You made a difference in your community!
Kennith Johnson began volunteering for the Big Sandy District LTC Ombudsman program in 2021. Kennith learned about the program by talking with District LTC Ombudsman Shelly Akers. Kennith was intrigued and wanted to help so he applied to be a certified ombudsman.
Kennith is a pastor of a church. He had visited nursing homes for twenty years as part of his pastoral calling. Kennith’s mother and aunt had Alzheimer’s and his father had cancer. All were bedfast at the end of their lives. Kennith had personal experiences with caregiving. He believes his experience help him to have compassion for others and communicate well with people who are experiencing health problems.
Kennith studied forensic science at Eastern Kentucky University. He says, "I've always had a curious mind and really wanted to help people."
After completing over 36 hours of ombudsman certification training and passing a certification exam Kennith started providing ombudsman services to residents living in facilities in Pike County. Since then, he has branched out to accept assignments and help the District Ombudsman in other counties in the Big Sandy area. Kennith says he enjoys volunteer ombudsman work so much that sometimes he has, "a hard time turning it off." Kennith says, "it [ombudsman volunteering] feels like something that I was meant to do my whole life.”
Kennith has recently been visiting residents in a nursing facility that was closing. Nearly every day for a month Kennith went to the facility to help residents understand the transfer/discharge process, distribute information and advocate that the residents receive proper care and services.
We appreciate Kennith's dedication to residents of LTC facilities and the ombudsman program. Thank you Kennith!
District LTC Ombudsman Cindy Tabor shared information about the LTCO program at the Pennyrile Advisory Council on Aging on March 8.
District LTC Ombudsman are great resources and are often looking for ways to share information about long-term care in their communities. There is a local ombudsman program for every county. Check out our online directory of District LTC Ombudsman programs and let us know if your group needs a speaker.
Arlene Gibson served as the Cumberland Valley District LTC Ombudsman for 11 years and has decided to retire at the end of March.
Arlene's extensive medical background and advocacy heart led to the resolution of 3,000 complaints during her career as an ombudsman. Over 2,000 times Arlene walked through the entrance doors of long-term care facilities to visit with residents. 2,879 times Arlene provided one on one consultation to facility staff struggling to resolve resident concerns. We are so grateful for her service and wish her the best in retirement.
The Cumberland Valley District LTC Ombudsman position posting deadline is March 27.
Natalie Brown-Radtke, KIPDA District LTC Ombudsman, recently recorded a segment at Kentucky Educational Television (KET) with Dr. Wayne Tuckson for the Kentucky Health segment. Natalie and Dr. Tuckson discussed long-term care and the LTC Ombudsman Program. The segment begins airing April 30. Tune in!
Natalie and Dr. Tuckson are pictured above.
Executive Director of the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency (NHOA) Denise Wells and University of Kentucky interns, Kinsey and Caroline, visited lawmakers in Frankfort on Nonprofit Advocacy Day.
Ombudsmen perform systems advocacy and educate law and policy makers about the experiences of residents in long-term care facilities.
We also take seriously our obligation to help students learn about advocacy and healthcare. The State Ombudsman Office and 15 local district programs regularly take interns and practicum students under our wing so that they may learn how to improve the future.
Kentucky River District LTC Ombudsman Sheila Cornett spoke at the Annual KY River Aging Issues Awareness Conference on March 23 at the Hazard Community & Technical College.
Heather Mullican served as the Green River District LTC Ombudsman since 2019. Recently Heather accepted another position at the Green River Area Development District.
We appreciate Heather's care and services to residents over the years. In just the few years Heather was with us she made hundreds of visits to facilities to see residents, provided individuals with over 700 one on one consultation sessions, and worked to resolve complaints ranging from abuse to rights and care. Thank you and we wish you the best Heather!
Andrew Law is the new Green River District LTC Ombudsman. Andrew says, "From an early age I felt a calling to help others. I began working closely as a peer tutor in high school with students with various developmental delays. This led me to focus on a degree pertaining to this field."
Andrew has worked in various positions from being a special needs coordinator for an afterschool program to managing workshop programs for people with disabilities. Andrew has experience as a case manager for various Medicaid waivers, and as a state guardian for the Department of Aging and Independent Living.
Andrew says, "I am very excited to begin learning and serving in my new role as the Green River ombudsman."
