Dignity For the aged board members
Sam Kukich has a BS in Organizational Psychology from Christopher Newport University, a MA in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University, and is a graduate of the prestigious USDA Executive Leadership Program.
She is a US Army Veteran where she was selected as the first female to work for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. Sam and her husband of 44 years raised two daughters while his military career took them to three foreign countries and numerous stateside assignments. Upon her husband's retirement and settling in Poquoson, VA, Sam resumed her work career as an Instructional Systems Specialist and Project Manager for civilian corporations supporting the Department of Defense which required extensive world-wide travel. She later accepted a US Government position with the Coast Guard where she provided training and management support to the Coast Guard as well as the Department of Homeland Defense.
In this capacity she was asked to lead a task force for the Joint Forces Command where she conducted an analysis and provided recommendations regarding the US Armed Forces Augmentee Program. These assignments led to some exciting opportunities which included visiting numerous training facilities, living and traveling at sea aboard a US Coast Guard Cutter, observing and participating in military training to include qualifying with a number of military weapons, and parachuting with members of the 82nd Airborne Division.
in 2015 Sam and her husband moved her mother-in-law to Virginia in order to better care for her. During the next four years while visiting her daily in several different facilities, Sam observed that the facilities not only failed to provide the level of care promised, but in many cases the elderly were being neglected and abused.
Although retired and active in her church and community organizations she felt the need to call attention to the poor health care being provided to elders which resulted in her initiating the Dignity For The Aged advocacy organization.
Today Sam is using her skills and abilities to raise awareness through Dignity For The Aged to improve the lives of those in elder care facilities. It is her belief that God put us on this earth to help others, and that we have a responsibility to act as advocates for those who cannot act for themselves.
EDUCATION- Waldo attended LSU in Baton Rouge and graduated from Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he received a degree in Elementary Education. He was president of his fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa and was a member of the Midwestern University Student Council. He was a member of ROTC and served two years in the Army as an Infantry Officer at Ft. Jackson, SC, as a training officer and then a company commander of a basic training company during the Vietnam War.
YMCA & United Way of West Ellis County- Started YMCA career February 1967 at the Oak Cliff Branch of the Dallas YMCA. Served as Executive Director of Waxahachie Family YMCA. Retired from Waxahachie YMCA, February 26, 1999. Served as the Executive Director of the United Way of West Ellis County for two years after his retirement from YMCA.
RECOGNITATION- 1. In recognition of outstanding contributions to the community, the Waxahachie Daily Light presented the “Headliner Award” for the month of March 2003 to Lionel “Waldo” DeCuir. 2. Mayor Tom Dunn attested to a proclamation declaring December 2, 1978 as “Waldo Day”. City of Waxahachie named a day in his honor, gave a parade to thank him and named the street in front of his Y, YMCA Drive. 3. Received an Honorable Discharge from Army, National Defense Service Medal, The Army
Commendation Medal for meritorious service 18 March 1965 to 20 December 1966.
BOARD MEMBER- In past years served on board of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Ellis County, United Way of West Ellis County, Advisory Board of Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, and for years as the Tail-Twister of the Waxahachie Lions Club. And started the Ellis County Mental Health Task Force in 2005.
NURSING HOME- Member of Dignity for the Aged, Dignity for the Aged Texas Chapter, have been involved in about 20 other Nursing Home sites that deal with the nursing home crisis.
soon to be introduced
Bob Kukich has more than 30 years experience in operations, plans, intelligence, and management in military and business sectors. Educated in the United States and Europe in the principles of management, he possesses extensive experience managing the development, implementation and evaluation of management programs for military and civilian organizations. He has a BS in International Relations from Pennsylvania Military College and a MS in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University.
He is a US Army (Retired) Lieutenant Colonel having served 22 years as both a Field Artillery and Foreign Area Officer. His assignments include 10 years overseas in Italy, Germany and United Kingdom serving in positions of increasing responsibility and authority. Of note he was the US Army’s Exchange Officer to the British Army’s Royal Army Educational Corps in Beaconsfield, England providing management consulting support services to all forces of the United Kingdom and he is a graduate of the Italian Army’s War College in Civitavecchia, Italy.
He retired from the US Army in 1992 at Fort Monroe Virginia, where he was serving as the Deputy Director for the Training and Analysis Directorate, Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, US Army Training and Doctrine Command. He then entered the civilian workforce as a Training and Management Analyst for a Small Disadvantaged Business supporting commercial and Government clients.
After one year, he was asked to take on additional responsibilities within the company’s Business Development Organization where he was successful in securing new work for the company with State, Federal and Commercial clients. When the company merged with CSC, a large, 100,000 employee, world-wide provider of support services, he became the CSC Business Development Manager responsible for the CSC Training Center of Excellence, the position from which he retired in 2010.
