Project Lifesaver International steps in to continue providing protection for the most vulnerable populations in Palm Beach County

The closure of a local non-profit could have put individuals with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive conditions at serious risk if swift action was not taken

 

(Port Saint Lucie, Florida – March 1, 2019) Last month, officials at Project Lifesaver International (PLI) received word that Lost and Found of Palm Beach County (LFPBC), the umbrella organization overseeing the administrative and client enrollment/maintenance functions of the Project Lifesaver program throughout the county, would be ceasing operations beginning February 28, 2019.

In the absence of LFPBC, the administrative and enrollment functions for Project Lifesaver throughout the county are set to be shifted to the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at Florida Atlantic University (FAU CARD). However, with the organization’s focus solely on autism, the Project Lifesaver program, while operated by FAU CARD, would no longer be able to enroll or manage clients of different diagnoses. With a growing aging population, this would lead to a large number of county residents left unprotected – a realization quickly identified and remedied by PLI.

Beginning on February 28, 2019, a new branch of PLI was launched to oversee these functions as they relate to individuals with conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias throughout Palm Beach County.

“While this is not a typical practice of our organization, we could not sit by and allow such large at-risk populations go under served, especially in a community not far from our headquarters in Port St Lucie, Florida. This just seemed like the most rational solution to ensure the continuity of our services throughout Palm Beach County,” explained Chief Gene Saunders, Founder and CEO of PLI.

Linda Boucher, who served as the Executive Director of LFPBC prior to its closure, has been hired by PLI as a regional representative; Linda will oversee the functions and the success of the newly launched Palm Beach County Project Lifesaver. Her responsibilities will include new client enrollment, new and existing client maintenance, community outreach, and the coordination of efforts between PLI and the local first responders – who will remain the primary entity responsible for conducting the search of a missing Project Lifesaver client.

“I am personally grateful to PLI for taking on this responsibility, and for allowing me to continue administering Project Lifesaver services to all of my fellow neighbors in need,” exclaimed Linda. “At the beginning of this process, there was some slight concern regarding the continuity of Project Lifesaver services throughout this area, but due in part to PLI’s efforts, I am proud to say services in the county for all individuals will continue uninterrupted.”

New client enrollment will cost $325+ shipping, which includes the purchase of the locating device and a one-year supply of batteries and bands. After the initial year, caregivers will only be responsible for the low cost of ongoing batteries and bands. Unfortunately, scholarships and grants are not currently available.

For those interested in learning more about Palm Beach County Project Lifesaver or are interested in enrolling a loved one, please contact Linda Boucher by phone at (561) 723-0372 or email lboucher@projectlifesaver.org.

Please note that information and enrollment, as it relates to an individual with autism, should be directed to Trish Mathis at FAU CARD. She can be reached by phone at (561) 297-2055 or email mathisp@fau.edu.