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June 26, 2009

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 961-6682


Madden Center senior Mai Ha has her photo taken by Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Plaza during the Senior ID event at Kit Clark Senior Center in Dorchester.

Recently, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Senior ID program visited Kit Clark Senior Services’ Madden Senior Center located in Dorchester.

The Sheriff’s Department Senior ID program provides Suffolk County Seniors with colored identification cards. The cards include a photo of the holder, his or her name, address, blood type, and medical history, and the name and phone number of the cardholder’s physician and an emergency contact. The information is vital in an emergency situation and the ID card is an important aid to medical responders.

Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Plaza and Deputy Director Ed Geary, Jr. greeted over 45 Vietnamese seniors at the center, took their photographs, and collected their completed applications to finalize the creation of their new secondary form of identification.

Kit Clark Senior Services outreach worker Lan Chi Pham was instrumental in bringing the Sheriff’s Department ID program to the Social Group of Vietnamese Seniors who meet daily at the bustling center located along Dorchester Avenue in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester. According to Pham, the Vietnamese Seniors have close to 150 active members who routinely visit the Madden Center, which is open Monday through Saturday. Seniors from a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds utilize the Center as a gathering place for breakfast and lunch, fitness activities, recreation, education, and socialization.

“These seniors are very active and involved in Dorchester and the surrounding area,” said Pham. “They helped clean up the neighborhood during Boston Shines in April and recently attended the Parade of Seniors event held at the J.F.K. Library.” 

Having such a large contingent of seniors who are so active in the community stresses the importance of having the Sheriff’s Department ID card.

Pham agreed, stating, “In an emergency, the ID card could be really helpful for seniors in trouble.” She continued, “Most of the seniors in the group only speak Vietnamese and this card could be very useful in dealing with language barrier issues during an emergency.”

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has visited the Madden Senior Center on numerous occasions to bring this program to as many seniors as possible.

As stated on their website, Kit Clark Senior Services have been committed to helping our community’s older adults live with dignity and independence since 1974. Founded in response to the Federal Older Americans Act, Kit Clark has grown to offer over 30 programs at over 40 locations in Greater Boston. In order to better serve the community, their professionally staffed multi-service agency conducts many of its programs in five different languages, ensuring these much needed support services reach elders with diverse ethnic backgrounds.

To arrange for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Elderly ID program to visit your organization or senior center, please call Deputy Justin Plaza at (617) 635-1100 X 3156.

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