State Sen. Jen McEwen and State Rep. Liz Olson Hold Community Forum at Viewcrest in Duluth
Posted on November 3, 2022 by Dan Nelson
Sen. Jen McEwen (DFL – Duluth) and Rep. Liz Olson (DFL – Duluth) visited with over 50 staff, volunteers, and residents at Saint Francis Health System's Viewcrest Health Center in Duluth. The lawmakers were hosted by Chet Fishel, Cami Peterson-DeVries, and Brittany Loosbrook of SFHS.
They held a community forum that gave a platform to caregivers, leaders, and residents to share with their legislators about the critical issues they are facing that our state legislature needs to act on.
About The Forum
The most powerful moment of the forum came when a resident, Joe, of Saint Francis' Franciscan Health Center, spoke about the dedicated staff team at Franciscan. However, from Joe's perspective, they are all overworked and overwhelmed. They talked about their medical condition, which would lead to eventually no longer being able to speak. If Franciscan can't keep their incredible staff because of low wages, new or temporary staff may be unable to give the care they need. It was an emotional and impactful story that touched everyone in the room.
Multiple caregivers and leaders also shared their experiences. They highlighted the need to increase wages, adequately fund Elderly Waiver to cover the cost of care, and fix the 21-month lag in Medicaid reimbursements. They spoke passionately and did a fantastic job communicating their dedication and the need for legislators to act quickly to help.
Why It Matters
Both legislators mentioned that they had previously relied on Jen Schultz, an outgoing member of the House, regarding aging services issues. With Rep. Schultz no longer in the legislature, this provides an opportunity for our experts in the field – dedicated caregivers and leaders at Saint Francis, to step in and be a resource for our legislators.
This was an essential first step in educating and starting a dialogue with Rep. Olson and Sen. McEwen. We will continue this conversation to ensure they understand their support's importance in the 2023 legislative session.
We must connect with our legislators after the election next week and through the 2023 legislative session. You can make a difference by hosting a legislator in one of your communities!
- Set up a visit with your local representatives or candidates. Contact Dan Nelson, Director of Community Engagement for Leading Age Minnesota, at email@example.com or 651-497-1707 to discuss having legislators visit your communities.
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