Submitted by Laura Ness, Director, PA Government Affairs (GAO)
Each year the Government Affairs Office (GAO) selects one outstanding Ambassador as their Rookie of the Year. The individual honored must be a new Ambassador who has made an impact on clients’ lives and on the Ambassador program.
As GAO discussed the nominees it was evident that Berks County Visits (BRK) Nurse Trisha Lasher was the clear winner. Trisha is an RN and was BAYADA’s first field employee to serve as a Hearts for Home Care Ambassador.
While she was nervous about her first meeting with a legislator, she decided to keep her commitments as promised and do it on her own. We are so happy she did because she hasn’t stopped since. Trisha started by visiting Representative Jim Cox (R) in his district, and followed up with him later that year in Harrisburg at Lobby Day. She wrote about her experience in the BAYADA Bulletin, which prompted a joint home visit with Representative Cox and the Reading Adult (RAD) Office. Because of the relationship she has built with Representative Cox, he took immediate action to help an adult client when he visited her.
The client had been trying to get a chair glide installed in her house for five years. After the visit, Representative Cox made several calls to service coordinators, found systemic fraud and flaws in the system, and was able to get the client the chair glide within six weeks of the home visit.
Building on their relationship, Representative Cox agreed to write letters of support for our pediatric rate increase and the Medicaid spend-down issue.
To further her advocacy efforts, as election time rolled around and GAO hosted the Bring the Vote Home Campaign, Trisha enlisted the help of all the office staff to call all clients. They educated clients on voting, the PHA voter guide, and let them know about absentee ballots. Trisha then organized field employees to deliver absentee ballots.
From building relationships to advocating for clients’ needs, Trisha has shown her dedication to being an excellent Hearts for Home Care Ambassador.
Honorees traveled to Washington, DC to celebrate their achievements. They enjoyed a private festive reception before heading to dinner and the awards presentation at a local restaurant. Senator Tom Carper joined the group to address some of the major issues affecting health care at the federal level, and to congratulate our Ambassador of the Year awardees. Before heading home, Ambassadors and their guests also spent time touring the city with stops including the White House, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the US Capitol.