2013 Nominees Section

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Claudia Ellano-Ota

Claudia Ellano-Ota

Position: Executive Director

Organization: Caregiver Resource Center - Orange


Why should this person be nominated? (What makes nominee unique; why should they be selected the winner of this category?
In the Orange County community, Claudia served as the first Service Chief for Older Adult Mental Health services at the county and left a blueprint for the future which has developed over the years into a model older adult program under subsequent directors. As Executive Director of the Caregiver Resource Center in Orange County, she has been the leader in providing family caregiver support services. With the legacy of the California Caregiver Resource Centers as a foundation, the CRC is the sole provider for the federal caregiving funds in a collaborative arrangement where other key organizations are provided funding to ensure that all segments of the caregiving population have access to services. She has been a tireless advocate for family caregiver services at the local, state, and federal level. She has worked on developing legislation, providing legislative analysis, testifying on legislation, and advocating for systems change to better serve older adults, families, and persons with disabilities.

What is this nominee’s involvement in senior care or senior issues
Claudia has inspired the education of hundreds of social work students in her role as a faculty member of the School of Social Work at CSULB since 1985. It is not uncommon to have community social workers say that she was one of their professors. She is also a social work Field Instructor and has taught at Long Beach Community College in human services, launching beginning students in their careers and was on the faculty for the former Gerontology Certificate program at CSUF. Claudia continues to teach at CSULB and especially enjoys teaching aging and family courses with a special interest in social justice, social policy, and social action. Claudia has published two academic papers and a recent book related to political advocacy and empowerment. Claudia exemplifies all three categories for this award as an educator, advocate, and gerontological social worker.