Educating Legislators Key to Success in Both States

Curt Knott, Chris Knott, Ali Knott, Kim Hill, Mandy Brady, Shannon Gahs, and Maggie Tracy met with Rep. Kevin Hensley to thank him for his support of home health care.

In both Delaware and Maryland, the legislature is keyed up to see a lot of change in both the leadership of key committees that debate our issues and the rank-and-file membership of those committees. BAYADA, together with our trade associations and other providers, has the potential to use this time of change to educate newly-elected and newly-promoted representatives about the complex and detailed issues within Medicaid reimbursement. The best way we can recruit these leaders to become Champions of Home Health Care is to show it to them in person!

What can You do?

  • Invite a legislator to your office.
    • Whether it is for a competency training, an awards ceremony, a community or recruiting event, legislators will understand our complex issues better when they are exposed to it more. Invite them for a lunchtime Town Hall meeting with your office staff, to talk about the issues that affect your work, or ask them to present your next Heroes Award!
  • Invite a legislator on a Home Visit.
    • Legislators are happy to meet the people they represent and seeing our clients is sometimes the best way to explain how important home care is to their lives.
  • Invite candidates or recently-elected legislators to sit in on training.
    • Whether nurses are gaining new skills or are brushing up on existing ones, showing legislators how much effort we put into training and ensuring the skills of our nurses goes a long way toward helping them understand that home health care encompasses a myriad of different specialties.
  • Join a Political Action Committee (PAC).
    • It’s an election year and running for office is expensive. Candidate committees need contributions to purchase yard signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and to mail post cards to voters. Through our PACs, BAYADA supports those legislators who understand our issues and support our clients and employees with good home health care policy in their bids for re-election! Join the PAC easily today.

These interactions make a huge difference.  A legislator in Delaware, someone who has been a supporter of BAYADA for a long time, told us this year that she wants to know more about our day-to-day. She said other groups who are asking for increases in the state budget call her weekly. She and her associates want to hear about new issues, training, community events, staff meetings, awards and current events in our world.  Being up to date will help her advocate better for our clients and employees in private negotiations!

 

Shannon and Maggie are here to help!  If you are interested in helping to educate a legislator but need some support in planning or preparing for it, contact us.

The Power of the PAC

When you think of the word “advocacy,” it may bring several different thoughts to your mind. Many think of our grassroots efforts, such as lobby days and action alert emails. You may thinkof a specific client who you advocate for every day in the work you do, or of a coworker who goes the extra mile to get involved. What may not immediately come to mind and what is equally important, however, are how our Political Action Committees (PACs) play a vital role in our advocacy efforts and our ability to affect change for our staff and clients by sharing our voices.

PACs are a tool that allow BAYADA to support our legislative champions who are supportive and sympathetic to our issues and the home care industry in general. In New Jersey in particular, we have supported 33 legislative events so far in 2018. These events, whether they are fundraisers, dinners, or meet-and-greets, give BAYADA an opportunity to even further engage with the legislators who are making laws that directly affect our clients and employees.

Christine Rios, Director of Morris Plains Pediatrics and our 2018 National Ambassador of the Year, knows first-hand the Power of the PAC:

Being a member of the PAC has given me the opportunity to attend numerous legislative events over the past several years. Attending these events repeatedly puts me front and center with the very legislators that are making decisions that directly affect our clients and employees every day. The more they see my face, the more likely they will remember me and the stories I’ve shared about our clients.. When they see that we support them as legislators, they will be more apt to support our issues in Trenton. The more we talk to them, the more confident and knowledgeable they will be about our issues. In terms of supporting our staff and clients, being a PAC member is priceless!

 Kim Flynn, a clinical manager at the WTP office, had similar experiences attending PAC-supported events. Through her attendance, she became more comfortable making sincere connections with her legislators, and those relationships in turn enabled her to urge them to support our legislative efforts, including advocating for rate adjustments and BAYADA’s Parking Placard bill.

Kim said, “I feel like I’m part of an exclusive club! The PAC has enabled me to meet my legislators and show them what home care means to their constituents. They really care about our issues, and the PAC gives us the face time required to really show them what we do for our clients.”

