Jennifer has a critical mix of legal and social work experience that makes her a perfect fit as our company's elder care coordinator. She has worked in law firms as a paralegal as well as hospitals and nursing homes as a social worker. Her knowledge of both worlds allows her to provide thoughtful and well-considered advice to families facing health changes.
Jennifer moved to Meadville with her family in 2002, after 5 years as a paralegal in Erie, Pennsylvania. Upon arriving in Meadville, Jennifer spent another 5 years at a law firm before enrolling in Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for a degree in social work, where she excelled, graduating cum laude in 2013.
After graduating from college, Jennifer began her new career path in social work at Rolling Fields Elder Care Community. This was where her passion for working with the elder population and their specific care needs began to flourish. She became certified in Music and Memory - a program which introduced music to individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Also during her employment at Rolling Fields, she was asked to form a monthly caregiver support group sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association--which continues at Rolling Fields to this day. It was in this support group where she found her greatest inspiration: listening to the stories of the caregivers and the families of elders that were suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia. Jennifer provided these individuals with comfort and education that helped to normalize a situation that feels isolating for many watching their loved ones going through the disease process.
After working at Rolling Fields, Jennifer was offered a position at Meadville Medical Center as a Social Service Care Coordinator. At Meadville Medical Center, she became a part of an interdisciplinary team that focused and provided patient-centered care. Importantly, at the Medical Center, Jennifer acquired significant knowledge of the community-based service agencies in NWPA, working to connect patients to these services. Working along with her interdisciplinary team, she coordinated discharge plans that included transitions to rehab units and nursing homes. During her time there, she gained knowledge in Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans; as well as in Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Jennifer returned to the legal field in 2020, accepting a paralegal position in elder law at Cressman Erde Ferguson, which provided her with continued experience in public benefits planning and estate planning. After one year working with a team of elder law attorneys that featured Attorney Cressman and Attorney Foulk (also partners at Successful Aging), she helped found Successful Aging NWPA in late 2020, after seeing the need for home-based care coordination caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.