State representative nabs national award

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Jimmie Lee honored for work with adult day care industry

By Marty Finley

State Rep. Jimmie Lee has garnered another national honor.

The Elizabethtown Democrat was awarded the Sen. John Heinz Memorial Award from the National Adult Day Services Association during its annual conference in Milwaukee, Wis. Lee received the award for his support of the adult day care industry.

The NADSA solicits nominations from across the country each year for its awards. Lee was nominated by Active Day, a national adult day care provider with 19 facilities in Kentucky, including a location on Woodland Drive in Elizabethtown. 

“Representative Lee is an obvious champion for adult day services and his successes speak volumes about his character. His voice for people who might not otherwise receive the assistance they need to continue living in their communities should be replicated among other citizens and leaders to make the world a better place,” Teresa Johnson, executive director of NADSA, said in a statement.

Helen Simms, regional director of Active Day of Kentucky, said Lee has remained a solid voice for the “underserved” through his attendance at rallies and his active lobbying for increased care and benefits for those with disabilities.

Lee said he was humbled by the win.

“It was an honor to be nominated and I was surprised to win,” he said.

Lee said he has worked with Active Day for years because it gives those with disabilities an outlet to interact with other people during the day while giving them access to meaningful games that improve the mind and keep bodies strong.

Without programs like Active Day, he said, those with disabilities would not have anywhere to go during the day and would have very little interaction with others.

Lee said the program also is beneficial to caregivers by giving them temporary respite from their daily duties taking care of those with disabilities.

It’s not the first national award Lee has claimed this year. He was the first recipient from Kentucky to win the Jacob K. Javits Award, which is chosen by American Psychiatric Association.

The Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association nominated Lee for that award. Executive Director Bonnie L. Cook earlier this year pointed to Lee’s enthusiasm to speak for those without a voice and aid those who are affected by mental illness, addictive disorders and intellectual and physical disabilities as the reasons why he was nominated.

In its nomination, the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association highlighted Lee’s efforts to replace Eastern State Hospital in Lexington and his ability to claim money for community mental health centers and installation of a new crisis stabilization unit in Louisville.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.