For 20 years, the DC Long Term Care Coalition (LTC) has advocated to expand and improve the quality of long-term care programs so that individuals with chronic care and/or disability needs can age in the community safely and with dignity. Thanks to our countless dedicated members, whose deep expertise and experience allows them to identify problems and develop solutions, we have accomplished so much in our last 20 years. Here’s just a sampling of the work our members have achieved.
From 2000-2013, Bruce Griffin served as the President of the Board of Directors for Home Care Partners, a Washington, DC non-profit agency that works to enable vulnerable people to remain in their own homes in comfort, safety, and dignity. In this role, Mr. Griffin often presented at hearings in order to affect public policy and actively engage with the government and decision makers.
“I’m a crusader—there are people who can’t speak for themselves, so somebody should. And I think that’s what The Long Term Care Coalition does.”
From 2000-2004, Mr. Griffin was especially involved in writing regulations. He worked closely with The Department of Health and The Department of Health Care Finance to write a number of regulations regarding both advocacy and public policy. Moving forward, Mr. Griffin has high ambitions and expectations for improving the long-term care standards. He emphasizes and advocates for better access to safe health care options with the absence of abuse, especially in regard to preventative medication and the reduction of ER admissions.
Gerald Kasunic has been shaping Washington, DC’s health care policy since the DC Long Term Care Coalition first formed 20 years ago. Mr. Kasunic’s accomplishments are plenty — he incorporated Money Follows the Person into the Office of Disability Rights, and the Elderly Persons with Disabilities (EPD) Waiver Program, and expanded the Waiver recipients to include individuals who are 18+. Believing in the importance of quality care, Mr. Kasunic also introduced a decreased staffing ratio into nursing homes, which was completed in 2001. Mr. Kasunic also demonstrates his dedication to improving long-term care through his legal work — in which he has been able to turn many regulations into legislation. After years of service and advocacy, he continues to serve as Deputy Associate Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
“How do you know what you can achieve unless you introduce an idea to the status quo?”
Mr. Kasunic demonstrates a respectable balance of transactional and transformational leadership in his current position. He oversees that policies and procedures are in compliance with regulations by reaching out to all divisions of ADRC. Mr. Kasunic also observes and monitors social workers in the field, and manages situations with patients, handling anything regarding service and community. As Deputy Associate Director, Mr. Kasunic is especially focused on protecting the ADRC system by drafting and amending regulations, such as implementing open door policies for dynamic laws and regulations.
Marla Lahat has been an advocate for the LTC for more than 10 years. She has also served as Executive Director of Home Care Partners for the past 16 years. With a background in social work, Ms. Lahat enjoys personally connecting with clients and aides. For her, the LTC addresses important issues like ensuring in-home options to residents who need long-term care.
“To me, the most significant thing has been this complete shift towards long term care.”
Embracing active participation is a reoccurring theme in Ms. Lahat’s work. She demonstrates her passion in promoting long-term care through her agency Home Care Partners and innovated training with aids. In particular, Ms. Lahat loves knowing her agency is making a difference in the lives of those served through innovative training with aides. As she continues to focus on ensuring the agency provides quality service, Ms. Lahat is proactive in long-term care public policy. In addition to the LTC, Ms. Lahat is also a member of The Senior Advisory Coalition and regularly meets with council members and staff, and she is involved in council hearings for the DC Office on Aging. In particular, Ms. Lahat’s work has affected policy changes with the Living Wage implementation, licensure, and the Board of Nursing. Moving forward, Ms. Lahat will continue to be a strong voice for improving the quality of care.