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Department of Human Services

Adult and Aging Division

For Immediate Release

Supervisor Shirlee Zane Honored as Exceptional Advocate for Sonoma County Older Adults

Santa Rosa,CA | December 16, 2020

The Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) today honored Third District Supervisor Shirlee Zane with its annual Marge Ling Leadership Award to recognize her dedication to improving the quality of life for older adults in Sonoma County.

Supervisor Shirlee Zane 120px“Throughout her career with the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Zane has been a staunch advocate for the needs of older adults,” said AAA Advisory Council Chair Terry Kelley. “Her work and support have improved the lives of the quarter of our population age 60 and older.”

“Supervisor Zane helped bring together non-profit and government programs that serve older adults to form effective partnerships,” said Sonoma County Adult and Aging Division Director Paul Dunaway. “With her visibility on the Board, we’ve been able to bring public attention to issues critical to the well-being and safety of older adults.” During recent wildfire and other local emergencies, he said, Zane convened weekly meetings with local agencies to ensure that services and information were reaching older adults.

Dunaway also cited Zane’s efforts to secure the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly membership designation for Sonoma County and her work as a founding member of the education and advocacy group, Aging Together, as two examples of her long history of support. 

“Her efforts to ensure that older adults can live with dignity, safety and care has been phenomenal and very much appreciated,” Dunaway adds.

Zane will end her term on the Board of Supervisors on December 31, 2020.

The AAA Advisory Council Executive Committee has chosen an honoree for its leadership award since 2002. The award is named for former AAA Advisory Council volunteer leader Marge Ling. Then-director of the SRJC nursing program, Ling  was a tireless advocate for health care legislation and local health care programs supporting older adults. 

Adult and Aging is a division of the County of Sonoma Human Services Department, Offers many supportive programs, services and events that support independence and quality of life for older adults (age 60+) and their families, children, youth and adults living with disabilities, U.S. military veterans and in-home caregivers.