At the 2011 Voices Institute Leadership Training, DCA communications director, Josh Sabato sat down to speak with direct care worker, Jimmie Chandler to discuss the most pressing issues facing direct care workers and how other activists can get involved in direct care advocacy in Maine. DCA Speaks with Jimmie Chandler at 2011 Voices Institute Training.
Archive for ‘Videos’
At the 2011 Voices Institute Leadership Training, DCA communications director, Josh Sabato sat down for conversations with workers and direct care advocates from around the country, discussing the most pressing issues facing direct care workers and how anyone can join the movement in their home state. This week we invite you to meet Meriam Jawhar, from the DCA’s New Mexico chapter! DCA Speaks with Meriam Jawhar at 2011 Voices Institute Training
On a recent trip to Maine, I sat down with Representative Matthew Peterson of District 92 to discuss his work on behalf of direct care workers in the state. He has worked in direct care for years, and is currently an Independent Living Specialist at Alpha One, a center for independent living. As an elected official, Matthew is able to advocate for change in direct care and believes it is an essential and valuable workforce. It is inspiring and encouraging – Matthew has linked his personal passion and commitment to independent living to advocating the need for a well-trained, respected and well-paid direct care workforce. Watch the brief interview I was able to record with Matthew, below.
Imagine if more disability leaders and independent living advocates joined the Direct Care Alliance and made their voices heard on the issues that matter. What if, like Matthew, you could advance change in your community, your state, and eventually, across the country? Continue reading »
In this video, nurse aide and DCA Direct Care Worker Specialist Brenda Nachtway discusses her years as professional direct care worker and her commitment to her profession. Please share this moving story with anyone who might benefit from hearing a direct care worker talk about her profession.
In this new video from the Direct Care Alliance’s Video Diary series of videos by direct care workers, home care worker Helen Hanson talks about her work. She also interviews her daughter Jeanne about the sacrifices her family has to make because of her low wages and tapes Eunice Spooner, the woman she works with, as Eunice talks about what her home care workers mean to her. It all adds up to a 360-degree view of the challenges and rewards of direct care work.
In the past few weeks, I was invited on a TV talk show here in Maine (see video) to talk about the work I’ve been doing to make health care more affordable for direct care workers. I’ve attended and spoken at direct care worker conferences in Texas — both Houston and Killeen — and in Pennsylvania. I’ve helped organize and participated in more than 50 visits with House and Senate members in Washington DC by direct care workers and their allies. And I’ve met with new DCA partners in New Mexico.
Change is in the wind! To see what I mean, come along while I revisit the highlights of the last two or three months: Continue reading »
“A crisis doesn’t build character; it reveals character,” says director of nursing Ann Stansberry of the staff of her nursing home in The Big Uneasy: Katrina’s Unsung Heroes. “We’re watching on TV and they’re seeing their entire city flooded to the rooftops, not knowing if their husbands are okay, if their children are okay. But they hung in there and they cared for these individuals.”
DONs, nursing assistants, administrators and other staff of several New Orleans nursing homes tell their stories in the film, describing how they cared for and protected residents during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina. “People who work in nursing homes are often invisible – or even worse, they’re viewed negatively,” says co-producer and narrator Cathie Brady in her voiceover. “This film bears witness to their caring and seeks to make visible their selfless acts of courage.”
Available for viewing on the website of B&F Consulting, a long-term care consulting company run by co-producers Brady and Barbara Frank, The Big Uneasy was funded by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Managers, owners and staff offer one example after another of how they pulled together in the crisis, developing a deep respect for each other and a hierarchy-free camaraderie. There’s a lot of useful information for nursing home employees in their descriptions of how they prepared for and coped with the crisis. And there’s inspiration to burn in their descriptions of the creative thinking, compassion, and courage that emerged in the crisis – and the ways in which those things have been carried over into their relationships since, with managers asking staff for ideas, and people really listening to and respecting one another. As one of the DONs observes, “You got to know people from the inside out.”
In our effort to tell the story of direct care workers, we did some filming during our April trip to Washington to talk to legislators about direct care worker issues.
Here’s the first one:
If you think wages and benefits don’t matter to direct care workers, economist Candace Howes has news for you.
Watch part one (above) to hear the first part of Tracy’s testimony, and part two to hear about the changes she would like to see.
What do you do when you get a call from the executive director of the DCA asking you to go to Washington, D.C. to tell the people at an Institute of Medicine symposium what it’s like to be a direct care worker?
You panic for a second. You think: “Why me? What would I say?”
Then you take a deep breath to calm your nerves and think: “Why not me? I am the expert in direct care, and people need to hear the voice of the worker if we are ever going to change things.”
I told Leonila I would be happy to speak to the group. Then I panicked again and waited for a call from Elise, the DCA’s communications director. After our conversation, I felt much better. I went home that evening and wrote out my testimony. (PDF) I worked with Elise and she helped me make it as powerful as I could.
Then we had a call with the people from the Institute of Medicine and I found out that I had to cut parts of my testimony, since it was 20 minutes long and it needed to be closer to 10. (And here I’d thought I wouldn’t have enough to say.)
Bridget Siljander, the president of the Direct Support Professional Association of Minnesota and one of the DCA’s Direct Care Worker Specialists, testified last month before the Health and Human Services Budget Division of the Minnesota Senate Finance Committee. She urged the committee not to cut the budget for the state’s personal care assistance program.
Brenda Nachtway of the Pennsylvania Direct Care Workers Association testified to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Aging and Older Adult Services Committee April 2, 2008.
Terrific job, Brenda!
This amazing video by Rachael Monk, a direct support consumer who explains what she needs from a direct support worker, comes to us from Maine PASA member Julie Moulton. Julie sent it to us in an email that said:
Every once in a while something so powerful comes along that you want to share it with everyone one you know, this is one of those times, please pardon this unsolicited e-mail and pass it on to people you know.
SEIU prepared these videos……