What an extraordinary year it's been. As FCA gets ready to celebrate its 25th Anniversary (where does the time go??), we look back on a roller-coaster year. We've seen new national funding for caregiver services, the dot-com boom and bust, the highs and lows of state economic health, the ever-increasing numbers of Baby Boomer caregivers, and new media attention to the issues of long-term care… all colored by the events of September 11.
So within that context, I'd like to share with you news of our own ups and downs…. First, we are pleased and excited that new funding through the Older Americans Act and the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) will increase the services available to caregivers (see story, page 1). In the Bay Area, we have a variety of new programs coming your way. However, this news has been tempered with word that, despite more than 3,400 caregivers on our statewide waiting list for respite care, our state funding was cut by Governor Gray Davis. For fiscal year 2001 – 2002, California's Caregiver Resource Center system lost $500,000 of funding, due to the slowing economy. We expect a tight budget for next year also. We may be calling on you for your support with the legislature and governor.
We have initiated FCA's new National Center on Caregiving (NCC) with its first major project: an extremely successful invitational public policy conference in October, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (see the story at right). This conference offered inspiration and information to the participants, all of whom were legislators, department heads and other decision-makers in the long-term care and caregiving field. To read the policy briefs commissioned for the conference, visit our website, www.caregiver.org.
We have added to our staff to accommodate the increasing numbers of calls to the NCC from program developers, caregivers, legislators and the media. Sandy Newman, a recent transplant from Washington DC, has joined the NCC as Policy Specialist. Sandy worked for three years for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).
I'd also like to introduce the newest members of the FCA management team: David Deppe, Ph.D., D.Min., is our new Director of Programs and Administration. David most recently was Program Director, Horizon Health Corp., at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley.
And Monique Parrish, Dr.P.H., is our new Project Manager for the Statewide Resources Consultant (SRC), taking over from Lynn Friss Feinberg, who has assumed the position of Deputy Director of FCA's National Center on Caregiving. Monique was formerly Manager of Senior Services and Educator at John Muir/Mt. Diablo Health System in Walnut Creek. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know these highly skilled professionals as much as we enjoy having them on our staff.
Anne Bashkiroff, one of FCA's cofounders and most dedicated supporters, has moved away from the Bay Area-and even the country! She has moved to Dubai to be with her son Nicholas and his family. Anne spoke out about the lack of services for caregivers long before Alzheimer's disease became a household word. Her impassioned messages to legislators, the media and the public sparked the beginning of the caregiver movement in this country. We wish her much luck in her new home.
Lastly, our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible events of September 11. All of us at FCA extend our best wishes for a Peaceful Holiday Season, in your homes and throughout the world.
Kathleen A. Kelly
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