The Wyoming Activity Coordinators Association's focus is to provide two Workshops a year on quality of life ongoing education. The Workshops are beneficial for any person interested in helping provide meaningful engagement for the elderly or infirm.15 hours of Academically Accredited Education Credit Hours (CEU's) through the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals offered each year. Speakers are leaders in the field of Academia related to the aging processes and quality of life of people.
The Scott Haycock Scholarship is given out two times each year to attend the WACA Workshop. Scott worked as a Nursing-home Administrator for over 20 years in Wyoming. He was a guest Instructor at the first MEPAP/NCCAP launching the Casper College Course. Mr. Haycock was an assertive advocate for Activity programs in elder care at the Wyoming Health Care Association Administrators''s meeting and among the memberships. He was very vocal of his belief of good ongoing education for Activity Staff. Scott invested in Adult Day Care model and quality of life for all Senior Citizens.
More History of WACA
Activity Professionals attempted to get organized with ongoing education luncheons a few times before 1979.
The Wyoming Activity Coordinators Association was officially formed in 1979 at the formally “Sailors and Solders Home” of Buffalo Wyoming”; Now Wyoming Veterans Home an Assisted Living. There were about 12 Activity Directors who joined together and they had an educational speaker and they organized the matrix. They donated their dues and with less than 200 dollars jumped started this group.
Jackie Allen was one of these leaders from Shepard of the Valley Care Center in Casper. She was a person who invested building others up into
others up into powerhouses to represent the quality of life for the residents. She and many other strong women went toe to toe with Administrators of Wyoming defending Activity Programs Statewide.
At this time Wyoming was flush with oil money and there were many new Nursing homes being built. WACA had 4 educational meetings a year, hosted by many different Nursing Homes. When the energy boom began to slow down around 1985 Wyoming’s Administrators Association asked WACA to send a representative to speak with them. WACA had been summoned.
The Administrators Association felt that 4 meetings a year were too much expense and Shirley Greene Morrison 35 year veteran of the WACA Board negotiated with over 50 men to be granted support of two WACA workshops a year for quality education.
Scott Haycock CEO of Riverton was a leader in the Administrators Organizations, which there where two in the State. Mr. Haycock was relentless with support for quality-trained staff to run well run and well-budgeted activity programs. He was very helpful as a speaker at WACA and supporting Casper Colleges Activity Professional Courses that officially started in 1995 a two year Associates of Applied Science Degreed Program. This was a in person on campus course until 2004 then went on the WEN live teleconference until 2009 when it was moved to Wyoming Workforce Training in 2009.
Nancy DeBolt, Jamie Lookingbill and Cathy Barrett were the original Instructors and then Terri Newman carried it forward from 1997 until this May of 2019 and is presently helping the transition to an online educational system through Casper College.
WACA has been the supportive guiding force behind the Casper Colleges’ Activity Professional Programs since it’s conception and will remain a sponsor and partner is maintaining quality education for the well-being of those who provide quality of life for the elderly and infirm through the State.
The Shirley Morrison Scholarship will be given out two times a year to attend a WACA Workshop.
Shirley worked over 20 years as the Administrator - Activity Director of Maurice Griffith Manor Assisted Living. She took an active role as a WACA elected Board Member for over 30 years and 20 years as the WACA Treasurer. She helped coordinate and orchestrate more then 60 WACA Workshops and attended several National NAAP Conferences.
Shirley moved on to be Central Wyoming Ombudsman for the elderly Population. She was appointed by Governor Freudenthall for a four-year term on the Governor’s Division of Aging where she proudly represented her area of Wyoming on a State Level.
She supported education for the activity workers in long term care. She attended the Baptist church devotedly in Casper where she personally new the president of Casper College. Shirley along with great leaders Jamie Lookingbill and Nancy Debolt were given an audience with the Curriculum Faculty and they were able to create a new degree program; Activities Professional Associates of Applied Science. She went to to the Wyoming State Legislators and this course is still the Wyoming State Approved Course since 1996.
Shirley was a guest instructor on Campus at Casper College for many years. Nancy Debolt, Jamie Lookingbill and Kathy Barett were the first instructors of the Activity Professional Courses, along with their Intern Terri Newman. Terri became the soul Instructor for the following 23 years and lived in Newcastle. Shirley with her gracious hospitably generously provided Terri safe haven in Casper in her home for over 25 years. Shirley's mission was “Quality of Life” for the Elderly."
More WACA History continued
There were many good and great leaders of WACA through the years and Nancy Debolt Activity Director of Torrington’s Nursing Home became the National Association for Activity Professionals president in 1997. She is one of the founder of the NCCAP/MEPAP I and II and the worldwide pioneer of one to ones in our profession. Stephanie Cohee-Wiggens of Gillette/Newcastle became the Activity Assistant of the Nation at NAAP in 2002.
Shirley Morrison is the longest WACA serving Board member of 36 years then Terri Newman 34 years, JoAnn Bohannon 18 years, Diana Pruninger 26 years, Dawn Wehrman 17, Jamie Lookingbill 8, Tom Mansfield 10 years and many good people have served 2 to 4 plus years. Fall of 2021 we lost this great servant for WACA to her final journey. That Fall the WACA Body has created a new Scholarship in name of Shirley Morrison.
WACA has held Workshops in every part of the State buzzing through 40 years. We have witness OBRA of 1987 for LTC-State Regulations for LTC of 1997 and 2000-LTC Updates of October 18, 2017- Assisted Living Regulations 2004 and changes of payment sources too numerous to count. We are serving through the Covid Pandemic from 2019 to present. WACA had to cancel their 1st June Workshop due to the Pandemic in June of 2020. Bravely WACA continued their Workshops that Fall of 2020.
WACA is witness to the dawn of technology, cell phones and the automatic medical record. Activities are stunningly steady through the years. Bingo is still a favorite, crafts are still created, exercises are still encouraged, trips to Wal Mart go on everyday, food is still used for bribery and we still rock at singing “You are my Sunshine."
Here’s to the next 40 years…and God Bless the magnificent Activity People who give their whole hearts and souls to others. Activity professionals are undoubtedly the richest people in the world because we value the human experience of the truest wealth in all of history of time, “the smile.”