Special Volunteer Program for Clients

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

Karen R, the daughter of a client who receives personal care waiver services and has strong interests in home health care advocacy, oversees a family-run volunteer program started last year called Betty and the Bear.  This program donates hand-made teddy bears to people with dementia and anyone who has had an organ transplant letting them know that they are special and cared for by many.  Last year, they donated 55 bears.  For more information about this program, or how you can help sew a bear, please email me at rhynick@bayada.com.

 

Client and Family Advocacy Update

Submitted By Rick Hynick, Director, Government Affairs, Client and Family Advocacy

The Client and Family Advocacy program has some exciting updates that are underway.  When you have a moment, visit our advocacy website at Heartsforhomecare.com and see first-hand about many of the ideas we are working on.  Once you get to the site, click on Families and the Community.  Here you will find many exciting ways to be part of our advocacy program.  Read of a heart-touching story of a Mom who is now involved with advocacy to help her daughter and others like her.  Find an opportunity to share your story and learn of the many ways you could participate in advocacy as well as staying connected with news and resources and a blog.

We are also working on the development of a Grassroots Advocacy plan for our clients and families and staff.  Giving our valued clients and staff a voice and involvement in advocacy activities such as meeting with a legislator or writing a letter or attending a community event as part of a larger movement could strengthen our voice in home care and help us to obtain better resources so we can have a positive impact and give our clients the highest quality of care.  We are also working side by side with Mike Sokoloski, our Manager of Grassroots Advocacy to move forward with a plan than combines advocacy efforts of employees and clients together to work toward a personal assistance OLTL rate increase.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas.  Please email me at rhynick@bayada.com.

 

Why Client Advocacy Matters

Submitted By Rick Hynick, Director, Government Affairs, Client and Family Advocacy

At BAYADA, we often see that many of the government reimbursement rates for programs such as Medicaid are low and have not been increased in long periods of time.  The difficult effect this has on our revenue then carries over on our ability to offer pay rates that are attractive to nurses and aides seeking employment.  They sometimes accept other offers because of this, making recruitment a challenge and also making open shifts more prevalent.

There are ways that we can work together to combat this challenge.  Our service offices have wonderful relationships with our clients and family members. It is these people who we provide services to who have the best understanding of what it is like to live minute-by-minute with complex medical needs.  Government Affairs and service office staff working together have the best opportunity get the voices and real-life experiences of our clients out to our legislators who can make a difference.

Our legislators have the responsibility to represent the people who live in their districts and also to control the reimbursement and regulatory matters of most of our government funded programs. Our goal is to show the true needs that exist by getting voices of the clients to them so when it is time to vote or make a decision about an important topic such as reimbursement, they will do so with the best information possible at hand. -Over time, this will lead to higher reimbursement rates and better living wages for our staff allowing us to better align with The BAYADA Way and help more people.

A BAYADA client advocates for better HHA wages with legislators and families looking on.

The daughter of a BAYADA client and a BAYADA nurse at an advocacy event.

The IEP, An Important Part of the Home Care School Experience

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

Now that school is back, many of our pediatric offices  provide service to children in the school setting.  It is important to remember that children with complex medical needs probably have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with their school.  Parents can work with educators to advocate for their children and to develop a plan to help their child succeed throughout the school year.  BAYADA office staff can talk with our parents about this to provide the highest level of care to our young clients.

 

PA: Raising a Child with Complex Medical Needs Means Being Prepared Every Day

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

With so much in the news lately regarding the devastating hurricanes that have hit Texas, Florida and other states, a mom of a Pennsylvania school age client knows the importance of being prepared at all times.  She explained that everyone is talking about having extra supplies in case the power goes out because of these terrible storms.  However, this mom painted a picture of how families caring for loved ones with complex medical needs have to be prepared every day.  She explained that she needs extra supplies in case her child’s feeding tube were to malfunction.  She further explained that she has so many pieces of medical equipment that requires electricity, that her family has a portable generator, as they need the comfort of always knowing they will have electricity, even if the power were to go out in good weather.

Continuing to Advocate for our Clients

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

On August 23, the Government Affairs Office (GAO) gathered in Philadelphia, along with a few office and field employees with advanced advocacy interests.  The goal of the day was to develop tactics to engage both clients and employees who enjoy advocacy to influence decision makers to support home health care.  Building awareness, Inspiring engagement and Empowering advocates were three main phases that were at the heart of our discussions related to grassroots advocacy efforts for our clients and families here at BAYADA and also for the many others who will be moved to join us from the community.

 

Advocacy Efforts in Massachusetts Gaining Publicity

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

As advocacy efforts continue to progress toward a State Medicaid rate increase for nursing services, to help individuals with complex medical needs, excitement around the movement throughout Boston and much of the state is starting to build.  On July 30, the Boston Globe featured a lead article about one of the families most effected by the matter.  The article showed how this family has not had nursing coverage in more than 100 consecutive days because of the low Medicaid reimbursement rates.  Two days later, WGBH-TV of Boston ran an on-air piece featuring the Mom from the Globe article and another Mom who is a leading advocate showing the urgency that the 900 plus Massachusetts families needing home care nursing services are facing on a daily basis.

Successful Family Day Event in PA

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy

On July 27, staff from the Government Affairs Office (GAO): Mike Sokoloski, Laura Ness, Tara Montague, and I coordinated an event at Temple University in Philadelphia entitled, Family Day.  This event brought together CRO families, legislators, field staff and office staff, including some of our ambassadors,  with the goal of bringing attention to the need for an OLTL personal assistance rate increase.  The event was highlighted by a client presentation, legislative presentations, and focus group meetings where stories of how a rate increase would improve quality of care.

 

Realizing There are Differences

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy

I recently met with a mother who has a teenage daughter suffering from a severe degenerative muscular condition. The mom wants people to realize that caregivers are extremely important to a person with special medical needs. She explained that the average person can use a bathroom in a minute or two. Even with a caregiver, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for her daughter to use the bathroom, with the maneuvering of her wheelchair in the tight layout of a bathroom and just trying to safely get on and off of the wheelchair. The mom asks that we all slow down and think about the importance of the many daily tasks that we all need to undertake and support caregivers in every way possible.

In PA, No Obstacle is Too Big

Submitted by Rick Hynick, Director, Client and Family Advocacy

I was recently accompanying a mother and her  daughter who require home care services to the state Capitol to meet with elected officials about a rate increase, to help attract more nurses to home care as the mother/daughter team are in urgent need of help.  As we went from one meeting to another, I kept thinking about how much I admired the mother for her determination as she needed to push her daughter’s wheelchair everywhere we went.  As we neared the office location of our last meeting, we encountered a set of stairs and a wheelchair lift that was not functioning.  Instead of not attending the meeting, the mother accepted help from another person and we worked together to get the family beyond the obstacle and to the meeting where much success was encountered.