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Sarah Toevs receives ‘Commitment to Community’ award

Community & Environmental Health, individual outdoor portraits, photo Patrick Sweeney

Sarah Toevs, a professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health and director of the Center for the Study of Aging, received the “Commitment to Community: Plays Well with Others” award. The award recognizes her outstanding leadership in bringing together community partners to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. It was presented at the Western Partnership Conference on Human Services in November in Boise.

Toevs was nominated by multiple colleagues from the Center for the Study of Aging, including Tiffany Robb, Tami Cirerol and Lynn Fyanes. Robb said they have seen firsthand how Toevs builds awareness and policies, develops resources and leads coalitions to form “co-designed solutions for vulnerable populations, locally and across Idaho.”

“[Toevs] has worked in collaboration with the Idaho Commission on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association, Jannus, Boise State University and other community-based organizations to create and sustain a statewide program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, as well as their 85,000 caregivers,” said Fyanes.

Toevs receiving award
Sarah Toevs receiving her award.

Yet another example of Toevs’ efforts has been the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program, a six-week workshop that educates caregivers in self-care, communication and resilience techniques. Care is provided for those with disabilities for the duration of the program, so caregivers can immerse themselves in the workshop experience.

“Sarah works tirelessly in her efforts to educate, unite and inspire to make positive changes for those with disabilities and their caregivers,” said Cirerol.

Whether she’s creating the AARP Idaho’s caregiver resource guide, innovating online trainings for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers, or acting as a champion of web accessibility, Toevs demonstrates a continued commitment to community and a livelihood that is defined by her talent for “playing well with others.”