Senator Mark Begich Addresses NAHC Annual Meeting
October 30, 2015 09:02 AM
Former Senator Mark Begich, Vice President for Policy and Development at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), spoke at the NAHC Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 29. During his speech, Begich provided his perspective as a former Senator and businessman about the state of home care and hospice; specifically about the challenges and opportunities.
This was Begich’s first Annual Meeting, and he said he now understands why it is called the “greatest home care and hospice show on earth.”
Begich introduced himself as someone who has both held public office and worked in business. At the age of 10, Begich’s father disappeared in a plane crash. As a result, at a young age, he began working in business to help support his family, as his mother raised six kids on her own. “I don’t know how she did it,” he said. He then ran for public office at the age of 26 to give back to his community and try to make a difference. Here is what his experiences in and out of public office have taught him: never give up and stay positive.
After leaving the Senate earlier this year, Begich chose NAHC because home and community-based care was important to him personally, and because of NAHC’s reputation for excellence. The statistics about the growing number of seniors and the cost of chronic care management provided him with evidence about the importance of home care and hospice. He also knew that NAHC had a top-notch reputation in Congress, in the media, and in the association and health care worlds. He joined NAHC because it is “the best” for taking on this vital cause.
Since joining NAHC, Begich has been reaching out to collect stories about people’s experiences with home care and hospice so that NAHC can share those stories with the public and build awareness. This outreach includes asking Mayors to send their experiences with hospice, and home care visits to speak with patients about how much they value home care. He recalled the wife of a patient in Baltimore saying to him, “Everyone is more comfortable in their own home. Just having him home is better.” Begich said that NAHC is focused on telling these stories, and on collecting data through surveys in order to hammer home the importance of home care and hospice.
Begich closed by saying, while there are challenges, the home care and hospice community can overcome those challenges by working together, being persistent and staying positive. The Annual Meeting, he said, has reaffirmed NAHC’s excellence in advocating for home care and hospice.