LMTAAA Receives National Recognition

LMTAAA Commitment to Culture of Accountability Recognized with 2023 Aging Innovations & Achievement Award by USAging

Olympia, Washington, November 17, 2023Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging is honored to announce its selection for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Award by USAging, a national association dedicated to ensuring all can age well.    

The recognition, received during USAging’s 2023 Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards, uplifts LMTAAA’s creation of a nuanced professional development program that invests in solutions rooted in community. Tactical tools of inspiration like posters, newsletters and videos are paired with the authentic reflections of lived experiences to foster an approach to DE&I that amplifies empathy as it accelerates action. The initiative also leverages lessons from past and present disparities to underscore the important work still needed ahead from each for the many.

“Belonging is a right. It’s a fundamental tenet that allows us to be stronger, together,” stated LMTAAA Executive Director Nicole Kiddoo. “We are prioritizing a culture of representation to ensure we not only champion the community we serve, but provide a place in which each feels acknowledged, comfortable, and secure in their inclusion.”

With the establishment of new pathways to growth, Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging notes an increasing conviction by staff in the certainty that stories—not only hearing them but encouraging their sharing—are essential towards mitigating harm. Intentional conversations on identity have increased 40 percent. Team perspectives on ways they contribute to the advancement of inclusion have risen 26 percent. 

“I am proud of our team’s immediate dedication to strengthening diversity and equity,” added LMTAAA Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Beth Mercer. “By empowering team members to expand viewpoints and build new connections, we create opportunities for collaboration, enhance goals, and support movement that matters.”

LMTAAA will advance its DE&I initiative through the establishment of an internal task force to support, encourage, and celebrate positive momentum. Additionally, the creation of measurable data points will assess accountability, the clarity of expectations, and the growth of meaningful progress.

Census demographics reflects minority representation among people over 60 in the Lewis-Mason-Thurston area is projected to increase by 10 percent from 2024 to 2027. This data point does not account for other intersections of cultural diversity that could hold unintended bias, including poverty, health, education, sexual identity, and more.

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Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging

Since 1976, the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging has led with the goal of enriching lives and supporting people to live fully with dignity through the values of service, excellence, empowerment, and collaboration. LMTAAA is funded through the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Aging and Long Term Support Administration (ALTSA), the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS).


For more information:

Becca Frisch

Communications Manager

Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging


LMTAAA Receives  National Recognition for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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