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News Release    

June 3, 2009      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Steinhaus Honored with Statewide Award for Excellence in Leadership

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus was honored this morning by the New York State Division of Aging Services and the New York State Association of Counties with the NY Connects Excellence in Leadership Award at the “Aging Concerns Unite Us” (ACUU) conference being held in Albany, New York.       

The award is presented annually to one elected official responsible from across the state for supporting the implementation of NY Connects – a state-wide program administered at the county level to streamline access to information and assistance about long term care.   Each local program provides consumer information and assistance for all individuals in need of long term care services, regardless of age, income, or payment source.   The NY Connects Excellence in Leadership award recognizes that without the support and coordination of county leaders such as County Executive Steinhaus, programs and services for the elderly and disabled would be difficult to navigate and access.  

“As our aging population continues to grow, we committed to being innovative and resourceful as we provide our seniors the resources they need for healthy aging,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “It is very gratifying to see the creative programming and best practice solutions that we champion here in Dutchess County being once again recognized at the state level for excellence.”

DUTCHESS NY Connects is used as a best practices model for New York State.  State leaders, including NYSOFA Director Michael Burgess, met with County Executive Steinhaus and DCOFA Director John Beale in 2007 to learn more about the successful program with the goal of establishing similar programs in communities throughout New York State.

Dutchess County Division of Aging Services’s DUTCHESS NY Connects program provides information, referral, assessment, and case management for people who need help to remain at home, or who are thinking about or require residential health care facility services or other alternative living assistance.  Clients are provided a complete, unbiased assessment of their individual needs. Assistance is available to arrange for the provision of home care, and long term care services.

County Executive Steinhaus has long been a proponent of the positive correlation between socialization and healthy aging.  He has championed successful senior socialization programs including the annual Senior Picnic program, the Celebration of Aging event, the recent Volunteer Engagement Fair and many others.   These events, as well the successful “Own Your Future” Long Term Care planning conferences, all provide information about the successful Dutchess NY Connects program. 

The NY Connects Excellence in Leadership award is the most recent in an impressive list of  awards from statewide organizations that have honored County Executive Steinhaus for his leadership and achievement in a wide range of public service areas.    Some of the statewide awards Mr. Steinhaus has received over the years include:

  • New York State Association of County Clerks County Clerk of the Year
  • New York State Travel Industry Outstanding Leadership Award for promotion of the tourism industry in Dutchess County.
  • Parks & Trails New York, a statewide parks and trails advocacy organization, Public Leadership Award
  • Association of New York State Youth Bureaus’ Award for outstanding and significant contributions in serving youth.
  • New York Community College Trustees Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate of a community college of the Sate University of New York who through his professional development and commitment to community has made the world a better place.

 The NY Connects Excellence in Leadership award is jointly sponsored by the NYSOFA and NYSAC because the NY Connects program is county-based.

“In addition to his thirty years of outstanding public service to the residents of Dutchess County, County Executive William Steinhaus has also been a tireless advocate for counties at the state and national levels,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. “All of our counties face the challenges associated with caring for an increasing number of seniors in our communities and County Executive Steinhaus' efforts are leading the way for counties to address these challenges.”

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) is an education and advocacy organization for the 62 NYS Counties, and the thousands of elected and appointed County officials who serve the public.  To learn more information about NYSAC, visit

NYSOFA and its network of 59 local Offices for Aging is dedicated to helping older New Yorkers to be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of cost-effective policies, programs and services which support and empower the elderly and their families. For more information call the NYSOFA Helpline at 1-800-342-9871 or visit:

To learn more about the Dutchess NY Connects program or any of the programs offered by Dutchess County’s Division of Aging Services, visit


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