On June 28, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed the 2019-2020 budget into law. Included in the $34 billion budget was a 2% increase for Personal Assistance Services (PAS) under the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). This increase will go into effect January 1, 2020 and will predominantly affect our Assistive Care State Programs (ACSP) offices. This increase will result in an additional $700,000 in annualized revenue and an additional $625,000 in operating surplus.
The GAO office would like to thank our many wonderful Ambassadors and leadership that advocated for our clients, families, and staff. This increase was over five years in the making, and these advocates made home care a priority through countless meetings with legislators in their district and at the Capitol, writing op-eds for local papers, and helping to host over 20 legislators in clients’ homes. GAO would like to thank a few of our advocates who went above and beyond to ensure our legislators knew the necessity of this increase.
A Big Thank You to our BAYADA Advocates!
Chris Bender– Chris has consistently advocated our clients and families through office visits and lobby days. She hosted a PIT office legislative visit to show the village it takes to provide such complex and necessary care to our clients. Chris also worked with the public affairs branch of GAO to find clients and field staff to advocate for this rate increase as well in the media. As a result, Chris and two aides from her office were featured in a front page Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, and CM Melissa Donatore’s op-ed was published in a later edition of the Gazette. Additionally, client Vanessa R. was featured on a WPXI broadcast piece that covered the need for higher wages for home health aides. Go Pittsburgh!
Melanie Brewer – With a background in the field of politics, Melanie advocated for our clients and staff through her current and previous relationships and connections. She quickly established herself as a trusted resource on home health care to Erie area legislators, and reinforced why home health care matters to so many.
Donna Buhosky – Donna attended many district office visits in her area, as well as a variety of community events hosted by legislators. She became a constant advocate for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations at these events, reiterating the need to increase the reimbursement rate.
Tom Johnson-Medland– Tom not only attended many legislative visits and community events but was able to secure his office’s license through his legislative contacts. He worked with two area legislators and the Department of Health to keep his office compliant. Their willingness to work with Tom is a testament to his relationship with the legislators and his reputation as a trusted provider of home care. Tom also encouraged his fellow employees to take action on the alerts sent out by GAO, resulting in 100% participation from his office employees.
Donna Pierantoni – Clinical Manager Donna Pierantoni advocated for a PAS increase by lending her name to an additional op-ed penned to the Tribune-Review.
Candice Poole – Candice attend a multitude of events in her area hosted by the local legislators to ensure they knew just how important adequately funding home health care is to their communities. Additionally, she fostered advocacy within her office and encouraged her fellow employees to get involved. She helped identify and prepare clients for our public affairs efforts, and authored an op-ed that was featured in PennLive.
These advocates demonstrated how important advocacy is to living The BAYADA Way. They demonstrated that our clients come first by working to make sure our legislators understand how important home health care is to their constituents in addition to their current positions at BAYADA. These advocates, along with many others, went above and beyond their job description to help our clients access the care they need and continue to foster the growth of BAYADA.
If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador, email Mike Sokoloski at firstname.lastname@example.org.