Rosalynn Carter Institute’s 23rd Annual Summit Puts Spotlight on Need for National Family Caregiving Initiative

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Co-sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, Georgia Southwestern State University's 23rd annual Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) National Summit featured national leaders in health policy, Kathy Greenlee, the assistant secretary for the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Susan Hill from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Delegates from RCI Korea were also in attendance, sharing their experiences in developing a for-credit caregiving curriculum at The Cyber University of Korea.

RCI’s National Caregiving Initiative brings attention to improving access and delivery of support services to family caregivers...

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Co-sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, Georgia Southwestern State University's 23rd annual Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) National Summit featured national leaders in health policy, Kathy Greenlee, the assistant secretary for the Administration on Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Susan Hill from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Delegates from RCI Korea were also in attendance, sharing their experiences in developing a for-credit caregiving curriculum at The Cyber University of Korea.

“No caregiver should feel guilty because they have to take care of themselves in order to be able to continue caring for their loved ones,” said former First Lady Rosalynn Carter as she concluded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving’s (RCI) 23rd National Summit at its headquarters based on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW).

The Summit, co-sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, brought together prominent national leaders in health policy, renowned experts in caregiving research, and program planners representing nearly 30 states across the nation to discuss the Summit’s overarching theme “Averting the Caregiving Crisis: Why We Must Act Now.”

International delegates from RCI Korea were also in attendance to share their experiences on the global importance of supporting family caregivers through education and skills training. In collaboration with The Cyber University of Korea, RCI Korea is developing a for-credit program in the area of caregiving.

Lead policymakers including Kathy Greenlee, the assistant secretary for the Administration on Aging (AoA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Susan Hill from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed their willingness to support family caregivers by collaborating with RCI. They will consider the incremental implementation of RCI’s 12 proposed recommendations for a National Caregiving Initiative under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act ratified by the 111th Congress as part of our country’s Health Care Reform imperatives.

RCI’s National Caregiving Initiative brings attention to improving access and delivery of support services to family caregivers, particularly through the implementation of evidence-based programs. Carter’s recommendations emphasize the critical need to quickly make caregiver programs with proven effectiveness widely available in every state. These evidence-based programs have consistently shown positive outcomes specific to reducing stress and increasing knowledge, coping skills and resilience among family caregivers. Without these supports, family caregivers experience significantly increased burden and psychological and physical illness, leading to premature institutionalization of care recipients. The adverse economic burden of such developments on our nation’s health care system is profound.

RCI’s position statement containing recommendations on implementing a National Caregiving Initiative is now available at http://www.RosalynnCarter.org. Detailed Summit proceedings will become available to the public at large in November 2010 in support of National Family Caregivers Month.

Georgia Southwestern’s Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving was created in 1987 in honor of former First Lady and GSW graduate Rosalynn Carter. Through research, education and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well being of individuals, families and professional caregivers; encourages effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities.

For more information on the Rosalynn Carter Institute or its programs, call (229) 928-1234 or go online http://www.RosalynnCarter.org

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