New Jersey Client Helps Advocate for Her Aide

Submitted by Tara Montague, Manager, Client and Family Advocacy, NJ

As part of BAYADA Home Health Care’s Advocacy Week, 23-year-old Dover, NJ (DOV) assistive care state programs client Adelina “Addy” Rivera wanted to do her part to fight for a pay increase for her Certified Home Health Aide Gloria Atehortua. Last Friday morning, along with DOV Director Gretchen Munnelly, Client Services Manager Yurani Zapata, and me, Addy visited with Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space at their offices in Sparta. Her aide’s care is so important to Addy and many others that she wanted to tell her legislators personally how essential Gloria is in her life. She prepared a statement which she shared with the legislators:

“If I didn’t have help, I don’t want to think about what could possibly go wrong,” said Addy. “If I didn’t have my aide’s assistance, I would not be able to function.”

Senator Oroho was so moved by her message, he asked her to consider coming to Trenton to speak to his colleagues at the statehouse. Addy indicated that she would like to do whatever she can to help with the cause. In addition, Senator Oroho gave Addy a special pin with a flag and a cross. This had extra meaning for Addy who collects flags in honor of her father, who is a veteran.

Morris Plains Pediatrics Office Sponsors First Community Advocacy Meeting

Submitted by Tara Montague, Manager, Client and Family Advocacy

Photo (NJ2): Christine Rios with the family and community members at the meeting.

Morris Plains Pediatrics (PED) Director Christine Rios was enthusiastic about working with the Government Affairs Office (GAO) to create the first client and community advocacy group in the state.  Despite the torrential downpours, four family and community members ventured out to the inaugural meeting on April 6, at PED.  The small group shared resources and offered each other support.  I discussed the need for legislative advocacy for home health care and how client and family voices can create a lasting impact with legislators.  A second meeting has already been scheduled for June 7.

Exciting Opportunities Lie Ahead in Client and Family Advocacy

Submitted by Tara Montague, Manager, NJ Client and Family Advocacy (GAO)

BAYADA’s Client and Family Advocacy team has been working diligently to set the stage for our efforts in client and family advocacy in PA and NJ.  Collecting client and family stories through our Hearts for Home Care platform is a vital part of our strategy.  We will be sharing these stories with legislators through client home visits, roundtables, and advocacy groups to help legislators increase their understanding of the issues facing families, and to secure their support for home health care.