TIFTON — The Georgia Council on Aging has named Tifton resident Ruth Lehmann Lee as the new chairman of the council.
Lee has served on the Georgia Council on Aging since being appointed in 2013 by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Prior to being selected as chair, she served as vice chair for the council for four years.
“We are tasked with bringing issues to the legislature that are important for our aging Georgians,” Lee said. “There’s 20 members, some of which are providers and some of which are consumers. For me, they consider me a consumer.”
The Georgia Council on Aging coordinates the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly that has more than 1,100 members across Georgia. Lee said the council votes on those issues submitted by this coalition to take to the legislature.
“We’re always advocating for increased money for home and community-based services,” she said. “Everybody wants to stay at home, and it also saves the state money to keep them at home and provide more services so they don’t have to go into a nursing home.”
She said the council has been addressing many issues.
“I feel very strongly about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation,” Lee said. “That’s my hot button, to think that people take their money then don’t take care of them.”
Lee retired as director of oncology services at Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton where she was previously the director of Hospice of Tift Area. Lee was also the executive director of Hospice of Central Georgia in Macon and the past president and treasurer of the Georgia Hospice Organization board of directors. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Tift College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Albany State College. Lee and her husband, Michael, have three children and six grandchildren.
The Georgia Council on Aging advocates on behalf of older Georgians and their families to improve their quality of life. Read more about the Council at www.gcoa.org