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

Awards Legislative, Community and Chapter Leaders For Their
Advocacy For Seniors; Presents Representative Fernandes with the
Legislator of the Year Award

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#MassNAELA–At its annual meeting on Wednesday, December 14th, the Massachusetts
Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and
their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors.
Massachusetts State Representative John Fernandes was named the
Legislator of the Year for his support and efforts for passage of
legislation that protects seniors. Arlene Germain, president of
Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, received the Arthur
Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA
bestows each year on an individual who has dedicated themselves to
promoting elder causes in the community.

Two special awards were bestowed that were created in 2014 in honor of
the leadership and tireless endeavors of two longtime MassNAELA members.
The Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA
member’s efforts advocating elder issues in state government, was
presented to Annette M. Hines, Framingham, MA. The John J. Ford
Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s efforts to protect
the rights of seniors and the disabled, was bestowed to Lisa M. Neely,
Worcester, MA.

Each year, MassNAELA recognizes chapter members for their commitment of
time and energy to the chapter. The 2016 Member of the Year award was
presented to Pamela B. Greenfield, Dedham, MA for her work on upgrading
the chapter’s website. The President’s Award was bestowed to Jessica S.
Batsevitsky, Needham, MA; Josh Greenfield (Pamela’s husband); and Judith
McDougall-Flynn, Quincy, MA for their service to and support of the
chapter and its president. Maria C. Baler, Dedham, MA; and Jane E.
Sullivan, Fall River, MA, were honored as retiring members of the
chapter board of directors. Margot G. Birke, Newburyport, MA received an
award for her service and dedication as the 2016 chapter president.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter
officers and directors for the New Year. The 2016 officers include
president, Laura Silver Traiger, Worcester, MA; president-elect, Karen
B. Johnson, Westford, MA; vice president, Matthew Albanese, Milton, MA;
treasurer, Steven Mann, Waltham, MA; clerk, Alexis B. Levitt, Norwell,
MA; and immediate past president, Margot G. Birke, Newburyport, MA.

Newly elected directors include: Gina Barry, Springfield, MA; Pamela B.
Greenfield, Dedham, MA; Paula A. Nedder, Milford, MA; and Natalie A.
Simon, Gloucester, MA.

The evening also featured a two-part program entitled, “MassNAELA to
NAELA: A Tribute to NAELA’s President-Elect Hy Darling and A Discussion
on Tax Law & Practice Management.” Hy Darling is a Boston chapter member
based in Springfield who will be serving as NAELA President in April
when the national organization hosts it annual conference – and 25th
anniversary – in Boston. The first part of the program included
acknowledgements of Hy’s contributions to the field of elder law from
several NAELA leaders across the country via recorded video clips. The
second part of the program focused on updates and practical advice in
tax law and perspectives on practice management, emphasizing the value
of legal services. The featured a panel of attorneys that included
Darling, Holly Lewis of Westfield, MA, and Todd Lutsky of Waltham, MA.
Darling also provided an update on current national public policy
initiatives related to elder affairs.

The MassNAELA annual meeting was preceded by a vendor fair which
featured 20 organizations showcasing their elder care services. The
vendor fair provides MassNAELA members with awareness of essential
quality-of-life services to which they can connect at-risk seniors and
better serve their clients.

About MassNAELA
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
(NAELA), the premier organization of elder and special needs law
attorneys in the country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues
concerning the elderly and those with special needs. Nearly 500
attorneys are members of the Massachusetts Chapter. Members work
directly with the elderly and those with special needs 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.

MassNAELA will be the host and sponsor of NAELA’s 2017 Annual
Conference, to be held April 27 – 29, 2017 at the Boston Marriott Copley
Place, Boston, MA.

For more information about MassNAELA, visit


For Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Bryant, 508-786-3013