The Great Bend Senior Center, 2005 Kansas, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It can be reached at 620-792-3906.
The 2010 Focal Point Centers are:
Beam Senior Center, Meade
Senior Center of Finney County, Garden City
J.O.Y. Center, Dighton
Seward County Council On Aging, Liberal
Melven O. Kuder Senior Center, Tribune
Sandyland Shepherd’s Center, St. John
St. John Sunflower Senior Center, St. John
VIP Center, Macksville
Stafford Senior Center
Wichita County Senior Center, Leoti
Grant County Senior Center, Ulysses
Kearny County Senior Center, Lakin
Ashland Senior Center, Ashland
Dodge City Senior Center, Dodge City
Ransom Go-Getters Senior Center, Ransom
Fowler Senior Center, Fowler
Scott County VIP Center, Scott City
Hamilton County Senior Center, Syracuse
Great Bend Senior Center, Great Bend
Spearville Senior Center
Satanta Aging Program, Satanta
The Great Bend Senior Center is one of 21 from across southwest Kansas designated as 2010 Focal Point facilities by the Dodge City-based Southwest Kansas Area Agency On Aging, said Dave Geist, SWKAAA executive director.
"It’s an honor," said Rosy Tomlin, GBSC director. Geist was at the Great Bend facility Wednesday afternoon to present a plaque to Tomlin for the site’s efforts from Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010.
Other area facilities on the list include St. John Sunflower Senior Center, St. John, Stafford Senior Center, Stafford, and Ransom Go-Getters Senior Center, Ransom.
"This is the fun part of my job," Geist told those gathered for lunch at the center.
A Focal Point Center is a highly visible facility where anyone can obtain information and access to services for elderly individuals, Geist said. "To a family caregiver and older Kansans, it is a well known, accessible place to turn to for information, services in the community and social opportunities."
"They had to jump through 12 different hoops" in order to qualify, Geist said. Outreach to the community, center management, supportive services offered by the center, and the center’s involvement in the community were a few of the areas that were reviewed by SWKAAA staff during the yearly on-site visit.
"They have to apply every year," Geist said. "It’s not automatic." In fact, only 21 centers out of 77 in the region made the grade.
Tomlin said she applies for the designation annual and the GBSC is honored on a regular basis. It offers meals, activities and special programs for seniors, but everyone is invited.
The publicity surrounding being named a Focal Point facility helps, she said. It helps to make seniors and the rest of the public more aware of what the center does.
"The needs of older adults in the community continue to change" said Geist, and this is a good measure of the center’s ability to stay current with these demands. "Additionally, in this time of economic constraints elected officials and tax payers, are demanding a greater accountability of how their aging mill levy funds are being spent. This review process gives them a good snap shot of what they are getting".
In all, there are 11 area agencies on aging. They fall under the Kansas Department on Aging.