The Boston Regional SHINE Program at Ethos is fueled by volunteers, and Ann Tomsho is a volunteer who goes above and beyond!

When Ann retired from her career in nursing, she was looking for volunteer opportunities that would be challenging. After reading an AARP article about the SHINE Program, Ann knew she has found the perfect way to give back! The Boston Regional SHINE Program at Ethos (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) provides free health insurance information and counseling to all Boston residents with Medicare and their caregivers. For the past three years, Ann has come to Ethos every Tuesday, and she loves taking calls from elders seeking advice about their health insurance coverage. Our health insurance system is complex and constantly changing so Ann makes sure that she stays up to date through training and re-certification every year.

Ann loves “juggling and putting the pieces of information together for the seniors.”  In one memorable example, Ann assisted an uninsured senior on a limited income who was having problems with his teeth and bewildered by the complexity of health information available. As a nurse, Ann knew that dental problems can lead to other serious health conditions and she quickly helped the client obtain coverage to pay for his dental work. Ann’s dedication to this program is truly remarkable – when she found out that the SHINE Program at Ethos also needed assistance with data entry, Ann stepped up willingly to donate even more of her time to assist in this effort.

When Ann is not volunteering at Ethos she also volunteers at The Museum of Science and also likes travelling overseas with her husband.

To be a SHINE counselor Ann says you need to be very committed and that you will find the work extremely rewarding and flexible.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer SHINE Counselor, contact Meg Barhite, Director of Counseling and Support Services, at or 617-522-6700 x323.