LifeSpan Network | The Largest Senior Care Provider Association in the Mid-Atlantic
Play • 23 min

The Senior Soup Podcast hosts Raquel Micit & Ryan Miner spoke with LifeSpan Network President Kevin Heffner about the organization's mission, membership, public policy advocacy in Maryland, COVID-19, and the organization's upcoming events. 

This is episode 15 of The Senior Soup Podcast

LifeSpan Network is the largest and most diverse senior care association in Maryland and Washington, D.C., with 350 institutional members that provide a wide variety of care services for older adults, including retirement communities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, home care, hospice, and adult daycare. 

LifeSpan Network’s job is to serve its association members’ needs so that they can more effectively and efficiently serve the needs of seniors in Maryland and Washington, D.C. 

They serve their members through various mechanisms, including the Beacon Institute, LifeSpan’s educational foundation providing its members with educational services, classroom-based education, and conferences, namely its annual Ocean City, Maryland conference in late September. 

Lifespan is also heavily involved in public policy advocacy and legislative outreach.

The organization’s lobbyist, Danna Kauffman, represents the members’ interests in Annapolis and Washington, D.C. The organization focuses on state legislation that impacts senior living, home care, and skilled nursing homes. It monitors legislation affecting its members, such as state minimum wage legislation and family medical leave.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Maryland’s senior care industry faced difficulty recruiting and retaining staff due to healthcare workers taking leave due to exposure to the virus. LifeSpan worked with state lawmakers to help healthcare workers having difficulty entering the senior care services industry. 

Maryland has traditionally made it difficult to become a nursing assistant, requiring certification as a CNA and GNA. 

LifeSpan is advocating for a bill to require certification only as a CNA. There is also a bill to reconstitute the Board of Nursing so that it can report directly to Maryland’s secretary of health, helping streamline the process for people to become certified as nursing assistants and help with certification recertification.

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