Our History

Council on Senior Services was originally called Senior Health Care Coordinating Council and was organized in December 1988. Dr. Robert Swint, the first president, had approached Nick Heiny and Diane Shappell about forming a geriatric council to deal with senior issues. Their goal was to improve access to quality health care for the senior citizens of Allen County. In July 1989, they received a $25,000 grant from Navistar, hired a secretary, purchased a computer and printer and were given office space at the Medical Society.  

Some of their projects were Medicare Partners, which issues ID cards to low-income seniors as an identification for physicians to accept assignments; Senior Connection, which was an annual health fair from 1990 – 1993; Intergenerational School Project, with seniors talking to school classes about the ‘olden-days’ and sacrifices made by their predecessors, etc. From 1992 – 1994, they distributed an Indigent Drug Booklet so low-income patients could receive free medications. A Senior Services Directory, a comprehensive directory of services, was distributed in 1993 and a newsletter was published quarterly.

Originally, a physician would attend each monthly meeting. On February 15, 1996, the Senior Health Care Coordinating Council became Council on Senior Services when they transferred $5,169 to the COSS balance of $145.

Today, COSS prints more than 20,000 copies of the Senior Resource Guide, which are distributed free throughout the Allen County area. Advertisements in the Guide make possible the distribution of nearly $14,000 in annual grant money to area organizations serving the senior community.