Tom Gaumer is an Extraordinary Volunteer
February 17, 2016|
By Mary Day|
“Tom did a fantastic program to promote SMP and alert our audience of the latest scams. When we were going over the surveys, his program received many praises.”
“Mr. Gaumer did a wonderful job explaining what health care fraud is, and what it is not. We were all amazed what fraud costs Medicare. Mr. Gaumer explained to our residents how to be proactive and question charges on their medical statements that they do not recognize. He was very knowledgeable.”
These are only two of the many accolades Tom Gaumer has received for his efforts educating older Ohioans how to stay safe from Medicare fraud and identity theft as one of 240 volunteers for Ohio SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol).
When Ohio SMP began in 2002, it covered only five counties in Southwest Ohio. Tom was enormously instrumental in the project’s success going statewide in 2008 (the year Tom joined our team), willingly and cheerfully driving wherever he was needed so that seniors in all 88 counties had the opportunity to hear our message.
In 2011, Tom was one of ten volunteers recognized with an Excellence Award, a highly deserved honor, at the SMP National Conference. Tom has even drawn on his newspaper background to recruit new volunteers and publicize trainings for Ohio SMP. One of Tom’s well-written articles accounted for at least one-third of the participants who came to several trainings.
Asked why he volunteers for Ohio SMP, Tom says, “I don’t like to see seniors or anyone else cheated. I could just imagine something like Medicare fraud against my own parents so I want to do everything I can to warn people about ways they can be cheated. The reward comes when you see that your words have affected someone. It’s sometimes like a light comes over them when they realize that things they have taken for granted all their life could be used against them.”
A resident of Cleveland, Tom devotes more hours than any other SMP volunteer to keeping older Ohioans safe from Medicare fraud and identity theft.
Tom says he likes to stay busy and now that he’s retired is doing things he wants to do. We are so grateful that Ohio SMP is one of those things!