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WHCoA Delegates

WHCoA Delegates

NCCNHR at The White House Conference on Aging

Alice Hedt, NCCNHR Executive Director,  several State and Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and citizen advocates participated among 1200 delegates at the White House Conference on Aging that took place December 11-14, 2005.

The following photo was taken in the breakout session discussing resolution 30, Developing a National Long-Term Care Strategy. Brian Lindberg is in the foreground at the far right, Alice Hedt is in the middle ground on the far right, and Alison Hirshel, NCCNHR board member is in the center rear. All delegates are very intent and hard at work. This breakout session included funding of the ombudsman program as one dimension of its implementation strategy.


Click to enlarge photo

The photo appeared in WKSU News in an article by Mark Urycki, Wednesday, December 14, 2005, which can be found at http://www.wksu.org/news/features/aging/8.php.

A mere few hours after the Conference, Alice Hedt reported the following to NCCNHR members, State and Local Ombudsmen and others:

"The 2005 White House Conference on Aging has ended and the 1200+ delegates began returning to their states. Of the 73 proposed resolutions, the ten listed below received the most votes. 40 additional resolutions (for a total of 50), were discussed in breakout sessions with each delegate being able to attend only 3 sessions resulting in each delegate being able to impact only 3 resolutions. The breakout sessions focused on "implementation strategies" for each specific resolution.

"I am pleased to report that the long-term care advocates attending the conference worked diligently to coordinate a strategy so that the language of the NCCNHR WHCOA resolutions (from the NCCNHR April 2005 WHCOA event) were included in as many resolution implementation strategies as possible. This resulted in the Medicaid resolution having an implementation strategy that includes the full implementation and enforcement of the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act; several resolutions having language about the long-term care ombudsman program; and language about person-directed care and the protection of elder rights in numerous implementation strategies. In addition, a number of resolutions about specific topics (i.e., mental health issues, workforce capacity and training, emergency preparedness, etc.) have implementation language related to nursing home and assisted living residents.

"The final WHCOA report will be written and submitted to the Governor's for review and then submitted to the White House (when it becomes public) in 6 months. Brief summaries of the implementation strategies are to be posted soon on the WHCOA website www.whcoa.gov.

"Thanks to the delegates who worked hard so that the issues faced by those who live in facilities were not forgotten! These include: Pat Bayliss, State Ombudsman, MD; Becky Kurtz, State Ombudsman, GA; George Potaracke, State Ombudsman, WI; Nancy Flowers, Local Ombudsman, IL; Gray Price, Local Ombudsman, AL; Virginia Huber, Local Ombudsman, NM; Kathy Greenlee, State Ombudsman, KS; Alison Hirschel, Citizen Advocate, MI; Brian Lindberg, Consumer Coalition for Quality Healthcare, DC; Alice H. Hedt, NCCNHR Executive Director, DC; and many others including representatives of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys and the Center for Medicare Advocacy who spoke out as resident advocates. NCCNHR President, Barbara Hengstebeck; Carol Scott, MO State Ombudsman; and Jacquie Woodruff, VA Local Ombudsman and NCCNHR Board member helped with the organizing logistics that included buttons saying "Remember Long-Term Care Residents," flyers indicating priority resolutions, encouraging delegates to address resident issues, and distribution of the 4 NCCNHR resolutions developed by residents, family members and advocates last April. (Go to www.nursinghomeaction.org for the full report.)

The top ten WHCOA resolutions:
1. Reauthorize Older Americans Act - 1061 votes
2. Develop a Coordinated, Comprehensive Long-Term Care Strategy - 1015 votes
3. Insure that Older Americans Have Transportation Options - 1002 votes
4. Strengthen and Improve Medicaid - 969 votes
5. Strengthen and Improve Medicare - 962 votes
6. Support Geriatric Education and Training for all Health Care Professionals Paraprofessionals, Health Profession Students and Direct Care Workers - 937 votes
7. Promote Innovative Models of Non-Institutional Long-Term Care - 934 votes
8. Improve Recognition, Assessment, and Treatment of Mental Illness and Depression Among Older Americans - 929 votes
9. Attain Adequate Numbers of Healthcare Personnel in All Professions Who are Skilled, Culturally Competent, and Specialized in Geriatrics - 920 votes
10. Improve State and Local Based Integrated Delivery Systems to Meet 21st Century-883 votes

"The conference was not without controversy as participants struggled with serious differences of opinion on Social Security, Medicare, Medicare D and the location of focal points of entry into the long-term care system. I urge you to look at the presentations of two thought provoking speakers - Craig Barrett, INTEL Corporation, on technological innovations and David Walker, Comptroller of the US, on the financial situation in the country and an examination of "seasoned citizens" as an unutilized resource on the WHCoA website at www.whcoa.gov."

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