The American Lebanese Awareness Association honored AgeSpan Chief Executive Officer Joan Hatem-Roy at their annual Scholarship Awards Dinner on June 5.
ALAA has awarded a total $1.3 million in scholarships to more than 1,800 students of Lebanese descent over the past 39 years, including 15 awards worth $26,000 at the recent event. Endowment and annual donations are raised through the generosity of families who live or have roots in the Merrimack Valley.
Hatem-Roy, a Methuen native, grew up in a Lebanese American household and embodies the values of her culture. She has worked in the aging services network for more than 35 years, improving the lives of older adults and their families across northeastern Massachusetts.
“My life’s career has been about helping our older adults and elders live their best life in the environment they choose,” she said in her remarks. “This career choice is rooted in my appreciation and respect for those who paved the way for us and gratitude of the knowledge they passed on.”
As CEO, Hatem-Roy collaborates with healthcare systems to address the social determinants of health with a staff of nearly 500 employees.
“I have known Joan for over 30 years,” says Katy Abraham, ALAA member and former AgeSpan employee. “We have been not only co-workers but have a friendship that has lasted beyond the workplace. Joan remains an active and vital participant in developing programs and services to meet the needs of the population the agency serves.”
Hatem-Roy is on the boards of several local, state, and national organizations, including the Lawrence Partnership, My Care Family, North Shore Chamber of Commerce, and USAging. In 2021, she was awarded the national Excellence in Leadership Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
She is a lifelong member of St. Anthony’s Maronite Church in Lawrence, where her parents also attended. Hatem-Roy and her husband live in Haverhill and have two adult children.
About AgeSpan: AgeSpan, formerly known as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, is a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to helping people in northeast Massachusetts maintain the highest level of independence, health, and safety as they age. AgeSpan is a Massachusetts Aging Services Access Point and an Area Agency on Aging. For more, information about AgeSpan and its services, visit www.AgeSpan.org or call 800-892-0890.
About ALAA: The American Lebanese Awareness Association (ALAA) was formed to conduct programs of informational value pertaining to cultural and educational topics regarding Lebanon and the Middle East; to recognize the accomplishments of Lebanese-Americans in the area; to assist qualified students whose residence is in the New England region and are of Lebanese-American descent through a program of scholarship awards; to provide a forum for speakers of reputation and accomplishment; and to participate and assist in civic, cultural, and charitable programs of benefit to the Merrimack Valley, in general, and to the Lebanese-American population as applicable. Visit: https://americanlebaneseawarenessassociation.org/