In the News

AARP Iowa Receives A 2017 From the Heart Recognition...

...for its advocacy efforts in the eleventh hour of a very difficult legislative session to support direct care workforce recruitment and retention initiatives. We and those we serve are extremely grateful to AARP Iowa, its amazing staff, board, and volunteers for understanding how vitally important both family caregivers and direct care workers are in ensuring older Iowans have access to the services they need.

(Pictured L to R) - Anthony Carroll, Associate State Director for Advocacy, Ann Black, Associate State Director for Communications, Kent Sovern, State Director, Don Corrigan, Iowa Executive Council member; Martha Willits, AARP Iowa State President and for Iowa CareGivers; Maribel Slinde, Board Chair, Di Findley, Executive Director, Betty Grandquist, Board Advisor, and Nancy Anderson, Board Secretary.



Iowa CareGivers Welcomes 2 New Board Members 



Johnson County "Going The Extra Mile" CNA awardees 

Back row, left to right: Danni Slaymaker (Solon), Yvonne Nampore (Briarwood), Steven Abdo (Oaknoll), Danielle Hillyer (Pioneer Park, Lone Tree), Amy Horrell (Iowa City Rehab), Judy Curley (Crestview). Front row, left to right: Jhenni Carrasco (Windmill Manor), Alexis Newberry (Lantern Park), Elizabeth Michael (Atrium Village).

June 15, 2017 marked the fourth annual Going The Extra Mile event, recognizing excellence in Certified Nursing Assistants.  Nine Certified Nursing Aids from each Johnson county nursing facility received this award.  In addition to a lavish breakfast and recognition ceremony, each awardee received cash prizes, plus many door prizes, Iowa CareGivers swag, and donations from local businesses. 

The Going the Extra Mile awardees were also recognized by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, and each recipient received a Certificate of Excellence, signed by the entire Board.  Each individual CNA was recognized and their biography was read when they received this award.  The Johnson County Board of Supervisors shared personal stories about how their loved ones received kind and compassionate care from CNA’s, and they all voiced a deep appreciation of the very important job each CNA completes. 

This event was sponsored by the Johnson County Quality Long-Term Care Committee, spearheaded by retired pastor Bob Welsh, and comprised of long-term care administrators, the local ombudsman, the University of Iowa College of Nursing and School of Social Work, local physicians, pharmacists, geriatric researchers, family members and community advocates.  



Iowa City Nurse Wins Award After She Fled Violence in Burundi

Click here to read The Press Citizen Article.


Register Reader Pays Tribute to Direct Care!

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.



NICC Dubuque Hosts Mouth Care Matters (MCM) Class 

"The Mouth Care Matters training was excellent. The information was very valuable in terms of taking back the information to our place of employment and putting it to use in our profession as caregivers."

Fran Mancl, Certified Nursing Assistant, Stonehill Franciscan

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in Dubuque hosted its first MCM Class!  It was a great class and thanks to the students, NICC, and Linda Rowe, Nancy Miller, and Carol Van Aernam, Dental Hygienists, and MCM instructors! 

Click here to see the photo gallery!


Older Iowans Not A Priority! by John Hale

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.

Have an opinion on this piece?  Want to see a higher priority placed on aging issues?
Submit a letter to the editor at the Des Moines Register
!


Kirkwood Mouth Care Matters Graduates! 

Congratulations to 12 new Kirkwood Community College students and 2 direct care professionals from Meth Wick who learn about the importance of ensuring that they and those they serve receive good oral care.


Students Have Fun Testing the Effectiveness of Brushing Teeth Using Pink Disclosing Solution

Click here to view the full photo gallery.




Mouth Care Matters in Marshalltown 

Congrats to grads at Iowa Valley Community College!

Click here to see the full photo gallery.

 



The Gazette Iowa Ideas Conference

Sept. 20-22 – Cedar Rapids

Alec Ross, innovation expert and best-selling author, to keynote Iowa Ideas 2017

The Iowa Ideas Conference will include 80 sessions and more than 250 speakers across eight tracks. The statewide gathering will mix panel discussions, one-on-one conversations and thought-provoking experiences to help move complex issues forward. Iowa Ideas is for anyone who wants to be part of the conversation about the future of our state.

Click here to learn more.


Importance of Oral Health Addressed in Register Letter to Editor

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.