Andrew is a native of Owensboro, a graduate of Western KY University. He is married and a father. Andrew shares, "I am an avid runner, enjoy reading memoirs and playing video games with my kids in the evenings."
Welcome aboard Andrew!
Heather and Andrew are pictured above.
The Record recently featured an article, "Share the Journey — We give someone a voice", where long-term care ombudsman Jennifer Daunhauer passionately describes her work as a Louisville area staff ombudsman at Catholic Charities.
Bluegrass District LTC Ombudsman staff ombudsman Connor Hacker, recently spoke with students in an Adult Health 101 class at Campbellsville University.
We are looking for volunteers! Contact us for more information. Email or call 859-277-9215.
Pursuing Quality Long-Term Care Podcast
Episode 29 Dignity for All: Staffing Standards Benefit Residents and Workers
In this episode, you will hear about the importance of adequate staffing for residents’ safety and health from Sam Brooks at Consumer Voice, and Toby Edelman, at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. You will also hear from Shelley Jackson, a CNA in Pennsylvania, and Margarite Grootjes, a resident in Ohio, as they share what it is like to live and work in a facility without adequate staffing.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and YouTube
For more Pursing Quality Long-Term Care podcasts visit The National Consumer Voice website
This month marks the one-year anniversary of President Biden's announcement of historic nursing home reforms. Creating a minimum staffing standard, which would be the most significant increase in protections for nursing home residents in decades, was central to his plan. Since his announcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has embarked on a study to determine the minimum level of direct nursing care all residents need and has promised to propose a standard this spring.
The nursing home industry's opposition to a minimum staffing standard has been fierce. The voices of residents and workers have been lost in the discussion. Over the next several months, Consumer Voice and resident advocates will center the discussion of minimum staffing standards on residents and workers by holding a series of events to uplift their voices. We must ensure that the primary focus of adequate staffing is on the residents and workers!
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care launched a “Dignity for All: Staffing Standards Now!” campaign. Check it out.
In nursing homes, impoverished live final days on pennies
An AP News article published March 15 highlights how little spending money most residents of nursing facilities have available each month for personal items.
Marla Carter, volunteer and family member of residents in the Owensboro area is featured in the article. Thanks to Marla for sharing her experiences and working to help residents facing this humiliating issue. Please check out the full article.
The Bluegrass District LTC Ombudsman Program has also been working to try to help residents access personal items with a new program called Wini's Wishlist.
While the article is a national article focused on residents in federally regulated nursing facilities on Medicaid, we encounter low-income residents in state licensed Personal Care Homes and Family Care Homes who suffer with a Personal Needs Allowance that is too low. It is time to make a change!
NCEA Webinar: The Range of Remedies in Elder Mistreatment
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 1:00 PM ET
Elder mistreatment cases are often complex, and contextual and cultural variations impact elder mistreatment perceptions and responses. These factors may create challenges in identifying and navigating appropriate remedies and responses. Panelists will discuss the range and effectiveness of elder justice remedies and interventions, including restorative justice, criminal and civil legal remedies, and best practices in the field. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.
Learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) at the WEADD microsite.
Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) reported 171 convictions related to drug diversion cases in
FY 2022. Associated criminal recoveries from
drug diversion cases totaled $18 million in FY 2022. Two States, Pennsylvania and
Kentucky, accounted for 79 percent of this total and those States recovered $9 million and $6 million, respectively. In Medicaid, drug diversion cases generally involve
(a) the fraudulent billing of Medicaid, or (b) fraudulent activities of Medicaid providers involving drugs diverted from legal and medically necessary uses, regardless of whether Medicaid itself was billed. MFCUs may conduct drug diversion investigations
jointly with other State or Federal agencies, such as OIG or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report
Emergency Preparedness for Long-Term Care Facilities
The Center for Medicare Advocacy's Toby Edelman shared the following on March 9, 2023
As the number of natural disasters and extreme weather events increases across the country, the majority staffs of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Aging issued an investigative report on the need to improve emergency preparedness for long-term care facilities. Left in the Dark discusses the winter storms in February 2021 that led to the lengthy power outages in Texas and summarizes findings of the HHS Office of Inspector General on emergency preparedness, based on audits at 154 nursing homes in eight states (California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Texas).
The Kentucky State LTC Ombudsman Program is housed within the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass.
The KLTCOP is funded in part by state and federal funding provided by the Department for Aging and Independent Living.