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The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

September 20, 2011

Reminder: Regular Registration for the 2011 Consumer Voice Annual Conference & Meeting, October 25-28, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, ends September 30.
Register now.

My Medicaid Matters Rally Tomorrow, September 21

More 50 national organizations, including the Consumer Voice, are cosponsoring the My Medicaid Matters Rally tomorrow - Wednesday, September 21 - at 12 noon on Capitol Hill. The rally will highlight that:

  • Medicaid provides important home and community-based services allowing older adults and younger people with disabilities to live in their communities;
  • Medicaid provides services to support families in caring for their children who have significant disabilities; and
  • Medicaid provides jobs for direct-care workers who support their families.

Senator Harkin and Representative Christensen have confirmed their attendance at the event. Having a big turnout is crucial to the rally; the Consumer Voice asks anyone in the Washington, DC, to consider attending tomorrow's rally.

For more information on the rally and to get involved, visit www.adapt.org/main/medicaid_rally.

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MacArthur "Genius" Grant Awarded to Elder Abuse Advocate

Today, Marie-Therese Connolly, a former Department of Justice's Nursing Home Initiative and recipient of the Consumer Vioce's 2010 Policy Leadership Award, was announced as a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. The $500,000 “genius” grant is given annually to a social advocates, artists, historians and artists. Connolly is a well-known elder abuse advocate.

Connolly, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, has “devoted her career to laying bare the many forms of elder abuse: physical and psychological, as well as financial exploitation and wrongful deprivation of rights,” said a Washington Post article.

As a lawyer, she worked at the Department of Justice prosecuting civil fraud cases. In the late 1990s, a Government Accountability Office investigation found many abuses at California nursing homes, which prompted the Clinton administration to create what became known as the Elder Justice and Nursing Home Initiative, which she headed until 2007.

Connolly was also instrumental in the development of the Elder Justice Act, which was passed by Congress last year.

She founded a non-profit organization called Life Long Justice, committed to fight elder abuse, and is writing a book about the subject.

Last year, the Consumer Voice awarded Connolly at 2010 Policy Leadership Award at its 35th Annual Conference and Meeting in Orlando, Florida, and would like to extend our congratulations to MT.

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Study Examines Punitive Damages

A new study by the Center for Justice and Democracy explores myths about punitive damages, which are awarded by juries to "stop egregious wrongdoing." The white paper says that although punitive damages are rarely sought, rarely awarded and usually modest, they deter companies from acting recklessly. Study author Emily Gottlieb says punitive damages are a "valuable and important feature of our civil justice system" now threatened by laws in 38 states and federal legislation, H.R. 5, that "would make it virtually impossible for medical malpractice and drug injury victims to obtain punitive damages from doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies or medical device manufacturers." See White Paper.

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PHI Launches Web-Based State Data Center on the Direct-Care Workforce

PHI recently launched the PHI State Data Center, a web-based tool hosting state-by-state profiles of the direct-care workforce, including nursing home aides, home health aides and personal care assistants. The data center provides charts with direct-care workforce statistics for each state. The website also features information on workforce size and projected employment growth, trends in wages for each direct-care occupation and information on health insurance coverage rates and reliance on public assistance; it provides links to legislation and regulatory developments pertaining to the workforce, state-based initiatives and other efforts to improve the quality of care and direct-care worker jobs, employer best practices and other resources.

Learn more about this new resource.

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About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to rlivesay@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org