Submitted by Louise Lindenmeier, Director, NJ Government Affairs, (GAO)
NJ GAO held its first Advocacy Week, May 1 – 5, as Ambassadors met with 25 legislators. Throughout New Jersey, 67 office employees, two home health aides, and two clients spoke with legislators about the difficulties of attracting and retaining nurses, covering hours for private duty nursing, and the need for higher reimbursement for the Personal Care Assistant program under managed Medicaid. The aides told the legislators how much they love their work but can’t make enough to support their families. The clients spoke about how important their aides are by providing care, and, if not for the aides, they would be in long-term care.
As part of the advocacy week, office staff participated by sending out 408 emails to state legislators regarding the importance of home care. The message asked the legislators to support a reimbursement floor rate in managed Medicaid. Everyone who met with legislators expressed how much they enjoyed the experience and how good it felt to advocate for our clients and families.
During BAYADA’s Government Affairs Office (GAO) NJ Advocacy Week, I was excited to embark on my first experience as a BAYADA Ambassador.
On Tuesday, May 2, GAO Community Liaison Tara Montague, Toms River, NJ (TR) assistive care state programs Client Services Manager Rebecca Capuano, and I met with Senator Connors and Assemblywoman Gove from District 9. We had the opportunity to advocate for the clients we serve and ask the legislators to support raising the rate floor for NJ’s personal care assistant program in Managed Medicaid to the state’s fee-for-service rate.
We also asked them to support a $10-an-hour fee-for-service increase in private duty nursing. Both Senator Connors and Assemblywoman Gove were very receptive to the stories we shared about our clients and the challenges they face daily, and were open to having a round-table discussion in the future.
I also met with Senator Thompson from District 12 on Friday, May 5 to discuss the issues we face in the home care setting. Senator Thompson, GAO Director Louise Lindenmeier, and I discussed a variety of issues that impact home care. We invited Senator Thompson for a home visit in the near future. We hope to schedule one soon!
I am excited for future visits to advocate for our clients, families, and field staff and to raise awareness about the support that is needed to continue providing excellent home care The BAYADA Way.
Submitted by Louise Lindenmeier, Director, NJ Government Affairs (GAO)
With over 45 Hearts for Home Care ambassadors in attendance at the New Jersey Learning Center, Talent Management Office and Leadership Development Project Manager Ron Ross and the Government Affairs Office (GAO) team, offered a full day training on ways the ambassadors can effectively be involved in grassroots advocacy. The day was filled with interactive activities, focusing on state issues, clients advocacy, and effective storytelling. Each ambassador had an opportunity to speak about their clients and employee stories which will be very impactful to legislators. The Ambassador’s next step is to meet with their district legislators during the planned, “Hearts for Home Care Advocacy Week” in May.