Director's Corner: Building Consumer Leadership, Here, There and Everywhere

Photo credits: Renée Markus Hodin

This month, I’m thrilled to share several updates from our work to support the leadership of people with complex needs in improving health programs and policies.

First, please take four minutes to watch our new video highlighting the advocacy of parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to improve programs in Tennessee. You’ll get to meet some amazing parents and advocates, including Leisa Hammett, whose journey from determined parent of a child with autism to grassroots organizer is featured in this accompanying blog.

We’ve enjoyed being on the road this past month, including trips to conduct an advocacy training with older adults in Rhode Island, participating in a team-building and training workshop with Medicaid consumer representatives in Alabama, and talking about aging and health on a panel in Washington D.C. organized by The John A. Hartford Foundation and Health Affairs.

We also sent in comments about a harmful Trump Administration proposal that would make it harder for millions of low-income families, older adults and people with disabilities to get food assistance. Food assistance plays a vital role in improving the health of people with complex health needs. We know that many of you also took the chance to comment (nearly 15,000 public comments were received!), and we’ll keep you updated for the Administration’s response.

Looking ahead, we’re launching two new projects focused on improving care for people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

And, we’re hiring! If you want to join us in our work to make sure that health care policies and programs better meet the needs of people with the most complex needs, take a look at our posting!