From 2010 to present day, he has served in various charitable and social service organizations to include the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; Hampton Roads Youth For Christ; Gathering of Men; Poquoson Kiwanis Club; Hampton Roads Small Business Initiative; Gideons; Member of Bethel Baptist Church of Yorktown, VA; and most recently Treasurer, Dignity for the Aged. He is married to his wife of 44 years “Sam Kukich”, and they have two daughters.
I was born in Zanesville Ohio, and graduated from Newark High School in Newark OH. After high school I joined the USAF, did my basic training at Lackland AFB TX and then was stationed at Otis AFB MA. I worked in Base Operations in the Flight Records Dept.
I met and married my first husband there and we had two children. During his AF career we lived 3 years in Germany and 4 years in England. We had two children and have 6 grandchildren. I divorced and remarried a short time later a USAF CMSgt. He retired in 1986 and started working as a contractor for the Bionetics Corporation, which eventually brought us to Yorktown VA. He retired from that company and we decided to stay in VA as we loved the area, climate, and being close to military facilities.
I held various jobs over the years, last one working for the government in Civil Service as the Secretary to the Plans and Programs Head and Admin Center Supervisor at Newark AFB, OH. My second husband passed four years ago.
I stay active in several clubs and organizations, am a member of Bethel Baptist Church where I sing in the choir, bowl on a league, and travel extensively. I am proud to be a member from the onset of Dignity For The Aged and was recently selected to be on the Board as Secretary.
I know our “ Team”, under Sam Kukich’s Leadership, “CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE” in the lives of the “forgotten and neglected” elderly people and CNA’s in our communities.
Soon to be introduced
Susan Hines graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. She started her teaching career in the Houston ISD. Susan’s family relocated to Hampton Roads in 1993 and became involved in the musical community in the area. She auditioned for the Virginia Symphony in 2001 and won a per-service position, which she held for 18 years. Susan has taught 5th grade orchestra for Williamsburg/James City County Schools since 2002. Susan is married to Gary Hines and has one daughter, Erin Hines, who is a professional cellist and Certified Nurse Assistant. Susan and Erin are the founders of the Tidewater Cello Ensemble, which performs in various venues on the east coast. Susan is very concerned about the treatment of our elderly population after helping care for her own parents over the last few years.
Erin Hines graduated from Alabama University with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree in Cello Performance. She has an outstanding background and is an accomplished cellist. She has played with the Roanoke Symphony Orchesta, South Carolina Phillharmonic, The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra as well as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She currently plays with the Jamestown String Quartet and the the Tidewater Cello Ensemble and also teaches private lessons. She has a huge heart for the elderly and helping others and decided to pursue a career in Health Care and is currently a Certified Nurse Assistant at a local hospital. Her musical talents and desire to be an active force in bringing joy to the elderly make her an ideal leader in helping to provide facilities in the Hampton Roads area with some musical entertainment to those elderly who feel forgotten. Roll Tide!
Theodore Robert Reiff, MD received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with honors from Michigan State University and went on to receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine from New York University College of Medicine.
Dr. Reiff has served on the faculty at a number of medical schools, including the University of Southern California Medical School, the University of Nebraska School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the North Dakota School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine. His expertise is in gerontology and geriatric medicine, a field of study focusing on the health and needs of the elderly. Throughout his impressive career and after his retirement, Dr. Reiff has involved himself in advocacy activities for the disabled and handicapped. Beyond his interest in medicine, Dr. Reiff was a Deputy Sheriffin Grand Forks County, North Dakota and a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Dakota.
Dr. Reiff has devoted many years to the study of war crimes committed by Nazi physicians during the Hitler period. He is the author of “It Can Happen Here,” a scholarly article that describes what he saw as some troubling similarities between a “cost containment” policy proposed by the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration and the “euthanasia” program of National Socialist Germany and “It is Happening Here,” a sequel to the first paper on cost containment policies in health care.
Dr. Reiff is the founding President of The National Genocide Education Project and Physicians Acting as Pro-Bono Patient Advocates (PAPPA). He is also a Scholar in Residence at Christopher Newport University and a friend and sponsor.
My name is Ashby Ambrose and I am a student at Poquoson High School. I learned about Dignity for the Aged through Sam Kukich, Executive Director of Dignity. I "adopted" Sam as my veteran for the Poquoson Veterans Project. I now volunteer for Dignity for the Aged as the webmaster. This is a new experience for me and I am still learning the ins and outs of websites. I will be graduating in June of 2021 and will spend the next 4 years at Longwood University to earn a degree in elementary education.