By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on November 8th, 2013
Some of Meaghan’s warmest childhood memories involve time spent visiting both sets of her grandparents in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. It is truly where her journey in aging services begins. She thoroughly enjoyed the time she shared with them and the events they attended together. In fact, today when Meaghan walks in to an art gallery…she immediately thinks of her grandmother, a teacher, who often took her and her siblings to experience art and other cultural events.
Needless to say Meaghan was most comfortable with Elders and chose to do her high school volunteer work at a nursing home. It was a very traditional skilled nursing home, and she saw a number of Elders that were not engaged, many were lonely and bored. She knew they deserved a better environment. .
It was in Ithaca, New York, as an undergrad at Cornell University, where Meaghan first heard Dr. Bill Thomas talk about THE GREEN HOUSE® Project, and as they say the “rest is history”. Meaghan loved the concept and knew she could see herself working to achieve that mission.
After graduating from Cornell, Meaghan entered the Geriatric Scholar program at the University of Michigan, School of Social Work and studied aging in families and society with a focus on public policy and evaluation. While there she interned with The Village of Redford Green House homes in Michigan and Generations United in Washington DC. Upon receiving her MSW, Meaghan worked for a year as a Policy Analyst for the National PACE Association in Alexandria, VA.
Meaghan is now sharing her skills and knowledge about Elders and culture change in THE GREEN HOUSE ® Project as a Peer Network Project Manager. In addition to assisting Peer Network members on the website, providing critical resources and assisting with ongoing education and evaluation efforts, Meaghan is the Co-Chair of the newly formed Peer Network Government Relations Committee.
In her leisure time, Meaghan thoroughly enjoys travelling, cooking and baking and spending time with the newest addition to her family- a terrier/basenji mix pup named Lyla.