Beth Southorn Presents Assemblymember Nazarian with LeadingAge CA’s Legislator of the Year Award

Today LifeSTEPS Executive Director Beth Southorn presented Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian with LeadingAge California’s Legislator of the Year award.

Assemblymember Nazarian is a tireless advocate for older adults and aging services providers, and we thank him for his efforts to drive California towards being a more age-friendly state where older adults have access to vital services that will help them age with dignity.

Assemblymember Nazarian recently filed legislation cosponsored by LeadingAge and LifeSTEPS which supports low-income older adults by establishing a 5-year Healthier Home – Age in Place Affordable Housing Nursing Program in eight counties across the state.

LifeSTEPS co-sponsors bill to improve access to healthcare services allowing older adults to age in place

LifeSTEPS, in partnership with LeadingAge California, cosponsored Assembly Bill 2548, Healthier Homes- Age in Place Nursing Program, to improve access to affordable housing and healthcare services. Authored by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long-term Care Committee, AB 2548 will allow seniors to age in place rather than force them to relocate to more expensive healthcare settings. AB 2548 is part of Assemblymember Nazarian’s larger Aging and Long-term Care Bill Package.

“This pilot program acts as a pivotal first step in addressing social inequities facing low-income older adults,” said Beth Southorn, Executive Director of LifeSTEPS. “By helping older adults age in place, we can work to address California’s housing, long-term services and supports, and health care challenges all at once.”

Assembly Bill 2548 will establish the 5-year Healthier Home – Age in Place Affordable Housing Nursing Program in eight counties – Contra Costa, Fresno, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Shasta and Sonoma. A full-time registered nurse and a full-time community health worker will deliver health education, navigation, and coaching to residents at three affordable senior housing communities in each county. The bill is co-sponsored by LeadingAge California.

Dedria Black Joins LifeSTEPS as Deputy Director

LifeSTEPS (Life Skills Training & Educational Programs) welcomed Dedria Black as Deputy Director in February 2022. Black is working alongside Executive Director Beth Southorn to foster the future growth of LifeSTEPS, which provides effective educational and supportive services to nearly 100,000 residents of affordable and supportive housing across California.

As Deputy Director, Black provides leadership and expertise in areas of financial management, business development, strategic planning and organizational effectiveness.  Black serves as a strategic thought partner to Southorn, and helps assure that the legacy and mission of LifeSTEPS continues to move forward with excellence, best practices and innovations.

“LifeSTEPS has a long-standing history of excellence, and I am honored to join the team as Deputy Director,” Black said. “There has never been a more critical need for resident services, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to create positive impact and transform lives through LifeSTEPS’ programs and supports.”

Prior to joining LifeSTEPS, Black served as Deputy Director of Programs for the City and County of San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. In collaboration with the Department of Public Health, the Human Service Agency and the Department of Emergency Management, Black led the department’s COVID-19 response which included the development of a COVID-19 Command Center, the launch of 25 shelter-in-place hotels providing safe housing for over 2,000 COVID-vulnerable San Francisco residents experiencing homelessness and the implementation of other COVID-19 response initiatives.  She previously served as Adult/Older Adult System of Care Director for Calaveras County, where she planned, organized, and directed programs and special projects for the Behavioral Health Care Division.

“Dedria will be a tremendous asset to the LifeSTEPS’ leadership team and organization,” said Southorn. “She has spent her entire career serving and supporting those in need and is a true champion of that cause. Her passion for the constituency served by affordable housing communities will complement the existing expertise of our team.”

In 2022, Black will complete her PH.D in Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University and recently completed The Public Leadership Credential Program at Harvard University. Black currently holds an MBA in Organizational Development from Upper Iowa University and three BS degrees in Criminal Justice, Human Services and Paralegal Studies.

LifeSTEPS’ Intensive Case Management Services Help Residents Thrive

When LifeSTEPS resident Cole needed follow-up medical care after suffering a stroke, LifeSTEPS case manager Estela was right by his side. Our Intensive Case Management (ICM) Services help residents like Cole maintain stable housing, good health and self-sufficiency while living independently. By assisting with transitions of care or accompanying to appointments, our case managers offer guidance and support, empowering individuals to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

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