2022 Kenneth Hood Award Winner Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh named 2022 Dr. Kenneth Hood Award Winner
Posted on 07/31/2022

The Village of Arlington Heights Senior Citizens Commission proudly announces the 2022 Dr. Kenneth Hood Award winner is Jim Harbaugh. Mr. Jim Harbaugh received five nominations that detailed the significance of his volunteering in Arlington Heights and the impact he has made upon caregivers. In 2015, Jim Harbaugh and Henry Blum started the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers Support Group at the Arlington Heights Senior Center after Henry's wife died. To award the Dr. Kenneth Hood Award to Jim Harbaugh is especially fitting, as Dr. Hood was a dedicated caregiver to his wife, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

The Dr. Kenneth Hood Award is a once-in-a-lifetime award, bestowed by the Arlington Heights Senior Commission in order to recognize, acknowledge, and memorialize Dr. Kenneth Hood, who diligently and passionately served Arlington Heights as a committed volunteer and advocate for a better life for his fellow senior residents, for many decades. On his 100th birthday celebration on July 31, 2006, Dr. Hood advised that it was his time to "pass the torch" of volunteerism. This annual award reflects those in the community who continue to carry on Dr. Hood’s dedication to giving back.

Jim Harbaugh has exemplified a volunteer’s spirit through his enthusiastic leadership to the community for many years. Prior to volunteering at the Senior Center, he served as a High School Counselor for School District 214. Later, Jim brought his counseling and caregiving skills to those participating in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers Support Group at the Senior Center. Mr. Harbaugh has been an inclusive facilitator for the group and has helped to connect caregivers who are sharing in similar experiences. He has kept the group focused on assets available to caregivers and ways to negotiate this most devastating disease for both patient and caregiver. He has stressed that "no man is an island" and caregivers must also prioritize their own well-being in the midst of taking care of a loved one. 

When Covid restrictions required isolation, Jim instituted Zoom meetings for the caregiver support group. When personal circumstances required his move to Carbondale, Illinois, Jim showed his level of dedication by making monthly trips to Arlington Heights, so he could continue leading the group. "Jim's experience in counseling, his research into the field of caregiving, his genuine care for the group, and his 
non-judgmental approach have been a blessing for all of us,” said John Scambler, a participant in the group.

A special award presentation will take place on Monday, September 12, 2022, at noon at the Arlington Heights Senior Center after the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers Support Group. For more information, please contact Senior Center Manager Tracey Colagrossi, Arlington Heights Senior Center, 1801 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights, via email at [email protected] or at 847-253-5532.