As BAYADA continues to grow to recruit more employees and care for more clients, it is becoming increasingly more important that we understand the power of advocacy in its totality. This means participation not only in grassroots efforts to educate our legislators about our issues, but also participation in PAC efforts which are vital in our ability to support our legislative champions.

All BAYADA employees are eligible to join the NJ PAC. Only full time, exempt, salaried employees are able to join BAYADA’s federal PAC due to regulations. Click here to join the PAC to support New Jersey legislators who support home care!

BAYADA NJ PAC Hosts a Fundraising Event for Assemblyman Troy Singleton

BAYADA staff and NJ Assemblyman Troy Singleton (center)

On Thursday, October 26, the BAYADA NJ PAC hosted a fundraising event in Trenton honoring 7th District Assemblyman Troy Singleton. Attendees included 7th District Assembly candidate Carol Murphy, representatives from the home care industry and other industries supportive of Assemblyman Singleton, who is currently running for the 7th District Senate seat.

Chief Government Affairs Officer David Totaro welcomed Assemblyman Singleton and thanked the many sponsors and attendees who contributed over $13,000 in support of the Assemblyman’s campaign. Assemblyman Singleton has been a supporter home care, our clients, and employees for many years. He recently sponsored legislation that will mandate managed care companies to reimburse the Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Program at no less than the state’s fee-for-service rate.

In July, Assemblyman Singleton introduced new legislation to increase the reimbursement rate under state fee-for-service for private duty nursing by $10 per hour. During the event, BAYADA recognized Assemblyman Singleton as the “Legislator of the Year” for his ongoing commitment to making home care better and stronger, as clients and families deserve the care they need in the setting they prefer: their own homes.

Government Affairs Office Directors Attend Fundraiser for US Senator Deborah Stabenow

Submitted by Laura Ness, Director, PA Government Affairs (GAO)

On Tuesday, the Government Affairs Director in Delaware and Maryland Shannon Gahs and I attended an intimate fundraiser for Michigan Senator Deborah Stabenow.  During the fundraiser, we had the chance to thank her for her support of our clients and employees this summer during the intense proceedings leading up to the health care repeal vote.  Senator Stabenow specifically mentioned the thousands of phone calls and emails sent by BAYADA employees and clients and the impact it had.  Our efforts made a difference this summer and helped BAYADA be known as an advocacy leader.

We also had the opportunity to speak with Senator Stabenow regarding the catastrophic home health grouping model proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  he was deeply concerned with the potential cuts.  There’s still time for you to contact your senators and congressman click here to protect our industry.

Shannon Gahs, Senator Stabenow, Laura Ness

NJ PAC Continues to Add New Members!

Submitted by Louise Lindenmeier, Director, NJ Government Affairs (GAO)

During Awards Weekend, GAO hosted a PAC table where new and current members participated in a fun “wheel of fortune” game. As a result, the NJ PAC grew by 30 new members, gaining an annualized extra $5,825 per year! With the new contributions, the annualized PAC contributions will be $37,727. Thank you to all the new PAC members and our dedicated current members who continually support the PAC.

BAYADA Government Affairs Office Meets with NJ Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno

Submitted by David Totaro, Chief Government Affairs Officer (GAO)

On May 25, several members of the BAYADA New Jersey Political Action Committee (PAC) met with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno at a private residence in Manasquan, and had the opportunity to discuss important home health care issues, such as the need for increased reimbursement for our nurses and aides. In addition to me leading the discussion, BAYADA was well represented by Director of Toms River Pediatrics (TRP) Cathy Mamola, TRP Associate Allison Nulton, and Vice President of the Capital Impact Group, our public affairs firm, Paul Crupi. Our PAC allows us the opportunity to have these intimate discussions with leaders of state government who support home health care and who understand our needs. The lieutenant governor will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming June 22 ribbon cutting celebration at the new BAYADA Central Support Services campus in Pennsauken.

