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Volunteer Recognition

SHIIP/SMP Team RecognitionPatty Price

Join us in Celebrating Patty Price’s Contributions to SHIIP-SMP!

Normally, this section contains stories recognizing the extraordinary roles that SHIIP- SMP Volunteers fill, but we are deviating from our normal practice for a special recognition of Patty Price. 

To say Patty Price has become “the authority” on Medicare in Iowa during her career would not be an exaggeration. Patty has spent the last 35 years working with Medicare. She started her career in the field devoting 12 years to working at the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, providing health care quality reviews related to Medicare Beneficiaries. Since then, Patty has devoted the last 23 year to working with the SHIIP-SMP program as the Training & Education Coordinator. Next month, Patty will retire, and we invite you to join us in celebrating her immeasurable contribution.

Patty has created countless materials to inform and educate the public and support individuals to prepare for Medicare and ensure they know how to utilize their Medicare benefits. If you have ever received or benefited from a resource provided by SHIIP-SMP, chances are Patty created it and has worked to make sure it is updated and accurate.

However, Patty’s most significant accomplishment has been to train and support hundreds of SHIIP-SMP Volunteer Counselors who have become the front line in providing one-on-one guidance to Medicare beneficiaries across Iowa. Those volunteers who have learned from Patty now help the SHIIP-SMP program serve more than 40,000 Iowans every year – saving individuals and families millions in Medicare related expenses annually. The ripple effect of Patty’s efforts is incredible.

A testament to the quality of Patty’s on-going training, many SHIIP-SMP Volunteer Counselors serve their community for 15 years or more. When we asked a few volunteers for comments on their time with Patty, they had a lot of say. A small sample of what they shared:

  • Her contribution to educate all counselors on what is needed to prepare each of us to handle the myriad of situations we have to confront as counselors has been monumental.”  - George Gillespie
  • She is smart and great at thinking on her toes to train so many of us so well. Patty has a way of teaching and relating things to us to make them stick.  When they don’t stick, she has always been available to add clarification and help to get us back on track.” – Gail Hutchinson
  • Patty taught all of us how to approach a client, how to make them comfortable and how to answer their questions. One of the most important things she taught us was where to find the answers to the questions we did not know the answers to. Patty taught us we were not "alone" that she and the rest of the SHIIP Office was there for us always.” – Gloria Jorgenson
  • She was very helpful with proving answers, and if she did not know the answer, she would contact other agencies to find the answer. She is a great resource and worker for SHIIP, and I know that I will miss discussing different scenarios, and working on a solution.” – Barbara Roy

Patty often shares the joy she gets when working with a Counselor to figure out a solution to a complex client problem. It has almost become a game for Counselors to try and stump Patty with a question she doesn’t know how to answer. Still, even more than finding the answer, Patty enjoys sending each counselor back as a hero to their clients. SHIIP-SMP Director Kristin Griffith notes, “Patty has been driven to build a strong program because she wants to ensure she does everything possible to support our amazing volunteers, and because she believes the people we assist deserve excellent service. In a nutshell- she cares.”

Kris Gross, first Director of SHIIP in Iowa, also shared her appreciation and admiration:

In the 30 years that I worked with the SHIIP program, one of the best things that happened was having Patty join our team. We knew she had Medicare experience, but I don’t think we realized at that time that we got a person who:

  • Is a master trainer, as evidenced by the hundreds of volunteers who have said her trainings are the best they have ever attended.
  • Is a bridge builder, helping diverse volunteers, sponsors, groups, partners and staff see a common vision.
  • Works through roadblocks and seemingly impossible situations to make sure our clients get the help they need.
  • Is a listener, making every person she meets and works with feel valued and important, really hearing their ideas and concerns.
  • Is a trusted resource statewide because she believes in the integrity of the program and doing the research to provide accurate information to the people we serve.
  • Believes in the program from the bottom of her heart.

We all want to thank Patty for everything she has done to bring the SHIIP-SMP program to where it is today! We all very much hope she will enjoy a wonderful, and well-deserved, retirement!