Erika Wallace, Administrative Assistant/Office Manager Erika came to the Outreach Program in 2013 by way of theater stage management.  A graduate of Cornell University she started her professional theater career in Atlanta.  She spent many years managing theater and event productions.  Following her move to Philadelphia in 2000 she translated her theater skills and began working as the Operational Manager for an area non-profit transportation cooperative.  Through that work she realized her passion for working with the older adult population. Continuing the collaborative work habits that she used in theater, Erika uses her organizational talents to support the staff of the Outreach Program. She values the respect and dignity that the staff shows our clients and gets great satisfaction from facilitating the important work that they do for the community.  “It is an honor to be part of a program that works tirelessly for our clients helping them maintain the lifestyle they desire and deserve.” Delores Taylor, Case Aide Delores worked at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for 23 years.  After her retirement in 1992 she volunteered at the gift shop at Misercordia Hospital then went on to work as the receptionist at Kearsley Nursing Home and Simpson House in West Philadelphia.  She is a Germantown High School graduate with a major in music who has been with the Outreach Program since 2007. A native Philadelphian, Delores uses her knowledge of the community as she calls our clients on a quarterly basis.  She confirms their well-being, informs them of upcoming Outreach events and programming and connects them with resources.  It is clear that her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have prepared her for being the heart of the Outreach Program.   Ellie Keenan, Neighborhood Nurse Ellie is a registered nurse, who has worked with older adults for over ten years. She earned an Associate’s Nursing Degree from Delaware County Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Elementary Education from Immaculata University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Leadership at Cabrini University. She is also certified as a dementia practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. When working with elders, Ellie strives to understand their unique stories and identify their wellness goals. She espouses a care approach to collaborate with seniors to help them engage in life and feel supported in the process.  Ellie advocates for seniors to maintain their autonomy in decision making. As the Neighborhood Nurse, Ellie will work with the Outreach team, to assist elders in navigating health and human services. “I am happy to work alongside a group of people dedicated to empowering elders to live their best lives.” Doris Kitt, Case Aide Doris worked in nursing and retail management prior to becoming a case aide with the Outreach Program.  Being an Air Force wife and living all over the world has given her the flexibility to learn a lot from a variety of cultures and societies. Doris also worked in adult daycare and found that she really loved working with older adults.  “This position is heaven sent and more so because of the folks I work with.  Seniors in this area are truly blessed to have this team working on their behalf.  I’ve learned so much from the ladies I work with and it’s made me a better person.”
Sara Popkin, Executive Director Sara is delighted to join Outreach and continue its impactful work.  She has been an Outreach Program Committee member for over a decade, and a social worker since 1998.  Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare and French from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a past recipient of the West Oak Lane Senior Center’s Community Partnership Award, and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College’s Ascending Leaders Program.  She collaborates on a variety of committees and task forces to enhance service provision to older adults, and serves as Membership and Marketing Chair of the board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society.  Sara’s passion for working with older adults ignited in junior high, when she volunteered at an adult day program.  While Sara has a diverse background that also includes work in HIV and mental health, she has found the most fulfillment from supporting older adults in their efforts to age at home, as vital members of their communities of choice. Sara considers it a privilege to help older adults live their best lives, and she recognizes Outreach’s unique value to the community it serves.  “It is such a gift to be able to offer support at no cost to our community, and to have the freedom and flexibility to provide that support in the way it most benefits our clients.” UUH OUTREACH a service to the Northwest community Roberta Balsam, Social Services Supervisor Roberta has a B.A. in Sociology from Temple University and an M.A. in Community Counseling and Human Relationships from Villanova University. After many years of working with young people, she took a job working with older people and discovered a great passion—and a great need. In 2005, she joined the Outreach team. Since then, Outreach clients have been benefitting from Roberta's social work skills and her passion for incorporating the best wellness and health promotion activities. Roberta enjoys the collaborative aspect of her job where she works cooperatively with other service organizations in Northwest Philadelphia. She also enjoys developing programs that focus on the positive  aspects of aging. And she's proud of how Outreach helps clients: "As a free service, the Outreach program is able to offer counsel to our clients without influence from funding sources or governmental agencies," Roberta explains. "This provides a measure of confidentiality to our clients and helps maintain our uniquely client-centered approach."   Laurie Laskey, Maple Village Social Services Coordinator                                                                Laurie Laskey, a graduate of Penn State University with a B.A. in Social Welfare, has worked in the field of aging for more than 25 years. She is a seasoned social worker with diverse skills in working individually with older adults and their families, with groups, and in managing an aging service program.  Laurie has conducted trainings and presented topics on aging at conferences and on local radio and television. As a member of the UU House Outreach Program team, Laurie provides social services coordination at Maple Village, an apartment building for older adults.  "I am pleased to be able to provide confidential, supportive services to the Maple Village residents as their point person for problem solving on a broad range of issues.  Whether it is helping to connect them with services, advocating for their needs, educating them about options, deciphering bills, counseling them through difficult times, or coordinating group activities, my goal is always to empower the residents to remain as independent as possible."