Mouth Care Matters (MCM) Graduates Promote Program at Iowa Dental Hygienists’ Association Annual Meeting

Sally Chapman and Donna Cheers, Hospice Aides with HCI/VNS (Creston Iowa Area), take time from their busy schedules to attend, on behalf of Iowa CareGivers, the Iowa Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Annual Meeting in Cedar Rapids to promote the MCM training.

MCM is a one-day oral health course for those in direct care.  IT is an initiative of the Lifelong Smiles Coalition and funded by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and Iowa Department of Public Health.

 

Iowa Dental Hygienists' Association (IDHA) Presents Friends of Dental Hygiene Award to Iowa CareGivers

The IDHA presented their “Friends of Dental Hygieine Award” to Iowa CareGivers during their annual meeting in Cedar Rapids. The award is given to those supporting the mission of IDHA to improve the total health of Iowans.  More specifically the award highlights the partnership between their two organizations on the Mouth Care Matters program, an oral health specialty for those who work in direct care, an initiative of the Lifelong Smiles Coalition and funded by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and the Iowa Department of Public Health.



JOB CORPS STUDENTS MENTOR FELLOW STUDENTS

The Iowa CareGivers Mentor Program was approved for use in the Job Corps’ federally approved health care apprenticeship program developed and tested by Ottumwa Job Corps.  Congratulations to all!

Back Row:  Dakota Parrish, Elizabeth Hommer (both in the college program LPN now), Robin Carmichael (Job Corps) and Front Row: Deserea Laterza, Nicole Holder, just hired at Vinton Hospital, and Ali Tagal who is going to take Phlebotomy before going to the University of Iowa to work.

 

65 Enjoy “Nurse Aides Are Special” Event Hosted by Northeast Iowa Community College in Dubuque



Iowa Nursing Facility Staff Turnover Summary Report 2012 – 2015

Turnover of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and other nursing home staff has been the subject of many studies over the years, and has been a concern expressed by those working in the field, those residing in nursing homes and their families, employers, and others.  Iowa’s nursing homes have been required, for a number of years, to report their staff turnover by worker classification (Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Director of Nursing (DON), Administrator, Dietary, etc.) on their cost reports submitted to the Department of Human Services (DHS).  The Department is then required to submit an analysis report to the Iowa Legislature annually.  Unfortunately, the report to the legislature contains nothing more than a list of nursing homes and their turnover rates for each of the designated worker classifications.  There is no in-depth analysis on the data being conducted nor was there ever any criteria established by the legislature on what the analysis might include.  We have prepared a 4-year summary of the turnover data with recommendations on how to better utilize the data.  We hope that this report will become a catalyst for further exploration into determining how analysis of the existing data can lead to enhanced quality of care for nursing home residents, and the quality of jobs of those who work in the field.  Please contact Di Findley with questions di.findley@iowacaregivers.org

Click here to view the Iowa Nursing Facility Staff Turnover Summary Report.

 

Direct Care Workforce Central Data Base System

Currently, there does not exist, a state-based central data base system that maintains records of the training and/or credentials of all who work in direct care.  The Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) is required by the federal government to manage the Iowa Nurse Aide/Direct Care Worker Registry.  The Registry maintains a list of Certified Nursing Assistants who work in nursing homes only.  Those working in other settings like assisted living, home care, and even hospitals do not have the option of being included on the Registry and record keeping is sketchy and fragmented.  This lack of consistency creates challenges for those working in the field as well as their employers.   

An issue paper on this topic has been prepared by the Direct Care Workforce Initiative to shed light on the need for such a system.  Those who work in the field deserve to have a system in place that will provide them with assurances that their training is valued enough to be part of a permanent record that can follow them from one place or person served to the next.  Contact Di Findley with questions di.findley@iowacaregivers.org

Click here to view the issue paper.

 

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation & Lifelong Smiles Coalition Receive Iowa CareGivers 2017 From the Heart Recognition for Their Commitment to Improved Access to Good Oral Health Care For Older Iowans Through Mouth Care Matters, Oral Health Training for Those in Direct Care!   

 

Donna Cheers and Sally Chapman, Hospice Aides, receive Iowa CareGivers 2017 leadership award!

L to R: Donna Cheers and Sally Chapman, Hospice Aides, HCI/VNS

Click here to read more.

 

Ottumwa Job Corps Students Attend Iowa CareGivers Conference on Scholarships and Benefit From “Bob Sorenson Memorial”.

