WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elizabeth Dole Foundation commends Congress for passing the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act today. The Foundation, which has fought for passage of this bill over the past two years, is pleased to see this significant step forward in support of all of America's caregivers, including our nation's 5.5 million military caregivers —the spouses, parents, loved ones, and friends caring for wounded, ill or injured servicemembers and veterans at home.
The legislation directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. The strategy will encourage the sharing of evidence-based best practices that maximize the effectiveness of existing programs in support of family caregivers. In addition, the bill requires the Secretary of HHS to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which includes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or the Secretary's designee.
"The research is clear: veterans have the best chance to recover, improve, and thrive when they have a strong, well-supported caregiver," said Senator Elizabeth Dole, Founder of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. "The National Family Caregiving Strategy will identify specific actions that providers, government officials, employers, and others can take to recognize and support the unique needs of caregivers that are all too often overlooked."
The Foundation and its Dole Caregiver Fellows have actively championed this legislation every step of the way. The Foundation closely collaborated with Senate bill sponsor Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Committee on Education and Workforce Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and AARP to ensure a strong bill that would positively impact caregivers nationwide and achieve strong bipartisan, bicameral support. In addition, Dole Caregiver Fellows discussed the importance of the bill in more than 120 advocacy meetings with their lawmakers in November surrounding the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and VA's 2nd Annual Convening.
Congress has demonstrated its commitment to our nation's caregivers in passing the RAISE Act, and the Foundation eagerly awaits the bill signing into law by the President.
About Elizabeth Dole Foundation
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is the preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation's 5.5 million military caregivers – the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America's wounded, ill or injured veterans at home. Founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole in 2012, the Foundation adopts a comprehensive approach in its support and advocacy, working with leaders in the public, private, nonprofit, and faith communities to recognize military caregivers' service and promote their well-being. Learn more about the Elizabeth Dole Foundation at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org.
The Hidden Heroes Campaign, an initiative of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and provides a safe, secure place where caregivers can meet and access carefully vetted resources at HiddenHeroes.org. Another aspect of the Campaign, Hidden Heroes Cities, is an effort to galvanize local leaders across America to identify military caregivers in their communities and the local resources to support them. To date, 110 cities from San Antonio to New York, from Washington, DC to San Diego have signed on. Learn more about Hidden Heroes at www.hiddenheroes.org.
SOURCE Elizabeth Dole Foundation