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Author: Elizabeth Kelley

Peg Smith Becomes Certified Information and Referral Specialist

Peg Smith of LifeSpan Becomes a Certified Information and Referral Specialist in Aging and Disability

HAMILTON, OH (July 19, 2018) – Peg Smith recently became a Certified Information and Referral Specialist in Aging and Disability through the global Alliance of Information and Referral Systems. Smith has been an Intake and Referral Specialist with LifeSpan since May 2016. She also has her Master’s degree in Social Work.

“I am very proud of Peg and all of her accomplishments. This achievement is another reason why Peg is an amazing asset to our agency and the individuals she serves,” Dan Barron, Elderly Services Program Supervisor said.

As an Intake and Referral Specialist for LifeSpan, Smith responds to requests for resources and information by providing comprehensive information to callers on supports and services available to meet their needs. She conducts initial assessments for callers interested in enrolling in the Butler County Elderly Services Program. In addition to Smith’s regular responsibilities, she also responds to questions and requests received through Live Chat (LifeSpan’s newest website feature) and serves as LifeSpan’s representative on the Butler County No Wrong Door Committee.

Smith said, “My goal is to improve service to our clients, their families, and our community by providing even more appropriate community referrals and improving my understanding of how to best help with their needs. I am very pleased to further represent LifeSpan by successfully obtaining this certification.”

The certification is designed for those who work directly with clients and caregivers within the aging and/or disabilities area and perform the same range of skills and tasks as a comprehensive Information and Referral Specialist but who also have a special depth of knowledge related to their core client group. Applicants must have at least one year of employment in Information and Referral (with a Bachelors or higher degree) and pass a 100-question timed exam.

About LifeSpan

LifeSpan, founded in 1945, serves clients from southwest Ohio by offering innovative, cost-effective programs for individuals, families, groups and schools. LifeSpan’s programs include Elderly Services Program, Coaching and Financial Wellness (formerly Financial Counseling and Education), School Based Support Services, Guardianship, and Representative Payee.

Elizabeth Kelley

Phone: (513) 868-3210
Toll-Free: (888) 597-2751

LifeSpan Launches New Partnership with thyssenkrupp Bilstein

LifeSpan Launches New Partnership with thyssenkrupp Bilstein

HAMILTON, OH (June 29, 2018) – LifeSpan has launched a unique partnership with thyssenkrupp Bilstein designed to provide onsite professional assistance to employees who may be experiencing obstacles preventing the achievement of personal or career goals. LifeSpan created the Life Coach position in response to the growing need expressed by employers to provide holistic wellness as a benefit to employees. LifeSpan’s Life Coach, Sonja Cheatham, is a mental health and community resource professional. She will provide confidential, personalized, ongoing support to all thyssenkrupp Bilstein employees 5 days of the week.

For many, stress caused by family and/or unexpected life issues reduces work productivity, increases absenteeism, and impacts a person’s general health. LifeSpan’s Life Coaches will be a resource for employees to help them create solutions to everyday challenges, problem solve significant life matters, create realistic, meaningful action plans, and connect employees to community resources. “Cheatham is going to connect employees to available resources within the community and work on eliminating obstacles by exploring conflicts and strategies, and building confidence,” said Joyce Kachelries, LifeSpan chief operating officer.

“I am excited about this partnership,” said Bill Staler, LifeSpan chief executive officer. “I have often said that as a community, we have a number of resources available for job training and readiness but we have almost no resources for job retention. thyssenkrupp Bilstein is to be congratulated for recognizing that problems do not end once you start a job and that it is to everyone’s benefit to help employees address their personal problems so they can remain productive.”

“Our people are what make thyssenkrupp Bilstein so special, and this is one more way that we can support them both inside and outside of work,” said Lindsey Stanfill, Human Resources Manager with thyssenkrupp Bilstein. “We are grateful to LifeSpan and the United Way for helping us bring this program to life. Having an on-site resource for our employees will help connect them with the community resources and solutions they need when an everyday challenge or immediate crisis arises.”

Cheatham has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Ohio University as well as a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati. Her 20+ years of experience with social services has spanned mental health case management, to elderly services to social services for underprivileged children. “I am committed to and believe strongly in making sure that all people are treated fairly and guided in a non-judgmental manner,” said Cheatham.

The Life Coach position is part of a collaboration between LifeSpan, the Cincinnati United Way Childhood Poverty Initiative, the Butler County United Way, and thyssenkrupp Bilstein. The onsite Life Coach concept is an innovative approach to solving external challenges that may impact employment, thus creating a more stable home environment for families and strengthening the fabric of our community.

About LifeSpan

LifeSpan, founded in 1945, serves clients from southwest Ohio by offering innovative, cost-effective programs for individuals, families, groups and schools. LifeSpan’s programs include Elderly Services Program, Coaching and Financial Wellness (formerly Financial Counseling and Education), School Based Support Services, Guardianship, and Representative Payee.

Tiffani Jackson Becomes Certified Financial Educator

Tiffani Jackson of LifeSpan Becomes a Certified Financial Educator

HAMILTON, OH (June 18, 2018) – Tiffani Jackson of Cincinnati recently became a Certified Financial Educator through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Jackson has been a Financial Education Counselor with LifeSpan since January 2015. She is also a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor and one of 138 nation-wide Certified Student Loan Counselor.

“I’m pleased to see Tiffani’s expertise as a presenter formally recognized with this certification,” Mary Day, Coaching and Financial Wellness Manager, said. “She is a valued resource on so many financial topics and consistently reaches a wide range of audiences, from individuals in homeless shelters to corporate executives.” Regardless of your income, having a more complete understanding of how credit scores are determined, how to put together a realistic spending plan, and set up a savings method can allow you to establish and pursue goals such as saving for a vacation or refinancing your home at a more affordable interest rate.