Pictured are students and staff from the Ottumwa Job Corps Program with Shirley Sorenson (front and center). In memory of her late husband, Bob, a fund was set up at Iowa CareGivers to help promote the direct care profession. Through that fund, Shirley designated use of the funds to purchase “Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” t shirts for everyone at conference. Shirley’s husband, mother, aunt and uncle have received assistance and care from those in direct care, so she knows first-hand how important they are to those they serve and their families.


Valerie McDaniel, Madison County Public Health Receives Margaret Swanson Legacy in Giving Award for 43 Years of Service in Direct Care

L to R: Ginger Mrzena and Kathy Allsup, co-workers receive on Valerie’s behalf due to a family emergency.

 

Congrats to Iowa Valley Community College Students – Marshalltown For Completing “Prepare to Care” Core on April 3rd and 4th

Pictured L to R:  Front - Wanda, Jess, Jenessa
Back - Misty, Sharon, Miekka, Matalie, Audra 

 

Family Provides Conference Scholarship to Their Caregiver!

As a token of their appreciation, the Wolnerman family provided a scholarship to the Riding the Wave conference to Andrea Morales, who provides caregiving assistance to the family.

Pictured L to R:  Michael Wolnerman, David Wolnerman, and Andrea Morales



American Society on Aging Conference Participants Hear About Prepare to Care and Mouth Care Matters!

2nd and 3rd from left, are Di Findley and Maribel Slinde, Iowa CareGivers, pictured with some attendees of their session. Thanks to Claudia Cook, LivHOME (far right), for sharing the photo.


Solutions Obvious for Iowa’s Direct Care Crisis

Click here to read more.


Findley to Receive Grandquist Lifetime Achievement Award

Click here to read more.


Shortage of direct care workers is real

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.


To fix caregiver shortages, we need officials to start leading

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.

 

20 From Warren County Public Health and Senior Housing Management Embrace Mouth Care Matters! CONGRATS! 

Click here to view Photo Gallery

95% of attendees indicated that taking Mouth Care Matters contributed to the likelihood they will stay in the field of direct care and with their current employer.

“After struggling with the use of temp agencies, implementing referral-based bonuses, new employee appreciation incentives, and advertising employment on everything but water and air, we think we're finally on the right track to developing and growing a class of “prepared” and reliable health care employees through a partnership with local colleges.  With this free training, coupled with tuition reimbursement, a competitive wage, lucrative 401k program and full benefits, we have seen an uptick in employee development and a genuine interest and passion in their day to day routines.” Kayle Jenson, Senior Housing Management


Iowa CareGivers Welcomes 3 New Board Members 


Mouth Care Matters Training to Be Piloted With Family Caregivers 

Carol Van Aernam, Dental Hygienist demonstrates to Ann Black, AARP Iowa and Kay Vanags, Family Caregiver program, and partners in the effort, an approach to assisting an individual with brushing their teeth. I Smile Silver will also serve as a resource to family caregivers in the mini-pilot.


Caregiver shortage demands focus on solutions, not status quo 

Click here to read The Des Moines Register article.

Consider the following solutions vetted by workers, employers, educators, and advocates!  Time to Act!!!
Click here to view.

 


Paid caregiver shortages will impact everyone

Click here to view the "Better Iowa" piece written by John Hale, A Better Iowa contributor


Direct care is a credible career I highly value… 

Click here to read the Telegraph Herald article.

Click here to read the Telegraph Herald response article.

Thinking Big on Solutions to Address Direct Care Workforce Crisis

Series of Direct Care Workforce 2020 Sessions Wrap Up at Iowa Valley

“mandated hours…workforce burnout… rural challenges… too few workers…burdensome regulation…too much time for criminal background checks…lack of career advancement opportunities…need for ESL training programs…WalMart paying better than what we can pay…people lose child care and other vital benefits if we pay them more…”

Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown hosted the final, in a series of eleven regional Direct Care Workforce 2020 sessions.  About 160 health and long-term services and supports (LTSS) providers, community college and workforce development educators and experts have participated in discussions about the looming Direct Care Crisis.  A recognition of the challenges was followed by efforts to craft a solutions-focused agenda to ensure systems and strategies needed to attract people to the field of direct care and keep them in it. Those who work in these high demand jobs include certified nursing assistants, home health aides, direct support professionals, and others who provide most of the direct hands-on care and service to Iowans of all ages and abilities.  Employers are facing increasing challenges in finding and keeping people.

