Who are we?
Voices for Quality Care has members not only in Maryland and the District of Columbia where we actively advocate in person for both individuals and for systemic changes, but also in many other states from Washington to New York. We are also proud to count among our group members Resident and Family Councils in a number of long-term care facilities. The more members we have, the more influential our voice. Membership is free. Join us today!
Board of Directors:
Chair: Kate Ricks
Kate has a BS and an MS from the Ohio State University. She taught students with hearing impairments from pre-school through high school in several states for 30 years. After retirement, she became involved in the issues that evolved from seeking quality care and a reasonable quality of life first for her father and then for her mother-in-law who both spent time in nursing homes at the end of their lives. Through these experiences Kate realized that regardless of how diligent individual families and facility family councils are, they cannot begin to address most of the issues that actually drive both the quality of care and the quality of life in long-term care settings. She was one of the four original founders of Voices for Quality Care (LTC), Inc.
Susan Eddy has been associated with a skilled nursing unit family council on the Eastern Shore of Maryland since 2005. The Heron Point Family Council meets the second Saturday of the month at Heron Point of Chestertown, a continuing care retirement community. (Susan’s mother lived in the Heron Point Health Center from 2003 until she died in 2007.) Susan is gratified to see experienced family members continuing to attend council meetings, thereby helping newer council members grow in problem-solving and advocacy skills.
Treasurer, Legislative Liaison, Family Council Coordinator: Jacqueline Anderson
Jackie is a native Washingtonian (DC) and the second of three children. Jackie attended primary, secondary and high school within the District of Columbia. As well, Jackie received instruction at two local business colleges and attended Howard University, majoring in Business Administration. Currently, Jackie resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland of which she has been a resident since 1977, and she is presently employed by a community justice agency with the State of Maryland.
Having received family home care for about three years, Jackie’s mother became a long-term care resident of a nursing home from October 2001 until her death in August 2009. Jackie relates that her actual involvement with advocating for nursing home reform, protecting residents’ rights, holding nursing homes accountable for the delivery of consistent quality care and services was realized via her experiences dealing with nursing and custodial care issues encountered at the nursing home where her mother was a resident. Her strong advocacy, on behalf of her mother, was generally unwelcome; nevertheless, it did not alter her primary objective. Jackie was initially unaware of the horrors taking refuge within the confines of such facilities, which enhanced a thirst to educate herself as to those laws and agencies governing nursing homes. Although frustration and anger were the catalysts for her self-education, Jackie credits her advocacy evolution to her Family Council Chairperson and to the members of Voices for Quality Care.
Jackie’s primary focus, as a Voices’ Board Member, has been to support nursing home residents and their families in resolving issues by meeting with nursing home administrators, their staff and the local Ombudsman by which to implement a progressive care plan focusing on consistent quality care; protecting residents’ rights; monitoring signs of neglect and medicine errors; ensuring adequate facility staffing, coupled with short-term follow-up contacts. Jackie is committed to the belief that, “it is not so much about the time period in which care is administered (to the resident) as it is about the quality of the care administered within that time period.” And, just like Voices, until this concept becomes universal, Jackie vows to stay the course.