Hometown Halo Award

Hometown Halo Award

recognizing and celebrating the dedicated leaders who make a difference in our senior community

Kathy Kent - NaCog

March 2024 Award Recipient

Kathy Kent

Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NaCog)

Clients Services Manager

Kathy Kent’s passion for working with people started when she was a young girl, playing teacher over the summer with the neighborhood kids, spending her allowance money on stickers for the homework she’d give them to do. As an adult with psychology and sociology degrees, she worked at a Behavioral Health In-Patient Facility for several years before obtaining her teaching credential and teaching sixth graders. As she shared, if you’ve spent time doing takedowns on grown men in a psych hospital, working with 12-year-olds is a breeze! During her teaching career, she became a district mentor teacher, mentoring teachers in the sciences and training new teachers.
She moved to Prescott Valley when her son Austin was an infant and has been here for 31 years, spending the last decade working for the non-profit NACOG (Northern Arizona Council of Governments) Aging. She started as a case manager, moving up the ranks until retiring this February as the Client Services Manager. She manages the largest territorial Area Agency on Aging in the nation, covering 48,000 square miles in Yavapai, Coconino, Apache and Navajo counties.
A big part of what she and her team does is to complete an 18 page holistic State of Arizona assessment with a potential client or caregiver to see if they qualify for one of their case managed services. These services could be Meals on Wheels, Attendant Care, Respite, Adult Day Center or Housekeeping and are triage to the frailest and neediest homebound seniors. “We look at what they need holistically to live independently and safe in their home for as long as possible. Do they need Medicare counseling, food boxes, is their abuse happening in the home, does Adult Protective Services need to be involved?” We are seeing a rise in the romance and grandparent scams and are educating our clients and community members to be diligent in protecting themselves and those that are vulnerable.
She says that her staff case manages between 1400-1600 clients at any one time. With the influx of people moving to the quad cities area and Arizona as a whole, there is now a waitlist of 450 people waiting to be assessed by a Care Coordinator for services because there is no additional funds. Her biggest challenge is the continued fight for funding to serve the needs of her communities. “July 1st we are looking at a 30% funding decrease when the American Rescue Plan Act ends.” Their whole team has been writing letters to Congress and she encourages everyone to join them in this goal to encourage the government not to cut funding on this important program.
During the pandemic, NACOG Aging received COVID funding from the State to develop programs to help our seniors during those difficult times. She was instrumental in developing and coordinating programs for getting vaccines to homebound clients, shopping and delivering food and cleaning supplies to clients in need, weekly social isolation calls from community members to our frightened and isolated seniors, increasing Home Delivered Meals by 50,000 a year to provide nutrition to those seniors in our community who were self-isolating. Reducing social isolation is something Kath has focused on for her clients and community. We are living longer and healthier lives, she says, but as we age it might be harder to stay connected with friends, family and neighbors and loneliness can set in. She worked hard to develop the “On the Go” transportation program, which lasted 3 years. NACOG Aging has seen clients who have been able to go back to church for the first time in years because they have a ride. Or two ladies who haven’t seen each other in a long time now are able to get together each month and play cards, because they have a ride.
Kathy has seen what a difference NACOG’s services make for our community members. She recalls in her earlier days as a Care Coordinator knocking on the door of a new client’s apartment, I like to see everything,” she said, “I opened her fridge and there was only a half an apple inside. She had eaten half that day and was saving the other half for tomorrow. I called up Bert Ijams, who was the director of Prescott Meals on Wheels at the time, and said, “Can you start meals tomorrow and I will get you the paperwork as soon as I can?” Bert not only gave her the required one meal, but delivered her 2 meals a day, because that’s how we work in this community. By the time I was done working with her, I had gotten her on Medicare, I found her a therapist, got her outside of her apartment where she made a new friend. I was able to slowly build up trust with her and provide services to enrich her life. She had been a concert pianist, and when I would come for a visit and she would know I was coming to see her, she’d be playing me music when I entered.”
Kathy is grateful for the client’s she met and the staff she’s worked with through the years. As she thinks back on what it’s meant to her, she said, “When I can leave someone with something positive in their life, it makes my life worthwhile.”

  • 03/01/2024
  • Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NaCog)
  • Clients Services Manager

What is the Hometown Halo Award?

The “Hometown Halo” award recognizes and celebrates the dedicated leaders who make a difference in our senior community. 

The award is granted to one recipient every other month, selected from members of the SRN community who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the senior community

Hometown Halo Criteria

  1. Candidate must have been working in Northern Arizona for over 1 year.
  2. They work with their heart for the benefit of others.
  3. They show in their work and personal lives:  "Kindness in Action".
  4. They are out in our communities promoting taking care of others.
  5. They don't search for the limelight, but SNR wants to acknowledge their hard work. 

Award Recipients