Mother and daughter sworn in as volunteer advocates for Franciscan’s VASIA program with Lake Superior Courts

Mother and daughter sworn in as volunteer advocates for Franciscan’s VASIA program with Lake Superior Courts
By: Franciscan Health Last Updated: February 14, 2020

Crown Point, Ind. - Following their calling to serve, a mother and daughter are the latest members of the Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults (VASIA) organization of Franciscan Health Hammond.

Dr. Sylvia Monagan of Munster and her daughter Tabetha Monagan of East Chicago were sworn in on Feb. 12 at Lake Superior Court by Probate Commissioner Ben Ballou, who said about the VASIA volunteers, “What you do is beyond reproach, something that is vastly needed in our community.”

The VASIA program, instituted in 2001 and the brainchild of then-hospital President Tom Gryzbek, is a collaborative effort between the hospital and Lake County Superior Courts. It provides trained and supervised volunteers to serve as court-appointed legal guardians to assist the elderly and incapacitated adults. The volunteers assist the courts with decision-making. VASIA likewise partners with service delivery programs to develop a continuum of elder law advocacy and guardianship services in the Region. Gryzbek, who attended the ceremony, said, “This program is nothing without the good people that do it day in and day out.”

Program Director LaVonne Jarrett welcomed the two newest members to the “VASIA family,” thanking them for accepting the call. Terri Tilden-Overstreet , a member of the volunteer class of 2018, told the Monagans, “It’s a wonderful experience, you will enjoy it.”

Sylvia Monagan, who retired five years ago, said that God called her to minister for the homeless and she went to work for Grace Beyond Borders NWI, Inc., as a case manager. Tabetha Monagan works in Chicago for the American Medical Association and shares her mother’s passion for volunteer work.

Volunteers in the VASIA Program complete a 40-hour training program and serve as a limited guardian for one case at a time. To learn more about the program, visit www.franciscanhealth.org/VASIA.