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Community Leaders Recognized for National Advocacy Efforts
ANCOR Unveils its Suellen Galbraith Advocacy Awards
Disability service providers struggling with a significant workforce crisis have seen their challenges acknowledged by the Department of Labor and addressed in new federal legislation thanks to the efforts of ANCOR’s Save Our Services (SOS) Campaign: Funding the Future of Disability Services. ANCOR, the American Network of Community Options and Resources, recognized individuals helping to lead those efforts this morning with their first ever Suellen Galbraith Advocacy Awards.
Mark Davis, President of Ohio Provider Resource Association and Daryn Demeritt, Vice President of Government Affairs for ResCare were recognized for their work as co-chairs of ANCOR’s SOS Campaign. The SOS Campaign attempts to address the perfect storm of unfunded mandates challenging I/DD service providers across the country, including the Department of Labor’s Overtime Exemption Rule. Ben Shaiken, Public Policy Specialist at Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance was also recognized for his work in the SOS Campaign.
“Suellen Galbraith was the longtime and truly extraordinary force behind ANCOR’s Government Relations work,” explained ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill. “She was one of the most respected disability advocates on Capitol Hill; admired and respected by her colleagues, congressional staff and government leaders alike. We lost her in 2014, but she will always live on with us, and today we are excited to present the inaugural Suellen Galbraith Award to these highly deserving ANCOR members for bringing Suellen’s passion and commitment to our advocacy efforts.”
“Mark and Daryn have dedicated countless hours and resources to calls, emails, travel, and strategy because they understood what was at stake,” continued Merrill. “They have intricately involved their own Congressional members, and met with countless others, along with Labor Secretary Perez, Director Wachino of CMS and led provider voices on calls with media which generated national attention to our specific challenges with DOL overtime compliance.”
“Ben is a perfect example of what one person can do and the difference one person can make. Ben works closely with the ANCOR government relations staff on essentially every issue they cover, making sure he is communicating Connecticut’s perspective and always questioning how the providers he represents can be helpful.”
The awards were presented as part of ANCOR’s 2016 Leadership Summit: Keeping Up the Good Work, a two-day summit focused on workforce, culminating in a Congressional Briefing and Hill Day. This will bring community providers from across the nation to Washington, DC to advocate on behalf of HR 5902, the Disability Community Act.
“Our goal was to be the mouse that roared,” said Mark Davis. “I’m proud to be part of a campaign that has raised awareness of the unique challenges faced by providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”