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Become a volunteer with SHINE! Spring Training 2016 begins April 7

If you’re interested in healthcare and looking for a volunteer opportunity, consider signing up to become a SHINE Counselor with LifePath. With the 2016 Spring Training coming up in a few weeks, there’s no better time to get started.

The 2016 Spring Training is set to take place at LifePath from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with one hour for lunch, beginning on April 7, 2016. Participants will meet weekdays for 13 sessions. A graduation celebration will take place in June.

Sign up to volunteer with SHINE

If you are interested, want to learn more, or wish to sign up, contact Lorraine York-Edberg, Western Regional SHINE Program Director, at 413-773-5555 x2275 or 978-544-2259 x2275 or by email.

Volunteer SHINE Counselors give people peace of mind

"We're really an educational program," says Lorraine York-Edberg, Western Mass. Regional SHINE Program Director. "We help people with Medicare to figure out what the best option is for them in regards to their own healthcare needs."

SHINE, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone, is a program that provides free, confidential and unbiased health insurance counseling for all Medicare beneficiaries.
SHINE Counselors work one-on-one with individuals in their own communities providing information, counseling and assistance on Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, Public Benefits, One Care Plans, and more.

"A lot of times we'll get phone calls," says Lorraine, from someone who "is really concerned and worried. We're able to work with that person and assist them. And, I can tell you, many of our conversations end with, ‘I'm going to sleep so much better tonight.’”

Graduates from the SHINE Program's spring 2015 training are now volunteering to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their options in their local communities.Graduates from the SHINE Program's spring 2015 training are now volunteering to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their options in their local communities.Those interested in becoming counselors should be comfortable working with a population consisting primarily of elders and persons with mental and physical disabilities.

“SHINE volunteers come from every walk of life," says Lorraine. "Anyone can be a SHINE counselor. It's important that they have some computer skills; they understand and can move about the Internet very easily. Really anyone that had an interest and the ability to learn could do this.”

SHINE Counselor Larry Bezio enjoys the volunteer work the program offers, adding that he finds “personal satisfaction to be able to help someone” and “good socialization” with other counselors.

Counselors benefit from ongoing monthly meetings, allowing them to stay up-to-date with new healthcare policies and programs, which “are always changing,” says Lorraine. This year’s training will address changes that have taken place in the past year.

How can I contact SHINE for help with Medicare questions?

The SHINE program, Serving the Health Information Needs of Everyone, provides free, confidential, and unbiased health insurance counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. To reach a trained and certified counselor in your area, contact the Regional Office at 1-800-498-4232 or 413-773-5555.