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DHS news release

Nov. 1, 2006

Media contact: Tom Towslee 503-947-5207
Program contact: Marc Overbeck 503-945-6406

Don Butsch of Newport honored for senior advocacy

Former State Representative and Newport Mayor Don Butsch is the recipient of the Bob Van Houte Distinguished Service Award for his many years of advocacy on behalf of seniors.

Butsch served as a member of the Governor's Commission on Senior Services from 1996 to 2005 and was chairman from 2001 to 2003. During his tenure he also served for four years as legislative coordinator and was instrumental in securing passage of legislation requiring coordinated mental health plans, including geriatric mental health services, in all Oregon counties.

The award, inaugurated by the commission in 1992, is named in honor of the late Bob Van Houte, a longtime advocate for seniors.

Butsch received the award Oct. 26 at the commission's 25th annual celebration.

Also recognized for their advocacy were commission chairman John Helm of Scappoose and vice-chairwoman Eunice Dutton of Roseburg and commission members State Sen. Bill Morrisette of Springfield, State Rep. George Gilman of Medford, Elaine Barrett of Eugene, Peggie Beck of Pendleton, John Brenne of Pendleton, Denis Dion of The Dalles, Chris Flammang of Coos Bay, Chuck Frazier of Bend, Marilyn Hinds of Corvallis, Kay Kirkbride of Hillsboro, Charles Kurtz of Portland, Robert Lawrence of Lake Oswego, Barbara Nelson of McMinnville, Dolores Raymond of Aloha, Kathleen Schonau of Newport, Remona Simpson of Lebanon, Joan Staley of Milwaukie and Kelly Wessels of Grants Pass.