As is always the case, the annual Our Time to Shine awards ceremony was filled with emotional moments about the challenge-reward dynamic that is working in home care. Our two Home Health Aides of the Year — Gach Clamp of Emerson Hospital Homecare and Nancy Quinlan of Aberdeen Home Care — were both supremely eloquent about the personal family care giving experiences that led them to second careers in home care.
It was, however, our Home Care Champions – the parent-led Massachusetts Pediatric Home Nursing Care Campaign (pictured above) – that really pulled together the story and impact of home care. Campaign founder Angela Ortiz – speaking for fellow parent awardees Lisa Burgess, Sue McCarthy, and Lauri Medeiros – described their campaign to get nursing reimbursement rates from MassHealth raised for the nurses caring for their children.
Angela painted an impassioned picture of the lives of these families, especially when hours of care that are needed and authorized go unfilled. She explained the tremendous family strain, particularly affecting the siblings, and the countless admissions to hospital ICUs. This unnecessary pain and suffering that could be mitigated, she said, with more home nursing support.
Angela wove themes into her talk from her daughter, Ayla’s, favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz, and the love that is the basis of all these families do to care at home for their medically complex children. The hours of work the families have put into the campaign, and the partnership with the agency providers that has formed, serve as a model for any advocacy group. While there is much more relief needed to get the Continuous Skilled Nursing rates to a place where agencies can compete with specialty hospitals for nurses, the state has raised rates by nearly 5% in one year, a direct result of this tireless campaign.
When the parents show the courage to stand up at a hearing to tell their story and they are fueled – said Angela – by the message behind Dorothy’s journey “There is no place like home.”
We couldn’t agree more, Angela. Congratulations: It’s an honor to work with you.
2017 Star Award Winners
|Gach Clamp||Nancy Quinlan||David Ahearn||Carlton Jorge||David Prybyla|
|— Aides of the Year —||— Clinicians of the Year —||Physician of the Year|
|Emerson Hospital Homecare||Aberdeen Home Care||Baystate Home Health||Community Nurse Home Care||Orthopaedics Surgical Associations|
|Arline McKenzie||Susan Proulx-Galster||Rep. Aaron Vega|
|— Managers of the Year —||Legislator of the Year|
|Walpole Area VNA||Circle Home||(D-5th Hampden)|
For more on the awardees, go here.
Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.