What is advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of expressing support in favor of an issue, cause, policy, or an idea. Advocacy can include public education and grassroots organizing on a wide range of issues and in some cases actively contacting elected officials at the state, county, and city levels, and members of Congress in Washington, D.C. to provide information, resources, or personal stories about an issue that is important to you.

Due to Workforce Shortages…The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love Is Getting Tougher! 


Direct Care Workforce Impact Was Focus of Discussion With State Legislators at the Capitol

Direct Care Workforce Impact

Iowa CareGivers Impact

Click here to see the full photo gallery!


Major Step Taken By EveryStep and We Applaud Them!! 

Large health care services provider boosts minimum wage to $15 (Reported by Business Record 3/1/19)

Des Moines-based EveryStep, a nonprofit health care services organization with operations in 47 Iowa counties, announced that it will implement a $15 hourly wage for its employees, effective immediately. The change will increase wages as much as nearly $4 per hour for some employees, and benefit 14 types of roles within the organization. In all, 44 employees will immediately benefit from the increase; more than half of those employees work as hospice and home care aides, the organization said. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of our employees, and we recognize that the first step to providing excellent care to our clients and patients is to make sure our employees are taken care of as well," said Tray Wade, EveryStep president and CEO. According to the advocacy group Iowa CareGivers, in 2016 the average wage for entry-level to experienced direct care positions ranged from $9.01 to $13.22 per hour. EveryStep, formerly known as HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, provides care programs to more than 63,000 Iowans.

Sally Chapman and Donna Cheers, EveryStep Hospice Aides, meet Congresswoman Cindy Axne.

Sally and Donna are 2017 recipients of Iowa CareGivers Leadership Award. 

Direct Care Workforce Among Top 5 Issues of Gazette’s Iowa Ideas Conference

Click here to read the full article.

Iowa CareGivers Releases 2019 Issue Priorities

Join Us In Standing Up For A Strong and Prepared Direct Care Workforce and Family Caregivers!

Click here to view the 2019 Issue Priorities.

  • Click here to view issue paper on the Need for a Central Direct Care Workforce Database System
  • Click here to view the detailed report on the Need for Direct Care Workforce Data and Database
  • Standardized, competency-based, and portable certifications/credentials.
  • Better wages/compensation.

Call Di Findley at 515-249-0138 for information.



Lives of all Iowans impacted by direct care workforce

Click here to learn more and read the full Des Moines Register article.

Who Deserves Your Vote For Governor?

Two Leading Candidates For Iowa’s Governor Tell Us Why Those in Direct Care/Service Jobs and Family Caregivers Should Vote For Them.

Click here to read the full Q and A.

“It’s Allowed Me A Platform for Advocacy,” Anthony C. Wells Certified Nursing Assistant, and Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council — Anthony Wells, CNA, CHPNA

The Issues:

The ISSUES that the Iowa CareGivers focuses on are those that address your needs and the needs of those you serve. We will support:

  • Promotion and expansion of the State’s Prepare to Care program; educational standards, and opportunities to grow professionally within the field of direct care
  • Strategies to enhance compensation for those in direct care
  • Efforts to build relationships between those in direct care and family caregivers
  • Establishment of partnerships with community colleges, employers, family caregiver and veteran groups, consumer advocates, government, business community, and other stakeholders to work on policies that will ensure a stable health workforce and access to quality services and care for all Iowans

Each year before the Iowa Legislature begins its work at the State Capitol in Des Moines, the Iowa CareGivers’ Board of Directors and the Leadership Council, which is made up of those who work in direct care from across the state, decide what issues to focus on during the legislative session.  

For more information, please click on the links below.

Care Gap
Action Gap
Solutions: Direct Care Workforce 2020 

To discuss these issues or learn how you can become more involved, please contact Di Findley at or 515 249 0138.


Summit Hosted by Iowa Department of Public Health on Direct Care Workforce Sheds Light on Challenges and Solutions

About 30 stakeholders participated in a discussion led by Director Gerd Claybaugh, on key challenges related to the recruitment and retention of the direct care workforce.  Panelists included Fran Mancl, Certified Nursing Assistant who said, “I had to work a second job to supplement my income so I could afford to work in the direct care job that I love.”; Michael Wolnerman, Pharmacist and family caregiver, who stated, “Our family had 50 different home care aides and nurses in one year’s time assigned to help my mother before she passed”; read more here and Michele Meadors Omaha, who, following a car accident was left quadriplegic said, “I thought my worst nightmare, upon moving to Des Moines, would be transportation and housing, and they were.  But my biggest nightmare was finding people to come into my home to assist me.”   Other panelists included: Gene Leutzinger, Hawkeye Community College; Dr. Brad Richardson, University of Iowa, NRCFCP; Courtney Greene, Iowa Workforce Development, who commented on a recent report indicating a high number of direct care job vacancies that health and long term care providers are having difficulty filling; and Joyce McDanel, Unity Point in Des Moines; who further commented on the difficulty in finding and keeping both direct care workers and licensed nurses, and Di Findley, Iowa CareGivers, who stressed the need for policies and infrastructure to maintain the training credentials and supply and demand of the direct care workforce and to identify and implement strategies to enhance compensation.

Panel presentations were followed by a discussions involving all participants, some of the leading recommended priorities that surfaced included, wages and compensation and to build upon the work that the Department is already doing.

Help Wanted!  Day at the State Capitol
Join us on March 2, 2017

Check back for more details! 

A "Point in Time" survey conducted by Iowa Workforce Development for Iowa CareGivers revealed

  • 287 of 319 Health and Long-Term Care/Service Employers reported a total of  1,826 vacancies for direct care positions.
  • 539 expected direct care position retirements in the next year.
  • Total of nearly 50,000 working in the occupational titles: certified nursing assistant, personal care aide, and home health aide.

(A Direct Care Workforce Initiative committee  of Iowa Departments of Workforce Development, Inspections and Appeals, Human Services, Public Health, Education, and Aging, and Iowa CareGivers, and others  estimated another 20,000-25,000 working under other titles or titles not yet recognized by Department of Labor such as consumer directed attendant care workers, private duty, psychiatric aides, and others serving individuals with disabilities)

Average Wages for Entry Level to Experienced Direct Care Positions:

  • Certified Nursing Assistants:     $10.00-$13.22/HR
  • Home Health Aides                   $9.23-$11.74/HR
  • Personal Care Aides                 $9.01-11.63/HR

Click here to read a brief summary.
Click here for the full report.
Click here for news release.

Last Year - First Time Visit For Many! 

Click here to view the photo gallery (January 2016).

January 27, 2016 was actually my first time ever being at the Capitol. But this day I was able to experience it with my son Christopher. Christopher is a senior and was able to come with me because he is in SCHOOL to CAREERS.

We went to the Capitol to learn more and we were so pleasantly surprised with all the people we were able to meet and the topics that I had no idea were affecting me!  

I was also able to talk to my Senator and Representative.  Senator Segebart really listened to me and understands the issues facing health care workers.  He really gave me his attention, but I think I learned more from him!!

As an in home non-medical provider, I want so much to be more involved. The care that we give to our clients is truly important to me!  – Julie Kitt

If your life or the life of a loved one has been touched by workforce shortages, please share your story at