Health Group Names L’Italien ‘Legislator of the Year’

James Fuccione, Home Care Alliance’s director of legislative & public affairs and Sen. Barbara L’Italien.

Andover Sen. Barbara L’Italien has been named the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts’ “Legislator of the Year” for her work supporting programs and legislation designed to keep seniors healthy and in their homes.

L’Italien, vice chair the legislature’s Joint Committee on Elder Affairs and a former social worker at Merrimack Valley Elder Services, was among 10 people and three programs honored this week at Boston-based Home Care Alliance’s annual Innovation Showcase and Star Awards dinner at Granite Links Country Club in Quincy. The winners included home health care aides, clinicians, physicians, managers and executives.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said L’Italien, who also represents the communities of Lawrence, Dracut and Tewksbury. “I was fortunate to get some good and important things done this year for seniors, as well as for people who care about them and take care of them. But there’s still a lot of important work to do.”

The annual event is a chance to honor and recognize the individuals and organizations from across the state that are providing the best care and utilizing the best and most innovative practices in home care.

“This event is a chance to say thank you to all home care employees through the awards to these individuals who are the shining examples of a very dedicated workforce that is often unheard, but makes an incalculable impact,” said Home Care Alliance Executive Director Patricia Kelleher.

L’Italien was the lead sponsor for a home health aide rate increase and cosponsor of the creation of the Home Care Oversight Commission and an Act Relative to Home Health and Hospice Aides. She also hosted the Home Care Alliance’s recent State House briefing on home-care workforce wages, and sponsored budget amendments to raise rates for Adult Day Health programs and to expand income eligibility for elder services.

Besides L’Italien, those honored were:

  • Home Health Aide of the Year: Jane Rizza, home health aide, Home Care Inc./Home Health VNA, Lawrence
  • Home Health Care Clinicians of the Year:
    • Anne Luippold, hospice clinical director, Salmon VNA & Hospice, Milford
    • Michelle Michaud, nurse, Circle Home Care, Lowell
    • Mary NDegwa, nurse case manager, Comfort Home Care, Methuen
  • Home Health Care Manager of the Year: Darlene Connolly, clinical manager, Steward Home Care, Westwood
  • Home Health Physician of the Year: Dr. David Green , hysician, Emerson Hospital Home Care, Concord
  • Home Care Champion: Meg Doherty, CEO, NVNA & Hospice, Norwell
  • Leadership and Collaboration Award: Roxanna Harper and Joann Wagner, clinical managers, Baystate VNA and Hospice, Palmer and Ware

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