Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Recognizes Senior Advocates with Annual Community Service Awards

Brianna Neace

| 3 min read

DETROIT, August 15, 2016 – In recognition of exemplary senior advocates across the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan presented its annual Community Service Awards to two individuals, Denise Hubbard of Waterford and Raymond Mills of Bellaire, and one organization, Community Social Services of Wayne County, during the opening ceremony of this year’s Michigan Senior Olympics on Friday, August 12 in Rochester. Awarded annually since 1990, the Claude D. Pepper Award is presented to individuals whose professional or volunteer efforts have made significant contributions to improving the lives of Michigan seniors, particularly those whose access to health care services may be hindered by physical, mental, financial or geographical limitations. The Senior Advocate Award is traditionally presented to an exceptional, community-based organization that provides seniors with health or social services assistance. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to recognize leaders in the community who strive to improve the lives of seniors throughout the state,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director of community responsibility for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “These individuals and organizations are instrumental to the success and sustainability of programs that provide much-needed assistance and greatly impact the quality of life of thousands of seniors across Michigan. And for that, they truly deserved to be acknowledged.” A corporate contribution of $1,000 will be made to three charitable organizations on behalf of the following honorees:
  • Denise Hubbard of Waterford devotes hundreds of volunteer hours each year to improving the lives of seniors. She travels to various senior centers and provides free education classes on nutrition, Alzheimer’s care, prevention (falls, injuries and scams), dementia care and caregiver resources, in addition to facilitating exercise and health classes. Hubbard also assists several organizations in securing sponsorships for senior programming and has served as chair on committees such as the Michigan Senior Olympics Sponsorship Committee, Henry Ford Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Walk, among others.
  • Raymond Mills of Bellaire has been an active member of the senior community for over 19 years. He’s continually expanded services to seniors such as education programs, a walking path, billiards, bingo, a weekly farmers market and pickle ball courts. Mills continues to advocate for seniors by spearheading fundraising efforts and grant writing to ensure the community’s needs are met. He serves as a voice for seniors on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Northwest Area Agency on Aging and was recently elected as their incoming Board President. In 2011, under Mills’ leadership, Area Senior, Inc. completed construction of the Area Senior Activity Center and Park for increased physical, social and education opportunities for seniors.
  • Community Social Services of Wayne County was established in 1946 for the purpose of providing family social services and has evolved in response to demonstrated community needs. Providing meaningful opportunities for seniors to share their skills, knowledge and experience with residents of Detroit and Wayne County, the organization offers three, exemplary volunteer programs for seniors. These programs provide one-on-one tutoring for exceptional and special needs children, nursing home visits and an organized neighborhood watch, and care for older adult and homebound seniors.
“Receiving the Claude D. Pepper Award was a humbling experience that meant the world to me,” said Hubbard. ”Every day that I’ve taught seniors, they’ve taught me something right back. We owe it to them to ensure their health and well-being on a consistent basis. The senior population is growing rapidly and with it, the need for volunteers does as well.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association