Honoring Ann Kasper and Her 18 Years of HICAP Service

AnnKasperAwardAfter 18 years of service as the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) Program Manager for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Ann Kasper has retired. She has also been a core leader of California Health Advocates (CHA), having served on our board of directors and been a key player in CHA becoming an incorporated non-profit education and advocacy organization. She is known for her genuine friendliness and warmth, her love of helping others, her leadership among the HICAP network (having received the Peer Achievement Award twice, the 2nd time being in April 2010), her community service (as reflected in her receipt of the “Service Provider of the Year” award in 2001) and her genius as a “networker.” Indeed when she first came aboard HICAP in 1992 after 8 years as the Ombudsman’s Program Manager, she started with few contacts. Yet, that quickly changed as Ann is now known as the one who “knows everybody” – from local beneficiary groups, doctors, service providers, plan representatives, Social Security workers, and Medi-Cal and other government agency staff. Her talents and leadership have helped her program (with 40 dedicated volunteers), the HICAP network and CHA successfully grow and assist thousands of beneficiaries, family members and service providers across the state.

When asked what she has enjoyed most in her service as a HICAP Program Manager, Ann replied, “3 things.” First is her love of helping people. In part inspired by her mother’s service as a school teacher, “helping others has just been a natural way of life,” she said, and something she and her family did from an early age. Second, is being able to work with such dedicated staff, volunteers and the entire network of HICAPs. She is often impressed with the sheer dedication and perseverance the HICAP network has to successfully do their jobs, and with that comes a special sense of camaraderie she deeply enjoys. She also greatly enjoys her volunteers and finds their giving of their time and energy a source of inspiration. Third is her joy of continuously learning and the challenge of staying up-to-date in Medicare’s ever evolving landscape.

With a rich background as the Program Manager for the Long Term Care Ombudsman program and Riverside District Director of the San Andreas Campfire Girls Council, Ann has also done extensive community service. She was the president of the League of Women Voters of NW Riverside County, is a Kiwanis member and serves on the CARE Team (which improves cooperation between law enforcement and social service agencies to prevent abuse of seniors and enhance apprehension of abusers in Riverside County). As mentioned, she has also served on CHA’s board of directors since 2006.

When asked about her next steps, Ann said, “It’s time for fun!!” She plans to travel with her husband, cook more (but not all the time, she clarified), see old friends and family, and especially make many visits to her grandsons in Washington. She’s also been asked to serve on the board of the local hospice organization and is passionate about helping her community better understand and access these important benefits. And, she again said, “It’s definitely time for fun!”

On behalf of our CHA team and the whole HICAP and aging network statewide, we honor and thank Ann Kasper for her dedicated service and leadership! Thank you, Ann! May your coming years and endeavors be fun-filled, vibrant and full of joy!

If you’d like to reach Ann, contact the new HICAP Program Manager for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Sandra Corbitt at scorbitt@inlandagency.org or 951-241-8723 (press option #2).

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.