Solutions ranged from establishing more standardized education across care and support settings to wage enhancements and public awareness.  A final “Solutions” document will be prepared and distributed to all who participated, as well as other stakeholders, elected officials, community colleges, advocates, and others.  The Solutions, along with other research conducted by Workforce Development will inform public policies and practices in 2017 and well into the future.  The events were made possible through an Iowa Department of Public Health Contract #: 5887NW02. We thank the community colleges for co-hosting the events and for their direct participation.  For more information, call us at: 515-223-2805.


Click here to view the Solutions document.

Click here for Iowa CareGivers 2017 Issue Priorities 


Join us on March 2nd at the “Help Wanted” – themed Day at the State Capitol to educate elected officials about how the workforce crisis impacts Iowans.  


Click here to view the photo gallery of the Marshalltown event.



Family Caregivers Learn the Importance of Oral Health 

I Smile Silver and Mouth Care Matters Initiatives share information at family caregiver conference hosted by Milestone Area Agency on Aging in Ottumwa.



Johnson County Looks at Workforce and Family Caregiver Challenges 

Click here to read the full newsletter.

 


Is This The Year For Direct Care?  Read, Share, Comment, Tell Your Story!!! 

The paid caregiver shortage: too much talk, too little action. Click here to read the Des Moines Register article by John Hale, A Better Iowa contributor.

 

BridgetteDirect Care Professional and Iowa CareGivers Representatives Complete Prepare to Care Core Instructor Training

It was a tremendous honor to attend the Prepare to Care Core instructor training at  Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) recently. I count it a distinct honor to be among the first Direct Care Professionals welcomed to teach Direct Care Professionals. It will be an honor to put this information to use with my peers and (my hope) with family care givers within the community. Thank  you to Iowa CareGivers for leading the way towards elevating the image of care givers in Iowa through education and advocacy – Leslie Hayenga Adams

We are pleased that Leslie Hayenga Adams, Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council member;  Kim Downs, Iowa CareGivers Board Advisor; and Carol Van Aernam, Dental Hygienist, Mouth Care Matters Instructor, and Iowa CareGivers Consultant, recently completed the Prepare to Care Instructor Training.

Please contact MaryAnn Young, Iowa CareGivers at maryann@iowacaregivers.org  as soon as possible if you would like to see a Prepare to Care Core class in your area.

To learn more about Prepare to Care:  http://www.iowapreparetocare.com/


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.
  • There are over 40,000 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.


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.


Learn more about the Mouth Care Matters pilot project

Mouth Care Matters, administered by Iowa CareGivers, is an initiative of the Lifelong Smiles Coalition and supported in part by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation through a two-year $150,000 commitment. 

Click here to learn more about the Mouth Care Matters pilot project.

 

Mouth Care Matters Graduates Host Exhibit

Donna Cheers (left), Sally Chapman (right), Hospice Aides, HCI, with Carol Van Aernam, Lifelong Smiles Coalition member and Mouth Care Matters instructor (far right), hosted an exhibit for the Lifelong Smiles Coalition and Mouth Care Matters during the Iowa Dental Hygienist’s Association’s conference at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in Ankeny.  They were able to share, first-hand, the value of the Mouth Care Matters training. Thanks Donna and Sally!

Click Here for Photo Gallery


Mouth Care Matters: First Specialty Under Prepare to Care

Mouth Care Matters is the first state-recognized, competency-based specialty under the Prepare to Care curriculum in the area of oral health care.  Those who successfully complete the training receive a state-issued certificate.

To get a glimpse into the highlights of the first two years of the project, please click here.

 

Mouth Care Matters Evaluation Yields Positive Results

Click here for Mouth Care Matters Executive Summary

Click here for Mouth Care Matters Full Evaluation Report

 

TWO MORE YEARS!  Thanks to Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation (DDIAF) and Mid-Iowa Health Foundation (MIHF) and Iowa Public Health Foundation (IDPH) Through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement (#DP13-1307)

L to R (top):  Dr. Bob Russell, Suzanne Heckenlaible, and Jeff Russell, all of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation; Carol Van Aernam, Maribel Slinde, Pam Biklen, and Mary Ann Young, all of Iowa CareGivers; and Dr. Jeff Chaffin, Delta Dental.

