Community Service Means Good Business may 2021

Since 1967, Council on Aging of Volusia  County (COA) has been providing services to  foster independence and prevent the premature or unnecessary placement of seniors in nursing homes or other institutions. We work to ensure that our clients remain safely, comfortably, and with dignity in their own homes through several programs, including Meals on Wheels, which delivers nutritious meals and provides critical wellbeing checks to homebound seniors; in-home services such as personal care, light homemaking, meal preparation, and transportation; chore services (light “handyman” projects); guardianship; respite care; senior center social, educational, and fitness activities; and more. 

Volunteer James McCord works with COA employee Connie de Prado on New Smyrna Beach meal delivery.

In 2020, due to COVID restrictions, we temporarily closed our senior centers and dining sites. In response to these shutdowns – in addition to the fact that so many more of our elderly neighbors began to self-isolate – our annual meal deliveries increased by 50%, at times reaching a 500% spike in weekly meal provision. We began offering virtual senior center activities, launched a telephone reassurance program, and instituted Grab n’ Go drive-thru meal operations. We also provided our Meals on Wheels clients with COA Care Kits, which included hand sanitizer, face masks, and even toilet paper! Recognizing the special importance of pets to isolated seniors, COA partnered with Hush Puppy Haven to roll out our PetMeals on Wheels program, providing pet food and supplies to our Meals on Wheels clients in need of a little help with their furry family members. 

The Ritcheys have provided vital assistance to local seniors. The annual Glenn & Connie Ritchey Community Service Award event has raised more than $1 million for COA.

COA is grateful to the multitude of generous individuals and businesses in our community that have supported our programs on a long-term basis as well as those who step forward during crisis. These supporters include (but are by no means limited to) B. Braun Medical, Bank of America, Patty and Earl Colvard/Boulevard Tire, Cici and Hyatt Brown/Brown & Brown Insurance, DEX Imaging, Halifax Health Continuing Care, Nancy and Lowell Lohman/Halifax Enterprises, Connie and Glenn Ritchey/Ritchey Automotive Group, Truist Financial Corporation, and many more. 

Truist Financial Corporation and Duke Energy supported COA’s delivery of meals and PPE to isolating and homebound seniors in our community.
Bert loved and supported Halifax Hospital and one of his proudest and most productive achievements was establishing the Foundation.

In  1978 Bert Reames, local businessman and civic leader, started the Halifax Health Foundation. Bert and his contemporaries knew the value of world class health care in the community. They also understood the need for Halifax Health to continually reinvest in talent and technology to maintain the health of everyone in the area. Bert’s and the other founders’ vision has grown into a health care philanthropic powerhouse, that has contributed over $15 million to support various Halifax Health lifesaving programs, including the Betty Jane France Speediatrics, the Mako robot for joint surgery, the Halifax Health Trauma program and the list goes on. 

Today, two local couples, Lowell and Nancy Lohman and Charles L. and Miki Grant, are continuing to build on the legacy Bert started 43 years ago. Our community is stronger because of their generosity, and we are proud and thankful they have chosen Halifax Health to be a part of their legacy. 

Halifax Health’s mission is to be the community healthcare leader, and we are proud to partner and invest with Halifax Health to provide world-class diabetes care for everyone in need through the Lohman Diabetes Center of Excellence.
– Lowell & Nancy Lohman

Lowell and Nancy Lohman created a $4 million endowment to build the Lohman Diabetes Center of Excellence at Halifax Health Medical Center. Lowell and his brother Victor have had Type 1 diabetes since their early twenties and the Lohman’s gift will support diabetes education and navigation at Halifax.

The Grant’s announced a $4 million gift to enhance cancer services at Halifax Health through the Charles L and Miki Grant Cancer Center for Hope. Their gift will help Halifax Health fulfill its promise to be the community’s healthcare leader and fulfill our mission to take care of everyone who needs our care. 

Halifax Health relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations to improve the overall health experience of patients at Halifax Health. To learn more about how you can make a difference visit our website at or call 386-425-4111.

Halifax Health leads the way in cancer treatment and now provides cancer navigators and social workers to help patients in their journey. Our gift is to ensure that everyone has access to programs like this for another 100 years. – Charles & Miki Grant