Cross-Country petition

Nurses Activism


This petition focuses on long-term care crisis. There is a link at the bottom of the article that directs you to the site that will be monitoring the cross-country progress.

Monday July 2, 3:04 pm Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: California Association of Health Facilities

'Driving For Quality Care' Cross-Country Petition Tour Asks President Bush, Congress to Address Nursing Care Staffing Crisis

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps Headlines Kick-Off Event in San Luis Obispo; Shortage of Front-Line Caregivers Throughout U.S. Threatens Vulnerable Seniors' Access to Quality Long Term Care

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Advocates of quality long- term health care kicked off a national petition tour Monday in an effort to build support in Washington to address the critical nursing staff shortage threatening vulnerable seniors and the very future of America's system of long term care.

The ``Driving For Quality Care'' kick-off event was joined by U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and patients, nursing staff and family members who called on President Bush and Congress to pursue solutions to address the worsening shortage of frontline caregivers - both Registered Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants and Resident Assistants - in nursing homes and assisted living and other long term care settings.

``This is the first of many stops across the nation we will be making in our effort to ensure legislation is passed to help ease the shortage of frontline long term caregivers and to raise the level of awareness of this increasingly dangerous situation,'' said Char Hill, a national spokesperson for the Driving For Quality Care campaign. ``The existing situation presents a clear and present danger to seniors in California and across America. Quality care depends on recruiting, retaining and training quality nursing staff, and our government has an obligation to ensure our most needy citizens receive the care they deserve.''

Rep. Capps, a former nurse and a leading health care advocate in Congress, signed a letter to the joint leadership of the U.S. House and Senate stating that, together, ``We look forward to working with you and the Administration in a bi-partisan manner to ensure our nation's elderly have access to quality caregivers and the quality care they deserve.''

The letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO), Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) notes that while President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Thompson have pledged to address the nursing care staffing crisis through administrative actions, Congress must make a critical contribution to the well-being of the nation's seniors by passing legislation to support:

* Recruitment Programs -- including scholarships, welfare to work, school

partnerships and assistance with transportation and childcare;

* Retention Programs -- such as mentoring programs, career ladders and

lattices, upward mobility programs, and wage pass-throughs; and,

* Training Programs -- especially caregiver training, health service

corps, scholarships and curriculum development.

The residents and nursing staff of Compass Health Facility in San Luis Obispo also signed a petition to President Bush and the U.S. Congress urging swift action on these matters. The petitions will be delivered to the President and the Congress upon the arrival of the tour in Washington in September.

Also running in conjunction with the tour is a national print and broadcast advertising effort focusing on the need for Congress to pass legislation to recruit, retain and train more frontline long term care nursing staff.

Following the San Luis Obispo kick off event, the RV tour will proceed to additional California events in Santa Barbara, Atwater, Visalia, Danville, Kentfield, Sacramento and Marysville during the next week on its way east.

Logging on to can follow the progress of the tour.

SOURCE: California Association of Health Facilities

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