February 25, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

WISE & Healthy Aging Honors Community Advocates at Annual ‘Celebration of Caring’

“Celebration of Caring” Will Be Held Monday, June 20, at The Broad Stage

The life and legacy of a long-time community advocate, a veteran volunteer and the president of the RAND Corporation will be honored for the numerous contributions they have made to improve the lives of others at WISE & healthy Aging’s annual “Celebration of Caring” event at The Broad Stage on June 20.

The life and legacy of Iao Katagiri will be commemorated for her more than 40 years of leadership, collaboration, and service on behalf of Westside residents. 

A 12-year veteran volunteer at WISE & Healthy Aging, Barbara Browning will be honored for the countless hours of compassionate support she has provided to older adults and their caregivers.

President of the RAND Corporation, Michael Rich, will be recognized for his 40-year milestone of service on WISE & Healthy Aging’s Board of Directors.

Iao Katagiri – Posthumous Leadership in Caring Award

A posthumous “Leadership in Caring” award will be presented by Michael Rich to honor the life and legacy of Iao Katagiri, who passed away unexpectedly on April 28 at the age of 69, after battling a rapidly progressing cancer. Originally slated to be honored in 2020 by WISE & Healthy Aging, the COVID pandemic pushed the recognition until 2022. Though ill, Iao agreed to proceed with the recognition on June 20, wishing to continue her support of the mission of WISE & Healthy Aging.

“Gone from our community all too soon, Iao will never be forgotten, always in our hearts and forever missed. It is our privilege to honor her at this year’s Celebration of Caring event and to have the opportunity for the community to gather in celebration of her life,” said Grace Cheng Braun, President and CEO of WISE & Healthy Aging. “Iao’s involvement on the Westside has made an indelible mark on community life.” 

Santa Monica College is providing The Broad Stage venue at its Performing Arts Center for the “Celebration of Caring” event.

“This event brings a spotlight to the tremendous contributions of one of the brightest lights in Santa Monica for community service, collaboration, and leadership — that was Iao Katagiri,” said Kathryn Jeffrey, Superintendent and President, Santa Monica College.

Having retired in 2016 as Community Relations Director at the RAND Corporation, Iao stayed just as busy if not busier in retirement, continuing to be involved with nonprofits, city officials, business and community leaders and residents to make a difference on Los Angeles’ Westside.  

From infants and children to older adults, Iao’s finger had been on the pulse of community life for more than 40 years. Whether it was helping to develop the state-of-the-art Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School, a joint venture of the City and Santa Monica College, or playing a key role in the merger between the Center for Healthy Aging and WISE Senior Services to become WISE & Healthy Aging, Iao always saw the possibilities and was instrumental in making them happen.

At the time of her death, Iao was chair of the board of directors of Providence Saint John’s Health Center, vice chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce (which she had chaired 2009 to 2010), and co-chair of the Early Childhood District Advisory Committee of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. She also served on the boards of the Santa Monica College Associates and of WISE & Healthy Aging, where she was vice chair and a past chair.

Barbara Browning – Compassion in Caring Award

The “Compassion in Caring” award will be presented to Barbara Browning, a veteran volunteer who has brought her expertise as a nurse, program administrator and trainer to become an integral part of the day-to-day operations at WISE & Healthy Aging.  

A past recipient of the American Red Cross “Rick Crocker Spirt of Volunteerism” Award, Barbara retired from her 45-year career at UCLA-Santa Monica Medical Center in August 2010, and little more than a month later began volunteering at WISE & Healthy Aging. In the beginning, Barbara helped roll out a new program that would connect neighbors with older adults who needed help with tasks to remain living at home.  

Shortly thereafter, Barbara began supporting a number of programs at WISE & Healthy Aging. Today, Barbara not only volunteers in WISE’s Adult Day Service Center, where she can be found doing everything from checking in clients to supporting learning, recreational and fitness activities that take place throughout the day. Barbara also trains both professional and family caregivers as part of WISE’s evidence-based caregiver training and leads support groups for family caregivers. 

Her contributions also extend to teaching a variety of nationally recognized evidence-based classes – for active seniors and for those with mild memory loss.  And, when the world went virtual during the pandemic, Barbara became a backup teacher for instructors who couldn’t teach because of COVID, helping to keep clients connected and less isolated. 

“Because I’m older myself, I think it helps clients relate to me,” Barbara says. “Building caring relationships is my favorite part of what I do. It’s not only the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia that needs to be cared for and supported, but it’s the people who take care of them every day. I try to help them know they are not alone and not to feel guilty about what’s happening with their loved one.”  

Michael Rich – Board Service Recognition

For 47 years, Michael Rich has furthered the mission of the RAND Corporation as a leader in providing expertise, analysis and evidence-based ideas – with the last decade as RAND’s president and CEO.  For the last 40 of these years, Michael has served on the WISE Senior Services (now WISE & Healthy Aging) Board of Directors. This year, we celebrate this special milestone of board service with much gratitude in recognition of his leadership and governance.  

Michael is renowned for carving a deep footprint in both local and domestic public policy through leadership and dedication to rigorous research and analysis over his exemplary career at RAND – one of the most trusted sources for policymaking in the nation.

“This same leadership and dedication has been invaluable to WISE & Healthy Aging,” said Cheng Braun. “Michael’s approach to finding solutions through in-depth analysis and fact-finding has also helped guide decision-making at WISE & Healthy Aging and we are grateful for his insights and guidance over these past 40 years.”

Celebration of Caring will be on Monday, June 20, at The Broad Stage, with proceeds supporting services and programs offered by the nonprofit organization. More information about the event can be found at www.wiseandhealthyaging.org.

WISE & Healthy Aging is a multiservice, community-based nonprofit organization serving older adults and their families and caregivers throughout Los Angeles County. Headquartered in Santa Monica, the team at WISE & Healthy Aging works to advance the dignity and quality of life of older adults through leadership, advocacy, and high-quality, innovative services.

Related Posts

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...