PLEASANT HILL, Calif., Nov. 12, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda is pleased to announce that Executive Director Nicole Howell has been selected as a 2020 Woman of the Year by Congressman John Garamendi.

Nicole Howell, Woman of the Year
PHOTO CAPTION: Nicole Howell, Woman of the Year – CA 3rd Congressional District.

In an effort to recognize outstanding women serving in California’s Third Congressional District, the Congressman annually invites individuals and organizations to submit nominations of those who have shown a commitment to improving quality of life through leadership and public service.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Nicole said during the awards ceremony.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicole and the Ombudsman team took to the front lines to distribute personal protective equipment to over 15,000 residents in long-term care. She also participated in efforts for residents’ rights by collaborating with local media and testifying on behalf of a movement of residents and their families at the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing “Examining the COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis” on June 25. During the height of COVID-19, OSCCSA completed nearly 300 facility consultations and close to 200 individual consultations, providing vital information and resources throughout Alameda County.

“I want to accept this award on behalf of all those people who are fighting the fight for seniors right now, particularly those in long-term care,” Nicole said. “Thank you so much. This is beyond what I could have dreamed.”

As the Executive Director for Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano, and Alameda (OSCCSA), Nicole is responsible for ensuring that the nearly 29,000 long-term care residents and their families have access to the highest level of care and respect and, above all, can live free of abuse and neglect.

Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda

Since becoming Executive Director, Nicole has grown OSCCSA’s budget by nearly 600%, lowered the use of anti-psychotics in Contra Costa County by 10%, and increased facility coverage by unearthing the problems and issues that are being overlooked. She has helped spearhead many new programs in Ombudsman Services and beyond, including the Elder Justice Program Solano, Telephone Reassurance, and Friendly Visiting in Solano County, as well as Healthcare Career Pathways and Residents’ Rights in Contra Costa.

About Ombudsman Services of Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda:

Ombudsman Services is the only organization mandated by law to make unannounced visits to long-term care facilities to ensure that residents are free from abuse and are receiving quality care. We have been aiding the community for more than 40 years, and all services are free of charge. We serve Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda counties with our team of highly trained Ombudsman staff and volunteers.

For more information, visit

Susie Hays

News Source: Empowered Aging