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DECEMBER 2021


A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Members,

As we move into the holiday season and towards the end of 2021, it is time to reflect back on the year. I don’t think any of us could have predicted encountering the challenges of the last few years.

From my position as Executive Director, I see an industry stretched to the limit, who continually rises to the task of caring for those they serve. I would like to take a moment to say how proud I am of all of you. I am proud of the homecare industry in general, but recently, for its ability to grow and change so quickly during the pandemic and continue to find ways to meet the ever-changing needs of the clients and patients.

MNCHA has been proud to support and serve you over these last few years, working to do whatever possible to find its members supplies, education, and legislative leadership and support. We will continue to support the needs of the members.

Through our ongoing relationship with government agencies such as Maryland Medicaid, the Office of Health Care Quality, the Maryland Health Care Commission, the Maryland Department of Health, CMS Office of Program Operations and Local Engagement, and others, we are able to communicate the needs of the homecare industry and work towards solutions that strengthen the industry’s ability to serve its customers.

Additionally, MNCHA maintains memberships in the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the Council of State Home Care and Hospice Associations, the Home Care Association of America, AAHomecare, and the Maryland Regional Direct Workers Collaborative.

MNCHA is also represented on the Governor’s Virginia I. Jones Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Council, the DC LTC Coalition, and routinely participates in workgroups with Maryland government agencies.

It is important for the members to communicate with us and let us know about your ongoing needs. Regular attendance at the quarterly Member Meetings and routine interaction with the Executive Director are the easiest ways to help us understand your needs. These meeting dates are sent out in advance via email and are posted on the MNCHA website. The agenda for the member meetings is set by the members with topics of the members choosing.

We encourage you to attend our Legislative Committee which meets from January to April during the legislative session. This is where the membership discusses legislation which is in the best interest of the homecare industry. As the bills drop during the session, this group meets weekly to discuss the impact that these bills may have on the providers and determine the best course of action. In addition to this meeting, we are continually monitoring the situation in Maryland to best position the homecare industry for success.

We encourage you to also participate in the Program Committee calls. This is where the members discuss their educational needs and helps the Executive Director set a course for the upcoming year. Based on these discussions, the Executive Director will create the educational platform that best meets the needs of the members.

Finally, I would like to say thank you and farewell. As you may know, I am retiring at the end of the year. It has been an honor and a privilege to work in the homecare industry and to support the providers who are so vital to the people of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

This doesn’t mean I will not participate in MNCHA events in the future, I will as time permits.

As I have been in the industry in Maryland for over thirty years, I have come to know many of you personally. I have never met a more dedicated group of individuals who have more compassion and drive to serve others. For that, I would like to say thank you. Please keep up the excellent work, the community needs you.

I would like to close by reminding you that MNCHA may be small, but it is mighty. We have formed and molded legislation to support the industry and that is no small feat. It is through the strength and participation of membership that we have been and will continue to be able to do so.

 As I always say, MNCHA exists for the members and by the members. So, I encourage you to get involved if you are not already and to continue to be involved as you have been in the past.

Thank you and I wish you all a happy holiday season,

Dawn


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AWARDS CEREMONY

Each year MNCHA holds an Awards Ceremony to recognize the outstanding achievements of our members. It’s usually held as part of the Annual Meeting; however, due to the meeting being postponed until the spring, we held our very first dedicated Awards Ceremony virtually with the help of our sponsor, LHC Group on November 18, 2021. There was concern over whether we’d be able to properly honor our award winners and give them the recognition they deserve, but judging from all the smiles and yes, tears, this year’s ceremony was one to remember.

It was particularly special since we had the opportunity to recognize our members who went above and beyond during arguably the most difficult time in healthcare and who truly are healthcare heroes. We heard stories of caring, compassion and commitment that warmed our hearts and of individuals who weren’t afraid to take a stand and who truly made an impact not only in healthcare but in the fabric of all our lives. There were so many wonderful nominations submitted that it was extremely difficult for the committee to select the winners so in some cases we even had two winners.

There were so many memorable moments, but there were a few that stood out. The first was Sen. Ben Cardin receiving the President’s Award for Federal Leadership and his acceptance speech during which he showed great appreciation and support of our industry. Then there was the moment that former MNCHA Board Member, Cindy Libby-Green, was awarded the first ever Cindy Libby-Green Leadership Award named after her for all her years of outstanding leadership and selfless service to patients, employees, and the community. Lastly, our very own Executive Director, Dawn Seek, was awarded the President’s Award for State Advocacy. Dawn has mentored, supported, and touched the lives of so many of our members, especially during the pandemic so it was no surprise to see the outpouring of love and gratitude as she was surprised with the award at the end of the ceremony.

The stories we heard about our award winners brought tears to the eyes and left us in awe of the amazing people we had the privilege to celebrate so let’s once again recognize and congratulate all our winners!

  • President’s Award for State Leadership: Keith Ballenger
  • President’s Award for Federal Leadership: Sen. Ben Cardin
  • President’s Award for State Advocacy: Dawn Seek
  • Cindy Libby-Green Leadership Award: Cindy Libby-Green
  • Manager of the Year: Allison Bates and Melissa Lantz-Garnish
  • Member of the Year: Julie Mills
  • Nurse of the Year: Dequita Whitted
  • Therapist of the Year: Jill Markowski
  • CNA of the Year: Tamario Logan and Yessica Diaz
  • Delivery/Distribution Specialist Achievement Award: John Jones
  • Excellence in Business Office Services Award: Evelyn Fritz
It’s never too early to start thinking about nominees for the 2022 MNCHA Awards so start jotting down notes about those special people at your organization to include in your nominations. We look forward to reading all the stories of how your coworkers and employees are impacting the lives of patients, staff and the community and once again recognizing the outstanding achievements of our members. 

Sincerely,

Sherri Hart RN, BSN
Board Secretary
Chair, Awards Committee

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