Friday, February 17, 2012
Monday, December 12, 2011
Action Alert! Go to the State House Wednesday, Dec. 14, to Save Maine’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Services (CD-PAS)!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
California Governor Signs Landmark Patient Safety Legislation Governor Jerry Brown recently signed landmark Safe Patient Handling legislation (AB 1136) to prevent a staggering epidemic of workplace injuries among hospital workers while improving patient care.
"The SEIU nurses here in California have long recognized the need for safe patient handling legislation and this was the year to finally get that accomplished,” said Ingela Dahlgren, RN, the Executive Director of the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California. “Too many of our nurses and other healthcare workers have been injured on the job while moving or repositioning the patients in their care.”
The nation's first Safe Patient Handling law requiring the purchase of safe patient handling equipment and training programs was passed in Washington State in 2006. As a result of the implementation of this law, a January 2011 study found that neck, back and shoulder injuries to hospital workers caused by manual patient handling have decreased by more than one third.
· Read more about this victory for patient care here.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Maine has passed a new law mandating the creation of a work group to review the quality of direct-care jobs within home and community-based programs administered by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.
The law — entitled “An Act to Stimulate the Economy by Expanding Opportunities for Direct Support Aides” (pdf) — was signed by Governor John Baldacci (D) on March 25.
Drawing on progressive and comprehensive workforce development principles, the law is intended to help Maine develop “a rational, equitable and clear framework for defining jobs, administering compensation, designing and delivering training, and ensuring a sufficient and high-quality workforce.”
Work Group’s Goals
The work group is to be convened by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and will include both workers and consumers.
According to the new law, the group is charged with assessing the extent to which DHHS programs meet the following goals:
- Develop a sequence of “employment tiers” including training links that crisscross Maine’s facility-based and home-based care services as well as acute care;
- Establish a streamlined, statewide job classification system of direct-care job titles; and
- Set reimbursement rates that take into account the costs of wages, benefits, training, travel, supervision, and administration with the goals of “achieving transparency and wage level parity across programs” and directly covering the cost of health insurance along with other employee-related expenses.
The existing job classification system is “very hard for workers to move across work settings and up a career ladder,” said Helen Hanson, a direct-care worker from China, Maine. “This legislation is a step in the right direction to solving problems that exist simply because of too many job titles.”
Other Aspects of the Law
The law also stipulates that Maine must increase the percentage of adults who receive long-term care in home and community-based settings rather than in facilities.
In April 2009, PHI testified on behalf of an earlier version of the Maine legislation which would have established a minimum wage of $12 for all personal assistance workers. That requirement was not included in the bill that Baldacci signed last month.
However, the new law is notable for its explicit focus on the fundamental elements that make up a quality job for direct-care workers.
– by Matthew Ozga
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
- July 15 at MSEA in Augusta - 9-noon
- July 16 at Alpha One in South Portland - 9-noon.
- Applications are due by June 23. Contact us for an application.
In 2011, the Direct Care Alliance rolled out the Personal Care and Support Credential. This credential provides direct care workers an opportunity to demonstrate their work readiness, knowledge, judgment and other critical skills necessary for providing personal care and support to people who are chronically ill, disabled, or dying.
To keep the exam fair, comprehensive and up-to-date, the Direct Care Alliance is creating a committee of experienced direct care workers to review the existing questions and discuss changes to the exam.
We are inviting you to become a part of that committee, which will be getting together for three days this summer. This meeting will take place in Alexandria, VA (Washington, DC metro area) on July 27, 28, and 29, 2011.
You do not need to prepare or study to attend this meeting. We are inviting you to take part because of your job experience. Test development experts will do the following activities at the meeting:
- Describe the history of the Personal Care and Support Credential
- Review the test sections and the types of questions
- Describe the information (knowledge and judgment) the test measures
- Teach you how to write and review test questions
- Offer you the opportunity to practice writing and reviewing questions
- Give you feedback while you are writing questions
- Give you any additional information that you need
The Direct Care Alliance will pay your expenses, including the cost of travel, the hotel, and food.
Please call or email Helen Hanson, 347-563-1193 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for this committee or for more information.