Mar 12, 2013 • 31M

Ms. Suzanne Mintz Discusses the Work of Family Caregivers and the Caregiver Action Network (March 12, 2013)

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David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA Healthcare research Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues Public health issues including the social determinants of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Family caregivers are the most ignored providers of health care delivery despite the fact they constitute 30 percent of the adult population, or are 65 million Americans.  Caregivers are more typically women, over fifty, spending 20 hours a week (over an average of five years) providing care most frequently for a family member typically a parent with dementia.  They are literally the backbone of health care.   Professionally, caregivers, half of whom work full time, incur lost wages, promotions, health insurance, retirement savings and frequently suffer deleterious physical and mental health effects.  Nearly 80 percent of caregivers report needing more help and information with at least 14 specific topics related to caregiving. 

During this 31 minute interview Ms. Mintz discusses the varied and substantive contributions caregivers make and how their efforts can be better supported.

Ms. Suzanne Mintz is the cofounder of the nonprofit the Caregiver Action Network (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association), an organization that provides both direct support for caregivers and advocates for legislative reform  and other policy changes.  Currently Ms. Mintz also serves on the board of National Patient Safety Foundation, the advisory council of the National Transitions of Care Coalition and the advisory board of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.  She was honored for her work in 2006 as one of the first 15 winners of the Purpose Prize.  She has written several books, the latest is A Family Caregiver Speaks Up: It Doesn't Have to Be This Hard and has published numerous articles on and for family caregivers.   She holds a BA in English from Queens College, City University of New York and a MS in Human Ecology from the University of Maryland.

For more on the Caregiver Action Network, see: