December 21, 2011 10:22 ET

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

MassNAELA Awards Legislative and Community Leaders for Their Advocacy for Seniors; Presents Representative Wolf With the Legislator of the Year Award and Lisa Yorra With the Arthur Stavisky Award

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Dec 21, 2011) - At its annual meeting on Wednesday, December 7th, 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, Alice Wolf, was presented with the Legislator of the Year award for her efforts as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Lisa Yorra of Elder Service Plan of Harbor Health Services, Inc. received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA bestows each year on a non-attorney who has dedicated themselves to helping seniors in the community.

Two members of MassNAELA were also recognized as Chapter Members of the Year for their commitment of time and energy to chapter initiatives: Paula Nedder, Esq., of Milford, MA, and Suzanne Sayward, Esq., of Dedham, MA. They were selected for this honor from among the chapter's 550 members. Special President's Awards were granted to the following members for their service to and support of the chapter: Brian Barreira, Esq., Plymouth, MA for The Dorothy Fish Trust; Peter Macy, Esq., and Charlie Gallo, Esq., Boston, MA for the Family Trust of Mass., Inc.; and Neal Winston, Esq., for Alex Moschella, Esq., Somerville, MA.

The featured guest speaker for the evening was Gregory S. French, Esq., national NAELA president-elect, who discussed the national trends and developments in elder law in the past year. Attendees also heard an update on legislative initiatives on Beacon Hill from Deborah Thomson, Esq., MassNAELA lobbyist and principal of The PASS group, a specialist in legislative and administrative advocacy. Other speakers included Harry Margolis, Esq., who discussed Special Needs Planning; John Ford, Esq., who presented the past year's important developments in MassHealth litigation; and John Dugan, Esq., who summarized the year's developments in the areas of probate and estate administration.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers for 2012. The 2012 officers include president, Phil Murphy, Esq., of Milton, MA; president-elect, Holly Harris, Esq., of Norwell, MA; vice president, Judith Flynn, Esq., of Rockland, MA; clerk/secretary, Paula Almgren, Esq., of Lenox, MA; treasurer, Steven Mann, Esq., of Waltham, MA; and immediate past president, Tracey Ingle, Esq., of Southborough, MA.

The MassNAELA annual meeting was preceded by a first-ever vendor fair for its members, which featured 16 organizations showcasing their elder care services.

MassNAELA hosted the National Aging & Law Institute, a conference organized by NAELA, the national organization, November 10-12, 2011 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. The conference brought over 400 elder law and special needs attorneys from across the U.S. to the Boston area.

As a legislator, Representative Wolf, who represents the 25th Middlesex District (Cambridge), has filed legislation to codify the Personal Needs Allowance, fought for funding for home care accounts, and been a key proponent of the community-first philosophy to expand community-based services. In this past year alone, she played a key role in protecting the 10-day nursing home bed hold and fought to preserve funding for adult day health programs.

Representative Wolf serves as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, which considers all matters concerning the elderly, handicapped elders, nursing facilities, prescription drugs, reverse mortgages, senior pharmacy and other related matters.

Ms. Yorra has selflessly supported MassNAELA by sharing her knowledge on PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and helping members to better understand the workings of the program so they can best advise clients. PACE is a nationwide model of care designed to maintain elders in the community so they can live independently as long as possible.

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. Over 550 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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