Prince William County's senior centers recently celebrated their accreditation from the National Institute of Senior Centers. This is quite an accomplishment as the county's two senior centers are the second and third senior centers of all the senior centers in the state to receive the institute's accreditation. The staff from the centers celebrated this milestone with events that included center members and elected officials.
Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank J. Principi attended and spoke at the Woodbridge Senior Center celebration, which also served as a celebration of the center's 35th anniversary. "We are so very, very fortunate to have such a dedicated and passionate team here of professional staff, volunteers, the friends group and the Area Agency on Aging that have come together to provide such a wonderful facility, with bus service to and from, the programming, the lunches and the opportunity to socialize with friends and neighbors. The accreditation truly moves the needle on the quality of life and the quality of service at the center."
The two-year accreditation process means that the centers successfully met the institute's nine standards that include purpose, community, governance, administration and human resources, program planning, evaluation, fiscal management, records and reports, and facility.
Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, who attended the celebrations at the Manassas and Woodbridge Senior Centers, said the accreditations illustrate the county's commitment to the quality of life for residents. "In Prince William County, we strive for excellence in everything that we do to serve our community, and I think that nowhere is that more important than the way we serve our seniors. These folks are from the generation that built this community, and we want to give them the best facilities that we can."
Supervisors John D. Jenkins and Ruth Anderson also attended the event at the Woodbridge Senior Center. Prince William county Chairman Corey Stewart and Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish attended the event at the Manassas Senior Center.
Emma Caudill, a Manassas Senior Center member, agreed with everyone about the accreditation and said the senior center was "great and wonderful." "Good things happen here. I think it's great. It just shows how good we are here."
Marie Kelminsky, a Woodbridge Senior Center member, said she liked the idea of being accredited. "I'm really proud knowing that we stand out."
Susan Gilbert, the senior site manager at the Manassas Senior Center, said the process of getting the accreditation was "daunting and huge," but worth the effort. "We covered nine different standards. We looked at every policy, every procedure, the budget, our community partnerships, how we worked with our friends advisory board. We looked at how we do things, our mission statement, whether we're upholding that mission statement. It was an incredible journey, and I am so pleased that we accomplished it."
Nohe said that the accreditation only proved what was common knowledge. "I think that the national accreditation is justification of what we knew all along. We have some of the best facilities in the state, and really in the country, and we're going to continue our commitment to that."
For more information about the senior centers, visit pwcgov.org/aging.