Monika White (left) receives a commendation from Minh-Ha Nguyen, assistant director, and Otto Solorzano, chief deputy director, Community and Senior Services, County of Los Angeles Area Agency on Aging.

Dr. Monika White, retiring chief executive officer of Santa Monica-based WISE & Healthy Aging, was recently recognized for her service to the community at a reception at the Ken Edwards Center in Santa Monica.

“Monika’s expertise and knowledge have contributed to WISE & Healthy Aging for many years and she will be sorely missed,” said Grace Cheng Braun, current president and CEO of WISE & Healthy Aging.

Former WISE & Healthy Aging Board co-chair Don Cohen said of White, “She is one of the nicest people I know. She is always there on behalf of someone in need.”

Although retiring from WISE & Healthy Aging, White will continue her work as an adjunct professor in gerontology and social work at USC and offer assistance to her former colleagues at WISE & Healthy Aging.

Surrounded by dozens of plaques from civic, government and professional associations in recognition of her work, she admits to being happy about the growth of her work in case management.

“I’m especially gratified by how many people I have influenced or trained to work with older people and their families. No one gives us a manual on how to be old,” White said.

White says she is particularly proud of WISE & Healthy Aging’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program that has been protecting the rights and dignity of residents in skilled nursing and residential care facilities throughout Los Angeles County since 1980.

A founding board member of the National Chronic Care Consortium, White also serves on other boards, including the board of directors of the American Society on Aging; National Association of Geriatric Care Managers; California Social Welfare Archives; National Academy of Certified Care Managers; National Conference of Community and Justice; and the Santa Monica Community College Associates.