Suzanne Geffen Mintz, President and Co-founder of the National Family Caregivers Association
Suzanne Mintz is a family caregiver for her husband, Steven, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1974. Her longtime personal involvement with caregiving led her to the conclusion that chronic illness and disability affects the person who provides care as well as the one that requires it. In addition its impact goes beyond individual families and has become a national healthcare and social policy issue. She realized that family caregivers are part of a "silent and neglected workforce" that does not receive the recognition, training, support, assistance, or public policy attention it deserves. As a consequence she co-founded NFCA in 1993. Today, she spearheads the organization's efforts to meet the unmet needs of family caregivers.
Ms. Mintz spent over 25 years in the field of interior architecture and marketing prior to becoming NFCA's first paid chief executive in 1997. She worked at her "day job" and continued to build NFCA on borrowed time and during the evenings and on weekends before taking over the reins fulltime.
In September 2006, Suzanne Mintz was named a winner for the first-ever national Purpose Prize, a major new initiative to invest in Americans 60 and above who are leading a new age of social innovation sponsored by Civic Ventures and funding by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The John Templeton Foundation. Suzanne is also the 2004 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eli Lilly Welcome Back initiative.
One of the first to champion the now widely held belief that caregiving is a life span issue that should be treated as such rather than dealt with in silos of age, relationship and diagnoses, Suzanne is recognized as a national spokesperson for family caregivers, as attested to by her appearances before Congress, her participation in the crafting of national legislation, and often sited remarks in major media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune.