Reed City’s Emig honored with community service award

DETROIT – The self-proclaimed “Man of many hats” now has another hat to add to his collection.

Larry Emig, of Reed City, was recently selected by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a 2012 recipient of the Claude Pepper Award.

The award is presented to two individuals whose professional or volunteer efforts have made significant contributions to improving the lives of Michigan seniors, particularly those whose access to health care services may be hindered by physical, mental, financial or geographical limitations.

Emig, 66, has served on the Osceola County Commission on Aging Advisory Board for more than 26 years, helping oversee in-home care, transportation and nutrition services for hundreds of seniors in Osceola County.

“I had no idea, nor did I expect that I had been chosen,” Emig said. “I’m sure the other candidates were very qualified.”

A former mayor of Reed City, Emig has served in leadership roles for several organizations at the local, regional and state levels, including a recent appointment by Governor Snyder to the Michigan Commission of Juvenile Justice. He also has served on the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s Board of Directors since 2006, helping oversee the agency and services to over 38,000 seniors in a nine-county region.

“It was an honor just to have been nominated, let alone to think I would be chosen,” Emig said.

Two Michigan seniors and an organization that helps enrich the lives of older adults were honored for their outstanding dedication and advocacy to senior issues by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Senior Advisory Council. The awards were presented during the Older Michiganians Day event at the Lansing State Capitol on June 20.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to ensuring that Michigan’s seniors are respected and treated with care. The Blues’ Senior Advisory Council has a longstanding tradition of honoring community members and organizations who share that same commitment,” said Kevin F. Kelley, education chair of the BCBSM Senior Advocacy Council.

Emig was honored along with James Forrer of Troy. Each received a $1,000 check to be given to nonprofit organizations of their choice.

The Blues’ Senior Advisory Council has honored outstanding senior citizen advocates with the Claude Pepper Award since 1990. The award is named after the late Claude Pepper, the U.S. congressman from Florida who was one of the principal sponsors of the Older Americans Act of 1965 and a major force in strengthening Social Security and Medicare.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to nearly 4.34 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state.

BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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