Honoree 2015 – Barbara Najman

Congrats to Barbara Najman for being honored as an outstanding community volunteer!

Name:  Barbara Najman

Nominating Organization:  Council on Aging – Orange County

Honoree Category:  Human & Community

Why Nominated:  Barbara Najman has been a part of the COA Ombudsman Program for 12 years, and a very important part at that! Barb (as we call her) knew instinctively what it means to be an ombudsman, from the first day of training she always grasped the role of the ombudsman, which is to be an advocate to protect and promote the moral and civil rights of every resident of a long term care facility. Fortunately for these residents, Barb has never waivered in her commitment, dedication, compassion to make sure that this mission is carried out. Barb has the special gift of always being able to see the big picture and at the same time never losing focus of the most important subject of that picture, which in the world of the ombudsman is the resident.

A particular situation comes to mind, where a woman who lived in a skilled nursing facility was declining, yet was quite capable of making her needs and wishes known, however, there were those that felt she needed to do something different. This woman had decided that she no longer wanted treatment and was ready to “let go”. After much discussion, Barb was able to advocate on her behalf and her wishes were honored, for which she was very grateful. This is only one example of the many times over the past dozen years that Barb was able to impact the quality of life of the many residents she has served.

Barb is also a treasure of experience which she has imparted to other ombudsman through mentoring and training, it’s not unusual to hear a new ombudsman say they just hope they can “be like Barb someday” and so do we!!

Barb deserves this award as she is shining star to the ombudsman program and above all else, to all those who are the recipients of her knowledge, experience, wisdom and a very special attribute, humor.

Please write a note of congratulations below!

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