Jennifer L. (Jenny) Womack, a clinical professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, received recognition for her work by the Carolina Center for Public Service on April 5, 2017.
Jennifer L. (Jenny) Womack, a clinical professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, received a 2017 Public Service Award on April 5, 2017, from the Carolina Center for Public Service, which acknowledged her partnership with the Orange County Department of Aging.
Womack, MS, MA, OTR/L FAOTA, was selected for the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award, which honors individuals and campus units for public service through engaged teaching, research, and partnership.
Six years ago, Womack connected with the Orange County Department of Aging. Both Womack and OCDOA shared visions for community-based initiatives to engage and assist older adults. Now, those visions have become realities in the form of several programs, including transportation assistance, expansion of caregiver support services and enhanced services for aging in place.
She has worked with individuals, organizations and health-delivery systems to develop community-based services focused on three key issues affecting the quality of life for elders: transportation, falls, and dementia. She collaborated with the OCDOA on two successful grants – one funded a senior transportation coordinator, the other developed services and practices to build a dementia-capable community. Her efforts have impacted the aging community and empowered older adults and their families to utilize resources, programs, and services in Orange County.
The culmination of these programs has provided consultative services to more than 1,200 older adults living in Orange County for home assessments, home modifications, community mobility-related concerns, as well as custom requests.
They also contributed to the development of community education on dementia awareness, chronic disease management, community mobility, brain health, and adaptations for aging with arthritis and chronic illness.
Womack said despite the success, she could not have achieved it without the help of her colleagues, partners, and the innovative environment at the OCDOA.
The CCPS also recognized other award winners, including additional projects with the elderly, pro bono legal assistance, and a refugee health program.
The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the UNC School of Medicine.