Archive for ‘National Direct Care Partnership’

Register Now for a Free Webinar on the New Health Care Law

Posted by on September 13th, 2013 at 10:25 am | Comments Off on Register Now for a Free Webinar on the New Health Care Law

On September 24 from 12 to 1 p.m. ET, DCA’s National Direct Care Partnership will host a webinar titled The Health Insurance Marketplace and Its Impact on Direct Care Workers and Small Businesses.

The webinar will focus on the exchanges that are a key part of the new health care law. Participants will learn about anticipated challenges related to the exchanges, tips and resources for enrolling direct care workers and others, and tax credits and other things small businesses should be aware of.

Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register now to secure your spot.

Ask Congress to Include Nursing Home Transparency in Health Care Reform Bill

Posted by on July 9th, 2009 at 12:24 am | Comments Off on Ask Congress to Include Nursing Home Transparency in Health Care Reform Bill

nursing-home-hallway-220The DCA’s National Direct Care Partnership has endorsed the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act, which is part of the draft health care reform bills being considered by both the House and Senate. The Act would give families a lot more information about the nursing homes they put their loved ones in, including whether they have adequate staff. 

The Act, which is being championed by NCCNHR, would require nursing homes to disclose their owners and all the related entities that own, finance, or operate them. It also includes nine other provisions, including:

  •   Require CMS to collect and report accurate information about the hours of nursing care facilities provide and their turnover and retention rates.
  •   Require better state complaint handling and provide resident representatives and workers better protection from retaliation.
  •   Include dementia care and abuse prevention in nurse aide training.

Visit our Legislative Action Center and ask your representatives in the House and Senate to make sure those provisions stay in the final health care reform bill.

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance

Decision Time for the National Direct Care Partnership

Posted by on April 14th, 2009 at 11:23 am | 2 Comments »
Roy Gedat

Roy Gedat

Join us!

The DCA’s National Direct Care Partnership is about to agree on the first set of federal bills and policy solutions that we will endorse.

The Partnership is a coalition of organizations and individuals who recognize the urgent need to improve long-term care by improving direct care jobs. Since we started late last year we’ve gained close to 50 members, including 25 national, state and regional organizations. Our members (PDF) include worker associations, long term care coalitions, employers, consumer, family groups, and others.

In recent conference calls, we’ve heard excellent presentations on the following policies and proposed bills, which we will soon consider supporting: Continue reading »

What Issues Do You Want Our National Direct Care Partnership to Support?

Posted by on February 5th, 2009 at 8:22 pm | 2 Comments »

As you know if you’re a regular reader of our blog or newsletter, the Direct Care Alliance sponsors the National Direct Care Partnership, a coalition of individuals and groups that advocate for legislation and public policies that support direct care workers.

The Partnership will meet soon to talk about taking positions on proposed legislation and regulations. But first, DCA National Advocacy Director Roy Gedat, who facilitates the coalition’s meetings, wants to know what issues or policy solutions you think they should consider.

Send your ideas to Roy at or add them below as a comment.

New York Times Calls for Federal Wage and Overtime Protection for Home Care Workers

Posted by on January 28th, 2009 at 7:43 am | 6 Comments »

The lead editorial in the January 27 New York Times calls on the federal government to improve wages and labor protections for home care workers — a major area of advocacy for the DCA.

The editorial urges the Obama administration to “rewrite the rules to extend federal protections to home care workers” or work with Congress to pass a law granting those protections –the same recommendation the DCA made in its December letter to President Obama (pdf).

The boom in health care jobs should be a bright spot in today’s economy, the Times points out, but “unfortunately, one of the fastest-growing areas within the health care field — home care for the elderly — also is one of the lowest paid and most exploitable.”

Much of the editorial focuses on the “outdated labor rules from 1975” that exempt home care aides from federal overtime and minimum wage laws — rules that home care worker Evelyn Coke challenged and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2007. It has already inspired a long list of comments, which are also worth reading.

The Direct Care Alliance launched the Respect for Homecare Workers Campaign  in 2007 to gain support and bring attention to this issue.

