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09 June 2011

Lichtenegger: Helping Joplin's Recovery, Jackson Senior Center

Yesterday I was in Joplin working side by side with colleagues to assist in the clean-up efforts. There is more debris in Joplin from this tornado than ground zero, 9-11 at The World Trade Center Towers! Furthermore I have done many dental mission trips to third world countries, but I have never seen this kind of destruction! The resilient nature of Missourians continues to amaze me. Whether it is a snow or ice storms, floods or tornados, we pick up our fellow man and start working to make things better. The people of Joplin truly appreciate all of your gifts and prayers. My desire is that what ever help we offer today will go along way in re-establishing many families’ households to at least a minimum normalcy. You can continue to Rebuild Joplin; this link is a reliable source to do just that.

There is plenty of legislative work to be done during the interim period (the months between legislative sessions). One of the interim projects is to form work groups. During these informative work group sessions, we meet with state agencies to learn more about the functions and budgets under which they operate. This information is valuable with respect to beginning the 2012 session with pertinent facts and knowledge that will assist us in making effective and informed legislative decisions. The photo to the right is one such meeting. That’s Rep. Tom Flanigan, Committee Chairman of the Appropriations- Health, Mental Health and Social Services, in the foreground.

Constituent Corner

If you’ve not visited the Jackson Senior Center, 2690 Traveler’s Way, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. When you first enter the building you are greeted by volunteers whose warm welcome makes you smile. And it won’t be long before your nose tells you something luscious is baking in the kitchen. Check out their website category Meals & Calendar and you’ll know just what’s cookin’! Of course you’ll want to stay to help deliver those dozens of meals.

While you’re waiting for lunch make sure you notice the many workers preparing mail and other functions necessary to keep it the viable, community asset that it is.

Preparing and delivering meals is just one of many activities; you can stretch and strengthen your body in the exercise classes, sharpen those brain cells while playing cards and other games and enjoy social dances with nostalgic music!

Speaking of dances don’t miss the Jackson Senior Center’s June Bug Dinner & Dance, Saturday, June 25, 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for this event. For more information call the center: 243-4241.

Additional websites that offer information and / or services to seniors: Dept. Health & Senior Services, Missouri Agency on Aging, SEMO Area Agency on Aging.

You may need or want information regarding the state of Missouri’s plan to address the needs of Alzheimer patients and their families. House Bill 272 (2009) required MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services to form an Alzheimer State Plan Task Force which resulted in a November 2010 report submitted to Governor Nixon. You can find other health reports and information by linking here: Missouri Health Reports. (DHSS is currently working to get the Nov. 2010 Alzheimer report on the website.) If you would like a copy, call my office 573-751-6662.

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