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Senator John Heinz Memorial Award

This award is named in honor of the late Senator John Heinz III in tribute to his efforts on behalf of Adult Day Services. Senator Heinz served in the United States Senate from 1977 until his untimely death in 1991. He was the ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging and served on other key committees, exhibiting an outstanding commitment to issues related to aging. The award recognizes a business, private or public organization, or an elected official making an outstanding contribution to the field of Adult Day Services but not directly or indirectly responsible for the operation of an Adult Day Services program.

Representative Richard S. Malaby, State Of Maine (R-Hancock)

Representative Richard S. Malaby

Representative Richard S. Malaby

Representative Richard S. Malaby is a former family caregiver who understands the challenges many caregivers face, and his experience has led to enthusiastic and unceasing work to help adult day services programs obtain sustainable reimbursement rates.

Adult day center director Anne Ossanna sought out Representative Malaby in November 2012 upon learning that he served on the Health and Human Services Committee.  Following that meeting, Representative Malaby made a concerted effort to visit Friendship Cottage to meet with staff, participants and caregivers, learning first hand the value of Adult Day Services to the families using the facility. The meeting resulted in a commitment for sponsorship of legislation to support caregivers and increase funding to the adult day service providers. His leadership on a bill and his subsequent activity in support of adult day services provide a model for other elected officials.

Representative Malaby drafted LD 62: An Act to Provide Additional Funding for Respite Care for the Elderly and for Adults with Disabilities and obtained bi-partisan support for the Bill. He conducted research and included Area Agencies on Aging Executive Director Jessica Maurer. “I had the opportunity to work closely with Representative Malaby in his legislative effort to increase funding for adult day services. [He] thoughtfully listened to ideas on how best to support existing programs and modified his bill appropriately,” said Maurer. He later amended the Bill to increase the hourly reimbursement rate from the 1997 rate of $9.45 to $12.00, which would enable adult day service providers to attain financial sustainability. Through his efforts, LD 62 passed in the House and Senate in the Spring of 2013 and was the first priority bill for the Health and Human Service committee.

With no funding available, LD 62 remained in Appropriations and was approved overwhelmingly by both the Maine House and Senate. The Bill was vetoed by the Governor. Working right down to the wire on the last day of the legislative session, Representative Malaby led an unsuccessful charge to override the veto. Nonetheless, he has worked diligently to continue to try to find funding to increase rates to adult day service providers.

Despite many setbacks, Representative Malaby continues to work to increase the reimbursement rate for adult day service programs in the state of Maine. He remains committed to the financial sustainability of these programs that keep the most vulnerable citizens of Maine where they want to be, living in their own homes. He advocates that adult day service programs achieve a number of worthwhile goals, including avoiding or delaying the need for more restrictive and costly placement, while providing respite to caregiving family members, helping to preserve the integrity of the family.

Update: The “official” target date for the rate increase in Maine is November 1st. The rate will be increased from $9.44/hour to $12.56/hour for all state funded ADSP. This is fantastic news for adult day services in Maine!

Posted in NADSA Awards