Madison County Public Health director honored for elder abuse efforts

Madison County’s director of Public Health has been honored for her activism in working for victims of abuse and neglect.

Toni Corona received the Kathleen Quinn Award during the Illinois TRIAD annual conference held this week in Northbrook, Ill. The award is given in honor an individual’s ability to bring numerous organizations and disciplines together to share their knowledge, resources and expertise in order to offer victims the best of all services.

Corona (left in photo) started her career with Madison County in 1996 as the environmental services manager. Prior to that she worked for various local health departments, including the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“I am absolutely humbled and honored to have received the Kathleen Quinn Award,” Corona said.

She was appointed as the county’s public health administrator in 2003.

Corona was at the helm in creating the Environmental Health Division of the Health Department as well as the “Clean Hands Healthy Body” program created in conjunction with the University of Illinois. Corona developed local legislation governing Body Art in Madison County and continues to lead the growth of services at the health department as its director.

Corona’s efforts have garnered past recognition a “Member of the Year Award” from the Illinois Environmental Health Association, “Sanitarian of the Year” from the Illinois Environmental Health Association, “Outstanding Leadership Award” from the Southern Regional Groundwater Protection Planning Committee, “Women of Distinction Award” from the Alton YWCA, and “Community Champion for Behavioral Health Award” from Centerstone.

The Kathleen Quinn award, which was established in 2011, is given to honor the work that director of the National Adult Protective Services Association has done during the past three decades to advocate for victims of abuse and neglect in the state of Illinois and across the country. The organization is the only national organization representing Adult Protective Services programs, professionals and clients.

Quinn served as policy advisor on senior issues to the Illinois Attorney General, and as the Chief of the Bureau of Elder Rights for the Illinois Department on Aging, where she was responsible for administering the statewide Elder Abuse and Neglect Program, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, and for overseeing the state’s Legal Services Developer. She also worked with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where she was responsible for the first ever statewide training of law enforcement and prosecutors on domestic violence, and the then newly enacted Illinois Domestic Violence Act.

Illinois TRIAD was one of the first organizations in the nation to guide a statewide response to the critical issue of crime against seniors.

Local TRIADs, found throughout Illinois, consist of law enforcement officials such as county sheriffs and municipal chiefs of police, as well as senior community advocates and other community activists. Each

TRIAD also consists of an advisory council, which helps to determine the needs and concerns of older citizens and suggest further initiatives. TRIAD activities help implement crime prevention, education and volunteer programs for older citizens. One of TRIAD’s most notable outgrowths is the Elderly Service Officers program.

Corona said she appreciates the “nod” by TRIAD, but it take a village to do the work.

“I’m real proud of the work TRIAD has been able to accomplish over the last couple of years as far as engaging and educating seniors from scams and frauds ,” she said.
TRIAD began as a national initiative sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriff’s Association. TRIADs have been developed in communities throughout Illinois and the nation to promote crime prevention for older citizens.
Madison County TRIAD launched in April 2018.

Members of the Madison County TRIAD attended the three-day conference last week where Bill and Donna Jacobs of Rosewood Heights also received the Senior Citizen Volunteer Award, which goes to those who donate their time to public safety agencies in an effort to recognize and encourage seniors’ participation as links to the community.

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