RichARd P. gRiMes, ALfA President/CEO
deBRA J. stRAttOn
AngeLA hicKMAn BRAd Y
An YA MARtin, AdAM stOne,
Whitne Y Redding
nAtiOnAL sALEs MAnAGER
steve sch WAnZ
AdvERtisinG sALEs OffiCEs
new York 212.725.2106
Los Angeles 213.228.1250
stRAttOn PuBLishing & MARKeting inc.
5285 shawnee Road, suite 510, Alexandria, vA 22312
703.914.9200; fax 703.914.6777
For circulation information, call 703.894.1805.
Insights and critical review provided by the
ALFA OPeRAtiOnAL exceLLence AdvisORY PAneL
thOMAs W. BAKeR, svP sales & Marketing, Country Meadows Retirement
Communities, Sales & Marketing Executive Roundtable
MicheLLe hAMi LtOn, svP of Operations, Country Meadows Retirement
Communites, Regional Executives Roundtable
chRis guAY, director of Operations, Emeritus senior Living, Regional
scOtt RAnsOn, Ci O, Brookdale sevior Living, IT Executive Roundtable
AndReA teichMAn, svP & General Counsel, Benchmark Assisted Living,
Government Relations Executive Roundtable
gu Y heMOnd, director of dining services, Benchmark Assisted Living,
Dining Service Executive Roundtable
Judd hARPeR, COO, the Arbor Company, Operations Executive Roundtable
eLiZABeth WheAtLe Y, Corporate director of Clinical Operations,
five star senior Living, Clinical Quality Executive Roundtable
Budgie AMPARO, EvP, Quality services & Risk Management,
Emeritus senior Living, Clinical Quality Executive Roundtable
thOMAs v. cROAL, Cf O, silverado senior Living, CFO Executive
Top Of Mind
Advocacy fly-in: A Breath of fresh Air
Crisis-ism … a condition in which you don’t know you’re in crisis because you’re always in crisis, you’ve always been in crisis, and you’ve always gotten through, so what the heck.
Crisis-ism is the inability to apprehend that this time it’s different, that this time the crisis is
an actual crisis.—Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2011.
Published by the Assisted Living FedeRAti On OF AMeRicA,
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Copyright ©2011 Assisted Living federation of America. All rights reserved.
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At this writing, Maginot lines are being drawn in all the states, most dramatically in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania—and in Washington,
D.C. On one side are people who tell us they care very much about our nation’s future. And on the other side are, well, people who tell us they care very much about
our nation’s future.
Both sides seem deeply entrenched, clutching their beliefs and political life-experience in preparation for a long siege. And, so far, no one has dared venture into
the no-man’s land between the lines. THAT would require courage and leadership.
The net effect? Almost nothing is getting done to meet the challenges of the
greatest fiscal crisis in our nation’s history.
In the nation’s capitol, lobbyists and advocacy groups are daily trying to influence their elected representatives to protect or increase funding for their federally-subsidized programs. While there is a lot of pressure on politicians to face the
crisis, there is also a lot of pressure on them to keep their heads down or just kick
the can down the road. You’ve always gotten through, so what the heck.
So ALFA’s Advocacy Day Fly-In last week (see page 56) must have felt like a
breath of fresh air to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Leaders in the senior living industry converged on Capitol Hill—and they didn’t
have their hands out! They had a much more compelling message and a much
more positive story to tell.
During the Fly-In, 160 senior living executives visited more than half the offices
of the 535 elected representatives that make up the U.S. House and Senate. They
came from all over the country, representing 56 senior living companies serving
tens of thousands of seniors and their families. Their most important purpose was
educational. They wanted their elected officials to know what the senior living business is all about, how our business takes care of our nation’s seniors, how Congress
can support the seniors in our care, and the importance of visiting ALFA members’
senior living communities in their own congressional district or state to see with
their own eyes.
Why are ALFA’s Advocacy Fly-Ins so extremely important? Because an informed
U.S. Congress won’t try to fix something that ain’t broke. The industry you’ve chosen
as your profession does an extraordinary job taking care of seniors. It is reflected in
satisfied residents, families, and employees. It is reflected in high rates of occupancy.
And it is reflected in how well the senior living business continues to weather the
To learn more about ALFA’s public policy programs at the federal level and in
your state, visit www.ALFA.org/policy.
Richard P. Grimes, firstname.lastname@example.org, is president/CEO of the
Assisted Living federation of America, www.alfa.org, representing
professionally managed senior living communities and the
residents and families they serve.