Personal Assistants to be heard in Erie

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State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, has changed the topic for his House Democratic Policy Committee hearing to issues surrounding personal assistance service providers. 

The hearing still will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsular Drive.

House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will co-chair the hearing.

“Personal assistance service providers deliver home and community-based care services that allow people to stay in their homes instead of entering nursing facilities,” Bizzarro said. “Keeping people at home not only increases their quality of life, but it also keeps down the high costs the state absorbs from placement in a nursing facility. However, these providers are having a difficult time keeping quality staff due to the low reimbursement rate that is well below a living wage.”

Bizzarro noted that many staff are leaving for higher pay at nursing facilities or elsewhere. This high turnover severely limits the providers’ ability to service consumers in need and forces Pennsylvanians into nursing homes earlier than necessary.

The hearing agenda is as follows:

    4 p.m.            Welcome and opening remarks
    4:10 p.m. Panel of providers:
• Carl Berry, Finance Committee chair, PA Providers Coalition Association
• Chi Bon, social services manager, Helpmates Inc.
• Deborah Pavlek, director, Family to Family Home Healthcare
      5:10 p.m.      Panel from Voices for Independence:
• Shona Eakin, executive director
• Doug McClintock, director of finances
    5:30 p.m.      Closing remarks    

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