National Alliance for Caregiving Launches “Caregiving Champions” Program

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Program unveiled at the 9th Annual National Conference of Caregiving Coalitions in Chicago, IL

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“We’re excited to name the first ten Champions in the program, who are committed to working with family caregivers in their cities, states, and on the national level,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO of the Alliance.

The National Alliance for Caregiving announced today the inaugural class of the “Caregiving Champions” program, an initiative to connect state caregiving advocates to local and national persons of influence. The program launched during the 9th Annual National Conference of Caregiving Coalitions, held in Chicago in conjunction with the American Society on Aging.

“We’re excited to name the first ten Champions in the program, who are committed to working with family caregivers in their cities, states, and on the national level,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO of the Alliance. “This program helps open the door to connect with the leaders who are working to support the 65 million Americans who are family caregivers,” explained Hunt.

The initial roster of Champions, identified by state and local coalition leaders, includes:
o    U.S. Representative Matt Salmon, Arizona (R-5th District)
o    State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, California (D-19th District)
o    U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Maine (R)
o    U.S. Representative Tim Walberg, Michigan (R-7th District)
o    State Senator Angela Bryant, North Carolina (D-4th District)
o    U.S. Representative Ann McLane Kuster, New Hampshire (D-2nd District)
o    U.S. Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey (D)
o    U.S. Senator Robert “Bob” Casey, Pennsylvania (D)
o    U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Virginia (D)
o    U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin (D)

The program will continue to identify and name Champions on a rolling basis, as they are nominated. Advocates hope to include policymakers and other types of community leaders, such as business leaders, who have been working on family caregiving issues.

In recent months, the Alliance has also led a pilot program to identify Champions through state or local events focused on the challenges facing family caregivers in the workplace. The Working Family Caregivers Champions pilot included town halls and conference presentations in eight states: Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Wisconsin. Coalition leaders are working to identify additional Champions in these states.

Advocates can nominate Champions starting today at http://www.caregiving.org/nominate.

The Caregiving Champions program is supported by grant funding from Eli Lilly and Pfizer. Champions are selected by an independent review committee. The 9th Annual National Conference of Caregiving Coalitions, the annual meeting for caregiving advocates, is supported by UnitedHealthcare, Pfizer, Easter Seals, Mass Mutual, Right at Home, and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

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C. Grace Whiting
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