The Direct Care Workforce: A Series

October 28, 2016

direct careThis month, the Consumer Health Foundation reached out to our friends at the DC Coalition on Long Term Care, which is housed at Iona, and requested their help in creating a series of blog posts for the Foundation’s website.

The Consumer Health Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides funding to programs with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of low-income communities and communities of color in the Washington, DC region. One area that the CHF focuses on is advancing the direct care workforce, whose members often struggle with low wages and poor job stability. The Consumer Health Foundation understands that direct care workers provide invaluable personal care assistance to disabled and elderly people, and that by ensuring a strong workforce, consumers in need will receive adequate care.

With the theme of “Quality Jobs, Quality Care” in mind, the DC Coalition on Long Term Care conducted interviews with three stakeholders in the direct care workforce, which were then published on the Consumer Health Foundation’s blog. We are proud of the DC Coalition on Long Term Care’s contributions, and thankful to the Consumer Health Foundation for providing this opportunity.

We invite you to view the blog posts, which are listed below:

Direct Care Workers and Quality Jobs/Quality Care

In this interview, the LTC interviews Daniel Wilson, the Director of Federal Affairs at Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute. Mr. Wilson advocates for better job quality in the direct care workforce, and tells us he supports the idea of a direct care cooperative as a way to motivate workers and enhance their skills. Read it here.

Direct Care Workers and Quality Jobs/Quality Care: Marla Lahat

In this Q&A, Marla Lahat discusses the challenges of providing direct care workers with adequate wages in a system that is not generous with reimbursements. Ms. Lahat is the Executive Director of Home Care Partners, one of DC’s longest running Home Health agencies. Read it here.

Direct Care Workers and Quality Jobs/Quality Care: Karen Skinner

In this interview with Karen Skinner, the Executive Director of the DC Board of Nursing, the LTC discusses why direct care workers are a frequently overlooked group in the healthcare field, despite their growing presence and the essential services they provide. Ms. Skinner suggests that if a national Home Health Aide association existed, there would be more lobbying efforts on behalf of this workforce. Read it here. 

By Rebecca McDermott

Rebecca McDermott is an intern for the DC Coalition on Long Term Care and the DC Senior Advisory Coalition. She is currently a junior at American University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health. Her interests in the public health field include policy, advocacy, and program planning, and she is passionate about health equity and supporting vulnerable populations.