Eight U.S. Senators Speak at the Home Care & Hospice 2016 March on Washington
April 6, 2016 01:47 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice’s (NAHC) 2016 March on Washington Conference brought together some of the leading voices in Congress that have supported the home care and hospice community. Eight U.S. Senators spoke at the March on Washington Senate Breakfast on Tuesday, April 5. The Senators spoke regarding their support for, and personal connections to, home care and hospice, and they expressed their support for NAHC’s legislative priorities. Home care and hospice advocates received guidance on effectively advocating for their patients and employees, and they showed their appreciation to these champions who have worked so hard for seniors and the home care and hospice community.
The eight who spoke included Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who chairs the Special Committee on Aging; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), a member of the Senate Finance Committee with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid; Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of Senate Finance Committee; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Special Committee on Aging; Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, with jurisdiction over all federal spending including the Department of Health and Human Service, as well as a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee; Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and a member of the Special Committee on Aging; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and an attendee at last year’s Senate Breakfast.
Thomas J. Moreland, CEO of Spirit Home Healthcare in Urbandale, IA, introduced Sen. Grassley.“I hope you realize that what you’re doing is something that’s protected by the Constitution and the First Amendment,” Sen. Grassley said. “Your right to petition your government is your right to talk to us.”
Introducing Sen. Stabenow was Carolyn Flietstra, Executive VP of Home & Community Services, Holland Home, in Grand Rapids, MI. “It’s essential what you do. It brings quality of care and dignity to people when they need it the most,” Sen. Stabenow said. “The most important thing is what happens in terms of quality of life for people. It’s also true that it’s a smart, cost-effective way to provide health care, and obviously that becomes the very important point.”
Sen. Collins was introduced by Lisa Harvey-McPherson, Vice President of Government Relations at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Waterville, ME. “Issues affecting home health care have always been at the top of my agenda since coming to Washington. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Val and NAHC’s great team; they are absolutely terrific and they represent you well. But, as Val would be the first to tell, it’s your coming to Washington and talking back home with your members who represent you here in Washington that really makes a difference,” Sen. Collins said.
Nicholas Oliver, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care in Providence, RI, introduced Sen. Whitehouse, who spoke about his many of years of experience supporting access to this “incredibly important and humane service.” Sen. Whitehouse said the work of the home care and hospice community “makes an incredible difference in the lives of not just the individual but the family… You humanize that most intimate of moments that we will all face some day, and that is something that is worth everything.”
Sen. Blumenthal was introduced Susan F. Adams, Vice President of Alliance Integration, Masonicare, in Wallingford, CT.“As you know, hospice and health care provided to the elderly are more and more on people’s minds as more and more of us grow older. The demographics of our nation’s population show that we need to pay attention.” He said this requires a focus on home care and hospice, “not just in the abstract, not just in words,” but through action on key priorities.
NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris introduced Sen. Franken. “I just want to say thank you for the work that you do every day on behalf of my family and behalf of every family who has had your care,” Sen. Franken said.
Introducing Sen. Moran was Jane Kelly, Executive Director of the Kansas Home Care Association, in Topeka, KS. “It’s good to be back in front of you health care professionals and advocates who care for people in various stages of their life,” Sen. Moran said. “I express my gratitude for the profession, career, challenges you’ve decided to accept into your life.”
Former U.S. Senator Mark Begich, VP for Policy and Development at NAHC, introduced Sen. Klobuchar. “You are truly heroes to our country and heroes to those who are in that time in their life when they think that no one is there for them,” Sen. Klobuchar said.
Future NAHC Report articles will provide more in-depth coverage of the remarks by the Senators.
Please click here to thank the Senators who took time to speak.