Hospice of Santa Barbara Counselor Mary Wagner Wins “Older Worker of the Year” Award

Mary Wagner, Bereavement Counselor for Hospice of Santa Barbara

Hospice of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that its very own Mary Wagner has been recognized as “Older Worker of the Year” by the Area Agency on Aging. Wagner, M.F.T., has worked at Hospice of Santa Barbara for 16 years as a Bereavement Counselor.

As part of the local Older Americans Month, the Area Agency on Aging hosted a special ceremony last month at the Marriott Buellton. The agency gave seven awards to older persons and organizations who have made a significant impact on the elderly community. 

The award categories included:

  • Senior Citizen of the Year
  • Senior Citizen Program of the year
  • Public Official of the year
  • Media Advocate of the year
  • Caregiver of the year
  • Older Worker of the year
  • Intergenerational Effort of the year


Wagner was presented with a medallion and also received certificates of recognition from Congressman Salud Carbajal, Assembly person Monique Lemon, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, and Supervisor Joan Hartman. 

“I felt honored, but surprised that I was being awarded for doing something that I love,” Wagner said. “I also am aware of so many people in our community who have done much to contribute to the lives of the elderly. I have been honored by the intimacy and honesty my clients have been willing to share with me. They have truly been my teachers in growing as a therapist and as a person.”

Wagner began her career in health services in 1996, working as a therapist for a senior psychiatric facility in Visalia. She began working for Hospice of Santa Barbara six years later. Wagner holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from UCSB, a Master’s degree in Physical Education from UCSB, and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of San Francisco.

“Mary has spent countless hours comforting and working with those who are grieving a loved one or facing life-threatening illnesses,” said David Selberg, Hospice of Santa Barbara CEO. “I cannot think of a person more deserving of this recognition. Her kindness and warm presence have been a source of comfort to our patients who are going through difficult times.”

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness.  Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on eleven local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

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