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National Consumer Advocacy Award Ceremony

Consurmer Voice 37th Anual Conference in Arlington, VA.

Left Tony Chicotel, staff attorney with CANR, center Sylvia Taylor-Stein and on right Joe Rodrigues State Onbudsman, CA.


The Consumer Voice 37th Annual Conference was held October 24-27, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of Ventura County Executive Director, Sylvia Taylor-Stein, was presented with the Howard Hinds Memorial Award for exceptional commitment to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.

Consumer Voice Award Consumer Voice Award

The Consumer Voice provides information and leadership on federal and state regulatory and legislative policy development and models and strategies to improve care and life for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

Least Drugging

Ventura County Executive Director Receives National Consumer Advocacy Award

Ventura, CA August 9, 2013 – Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of Ventura County announced today that Sylvia Taylor-Stein, Executive Director, has been named the winner of the 2013 Consumer Voice Howard Hinds Memorial Award . The Howard Hinds Award was established in 2005 in memory of the late Howard Hinds, a Tennessee District Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Howard was a true champion for residents in long term care and for the ombudsman program, as well as a passionate advocate on national issues. The award honors an individual who has significantly and effectively advocated for long term care consumers on the local level.

 Sylvia Taylor-Stein was nominated by Joe Rodrigues, California State Long Term Care Ombudsman and Tony Chicotel, Staff Attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. In their nomination they said, “Sylvia has been a tireless, though unsung, local leader in what has turned out to be a national movement, and her leadership and own personal experience with dementia in her family has inspired an entire community to re-think its care process for people with dementia, and to focus on the abilities they retain, rather than those they have lost”

 “It is a tremendous honor to receive the Howard Hinds Memorial Award,” Sylvia said. “I am deeply moved, and thank the Consumer Voice for selecting me to receive this prestigious award. This work is a calling, not a job, and I am so humbled to see the work we do, receive this recognition.”

 Sylvia Taylor-Stein will be honored at the 37th Annual Consumer Voice Conference in Arlington, VA on Saturday, October 26, 2013.

 Sylvia Taylor-Stein was introduced to the Ombudsman Program in 1999 and became actively involved the same year. Her greatest inspiration in her life was her grandmother who died at 92 years of age after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years. It was her love and deep respect for her grandmother that influenced her to leave the private sector where she had served in an executive position, and become involved with the exceptional advocacy work of the Ombudsman.

Hailed as the leading national advocate for consumers in all long-term-care settings, Consumer Voice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization founded in 1975 by Elma L. Holder.

 For over 30 years Long Term Care Services of Ventura County has been providing advocacy and support for all long-term care consumers throughout the county. The organization has been recognized locally and statewide for making a significant impact in improving the lives of all residents living in long term care settings.


Ombudsman's chief fights antipsychotics

Taylor-Stein will be honored for pushing decreased reliance on drugs.

By Tom Kisken 805-437-0255 

The leader of a Ventura County ombudsman group that has led a drive to reduce the use of powerful drugs on nursing home residents suffering from dementia will receive a national award.

Sylvia Taylor-Stein, executive director of Long Term Care Ombudsman Services of Ventura County, will receive the award in October from the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. It is given each year to someone who has advocated effectively for people receiving long-term care.

'For an ombudsman, it's sort of the apex of achievement,' said Tony Chicotel of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. He and Joseph Rodrigues, California state long-term care ombudsman, nominated Taylor-Stein. They emphasized her efforts on decreasing the reliance on antipsychotic drugs used to control behavior.

Chicotel said federal statistics that track nursing home use of medication show antipsychotic use is declining faster at nursing homes in Ventura County than in California and the U.S.

'Lots of people have been part of this, and they all deserve recognition,’ Chicotel said. 'But when it comes down to one person, it's Sylvia.' Taylor-Stein and her group organized symposiums and workshops over two years for long term care administrators, staff and doctors on an antipsychotic-medication issue that has evolved into a national movement.

Other ombudsman systems have used the programs as a model.

Taylor-Stein also formed a task force of nursing home providers who have worked to help facilities achieve what she calls “least drugging.” 

She helped elevate awareness on a complex and difficult issue, said John Gardner, administrator of Victoria Care Center nursing home in Ventura. There was once more of an adversarial relationship between watchdogs and long-term care providers over the use of antipsychotics, but that has changed, he said. 

“Early on, there was a different tone from both sides,” he said. “Over time, the awareness and the discussion has brought both sides a little closer together.” 

Taylor-Stein used to be an executive vice president of an international publishing company. She joined the Ventura County long-term care ombudsman group in 1999, inspired largely by her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 10 years before dying at age 92. She said the use of chemical restraints often comes when nursing home providers don’t know the stories of the people for whom they care well enough. They don’t know how to make them comfortable and happy in the facilities. 

“Some of the facilities, they’ve really stepped up,” she said of the decreasing use of the drugs. “Some are still struggling, but we have some real stars.” 

The Howard Hinds Memorial Award will be presented Oct. 26 at the Consumer Voice’s Conference in Arlington, Va. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care dates to 1975, when it was founded out of concern about substandard nursing home care. The nonprofit advocates for quality care and quality of life for long-term care consumers. 

Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.
Ombudsman Program

2021 Sperry Avenue - Suite 35,
Ventura CA 93003 

Tel: 805-656-1986  | Fax: 805-658-8540

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Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc is a 501(c)3 public benefit charitable corporation.
Corporate and individual donations are needed, welcomed and appreciated.
Funded in part by - Area Agency on Aging

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