As a Financial Counselor and Educator for LifeSpan’s Coaching and Financial Wellness program, Tiffani Jackson works with every client to determine the best available options for their unique situation. From there, Jackson reviews the client’s entire financial state; housing, income, debt, to recognize where more money can be found to pay down debts, establish savings or whatever goal the client has set for himself.

Jackson said, “As a Certified Financial Educator, I have the opportunity to coach and motivate individuals, provide knowledge that audiences are hoping to gain, and give support and understanding to those in need as they work towards financial welling.”

About LifeSpan

LifeSpan, founded in 1945, serves clients from Southwest Ohio by offering innovative, cost-effective programs for individuals, families, groups and schools.

LifeSpan’s Coaching and Financial Wellness (formerly Financial Counseling and Education) program helps individuals become financially stable through three core components: Individual Coaching in which individuals work on their money management issues from budgeting to credit issues; Comprehensive Financial Workshops presented in partnership with businesses, agencies, nonprofit organizations; and, most recently, Online Financial Education through LifeSpan’s website.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

We are proud to serve an active role on the Butler County multidisciplinary team, the Elder Abuse Safety Network, which focuses on elder adult safety. This team, comprised of many key stakeholders including Adult Protective Services, Prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, mental health system, developmental disability system, and ProSeniors to name a few, enhances and broadens our ability and awareness to provide relevant, needed services.

The key focus of the Safety Network is on intensive collaboration across professional and social lines to maximize the impact of service delivery to the vulnerable elders in our community through education and raising awareness. This multidisciplinary team case conferences high needs cases to assure all resources are available to the seniors they serve .

LifeSpan is dedicated to providing our community, clients, family members, partner agencies, etc. with the best resources possible.  Our Community Resource book houses up to date resources specific to Butler County and our Information and Referral team (513-868-9281) can help with other resources.


Thank you for joining us for the second installment of our new venture, In the Loop with LifeSpan. LifeSpan strives to highlight our commonalities while celebrating our differences throughout our community, and we trust that this blog will be an extension of that mission.

Regardless of whether you feel in the loop or perhaps out of it like our name suggests, LifeSpan strives to meet you where you are at, serving people at all points in the span of life.

Opportunities to Success

Sara Smith is the Residential Service Supervisor for Opportunities to Succeed, a private provider agency which has been serving Butler, Warren, and Hamilton County for 18 years.
Opportunities to Succeed (OTS) is a provider agency who goes to the homes of our clients and assists them one-on-one with their needs so that they can maintain a household and live in the community.

OTS serves primarily the Developmentally Disabled community. They provide many daily activities for their clients and take them on an annual camping trip at the end of summer which is greatly anticipated by the clients each year. They also support the clients in their efforts to work and earn wages in the communities where they live.

We often communicate with Opportunities to Succeed when the client has a need for a budget change or has an extra spending request so that we can assure that we are collectively making the proper provisions for their needs and wants. Sara has been working with LifeSpan staff, serving mutual clients who require assistance with bill paying, expenses, and budgeting for many years. She is instrumental in providing the proper relay of bills and paystubs to the Payee program each month and we greatly appreciate her!

We have a large mutual client base and referrals are received from Opportunities to Succeed on an on-going basis as new clients are acquired and new payee services become needed.

“LifeSpan Rep Payee is always very responsive and handles the needs of our mutual clients on a timely basis. I have found them to be very cooperative and supportive of the vulnerable population we serve.” ~Sara Smith


LifeSpan’s Representative Payees provide financial peace of mind for hundreds of clients in the state of Ohio, regardless of their county of residence. Our clients live a more stable and worry-free life with all their bills prioritized and paid on time for them, and money is budgeted and issued to the client each week for their personal spending. By making our clients’ needs a priority, we make their lives happier and more manageable.

LifeSpan Introduces Live Chat

LifeSpan Introduces Live Chat

HAMILTON, OH (June 15, 2018) – LifeSpan has added a live chat service on their website. The additional feature will allow the website’s visitors to engage with staff in a unique and personal way. It will increase the interaction between experienced, knowledgeable staff and the community.

“LifeSpan is always looking for ways to be innovative and give our clients and community access to services and information,” Bill Staler, LifeSpan Chief Executive Officer, said. “LifeSpan is great at coordinating ways to improve lives. This will help us be even better at that.”

The service went live on April 2, 2018. It will not replace any of LifeSpan’s existing services but will serve as an additional way to be more accessible to the community. “We could be missing out on a whole population that is not willing to call us,” said Joyce Kachelries, LifeSpan Chief Operating Officer. “This service will make us more accessible and help us to get people in before they are in a crisis instead of afterward.”

The chat service was utilized within the first few hours of implementation. “Having the option to chat with a Specialist live is a great alternative for people who may not have the availability to call during normal business hours,” Tracy Carpenter, Intake and Referral Specialist, said. “This technology gives someone the option to visit our website during their lunch break or in between meetings to ask a question and get a quick, accurate response.”

The Live Chat service is available across the agency’s entire website and is accessible to any visitor during business hours; Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. After business hours, visitors are able to use the service to send an email message to staff with their concerns.

About LifeSpan

LifeSpan, founded in 1945, serves clients from Butler, Warren and Hamilton Counties by offering innovative, cost-effective programs for individuals, families, groups and schools. LifeSpan’s programs include Elderly Services Program, Coaching and Financial Wellness (formerly Financial Counseling and Education), School Based Support Services, Guardianship, and Representative Payee.