Photo: Dave Totaro, Lt. Governor Guadagno, Paul Crupi
Photo: Dave Totaro, Lt. Governor Guadagno, Paul Crupi

Awards Weekend PAC Push Sees Major Success

Submitted by Alisa Borovik, Senior Associate (GAO)

During every Awards Weekend since 2012, our Government Affairs Office (GAO) has manned a Political Action Committee (PAC) table to attract new members to join BAYADA’s PACs. Each year, GAO recruits new members, and this Awards Weekend’s PAC table saw record-breaking numbers!

The goal was to bring in a combined total of 80 new PAC members, and increased contributions from current members. The booth actually brought in over 160 new sign-ups and increasers—more than doubling our goal!

The new sign-ups and increasers bring in a combined yearly total of over $35,000 to the BAYADA PACs.

GAO extends a deep and heartfelt thank you to all of those who signed up to contribute at this year’s PAC table. Your contributions go toward legislative and policy efforts that ensure our clients can continue to have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity.

BAYADA currently has five PACs, one for federal-level lobbying, and one each for Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. PAC contributions open doors for GAO staff, office and field employees, and families and clients to develop relationships with key lawmakers in BAYADA PAC states and in Washington, DC. All PAC dollars are used to support legislators who understand and support the home health care industry and to increase GAO’s access to legislators to educate them about issues in the home health care industry.

This huge success could not have been possible without the help of all of the BAYADA employees who volunteered at the PAC table. These individuals energized attendees by drawing attention to the table, answering potential new contributors’ questions, and advertising the importance of PACs on BAYADA’s lobbying efforts.

PAC members contribute a small portion of their paycheck towards a PAC or multiple PACs of their choosing. For more information on PACs or to sign up to contribute to the PAC, please contact advocacy@bayada.com.

You can also access the PAC enrollment form here. >>

 

Photo: Grassroots Advocacy Manager Mike Sokoloski answers a potential new PAC member's questions as a new sign-up spins the prize wheel
Photo: Grassroots Advocacy Manager Mike Sokoloski answers a potential new PAC member’s questions as a new sign-up spins the prize wheel
Photo: GAO Client and Family Advocacy Manager Tara Montague talks to a potential new PAC member while GAO Senior Associate Alisa Borovik and Grassroots Advocacy Manager Mike Sokoloski man the table.
Photo: GAO Client and Family Advocacy Manager Tara Montague talks to a potential new PAC member while GAO Senior Associate Alisa Borovik and Grassroots Advocacy Manager Mike Sokoloski man the table.

Delaware PAC makes amazing gains at Awards Weekend 2017

Submitted by Shannon Gahs, Associate Director, MD Government Affairs (GAO)

The Delaware PAC is BAYADA’s newest PAC, with Awards Weekend being the first major push for members.

The DE PAC recruited 16 new members during Awards Weekend, pulling in an annual total of over $3,800! GAO is doing a lot of work educating legislators about the impact home health care has in DE by keeping families together and helping clients remain at home instead of using more costly nursing facilities and hospitals. In Delaware this year, we are asking the legislature to set a rate floor for skilled nursing services paid for by MCOs. PAC members make a personal statement that BAYADA in Delaware matters to them.

BAYADA GAO Attends Event Honoring 2015 BAYADA Home Health Care Champion Bill Adolph

Submitted by Laura Ness, Director, PA Government Affairs (GAO)

The Springfield Republicans hosted an event to thank Representative Adolph for his service this past St. Patrick’s Day.

Representative Bill Adolph served as the House Appropriations Chair and was a key legislator in helping us achieve a $5 per hour increase for pediatric shift nursing in Pennsylvania in 2016.

His tireless advocacy and perseverance helped ensure BAYADA will be able to recruit and retain the nurses needed to serve our pediatric population.

Unfortunately for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Representative Adolph retired from the legislature at the end of last year.

Chief Government Affairs Officer Dave Totaro and I had the opportunity to attend the evening and thank Representative Bill Adolph again for championing our rate increase.  The event was well-attended with over 200 local supporters, dignitaries, and elected officials. We also had the opportunity to see Senator Scott Wagner, who is also running for Governor, and Congressmen Pat Meehan.