Click here to read Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s news release

L to R (bottom):  Katie Foley, Intern, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation (center) pictured with Mary Ann Young (left), and Pam Biklen (right), Iowa CareGivers

Click here to read Mid-Iowa Health Foundation’s news release

 

Public Radio Features Mouth Care Matters

WVIK News - Quad Cities National Public Radio (NPR) shared highlights about Mouth Care Matters with listeners!

Click here for story.


Hawkeye Community College Hosts First Direct Care Mentor Instructor Training

Thirteen become instructors for Iowa CareGivers’ “A Call to Mentoring”: A Direct Care Professionals Guide to Mentoring.  The train the trainer model will enable more direct care workers in all health and long term care settings to have the opportunity to become mentors.  And employers are afforded greater access and flexibility in their administration of the mentor program which can easily be tailored to their organizations.  This is a partnership between Hawkeye Community College, Virginia Gay Hospital, Kirkwood Community College, and Iowa CareGivers. Congratulations to All!

Click here for photo gallery.


For more information about “A Call to Mentoring”, please contact:

Bev Riege
Kirkwood Community College
319-398-4970
Bev.riege@kirkwood.edu  

Robin Martin
Virginia Gay Hospital
rmartin@vghinc.com
319-472-6375

Mary Ann Young
Iowa CareGivers
515-223-2805 or
maryann@iowacaergivers.org

 


BridgetteHealth and Long-Term Care Workforce Priority for Older Iowans Legislature (OIL) in 2017

Click here to read more
Click here to view the photo gallery.

To Learn More About Older Iowans Legislature: http://www.olderiowans.org/



Prepare to Care” Instructor Training

October 25-27, 2016
DMACC in Ankeny

If interested please visit the state’s wiki site at https://directcare.training-source.org/   

Click on http://www.iowapreparetocare.com and scroll to the bottom of the page to learn more about the instructor training application process and class schedule.

 

Do You Know ALICE?

Groundbreaking Study Reveals 31% of Iowa Households Struggle to Afford Basics!

Click here to read ALICE report.



BridgetteGood Participation in 
Elevate Aging
Conversations

About 35 turned out at the Des Moines Botanical Center for a conversation on “Helping Older Adults Maintain the Highest Quality of Life Possible.”  Five other locations around the state participated remotely. 

Please check back later for a report on the concerns expressed and potential solutions presented by participants.

Click here to view the original event flyer  

Click here to view photo gallery

Click here to view KIMT Coverage of Elevate Aging Conversations at Elderbridge Area Agency on Aging in Mason City



Why Iowa should lead on aging issues

A Des Moines Register article by John Hale, A Better Iowa contributor.

Click here to read the full article.


Family and Paid Caregiver Issues To Be Among Topics Discussed at 6 Elevate Aging Conversations on August 4

Click here to view the flyers.

Click here to view the press release.


Bridgette

Congratulations to ALL who Completed Prepare to Care “Core” Class At Hawkeye Community College!!!




Bridgette Home Care Aides at Jasper County Health Department Graduate from Prepare to Care Core Training!  Congratulations!!

Click here to view the press release.



Drawbaugh Receives Iowa CareGivers 2015 Leadership Award

Click here to read the press release.

 

Madrid Home And Wesley Acres Join Iowa CareGivers In Oral Health Care Project

Click here to read the press release.

 

The Courage to Care – A Tribute to Men in Caregiving

Men make up only about 10% of the direct care workforce.  Men who work in direct care deal with unique challenges in a field that is already challenging.   Society tends to view caregiving as women’s work, implying that it is “easy”!   Anyone who has ever done direct care…male or female…knows that is not true.  Men in caregiving were recognized during the Iowa CareGivers conference for having the Courage to Care.  Congratulations to all the men who join many women in a field that is tough both physically and mentally but rewarding on so many fronts!!

 

Direct Care Professional Honored For Over 40 Years of Service

Click here to read the press release.

 

 

Polk County Health Department and Iowa Dental Hygienists’ Association Recognized for Community Service

Click here to read the press release.


Dental Hygienists’ Association and Polk County Health Department Honored by Iowa CareGivers 

The screenings are so valuable because it’s difficult to get off work to go to the doctor and it’s expensive. By doing the free health screenings you can find out if there is something going on before you go to the doctor.”

