Benson started a third career becoming an Ombudsman in 1983 in Lake -Mendocino, having worked a short stint as a Regional Case Manager, and before that, as a counselor in Lake Office of Education, special grant CETA, for career development and job coach.
While Coordinator, those early days of the Program, Benson drove to various locales, including Fort Bragg, and used volunteers from each place, to visit the facilities in those locales. Benson for one year was also a Patient Rights Advocate( Mental Health) before that effort was eventually consolidated by legal services. In August 1986 Benson was hired as Field Services Coordinator for the San Francisco Program. When the Coordinator Meg Doherty left the Program for law school, Benson interviewed and was hired as the Program Director.
From those early days, Benson was involved in early CLTCOA days and became involved in the legislative process through reviewing, commenting on legislation to ameliorate conditions in nursing homes. Both Meg and Doherty testified in early Little Hoover Commission convening around long term care, the recommendations of which led to legislation. This was the heyday of RCFE Reform with the likes of Senator Henry Mello, Art Agnos, Barry Keene and other legislative luminaries, who had their finger on the pulse of long term care issues. Both Meg and Benson sat on the early convening of Elder Abuse Stakeholder meetings in Sacramento. Meg, and later Benson, worked with Lisa Nerenberg as a support of the first Elder Abuse Coalition in California. When Meg left Benson carried on that system advocacy tradition, as the Program itself became more structured statewide and more accountable through data collection.
For two terms Benson was the President of CLTCLO which at that time lacked broad-based organizational strength. Benson carried on that tradition of leadership group functioning in a vacuum with legislative advocacy, and it was only with subsequent leadership of Karen Jones that the CLTCOA organizational strength really developed. Benson is a bridge to the past and brings to the future vision and passion.