Lawrence nurse, caregiver advocate receives top AARP Kansas award for community service

Lawrence resident Judy Bellome is the recipient of this year’s AARP Kansas Andrus Award for Community Service, the nonprofit organization’s “most prestigious and visible state volunteer award,” according to an announcement Thursday from AARP Kansas.

Bellome, a nurse of more than 30 years, serves on the AARP Kansas Executive Council and heads AARP’s Capital City Task Force, which advocates on behalf of Kansans 50 and older. She was also “instrumental” in volunteer coordination of the task force and in this year’s passage of the Kansas Lay Caregiver Act in support of the state’s 345,000 caregivers, the news release said.

The release described Bellome as “passionate and outspoken about caregiving,” working “tirelessly to ensure that patients and caregivers receive the support, care and discharge education they deserve.”

Bellome retired in 2013 as chief executive officer of the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association. She also held administrative and management positions in home health, hospice and adult day service networks locally and nationally, and has taught public health, geriatrics and community health in nursing schools and collegiate programs, according to the AARP.

The Andrus Award will be presented formally to Bellome at a ceremony Friday at Maceli’s Banquet Room, 1031 New Hampshire St.