– Tracy Hoveland, CNA.

Click here to view the press release.


Fair Pay and Direct Care Workforce Topics on Iowa Public Radio 

Click here to listen to the show hosted by Emily Woodbury.


Veteran’s Home… Despite Higher Pay… Tough Filling Direct Care Positions 

Marshalltown Veteran’s Home Good Paying Direct Care Jobs Difficult to Fill                                            
Iowa Veteran’s Home Commandant, Jodi Tymeson, recently discussed direct care workforce issues with Di Findley and Bailey Phares, Iowa CareGivers.  Despite the fact that the Veteran’s Home direct care jobs are among the highest paid in the state, they, like many in the private sector, are now finding it difficult to fill direct care positions.  Direct care positions at the Veteran’s Home pay between $15 and $20 an hour with good state benefits compared to $9 to $12 an hour for these same jobs in the private sector.  This only further validates the concern about the gap that exists between the availability of an adequate number of qualified direct care workers and those in need of their services.

The Commandant gave us a tour of the facilities and we were struck by how she was able to address every staff member and veteran by their first name.  In addition, we attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the renovated Malloy Building which now consists of 180 beds with both single rooms and couple suites for long-term nursing care. Learn more.    

 

Ottumwa Job Corps Students Empowered With Scholarships 

Since 2012 approximately 90 Ottumwa Job Corps health care students have received scholarships to attend the Iowa CareGivers educational conferences and leadership training.  These scholarships have been made possible through a contract with the Department of Public Health.   

One of those scholarship recipients, Tiffany Dixon, is now studying to become a licensed practical nurse at Indian Hills Community College (IHCC), and was the regional winner for the “We Can Do It” campaign by the National Office of Job Corps.

During a recent Job Corps stakeholder meeting Iowa CareGivers was recognized for their support of the students.  Robin Carmichael, Job Corps, said, “I believe the Iowa CareGivers has a great deal to do with the empowerment! Knowing Iowa CareGivers is behind our trainees empowers me as a nurse!”.  Accepting the recognition on behalf of the Iowa CareGivers was Di Findley. 



IA White House Conference on Aging to spark conversation about helping older adults maintain independence

Click here to read the press release.


Successful Financial Training Program Expands To Reach 5,000 Iowa Healthcare Workers In 2015

Click here to read the full article.



Direct-care professionals undervalued in workforce

By Fran Mancl, Certified Nursing Assistant

Click here to read the full article.



Legislators Called Upon to Support Health and Long Term Care Workforce 

Iowa CareGivers Director, Di Findley, Visits With IOB Producer, Michael Libbie, And Calls Upon Legislators to Focus On Iowa’s Health and Long Term Care Workforce – When a Home Care Aide Isn’t Available…It Means One Doesn’t Get Out Of Bed, It Means No Shower, No Nourishment or Oral Care, and No Transportation to the Doctor, Work, or School.

Listen to the podcast here

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds Experienced First Hand the Importance of Those Who Work In Direct Care

Click here to view Lt .Governor Reynolds’ Come Care With Me Experience


McCoy: Improving access to quality health care services

Click here to read the full article.


Ask Legislature to pass House File 106

Click here to read the full article.


Weak Rules for Care Facilities Worsen

Click here to read the full article.



Relax rules for for direct-care instructors

Click here to read the full article.

 

Hicks: State must finally act on direct-care 'disaster'

Click here to read the full article.

 

Fran Mancl, CNA, Shares Experience Calling On State Lawmakers to ACT!

Click here to read the full article.

 

Direct Care Professional Shares Concerns at Legislative Forum in Dubuque

A Telegraph Herald article by Ben Jacobson.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Grants To Improve Access to Oral Health Care Of Older Iowans

Iowa CareGivers recently received a grant from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation (DDIF) to develop and test a competency based training program for direct care workers who provide about 80% of the direct hands on care in the homes of people served, nursing homes, and other locations.  The new educational opportunity will be offered in the Des Moines Area Community College’s 11 county region.  The oral  health training will become the first specialty under the Department of Public Health’s new Prepare to Care program, intended to provide those who work in direct care with more standardized and portable education, opportunities to grow professionally within the field, and ultimately reduce worker turnover and enhance the quality of care being delivered.

Click here to read the full article.
Click here to view the press release.