Continue reading »

Opportunities for the long term care workforce in the new administration

Posted by on December 9th, 2008 at 6:10 am | Comments Off on Opportunities for the long term care workforce in the new administration

The DCA’s National Direct Care Partnership will conduct a conference call on December 11 at 3pm featuring a briefing by Howard Bedlin on opportunities for the long term care workforce in the new administration. His talk will describe the political process in Washington, DC, and include a quick overview of current bills before the congress.

Mr. Bedlin is the vice president for Public Policy and Advocacy for the National Council on Aging (NCOA). He is responsible for all of NCOA’s federal and state legislative advocacy efforts on issues and programs of concern to older adults, which include the Older Americans Act, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, income security, and community services programs. He is also a member of the Direct Care Alliance’s Advocacy Committee.

For details, contact Roy Gedat at

Voices Institute Alumni Keep the Fire Lit

Posted by on October 21st, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Comments Off on Voices Institute Alumni Keep the Fire Lit

voices-institute-group-shot1There is no question that the 22 direct care workers who participated in the very successful Voices Institute leadership training retreat in the spring of 2008 became a tight-knit core group of direct care worker advocates. We still discuss the impact that this experience has had on our lives and how we will never forget the incredible growth that took place. As a group, we are building a grassroots movement bit-by-bit with passion and determination.

On October 20, eight of our alumni gathered for our first follow-up conference call. We learned about some exciting things that our group has been working on:

Ray Erickson had just given a speech to close to a 100 people at the Iowa CareGivers Association Annual Meeting.

His wife, Vicki Erickson, had recently sat in on a forum with local legislators for a couple of hours.

Jackie Merkle spoke about her efforts to develop organizational relationships with the Long-Term Care Alliance. One person in her group is working on legislative activities, such as a position paper to try to move forward with legislation. She also shared some frustrations she’s had around trying to generate interest among direct care workers by going through providers, who sometimes are not receptive to her message.

Lorenzo Raffa talked about Maine PASA’s conference, which attracted 1,500 attendees. John Booker, the Chair of the Direct Care Alliance, was the keynote speaker. Vicki Erickson of the ICA spoke about her Voices Institute experience. Roy Gedat, the National Advocacy Director for the Direct Care Alliance, was also present.

Continue reading »

DCA Creates National Direct Care Partnership

Posted by on October 15th, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Comments Off on DCA Creates National Direct Care Partnership

The Direct Care Alliance recently formed the National Direct Care Partnership, a national coalition that brings together direct care workers, consumers, and employers. The partnership will provide a strong voice for change in the direct care workforce. The coalition will vote to endorse issues. Individual participants can either choose to support or opt out of having their name on the letters, testimony, and other statements that are generated. 

A primary goal of the Partnership is to lobby for legislation that will improve direct care workforce conditions and compensation. Strong credibility was given to these issues by a report that was recently released by the Institute of Medicine. Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce provides an advocacy opportunity for direct care workers and their allies. It acknowledges that direct care workers provide a majority of hands-on care to those who are aging. It addresses key issues in the direct care workforce, such as workforce shortages, wages, recruitment, retention, and training, and recommends financial incentives, training opportunities, increased training requirements, licensure and certification.

Continue reading »

What I Learned at the Voices Institute

Posted by on September 18th, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Comments Off on What I Learned at the Voices Institute

I am a career direct care worker. I had the great privilege of speaking about the Voices Institute leadership training program at the Direct Care Alliance reception in New York City on September 11, 2008. Here is my speech.

Good evening. I am honored to be here with you tonight to share with you my voice from the frontline. I feel very proud of my years of service in the direct care workforce and I feel very proud of the direction in which the workforce is going.

I turned 30 a few days ago and  have been a direct care worker since I graduated from high school. In direct care workforce terms, that would make me a veteran. With the current extraordinary turnover rates, many direct care workers enter this profession only to quickly leave.

I have learned so much over the last decade as a direct care worker. One of the first individuals I supported, Mike, a motivational speaker and educator, has quadriplegia due to a spinal cord injury. Mike and I immediately became a team and had to because we were simply put together without guidance; I was sent to fill an opening in his schedule. Mike taught me a lot about being a direct care worker.

Continue reading »