Author of Essential Labor
Bestselling author Angela Garbes has expanded public awareness of the foundational nature of care--paid and unpaid--through her visceral, personal, and radical writing. Most recently, her book, Essential Labor, was featured on The Daily Show, FRESH Air, and so many other platforms--engaging broad audiences in critical questions around who cares for our loved ones, how that care is honored and paid, and how we can build a more just, joyful future together.
Jamee Herbert created BridgeCare, a best-in-class white-label child care data and community management platform, because she knew that transforming a system first requires seeing it accurately. BridgeCare is on a mission to make sure that our childcare system is no longer a mishmash of bureaucratic hoops and badly designed sites, but an integrated, dignifying experience.
California Department on Aging
The California Department of Aging, directed by Susan DeMarois, just launched the CalGrows Innovation Fund, a $55 million fund to improve the training available to direct care workers and family caregivers. This isn't just an precedented step for getting more care workers into the pipeline and making those jobs better jobs, but will improve the quality of care for older adults and people with disabilities through out the state. Let's hope this is replicable in other regions.
Center for Study of Child Care Employment
Anecdotes just won't cut it if we want to transform the care workforce. That's why Lea J.E. Austin, the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, spearheads research that frames up the challenges and potential of our nation’s early educators, including workforce compensation and preparation, working conditions, and racial equity.
Southern Maine Agency on Aging
Family caregivers all across the country need access to support, recognition, and money. The Southern Maine's Office of Aging and Disability Services, led by Megan Walton, has created a first-of-its-kind intervention to make that a reality. The newly launched Respite for ME grants family caregivers of people living with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias $2,000 to access respite care, training, as well as other services.
Trained, tech-powered care navigation is changing the game for working family families. TCARE, headed by Ali Ahmadi, is among the leaders in building the much-needed evidence base for for the power of care navigators in the future of care. Their data-driven, Medicaid-approved, federally-accredited approach lowers costs and mental load, in addition to building the supports that allows people to age at home safely.
Papa, thanks to the vision of team members like CMO Liz DeMatties, is transforming the way employers and health insurance providers think about supporting their members' non-medical needs like household chores, shopping, and companionship. Papa pals boost quality of life exponentially through the simple act of showing up and asking "How can I be helpful?" And Papa pals represent a whole new pipeline of talent into the care field.
April Verrett, Secretary-Treasurer of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union, is building a modern-day care labor movement. As the chair of the SEIU’s National Home Care Council, Verrett has successfully fought for federal funding of care work, including state-funded training opportunities for home care workers to upskill. She also secured hazard pay and greater investments in PPE and safety standards for home care workers during the pandemic.
Weill Cornell Medicine
One of the gaps in modernizing the care workforce is data; we simply don't know enough about what care workers do and what they need. But visionary academic Madeline Sterling is trying to change that. She co-leads a research program that has partnered with the country’s largest health care worker union to produce more than 20 academic papers that aim to reshape the way policymakers view this critical workforce.
Hand in Hand: the Domestic Employers Network
Most of us want to do the right thing when we hire a childcare provider, housecleaner, or home attendant, but we aren't sure how. Together with workers, Hand in Hand helps employers understand that their homes are workplaces, and that there are ways to hire, compensate, and negotiate things like time off, sick days, and bonuses fairly. Led by Executive Director Stacy Kono, Hand in Hand takes a state-by-state approach to organizing, empowering us all to be part of the solution.
The Institute for Families and Nannies (TIFFAN)
Alyce Desrosiers is a clinical social worker on a mission to establish a recognized standard of care for the nanny industry--creating better jobs and the conditions for kids to thrive. The Institute for Families and Nannies, which she founded and leads, provides educational training and career pathways for nannies and the families they support.
Helen Mayer, like so many parents during the pandemic, found herself stuck at home with her toddler twins and unable to accept a new job offer because she couldn't find care. It sparked an idea -- what if stay-at-home parents could welcome additional kids into their home, make some money, and help reduce the child care supply crisis? Otter, her company, was born, and thanks to her dogged leadership, it's matching parents and families, and growing everyday.
American Indian College fund
Erin Griffin (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of Sisseton, South Dakota), believes that Indigenous kids and their caregivers deserve to be steeped in their own languages and traditions. In her role as a Program Officer for Indigenous Education at the American Indian College Fund, she is partnering with tribal colleges and universities to provide resources for building culturally-relevant early childhood education co-created with the Indigenous care workforce.
As Chief Global Advocacy Officer for Home Instead, Jisella Dolan aims to elevate the caregiving profession, shape better policies for family caregivers, and advocate for older adults who want to age in place with dignity. As a family caregiver herself, she understands the urgency of transforming care work in this country firsthand.
Jenna Morgenstern-Gaines watched her mother struggle to care for her aging grandmother at a distance, and knew there was a better way. That's why she founded PocketRN, a platform that brings nursing talent right into people's homes with the touch of a button. Not only is it more convenient for those who need care, but it broadens the range of opportunities available to nurses who may want to work more flexibly.
There is a lot of talk about the "social determinants of health" these days, but integrating them into working, relational systems is a beast. Leave it to Colby Takeda and Nick Lockett to design a platform, called Pear Suite, that equips community health workers with exactly the data they need to provide catalytic, culturally-attuned care.
53 million Americans care for a loved one, adding up to $470 billion in unpaid care a year. Givers, founded by Max Mayblum, recognizes that while family members don't do what they do for the money, they certainly experience profound stress from the lack of it. That's why they help caregivers access tax credits, state programs, medicaid reimbursements and more to give unpaid careworkers the compensation they deserve.
Medically Home CEO Rami Karjian understand the the future of healthcare is about meeting patients where they are when they need it. Medically Home's hospital-at-home program enables health systems to safely deliver hospital-level care to high-acuity patients in the comfort of their own homes, and what's more, they are up skilling emergency medical responders and other new talent to be in-home caregivers.
The National Association of Healthcare Assistants
With a mission of elevating the professional standing and training of certified nursing assistants and other caregivers, Lori Porter and her team at the NAHCA are recognizing, advocating and educating credentialed caregivers across the country. Lori has been at the helm of NAHCA since 1995 and has devoted her career to improving long term care conditions for patients and caregivers.
PHI, one of the leading organizations for the care workforce in America, has just launched the Direct Care Worker Equity Institute, which strives to address the structural inequities and profound disparities facing direct care workers. Kezia Scales, the Vice President of Research & Evaluation, is at the forefront of building the evidence base on state and national policies and workforce interventions that can make care work dignifed work.