News and Events

President’s Point

April 1, 2015

Since the beginning of 2015, Elder Care Services has targeted three goals. We have steadily worked on the transition away from our case management contract with United Healthcare that ends this month; we are strengthening the organization by redeploying case managers and identifying new services opportunities; and we are committed to expanding the pool of Meals on Wheels volunteers needed to reduce the waiting list of more than 100. Progress is being made in all three areas and we expect to have the reorganization completed and final plans in place by May 1.

So far this year, I have made no mention of our legislative initiative nor have I given you any indication of how this year’s state budget will affect our seniors. Let me assure you that we continue to advocate for seniors and are keeping close watch on this year’s session which began on March 3 and will end on May 1.

We are pursuing legislative funding for a more suitable location and have reduced our 2105 request from $10M to $3M upon the advice from Senator Montford. The Senator has also asked us to obtain commitments from the city and the county and again board member, Jim Wylie, has complied by securing the unanimous support of local government. County Commission Chair Lindley and Mayor Gillum have each sent letters of support to the Senator. We have also been meeting with city and county real estate staff and School Superintendent Pons to identify potential properties large enough to meet current and future needs.

It will be interesting to see what occurs this session, especially in light of the potential loss of Low Income Pool (LIP) funding from the Feds. These funds are provided to many Florida Hospitals to offset the cost of care provided to indigent patients. In short, the Senate supports expanding Medicare coverage and taking Federal funding to offset this potential loss, while the House does not. That disagreement has created a difference of more than $4B in the two budgets and will have a huge influence on the entire budget, effecting much more than the general revenue allocations earmarked to help our seniors age in place.

We will follow the process and update you as appropriate but, for the moment, the bulk of our efforts will be focused on the things we can directly accomplish such as strengthening our organization, creating new services that will provide additional sources of revenue to sustain us into the future and increasing our base of volunteers to serve more frail seniors. These efforts are as critical to our success as legislative appropriations.

Thank you for everything you continue to do in support of our mission!

With warmest regards,

Mark
Contact me @
baldinom@ecsbigbend.org
(850) 245-5930

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