This May, the District of Columbia Dental Society selected Iona volunteer Kris Laurenti to receive their 2019 Humanitarian Award! Before being nominated for the DC Dental Society’s Humanitarian Award, Kris teamed up with a dentist Sal Selvaggio on Iona’s Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) to advocate for city funding for dental care services for older adults with limited incomes. Kris and Dr. Selvaggio met individually with DC City Council Members to hammer home the points he made in his City Council testimony. As a result, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Senior Dental Services Act of 2018.
Kris received this award in recognition of her tenacity, compassion, and determination in advocating for older adults who cannot afford dental care. She officially received the award at the District of Columbia Dental Society dinner in June. As we congratulate Kris on her achievement, we highlight the support she extends to Iona.
Kris began attending CAG meetings in 2016. Through her dedicated time and support towards advancing the CAG and its goals, she assumed the role of the Citizens Advisory Group Chairman in 2017. As CAG Chairman, she organized a remarkable team of volunteers who completed a city-wide Transportation Resource Handbook. Her committee met with apartment building managers in Ward 3 to talk about Iona’s services. The committee distributed the Transportation Resource Handbook to every apartment-building manager in Ward 3, and all throughout the city.
Kris is a retired social worker, who spent her career in children and youth services. She sees social work as an opportunity to make a lasting difference in people’s lives. She envisions a future where the city continues to expand resources to ensure quality of life issues are a prime focus for all DC residents. In her working life, Kris worked hard to make this vision a reality through partnerships and cost-effective approaches. In her retirement, she continues to use her advocacy skills to push for changes to improve the lives of DC residents.
We are grateful for Kris’s steadfast leadership in the advancement of our CAG.
Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Whether you’re inspired by a personal interest, community service, or a group project, we welcome volunteers of all ages, skills, and experience. For questions, contact Iona’s Volunteer Program Manager Tania Sechriest at email@example.com.