Jim Mulcahy is a valued SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteer whose critical leadership skills have made him essential to the organization. Even though he serves as area coordinator, which is the lead volunteer for a five-county area, he also counsels older Floridians who have questions and concerns about Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription Assistance and Long-Term Care Insurance.
Jim has shown amazing dedication to the SHINE program. He treats the position as a full-time job. In addition to working with clients directly, he makes himself available for presentation to the public and professional staff and attends community health and education events, even if the time falls outside of his normal work week. Jim works in tandem with the agency’s Elder Helpline to assist in resolving beneficiary problems or concerns. He eagerly provides guidance to his volunteer leadership team to ensure compliance with state directives, while maintaining his other duties. Jim’s managerial and leadership experience in this volunteer position are invaluable and elevate his volunteer status above all others.
He accepts responsibility for contacting beneficiaries who have the most complicated Medicare cases and resolves the issues for them. He will take the initiative to contact other agencies on behalf of a client and will work for weeks to complete a case. Jim leads seniors to a sense of empowerment by educating them about their choices. He promotes independence and enables older Floridians to live with dignity in an elder-friendly community.
Jim’s record as a SHINE volunteer counselor has brought honor both to the program and to the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. In 2004, Jim was awarded the Hillsborough County SHINE Volunteer of the Year Award. He was given the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006, not for a specific county, but for the entire, five-county service area of the agency. In 2006, Jim served 573 Medicare beneficiaries who had problems with their Medicare insurance's prescription drug needs through Medicare Part D or Long Term Care Insurance coverage. During this same year, he donated more than 460 hours of him time to clients whether face-to-face, over the phone or at community events.
During the implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, Jim was always at the forefront of every related event. He was at the first Senior Fun Fest in St. Petersburg, FL, on November 15, 2006, when Medicare Part D was first implemented nationwide. The event in Tropicana Field included 13,189 seniors who were anxious to ask questions about or wanted to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. In January 2007, Jim was again at the Florida State Fairgrounds for another Senior Fun Fest, in which 9,875 seniors participated in the two-day event. Jim is accountable to every individual he counsels.