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July 19, 2007

 




 

29th Edition | July 19, 2007


WELCOME
Greetings! As always there is much to share related to the long term care workforce in Wisconsin. Our efforts have been recognized nationally, and as a result the Alliance and the Wisconsin Direct Care Alliance have received financial support from a national funder. Check out the story below.

The Alliance continues to recognize direct care workers in our careworker corner. This month we feature Sue Moody from Homewatch Caregivers in Kenosha. Congratulations Sue! If you would like to recognize a worker in your agency/facility, please email me at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Please review our other articles below or see the web version of this newsletter.

Thank you,
Anne Medeiros
Project Coordinator
WI LTC Workforce Alliance

DCA Grant
The WI Long Term Care Workforce Alliance (Alliance), in partnership with the WI Direct Care Alliance (WIDCA) was granted $120,000 from the Direct Care Alliance for the period of June 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008. The goals of the grant are to create and strengthen the infrastructure of both organization and work with DCA field staff. The Alliance and WIDCA plan to hire new staff, diversify ifs leadership, and recruit new members, among other things.

DCA is regranting these funds through a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies. DCA’s goal is to work with and through state based alliances of direct care workers, advocates, employers and long term care consumers to ensure high quality long term care through quality jobs for direct care and support workers. DCA has hired Don Pirozzoli as the Midwest Regional Field Coordinator. He can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (608) 354-8973.

Caregiver Project Update
The Caregiver Project held 6 extremely successful train-the-trainers this spring. 90 facility representatives attended the training. In turn, they plan to train 30,000 caregivers at their facilities. 99% of attendees said they will be able to use the materials presented at the training. Here's what they said they liked about the training:

  • “Hands down, this was the most organized, thought out and meaningful in-service training I have attended. I enjoyed it all."
  • “You changed my mind about experiential training. You made a difficult topic so functional, practical and simple on a topic that has been overdone and made it fresh and fun."
  • “The "style" of training. Even though I was nervous, the facilitator practice was very beneficial."
  • “Easily reproduced. Gets to everyone. Good use of money."
  • “Engagement of all participants. Positive atmosphere. Validation of direct caregivers role."
  • “Very interactive. Best training I've been to in a long time!"

Due to the success of the train-the-trainers, the Caregiver Project plans to host 6 train-the-trainers this fall and another 6-10 events next spring. A draft flyer is available on the train-the-trainer events. Registration will be available at by the end of July. Additionally, on-site registration will be provided at the Focus Special Session on August 7.

S. 1577
On June 8, 2007 Senator Herb Kohl introduced the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 1577). The Act proposes to expand and build on the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) pilot program, which examines ways in which states can implement systems to cost-effectively screen applicants for employment in long-term care facilities. The MMA pilot program, which sunsets in September 2007, has been implemented in seven states, includes WI. The pilot program institutes FBI fingerprint background checks to determine if caregiver applicants have a criminal history.

summary of S. 1577 is available. An analysis of the bill will be provided in the August e-newsletter.

Healthy Wisconsin
In late June, the Wisconsin State Senate passed a historic, comprehensive health care reform proposal as part of the state biennial budget. The proposal -- Healthy Wisconsin: Your Choice, Your Plan – will guarantee that every Wisconsinite has the same high-quality, affordable health care benefits that our legislators enjoy today. You can read the details of the plan in the Healthy Wisconsin Summary.

You can learn more about Healthy Wisconsin at their new website.

The Oldest of the Old
On June 11, 2007, Beverly Goldberg of The Century Foundation published "Facing the Problems of Providing Long-Term Care for the Oldest Old." As the first members of that huge generation known as the baby boomers begin to reach retirement, they are clearly more active and in better health than were earlier generations reaching that milestone. The boomers are looking forward to some two decades or more of what they believe will be an active, enjoyable third stage of life, given increases in longevity. What few of them have spent time contemplating, however, are the long-term problems that those extra years can bring: Will they be able to afford their new longevity? Will they remain healthy until the day they die? Who will care for them when they no longer can care for themselves?

Although the issue for all of us is the potential impact that this growing segment of the population will have, particularly on our national economy, this brief will focus on the problems specific to those who live the longest*the oldest old*looking in particular at (1) their special needs, (2) the costs of the long-term care necessary to meet those needs, and (3) the challenge of finding enough health care workers to provide that care.


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CAREWORKER CORNER
Meet Sue Moody, July's featured careworker from Homewatch Caregivers in Kenosha.



"There are a lot of really neat moments that make it all worth it"......
... More

Legislative Update
Both the Senate and Assembly have passed their version of the budget bill. The Senate version included the 3% rate increase for personal care and home health and 4% increase for nursing homes that Governor Doyle proposed and Joint Finance passed. The Assembly version eliminated the increase for personal care and home health, but left the nursing home rate increase intact, although changed how they funded the increase from a bed tax to state GPR.

Now a conference committee of 4 representatives and 4 senators will be established to come to a compromise. Please call your Senators and Representatives and let them know that a 5% increase for all long term care funding needs to be included in the final budget. They need to stop balancing the budget off the backs of long term care workers, who care for our loved ones. Tell them that their vote to increase funding will improve the lives of our seniors and people with disabilities.

Additionally, the Alliance has signed on to this memo.