The Williams County Health District recently named Executive Director of the Williams County Department of Aging, Maggie Fisher, with the 2017 Public Health Champion Award. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements by an individual or organization that protects and promotes the health and well-being of Williams County. The award is also a watermark in the service oriented career of the native of Edon.
“I graduated from Edon in 2002,” Maggie said. “I went to Northwest State for a few years, then I transferred to Bowling Green, where I got my Bachelors of Science in Gerontology. To finish my degree, I had to have a certain number of internship hours with a senior center-type of program.” As luck would have it, she was able to come home to complete her degree. Maggie was brought on as an intern in Williams County, but after completing her internship, she was then hired to the site manager post for the Edon Senior Center, a position that she referred to as, “…a blessing.” She remained at the Edon Senior Center for six years before being named to the position of Finance Officer with the Department of Aging in 2012. In 2015, Maggie assumed the title of Executive Director of the Williams County Department of Aging.
The general consensus of high school graduates is to get out and get away from the single lane, small town lifestyle of their first eighteen years. That system didn’t work for Maggie. “I had started into nursing,” she said. “I always knew that I wanted to help people, and that was what I had planned upon. As I started to get into the Nursing program at Northwest State, I realized that it wasn’t really the path that I wanted to take. I was introduced to Dr. Nancy Orel from BGSU, and to be honest, I had never heard of gerontology. She talked to me about it. A lot of people that go into that field, continue on into physical therapy or occupational therapy. I realized that was something that really interested me, as I’d grown up very close to my grandparents. You want people in your corner…people who are there to help. I decided that I wanted to do that, because grandparents have done so much for us. It’s truly an honor, because they’re a wonderful group of people. Seniors just amaze me.”
There are several reasons as to why Maggie and the Department of Aging were tabbed for their award. One of those reasons, according to the Williams County Health Department, was that over the past year, the Department of Aging demonstrated a continuous commitment to public health through collaborations. Williams County had set a priority of increasing the flu and pneu¬monia vaccination rates for the county’s 65 and older population. Working through the senior centers, the Williams County Department of Aging is bringing those numbers up by holding inoculation clinics in the centers.
Where there exists an opportunity to improve care for the elderly of Williams County, you can expect to find Maggie Fisher, working to bring that opportunity into reality. This Edon girl never slows down.