21 N Main St, PO Box 409
Randolph, VT 05060


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Ann Howard RACDC SASH Coordinator interview

Ann Howard, RACDC SASH Coordinator

Ann was born and raised in Randolph, VT and is a SASH coordinator a program that is hosted by RACDC here in Randolph! 

There is so much to learn about SASH! Therefore, this interview is very information heavy but worth the read! 

Q: Could you talk a little about what SASH is? 

A: Ann starts by explaining the history of the program, SASH is was created from a pilot that started in 2009 at Cathedral Square Properties in Chittenden County to see if service coordination being in senior housing could benefit the health and welfare of seniors.   RACDC was one of the FIRST organizations in the state to host a SASH Coordiator and team when the funds were made available to take the program statewide.  Thanks to federal and state grants, the program has been available free statewide since 2011. SASH was piloted in partnership between Medicare and other stakeholders in Vermont to invest in prevention instead of only starting at treatment and to respond to social determinants of health through SASH personnel being built (get the pun?) in housing sites, collaborating with social service and medical providers to avoid duplication and support the seniors. It is funded by Medicare, and available to all Medicare eligible seniors, to improve health and reduce costs. And it has been proven effective through studies, as well as participant feedback.   

100% of SASH participants surveyed in 2017 by the Vermont Department of Health reported: 

  • Higher overall functional status. 

  • Learning more about the relationship between nutrition and health. 

  • Less difficulty managing their daily medications. 

  • They would recommend SASH to others. 

Ann wanted to highlight an important part of how SASH is setup is that each participant who sets goals—sets goals that are personal to them. In other words, the goals that SASH sets with their participants with are NOT what others or greater society wants them to achieve but what they as individuals wish for their own lives. 


  • For those with chronic medical conditions, SASH can play an integral role in helping them manage their conditions and stay healthy. 

  • For those who are active and in good health, SASH can be "kept in their back pocket" to monitor and support their progress and as a safety net to use if and when needed. 

  • For everyone, SASH offers a wealth of programs, including free wellness workshops, social activities, exercise classes, educational events, outings, and more. SASH is there to help participants when they lose a spouse or loved one, encounter an unexpected health condition, or need an advocate in an unforeseen situation. 

SASH goes above and beyond for its participants; they have monthly newsletters with things like heart healthy recipes as heart problems have been identified as a leading health problem in the local area. Beyond just the clinical well-being of participants-- it ensures their wellness. One example is Ann hosts a group called cabin fever at one of the residences operated by RACDC. Cabin fever is one solution to what Ann calls "An epidemic of loneliness during COVID" amongst the senior population. I've had the pleasure of joining in on this particular group and it was a truly beautiful thing to witness. It’s a space where participants can be social and laugh while also being vulnerable with their peers.  


Q: How did you get involved with the RACDC and SASH? 

A: Ann has been working in senior care more that 10 years. She has spent her whole life around aging populations. For 5 years she worked in the Upper Valley as a PCA doing hands on care and then as a care manager and scheduler for a non-medical caregiving agency, but she was ready for a change. Just over a year ago, she learned of the opening RACDC had for a SASH coordinator in Randolph. RACDC provides staffing, financial support, and receives grant funding through OneCare Vermont to hosts our Orange County/ Randolph SASH panel. Ann was very happy to find this job because as mentioned earlier, Randolph is her hometown and as she stated to me, "Randolph is my favorite place". This makes me smile because in my time knowing Ann, I’ve come to know this is true. The opportunity to work with the community that raised her is something she takes seriously. She says having the ability to support the seniors of the community who want to stay in their homes and community safely makes the job incredibly rewarding. 


Q: What makes you proud to be a part of SASH? 

The #1 thing Ann is proud of SASH for is that the research on the program has proven to reduce readmittance into hospitals and overall improves the outcomes of people’s health. She is also proud of the fact that it is a fast-growing program. It's growing out of Vermont and is currently being piloted in Los Angeles, California as well as being an addition to many affordable housing developments. 


If you are on Medicare and would like to join the SASH program, ask Ann about how to get enrolled.