Coit becomes new Highland Senior Services Administrator
Monterey, Va. –
After Kate Wilke’s retirement from the Valley Program for Aging Services office in Monterey last year, a new senior services administrator, Kathryn Coit, was hired. Mrs. Coit talks about how she first became interested in working with the elderly.
“I grew up in central Missouri, on a farm,” said Mrs. Coit. “I always thought I wanted to be a nurse, but ended up going into gerontology as far as schooling later. The last place I lived was Wichita, Kansas. We were actually three for twenty years. That’s where my husband’s work was at the time. There I finished my degree in gerontology at Wichita State University. And after raising my family, I went into case management there with the Area Agency on Aging,” she said.
Mrs. Coit has many years’ experience working with aging services programs.
“My last job before coming out here was with the state of Kansas Department On Aging,” said Mrs. Coit. “We were working on a grant-funded program having to do with the hospital transitions programs, which is something VPAS is just starting to get involved with a little bit with Augusta Health and hopefully we will be able to work with Bath Community Hospital later on working with that which is some ideas on how to help people make a more successful transition after a hospitalization and then be able to go back home and be more independent and successful at home,” she said.
Mrs. Coit talks about her first months on the job in Monterey.
“I started here November first,” said Mrs. Coit. “So I don’t have my first full year in yet. Thank goodness that Kate Wilke was remaining local after her retirement and was very helpful in getting my feet on the ground here. I always knew I wanted to get to a smaller community that we had been in, in Wichita. We had been in St. Louis before that. I said there’s no way I’m going to a place as big or bigger than that again’. And I had to get back to trees and hills because I was stuck in Kansas for twenty years after growing up in central Missouri. I’ve got trees and hills now, for sure. And I’ve got small, ha ha,” she said.
Mrs. Coit goes on to discuss the reasons for the proposed changes in senior services programs in Bath and Highland Counties.
“The idea of closing this senior center as well as two other VPAS senior centers , of course, is budget related,” said Mrs. Coit. “For quite a few years, the Highland Senior Center in particular had been basically carried by infusion of funds from other areas of VPAS programming, because we serve a much larger area than just Bath Highland. And some of the other areas like Waynesboro Staunton was able to come up with other funding in ways that they were able to share and help and carry the load a little bit for those areas that needed help. With cuts in federal and state funding as well as increased needs in the other programs in the other areas, that twenty thousand dollars or so a year that we were coming up short for several years here, just isn’t going to be available as it has been in the past,” she said.