Assembly Speaker Prieto Named 2015 BAYADA ‘Champion’

Hudson Reporter 

HUDSON COUNTY – State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto was one of three New Jersey leaders recognized for their unwavering dedication to home health care advocacy. The BAYADA Home Health Care Champion Awards are presented annually to honor those who have taken significant strides to advocate for medically fragile children, adults, and seniors who benefit from care in the home, and the professionals who provide that care.

Prieto, who represents the 32nd Legislative District including areas of Bergen and Hudson counties, received the Champion Award for his efforts in helping to increase state reimbursement rates for both home health aides and nurses. He was moved to action after personal visits with BAYADA clients where he witnessed, firsthand, how important it is for providers like BAYADA to continue to hire and retain skilled nurses and home health aides to care for people at home, where they want to be.

During the BAYADA Champion Awards ceremony on December 1 at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, Speaker Prieto thanked BAYADA for opening his eyes to the critical role home health care professionals play in helping people in need remain in their homes.

“It is so important to take care of the people who take care of the most vulnerable in our state,” he told the crowd of over 100 people. “You inspired and helped me understand what an incredible service this is, and you have a friend and advocate in me to help however I can.”

During the event, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle of the 37th legislative district, and Jean Alan Bestafka, past president and CEO of the Home Health Services Association were also honored as BAYADA Home Health Care Champions.

BAYADA Chief Marketing and Government Affairs Officer David J. Totaro ended the evening by underscoring the need for continued advocacy and grassroots efforts to spread the message of the enormous value that home health care brings—both financially and in quality of life.