To Patton’s surprise, he was presented the award in front of family, friends, coworkers and some of the HGP families. Patton prefers to remain behind the scenes fulfilling the needs of the grandchildren and grandparents in the program.
Vernell Dent, whose grandchildren were part of the program and are now adults, nominated Patton for the award. She credits their success with the passion that he brings to the program.
“Patton’s involvement since the program’s inception has allowed him to personally connect with each family that has come through,” Dent said.
See more: Augusta University program ensures grandparents raising grandchildren stay healthy, families stay together
Patton, who holds a Master of Social Work degree, began working for the program more than 23 years ago. He said his mom saw the job advertised in the newspaper and encouraged him to apply. The rest is history.
Since 1999, HGP has provided supportive services for grandparents raising their grandchildren, including case management, health care services, support groups and legal assistance for custody and adoption. Additionally, the program also assists with school supplies, summer camp fees and after-school enrichment.
According to his colleagues in the College of Nursing, Patton never cares to be in the spotlight, but this honor is certainly deserved. WJBF aired his spotlight Aug. 1.