MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO
This month marks twelve years that I’ve been CEO, after about twelve years on the Board of Directors, and I’m so grateful for each and every day I’ve been with Crossroads of Western Iowa. I’ve seen our organization grow and our life-changing mission spread to more individuals, and so much of that is due to all of you. Without Direct Support Professionals, our clients would be without services and our organization without means.
I am not the only one who recognizes the value of Direct Support Professionals; as the Iowa Legislative Session is starting, the Iowa Association of Community Providers and Ancor are advocating for the rights of DSPs.
Their aim is to raise Iowa’s Medicaid Reimbursement Rate—which has been declining for years—to support higher DSP wages. They are asking for a 10% rate increase with a 75% pass-through to wages. Not only will this help current DSPs, but it will also aid in filling open DSP positions and ending the worker shortage; currently 99% of disability service providers have vacancies, Crossroads among them.
The IACP’s fight is admirable and I want to encourage you all to get involved in any way you can. If you visit Ancor’s website here, you can enter your name and zip code to have a message sent to your Senators and Representatives encouraging them to support a bill authorizing DSPs to be paid for time spent with clients in hospitals. To show the Iowa legislation we support increasing reimbursement rates, the IACP is encouraging people to use #RaiseTheWage on social media and contact your local representatives about the introduced legislation. Everyone is especially encouraged to be active online this Thursday, March 5th, for IACP Hill Day when community members will converge in the Iowa State House for Relentless Advocacy! DSPs and community members will share their personal stories and show why we need to #RaiseTheWage. If you are interested in attending, please see the event information here or learn more about the campaign here.
Improving funding and support for our clients and our DSPs is vital and please know I am fighting this good fight alongside all of you!