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WellMed charity head named chair to National Council on Aging

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San Antonio, TX – Carol Zernial, director of WellMed Charitable Foundation, got elected new board chair at the National Council on Aging.

Zernial--also the vice president of community relations at WellMed Medical Management, starts her three-year term in September.

The Washington D.C.-based NCOA is the nation’s leading nonprofit service and advocacy organization, representing older adults and the community organizations that serve them. Its mission is to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020.

“Carol has built the WellMed Charitable Foundation into a leading voice for seniors and caregivers through various innovative, evidence-based programs,” said Dr. George Rapier, chairman of the WellMed Charitable Foundation Board of Directors. “I’m confident her leadership and advocacy for older adults will complement the good work already being done by the National Council on Aging.”

Zernial’s background includes work for the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. She received the 2008 Outstanding Professional in Aging Award in Texas for her contributions to the field of aging.

She currently serves on the statewide Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee. She is also creator and co-host of the weekly radio show Caregiver SOS: On Air, heard on NewsTalk 930 KLUP in the San Antonio market and online at

She holds a master's degree in social gerontology and has been involved in the field of aging for two decades.

Before joining WellMed, she was director of the Bexar County Area Agency on Aging in San Antonio, and vice president of the Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this opportunity to help seniors and caregivers on a national level,” Zernial said. “I will work hard to do my part to help NCOA in its efforts to enhance economic security and improve health for millions of older adults by the end of this decade.”

Zernial has served on the NCOA Board since 2010, alongside national aging leaders such as Dr. Mark McClellan, former CMS Administrator and Director of Health Policy at the Brookings Institution, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Aging Josefina Carbonell.

“We are thrilled to have Carol as NCOA’s new Board Chair-Elect,” said James Firman, NCOA President and CEO. “Her long-time leadership and extensive experience in both aging and health care positions her very well to lead NCOA on our quest to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020.”



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