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October 30, 2012 > Marty Fraga: Human Relations Commission Award winner

Marty Fraga: Human Relations Commission Award winner

By Hans Balsam, Fremont Senior Center Creative Writing Class

Marty Fraga was recently recognized by the Human Relations Commission for her significant contributions to the well-being of local seniors. She was one of five recipients of such an award. In her role as a nurse and health care educator, Fraga has provided services to vulnerable seniors for many years.

Ms. Fraga worked as a Registered Nurse for Kaiser as an Emergency Room, Helicopter, and Hospice professional for twenty-three years. Following her retirement, Ms. Fraga volunteered for Life Elder Care to assist elderly people in the community. She was especially drawn to homebound seniors who often have unidentified and unrecognized health needs. Marty's love and of her new clients was a primary reason she studied to obtain a Master's Degree in Nursing, specializing in Gerontology. She has also served as a Senior Commissioner to help seniors have a voice in city government.

Ms. Fraga currently teaches Public Health Nursing at California State University East Bay and has become a mentor to students, encouraging interest in geriatric nursing. She promotes an understanding of the elderly and their needs, directing her students' ethnic and language knowledge to assist seniors when English is not their primary language. Marty brings her students to the Fremont Senior Center four times each year to dine and become familiar with the services offered. She is reaching both students and seniors, successfully blending generations to make our world a better one.

With Ms. Fraga's guidance, her students perform outreach in the community by visiting Meals on Wheels clients as well as determining seniors' safety needs, assessing medical requirements, educating them on how and when to take medications, clarifying long term care and working closely with their doctors so they get the best care. Her students are encouraged to participate in clinics at elder care facilities. Ms. Fraga's sensitivity to ethnic differences and requirements create successful matches between caregivers and seniors.

Marty Fraga is a well-deserved recipient of the Fremont Human Relations Commission award; our community has benefited by her passion and hard work as she improves the lives of our seniors.

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