Pritzker introduces new Elder Abuse Task Force

Illinois Department on Aging Director Paula Basta (second from left). (Dave Dahl/WJBC)


By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker used Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair Monday to announce the 22 members of his Elder Abuse Task Force.

“One case of elder abuse would be too many,” said the governor. “But 20,000 cases annually is unacceptable. We need to tackle this head-on.”

“Abuse takes many forms, and we want to make sure that you have a heightened awareness about those things,” said Illinois Department on Aging director Paula Basta. “Passive neglect. Physical abuse. Financial exploitation. Unfortunately, many times this can happen all at once.”

Pritzker’s office provided the following names:

Rachelle Crowe, State Senator, 56th District, (D)
Katie Stuart, State Representative, 112th District, (D)
Craig Wilcox, State Senator, 32nd District, (R)
Debbie Verschelde, Executive Director, Aging Care Connections
Lori Hendren, Associate State Director, AARP Illinois
Dawn Wells, RN, Area Manager, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services
Aimee Isham, Bureau Chief for Long Term Care, Illinois Department of Public Health
Paul Isaac, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Gene Seaman, Human Rights Authority Supervising Manager, Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission
Cordelia Coppleson, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General
Barbara Eskildsen, Executive Director, Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging
Kelly Richards, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Illinois Department on Aging
Lois Moorman, Program Administrator, Illinois Department on Aging Office of Adult Protective Services
Eric Lane, Political and Grassroots Director, Health Care Council of Illinois
Ashley Snavely, Legislative Director, Illinois Health Care Association
Beth Menz, Vice President and Director for the Home Care Division, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas
Aimee Winebaugh, Director of Government Relations, Illinois Bankers Association
Bill Langheim, Captain, Illinois State Police
Brian Fengel, Police Chief, Bartonville Police Department
Michelle Weinberg, Supervisory Attorney, Legal Aid Chicago
Kristopher Tharp, Lieutenant, Madison County Sheriff’s Office
Tonya Genovese, Assistant State’s Attorney, Madison County State’s Attorney Office

Dave Dahl can be reached at


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