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MassNAELA Honors State Representative Brian Murray and Other Civic Leaders at Annual Meeting

·3-min read

Awards Legislative and Chapter Leaders For Their Advocacy For Seniors; Presents Representative Murray with the Legislator of the Year Award

BOSTON, December 17, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At its annual meeting held virtually on December 9, 2021, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored several individuals for their advocacy of elder services and their commitment to raising awareness of legal issues affecting seniors. Massachusetts State Representative Brian Murray was named the Legislator of the Year for his support and efforts toward passage of legislation that protects seniors, specifically the Life Estate Value legislation.

Evelyn Patsos, Deputy Legal Counsel at the Administrative Office of the Probate and Family Court Department received the Arthur Stavisky Award, an honor MassNAELA bestows each year to a person who has dedicated themselves to promoting elder causes in the community. Patsos was instrumental in helping the state obtain a federal Elder Justice Innovation grant for $1M.

"Attorney Evelyn Patsos is a valued member of our administrative office legal staff and is passionate about protecting our most vulnerable individuals including the elderly and incapacitated," said John D. Casey, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court. "In addition to maintaining her regular workload, Evelyn spent hundreds of hours before and after work and on weekends to ensure that the application was completed and submitted on time. Evelyn’s dedication and commitment to the creation of an office of oversight will benefit our elder population and their families for decades to come."

MassNAELA member, Alexis Levitt, Norwell, MA, was presented the Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA member’s efforts in advocating for elder issues in state government. Ms. Levitt worked tirelessly on both the state and federal level to advance the Community Care bill, which would allow seniors who are over the income limit for PACE and FEW elder programs to qualify by paying a premium with their excess income.

The John J. Ford Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s efforts to educate the chapter membership relative to litigation strategies, was bestowed to Patrick Curley, Wakefield, MA, for his dedicated efforts with MassNAELA’s amicus workgroup.

Each year, MassNAELA recognizes chapter members for their commitment of time and energy to the chapter. The award for Outstanding Chapter Member of the Year was presented to Abigail Poole, Dedham, MA, for her commitment of time and energy to chapter events and committees.

The President’s Award was bestowed to Karen Johnson, Westford, MA, for her service to and support of the chapter and its president. Pamela Greenfield, Needham, MA, received an award for her service and dedication as the 2021 chapter president. The following were honored as retiring members of the chapter board of directors: Brian Barreira, Plymouth, MA; Patricia Keane Martin, Wellesley, MA; Lisa Neeley, Worcester, MA; Laura Traiger, Worcester, MA; and Denise Yurkofsky, Wayland, MA.

The MassNAELA annual meeting also included the election of chapter officers and directors for the New Year. The 2022 officers include president, Cathleen Summers, Acton, MA; president-elect, Abigail Poole; vice president, Michael Couture, Somerville, MA; treasurer, Steven Mann, Waltham, MA; clerk, Alexis Levitt; and immediate past president, Pamela Greenfield. Newly elected directors include Ashley Aubuchon, Newton, MA; Patrick Curley; Whitney Gagnon, Newington, NH; E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates, Northampton, MA; and Erin McBee, Harvard, MA.

The meeting also included a keynote address by NAELA president-elect, Roberta "Bobbi" Flowers, from Florida, who provided an overview of the current landscape and 2022 agenda of the national organization, including its upcoming efforts.

About MassNAELA
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the premier organization of elder and special needs law attorneys in the country, is dedicated to developing awareness of issues concerning the elderly and those with special needs. Over 450 attorneys are members of the Massachusetts Chapter. Members work directly with the elderly and those with special needs in areas as diverse as planning for catastrophic care costs, disability planning, age discrimination in employment and housing, benefits planning, estate planning, veterans’ benefits and more.

For more information about MassNAELA, visit

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Beth Bryant