In the summer and fall of 2016, HCA embarked on a campaign called Bring The Vote Home-New York, which engaged home care providers to deliver voting materials to elderly, homebound, disabled and chronically ill New Yorkers so they can register and vote from home using an absentee ballot.
As part of the process, HCA delivered 10,000 packets to home care agencies throughout the state, along with instructions for their staff to engage voters at home during the normal course of their nursing or home health aide visits, making it possible for patients to vote from home when it is difficult – or impossible – for them to travel to the polls.
Syracuse-based VNA Homecare was eager to become a part of the initiative, assigning a summer intern to the project who researched both the program and all the necessary information for voter registration and absentee voting.
“Once we received all the information (brochures and other handout materials) on the initiative from HCA, our clinical teams were given all that they needed to ‘bring home the vote’ and they very enthusiastically started sharing and distributing the materials to patients during the months of August, September and October,” said VNA’s Kim Graf, Vice President of Public Relations & Corporate Communications. “According to our leadership, the overall response was receptive. Patients found the information useful and we are confident that it was a good reminder to patients on the importance of casting their own vote.
Bring The Vote Home is just one way in which home care providers can assist their patients civically, just as they do every day to help with medical, social, environmental, self-care and assistive needs to remain home and connected in the community.
Associate Director of Patient Services with VNA Homecare, Kathy Salvaterra, RN was part of the team leading this initiative on behalf of VNA Homecare. She stated: “We are so grateful to HCA for giving us the opportunity to participate in this initiative. I have seen first hand how beneficial it has been to our patients and what a great reminder is was to them that their vote does matter and how easy it was for them to cast it.”
“With this campaign, we simply asked home care staff to add a new task to the wide range of services and assistance they are already providing their patients: by asking patients if they are registered to vote, providing them with the forms to do so, and offering them the option to apply for an absentee ballot if it is difficult for them to leave home to vote,” said HCA President Joanne Cunningham about Bring The Vote Home. “We simply see this campaign as a natural extension of the connection that home care workers have with their patients and patients truly appreciate this extra help to enable them to vote.”
In photo, pictured from left are: Lucrecia Agcaolli-White, Occupational Therapist; Kenneth Chrestler, RN, Case Manager; and Kathy Salvaterra, RN, Associate Director of Patient Services.