MassNAELA (Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys)

December 07, 2010 11:19 ET

Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Honors State Representative John Fernandes and Others at Annual Meeting

MassNAELA Awards Legislative and Civic Leaders for Their Advocacy for Seniors; Presents Representative Fernandes With the Legislator of the Year Award and Waltham Police Officer Jon Bailey With the Arthur Stavisky Award

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - December 7, 2010) - At its annual meeting on Tuesday, November 30th, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors. Massachusetts State Representative, John V. Fernandes, was presented with the Legislator of the Year award for his efforts to champion the concerns of elders at the State House. Jon Bailey, a Waltham police officer, received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA bestows each year on a citizen who has dedicated themselves to helping seniors in the community.

Individual members of MassNAELA were also recognized: Maria Baler, Esq., of Dedham, MA, was named Member of the Year from among the chapter's 485 members for her commitment of time and energy to chapter membership initiatives; Leslie Madge, Esq., of Acton, MA, a departing chapter board member, received an award for her outstanding contributions to the chapter. 

The featured guest speaker for the evening was Edwin Boyer, Esq., of Sarasota, FL, national NAELA president-elect, who provided a look at the past, present and future evolution of the organization as well as elder law. Attendees also heard an update on legislative initiatives on Beacon Hill from Susan Levin, Esq., of Newton, MA, the MassNAELA public policy committee chair.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers for 2011. The 2009 chapter president, Suzanne R. Sayward, Esq., of Dedham, MA, presented 2010 president, Francis X. Small, Esq., of Milford, MA, with an award for his contributions and service to the chapter over the past year. The 2011 officers include president, Tracey Ingle, Esq. of Southborough, MA; president-elect, Phil Murphy, Esq. of Milton, MA; vice president, Holly Harris, Esq., of Norwell, MA; secretary, Paula Almgren, Esq., of Lenox, MA; and treasurer, Steven Mann, Esq. of Waltham, MA.

As a legislator, Representative Fernandes, who represents the Tenth Worcester District (Milford, Hopedale, and Mendon), has made protecting seniors one of his top priorities and continually supports legislation that will allow seniors to stay in their homes, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and improve access to healthcare. He serves on the House and Joint Committees on Elder Affairs, which consider all matters concerning the elderly, handicapped elders, nursing facilities, prescription drugs, reverse mortgages, senior pharmacy and other related matters. Representative Fernandes is an attorney himself, with a private practice based in Milford, MA.

Mr. Bailey, a police officer in Waltham since 1993, was instrumental in establishing the TRIAD program in Waltham in 1995. A partnership between the Waltham Police, Waltham Council on Aging and AARP, TRIAD improves the quality of life, reduces criminal victimization and enhances the delivery of law enforcement services for Waltham's seniors. Officer Bailey has also utilized his strong crime prevention background to develop the Senior Academy for Education (SAFE), an educational course set in a police academy environment, where seniors learn about issues such as legal planning, elder abuse, scams and frauds, fall prevention, safe driving, and personal safety.

About MassNAELA
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the premier organization of elder law attorneys in the country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues concerning the elderly. 485 attorneys are members of the Massachusetts Chapter, which comprises 13% of all NAELA members nationwide. They work directly with the elderly population in areas as diverse as planning for catastrophic care costs, disability planning, age discrimination in employment and housing, benefits planning, estate planning, veterans' benefits and more. For more information about MassNAELA, visit

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