-1980s to help implement the Preferred Provider Plan (CostWise) and Personal Care Plan. He also worked with the State Division of Social Services for three years to lead the development and oversight of rules for adult residential facilities and adult day care services.

After graduate school, Streets served as planner for the Triangle J Area Agency on Aging and managed an older worker program within a four-county region.

He earned a Master's in Public Health and a Master's in the Arts of Teaching from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he established the university's first interdisciplinary exchange of information and activities on aging issues. He also received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Streets has received many honors during his career, including being the first recipient in 2012 of the Presidential Award from the NC Association on Aging.

Hackney said, "Working together with Dennis, the Council on Aging can add to our existing accomplishments, which include obtaining state certification for both senior centers as Centers of Excellence. We also provide more than 30,000 meals a year and more than 23,000 hours of in-home services. We offer transportation services and provide an array of health and wellness activities and services."

 
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