Tom Hlavin is the Executive Director and Founder of Simply Virtual, Inc. Tom spent years engaging seniors in Northeast Ohio in his role as Community Relations Manager at Oak Street Health, a national medical group specializing in caring for low-income senior citizens. When the Corona Virus hit in 2020 and the lockdowns ensued, Tom saw firsthand the loneliness, social isolation and depression affecting those same seniors. Simply Virtual was founded in October of 2020 with the mission of getting technology, training and content to every low-income senior that wants it.
Sandy joined Simply Virtual as a Virtual Navigator, but quickly became a Project Manager. Sandy is quick to build relationships with the seniors she assists in setting up tablets and hotspots. Sandy hails from Puerto Rico and brings to Simply Virtual a bilingual option for seniors that require it.
In her spare time, Sandy is a Zumba instructor and Reiki practitioner. She is active in the community and an advocate for abused women.
Heidi has been working in the non-profit field for over 20 years in a variety of roles. She has worked with Individuals with disabilities, animal welfare groups and associations. Heidi was recruited by Tom when she returned to Cleveland after moving back from Montana in 2021. Heidi and Tom work well together and enjoy having fun with the seniors with whom they work. They both enjoy reducing the stressful nature of teaching technology to older adults through laughter. Fun and Patience is the key to success.
A mother of three boys and one daughter, and a grandmother to three beautiful children. She lived her entire life in Erie Pennsylvania, where she fulfilled a lot of her aspirations and personal success stories. Elaine worked for agencies that help others achieve their own personal goals businesses like Professional Interpreters of Erie as a Hispanic interpreter and Lakeshore Community Services as a DSP( direct support provider). Elaine decided to move from her hometown in 2017 and make a new life here in Cleveland Ohio with her family, and says it's the best decision she has made. Here in her new home she continues to work towards helping others achieve their own personal goals and success stories.
Computers, desktops and tablets are set up for seniors, with orientation and training at the point of distribution. Recipients without email addresses are set up with one, and interactive applications are installed to allow video and audio connections with family and friends. Finally, the seniors are shown how to use the tablet's app store to add games, books, news sources and more to personalize their experience.
We combine easy-to-use Amazon Fire tablets and targeted applications to make the introduction to a virtual world simple and fun. Instructor-led training (employing all CDC safety protocols) goes at a pace comfortable for clients, assuring understanding of the new virtual world and use of the tablet with simple one-touch operation.
Working with community partners and service providers, clients have access to fun and interesting virtual options. From conversations with medical personnel to a lively game of Bingo and everything in between, clients are kept engaged and socially involved as often as they like.
Through our outreach, clients have access new virtual world of doctor visits, services research and family connections. For those clients unable or unwilling to venture from their homes, the virtual world brings services and information to them. Staff and volunteers make sure a comfort level with the technology.
Simply Virtual participates in Amazon Smile. Amazon donates a portion of every purchase to help us provide low-income seniors with tablets, computers and content.