Mary Georgia Mohr, Distinguished Older Georgian 2019
Mary Georgia Mohr, a pioneer in the state’s senior care industry for 40 years, is named the 2019 Distinguished Older Georgian.
Mohr, 80, was presented the award by the Georgia Council on Aging for her work in helping to develop the state’s model of aging services, especially the intimate, family-like care homes for adults who can no longer live independently.
Mohr was honored on February 7th 2019 at a ceremony and luncheon. The events were part of GCOA and the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) Senior Week activities at the state Capitol.
“Mary Georgia is respected across the South and the nation for her expertise in personal care homes and services for seniors. She’s been a key advocate for securing funding for aging services for more than 30 years,” said Jeanette Cummings, director for the Area Agency on Aging for the Central Savannah River area. Cummings nominated Mohr, whom she considers her mentor, for the award.
As a registered nurse, Mohr served as director of nursing at a skilled nursing home during the 1970s and early 1980s. During that time, she realized many of the elderly residents placed in the institutional setting didn’t need that level of care. She envisioned them thriving better in a home setting with attentive caregivers who could assist them with daily activities.
With alternatives to nursing home placement still in its infancy in Georgia, Mohr and a business partner formed CSRA Health Services, Inc., and began providing family and group home residential care for adults.
“Back then, people had no choices, and nursing homes were like the caboose not the engine of elder care,” said Mohr. “A nursing home was a good place to be if you needed to be there, but I wanted to give people a choice.”
Mohr has been a leader in the development of Georgia’s home and community-based services (HCBS). She’s worked closely through the years with state policy-makers to develop the framework and regulations for a Medicaid waiver program that allows the elderly and disabled to live independently.
She also has been a voice at the state Capitol, advocating for improved elder care and fair reimbursement rates for providers.
“Her tenacity has been one of her driving forces,” Cummings said. “She’s respected among elected officials, providers and consumers.”
In 1990, Mohr helped form the Georgia Association of Community Care Providers and has been a leader in the organization. Mohr also has served in leadership roles with the National Association of Residential Care.
She is a director of Coastal Homecare, Inc., a personal care home provider, and an owner of Altrus, Inc., a personal care home agency. She is a graduate of the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing and resides in her hometown of Thomson in McDuffie County, where she is an active member of the Thomson First United Methodist Church.
Mohr has two adult children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way. Her family and friends, along with a legislative delegation from her area, were present for a reception in her honor. Now retired, Mohr remains active in senior care.