Historical Perspective

LifeSpan, Inc. was established on December 31, 1999, with the merger of New Heritage, Inc. and Southwest Services, Inc. LifeSpan is a private not-for-profit, human services organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors with services focusing on adults age 60 and above.

New Heritage began in 1972 as Steel Valley Meals on Wheels, founded by a group of local ministers under the initiative of the Older Americans Act of 1965. Services were provided at one center located in Homestead focusing on Center Services and Meals on Wheels. As the organization grew Transportation Services and Homemaker Services were added. The programs and services provided through this organization enabled individuals to remain in their homes and live more independently. Steel Valley became New Heritage, Inc. in 1973 and continued to provide high-quality services to their consumers outside the Pittsburgh city limits. In 1975 New Heritage, Inc. received one of the first contracts from Adult Services/Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Center Services, Home Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels), and expanded its services into Care Management.

In 1973 another organization emerged to provide services in Allegheny County – South Hills Community Council on Aging (SHCCOA) offered services similar to Steel Valley Meals on Wheels. SHCCOA received their first contract from Adult Services/AAA in 1975, and offered Center Services and Home Delivered Meals. In 1978 SHCCOA acquired New Traditions, a Care Management provider in Allegheny County. This acquisition resulted in a new organization and the name was changed to Southwest Services, Inc. Southwest Services was the surviving entity in the 1999 merger and the merged corporation changed its name to LifeSpan, Inc. Both New Heritage and Southwest Services provided services through a two-tiered continuum. The first tier served the active, healthy senior through Senior Centers. The second tier consisted of Care Management Services, Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals (MOW/HDM), and In-Home Support Services for frail, older adults.

LifeSpan expanded into Senior Community Centers, Care Management, and MOW/HDM programs into the Mon Valley in 2002 and ceased direct In-Home service operations. Most recently, in July of 2013, LifeSpan acquired Elder Ado, Inc., further expanding its Senior Community Center and MOW/HDM Base. LifeSpan continues this two-tiered approach to providing services to older adults in the communities we serve today. The center service array now consists of 6 senior community centers throughout southern Allegheny County serving over 8,000 healthy, active residents annually. LifeSpan operates two service programs to support the homebound residents of Allegheny County.

Options Care Management program assists 2,451 frail residents to remain safe and healthy in their homes through the development, implementation and monitoring of a comprehensive care assistance plan that coordinates a myriad of home-based support services. The second is the Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals Program which operates out of four kitchens located in southern Allegheny County. This program delivers more than 168,400 hot, cold, and frozen meals annually to the homes of frail, homebound residents.

The MOW/HDM Program has expanded its delivery capacity to all community residents who wish to order meals through our meal choice system and privately pay for the meals and delivery to their homes. This Consumer Choice Meal Option is also available for insurance companies and hospitals to utilize when patients are released and require special diets or nutritional support during the recovery period.