Archive for November, 2007

DCA Board members in the Spotlight: Part Two

Posted by on November 26th, 2007 at 6:17 am | Comments Off on DCA Board members in the Spotlight: Part Two

John Booker
John is by profession a direct care worker. He is the executive director of the National Association of Direct Care Workers of Color and the Statewide Indiana CareGiver Association. He also serves as president of the National Urban League Young Professionals in Indiana and vice president of the National Urban League Guild.

John is the DCA’s Workforce Specialist Consultant. With over 30 years of experience in direct care, he is an expert and a consultant in all areas of direct care services, specializing in the area of workforce development (recruitment and retention). Economic and social advancement of direct care workers is one of his main objectives.

Janet Heinritz-Canterbury
Janet’s organizing and advocacy to improve home and community based services includes extensive experience with California’s In-Home Supportive Services Public Authorities as start-up consultant for the Los Angeles Personal Assistance Services Council, statewide consumer and worker coalition coordinator, and author of Collaborating to Improve In-Home Supportive Services: Stakeholder Perspectives in Implementing California’s Public Authorities. Currently she is spearheading an effort to mobilize consumers to take a more active role in the public authorities. Janet was the executive director of the Congress of California Seniors, Organizing Director for the National Council of Senior Citizens. She serves on the Board of the CALIF, a newly organized independent living center serving Central Los Angeles.

Vera Salter
Vera is an independent consultant and empowerment life coach. In 2001, while with the PHI, Vera established the National Clearinghouse on the Direct Care Workforce, the nation’s pre-eminent source of information about frontline workers across the spectrum of long-term care services, as well as an e-mail newsletter that reaches more than 2,000 subscribers. She developed the Clearinghouse’s Practice Profile Database in collaboration with the Institute for the Future of Aging Services, ASPE and CMS. She was the lead investigator in PHI’s subcontract to provide workforce information to the University of California at San Francisco’s Center for Personal Assistance Services. Her recent work includes developing competency standards for the Department of Labor’s nursing assistant and home health aide apprenticeships, and supporting the re-design of direct-care worker training and certification systems.

Vera has over 25 years of experience in health care administration, consulting, research, and policy, and has served on a number of non-profit boards. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in Health Services Research from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the United Kingdom.

Vermont Association of Professional Care Providers – Annual Conference

Posted by on November 25th, 2007 at 3:55 pm | 2 Comments »

The Vermont Association of Professional Care Providers (VAPCP) conference and annual meeting was held November 14th to a crowd of over 100 direct care workers and friends. The theme was “Honoring our Work-Honoring Ourselves,” and the event certainly accomplished that mission.

The conference was opened by a welcome delivered by COVE Executive Director Dolly Fleming and association President Suzanne Braunegg.


The event went into high gear with a musical and inspirational Keynote by PHI’s MariaElena DelValle, who engaged the audience in an interactive session on “Your life as Story.” MariaElena’s presentation was empowering and moving.

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Consumer Advocates Welcome DCA at NCCNHR Conference

Posted by on November 25th, 2007 at 5:16 am | Comments Off on Consumer Advocates Welcome DCA at NCCNHR Conference

NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care held its 32nd Annual Meeting & Conference this fall in Arlington, Virginia. The DCA was well represented and welcomed by this group of consumer advocates and long term care ombudsmen.

The NCCNHR membership passed a number of resolutions supporting the needs and importance of the direct care workforce. Other major issues and activities included:

  • A Capital Hill session and congressional visits noting the 20th anniversary of the Nursing Home Reform Law (OBRA) that established standards of care. OBRA has improved quality but still has a long way to go.

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The vision/framework for the Voices Institute

Posted by on November 21st, 2007 at 9:42 am | 1 Comment »

To: VOICES INSTITUTE PLANNING GROUP
RE: The Voices Institute
Date: November 7, 2007

I. The Framework for the Voices Institute

The DCA’s Voices Institute is a training and capacity-building initiative which will provide direct care workers, consumers and employers with leadership, advocacy and organizational development skills they need to work effectively with one another to improve long-term direct care.

The Voices Institute will be a signature program of the DCA to develop the multi-stakeholder philosophy our mission directs though worker empowerment and coalition- building seminars. Over the next two years, the Voices Institute will provide knowledge and skills to workers, consumers, employers, labor, advocates, and policy makers who support the mission and principles of the DCA. An oversight committee of respected experts will be assembled to advice and provide input on the design of the Voices Institute as an integral and ongoing component of the DCA.

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Planting Ideas – Harvesting Our Vision

Posted by on November 21st, 2007 at 8:57 am | Comments Off on Planting Ideas – Harvesting Our Vision

The Pennsylvania Direct Care Workers Association held its annual conference November 1-2 in Camp Hill. The well-attended event was uplifting, informative and inspirational.

Highlights included:

  • US Senator Robert Casey sharing his vision and ideas to promote the value of direct care workers. Sen Casey really understands the “care gap” and is a true advocate for the quality jobs mean quality care issue. He intends to convene hearings on the issue in the near future.



  • Many live musical performances, including PHI’s always inspirational MariaElena Del Valle and an amazing original song and production on the worker association and its need to grow.


  • The state’s labor commissioner announcing a starting wage goal for all direct care workers of $12/hr.

  • 27 break-out workshops, including a “Citizen Lobbyist” and worker empowerment session.

New Worker Association Launched in Indiana

Posted by on November 21st, 2007 at 8:31 am | 1 Comment »

DCA board member John Booker launched the Indiana Care-Givers Association November 12th in South Bend. Booker, who is the Executive Director of the National Association of Direct Care Workers of Color, brought together a broad “coalition” of advocates, providers and direct care workers at the association’s kick-off event. The event was featured in the South Bend Tribune the next day.