 

Nursing homes wrong to blame flaws on federal funding

A Des Moines Register article by Dean Lerner, A Better Iowa contributor.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Use credible sources to evaluate nursing facilities

A Des Moines Register editorial by Steve Ackerson.

Click here to read the full article.

Iowa View: Ebola shows why public health needs support from feds

A Des Moines Register guest editorial by Jeneane Moody.

Click here to read the full article.

Senior ‘lawmakers’ grill candidates for governor

Iowa CareGivers participated as a delegate at the Older Iowans Legislature. Read about what candidates for Iowa Governor had to say about direct care workers.

Click here to read the full article.

 

It's time for accountability for nursing home quality

A Des Moines Register article, by John Hale.

Click here to read the full article.


Fix nursing home staff turnover

A Cedar Rapids Gazette article, by John Hale.

Click here to read the full article.


There is a tie-in between staff turnover and care

A Letter to the Editor/Des Moines Register article, by Di Findley.

Click here to read the full article.


Nursing home data only good if used

A Letter to the Editor/Cedar Rapids Gazette article, by DiFindley.

Click here to read the full article.


Iowa nursing homes need more attention from regulators

A Des Moines Register/Cedar Rapids Gazette article.

Click here to read the full article.


Sexuality in care centers is a real issue

Di Findley, executive director, Iowa CareGivers, West Des Moines, Letter to the Editor

Click here to read the full article.


Iowa nursing homes lose more than 40 percent of staff each year

High turnover linked to poorer outcomes for residents.

By Erin Jordan, The Gazette

Click here to read the full article.

Iowa View: Let's make sure this doesn't happen again

A Des Moines Register Opinion piece by John Hale.

Click here to read the full article.

 

Veteran Dumped by Nursing Home

Des Moines Register opinion piece by John Hale, former policy consultant, IowaCareGivers.

 

Iowa Commission on the Status of Women Receives a “From the Heart” Thanks from Iowa CareGivers

from_the_heartUpon accepting the recognition on behalf of the Commission, Phyllis Peters, Commission Chair, had this to say, "This is a large and expanding workforce that profoundly affects the lives of Iowa women and their families from the perspective of it’s mostly-female workers who provide the care, and from those who receive the care. “Given Iowa's aging population and the Governor's emphasis on wellness and health, we need to do all we can to increase training and professional opportunities for Iowa's Direct Care workforce.”


Click here to read the news release.

Iowa CareGivers Leadership Council Member, Becky Johnson, interviewed by Globe Gazette in Mason City

Group pushes training, recognition for direct care providers.

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Iowa View: What Iowans should expect from workers in public health

Iowa Public Health Association Weighs in on Topic of direct care workforce.

One Who Works in Direct Care Weighs In On Direct Care Issues in Des Moines Register Letter to the Editor.


Article from Gazette's Business section

"In caring for the elderly, more want to stay home"

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Iowa Public Radio Honored by Iowa CareGivers

Iowa Public Radio was honored with the Iowa CareGiver's "From the Heart" recognition on July 16, 2013!

Click here to view the news release. Click here to view the photo published in The Des Moines Register!

 

Being a Caregiver in Iowa”

Rob Dillard's Iowa Public Radio Series Ran February 4 - 8, 2013

Below you can see the topics covered during the series. On February 8th, the River to River show aired an hour-long wrap up of Dillard's "Being a Caregiver in Iowa"

Please listen to the daily shows and then listen to the one hour wrap up program. 

February 4, 2013

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Topics:
1) Iowa CareGivers Discusses Direct Care Workforce Issues and State Educational Standards 2)  Lisa Davis, Certified Nursing Assistant Discusses the Rewards and Challenges of Being a Direct Care Professional.

 

February 5, 2013

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Topic:
Family Caring for Son with Autism

 

February 6, 2013

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Topic: 
Woman Diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia Receives Support From Her Husband

 

February 7, 2013

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Topic:
HCI Takes You into the Life of a Hospice Nurse and Volunteer and a Family Served During the End of Life

 

February 8, 2013

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Topic: 
Iowan is Grateful for the Care He Receives in His Home

 

One-hour Wrap-up

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Iowa Public Radio’s “River to River” pulls the week-long series together in their one-hour program that includes a more in depth discussion about caregiving. Several of those who appeared in the “Being a Caregiver in Iowa” are interviewed.