Elected Official Interview Paper PO
ELECTED OFFICIAL INTERVIEW PAPER
Purpose: This assignment will enhance your communication skills and help you advance a personal health policy agenda on an issue of interest to you. .
Directions: Conduct an interview of an individual who influences/interprets health care policy (legislator, legislative aide, council person, commissioner, ****member of a health care organization board****, lobbyist, judge, etc.) (In person face to face interview is highly recommended)
****** The Policy I am supporting to be passed is the H. R. 1474: Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Act
******I am a resident in the state of Texas*****
I would like the paper to be written with conducing and interview with a member of a health care organization on the topic of the H.R. 1474 Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act bill important of being passed.
** NOTE: Papers should be no longer than 10 double spaced pages in length (excluding Title Page and References and please note faculty will stop reading after 10 pages of content).
Headings are expected please use the grading criteria items for headings
Papers must be typed and in APA format
ELECTED OFFICIAL INTERVIEW PAPER
Criteria Possible Points Points Earned Comments
Background: Provide biographical sketch on this official that includes: credentials, education and training, relevant publications and committee appointments; major accomplishments; years served in current capacity; expertise in influencing health policy at local, state, national or international level, and other relevant information including mode of interview. 10
Content Analysis: State the specific issue(s) discussed.
• Review and reference background material for each issue discussed. State the rationale for choosing the issues.
• Self-report of interview with elected official, Provide supporting information of the official’s involvement in health policy and the official’s current health policy objectives.
• What content was covered in the interview? Was it accurate and up to date? Discuss social, cultural, political and economic aspects of the issue. Discuss how this official decides to support or not support issues, and who influences their perspectives. Consider values, philosophical ideologies, research, and policy analysis frameworks. 40
• Describes lessons learned, effective tips and strategies you employed in communication with this elected official
• Describe attributes and competencies demonstrated by this elected official.
• Reflect on attributes and competencies possessed by official and how this will contribute to your professional development in the policy arena 20
Did you obtain the information you needed? If not, why not? Did you follow up with the individual? What are the nursing leadership and health policy implications for the issues discussed? 15
Clear grammar, spelling, writing style, references, double spaced paper within ten page limit (excluding references and title page) and APA style. Headings are expected. Please use the grading criterial items for headings. 15
Elected Official Interview Paper
Every policy requires adequate support from the main stakeholders to be pushed forward for implementation and evaluation. Within the process of policymaking which includes policy formulation, presentation, passing, implementation, evaluation, and revision, different players are associated with the policy’s formulation, passing, and implementation. IN the healthcare system, the major players include the healthcare providers, the associations representing the healthcare providers, the patients represented by the public activists, the legislative wing, and the political wing. All these players contribute to the formulation of the policy and its implementation. A policy bill has been presented at the legislative level that calls for the provision of grants to the unpaid caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease for education purposes and general support. This paper presents an interview with a member of the Texas Medical Board, a key player in the formulation and implementation of the policy.
I interviewed Melinda, a physician assistant with a DMSc degree. She is also an MSL (Medical Science Liason) for Upsher-Smith Laboratories, a specialized role within healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology fields. She is specialized in neurology. Being a professional in the healthcare, she has worked in different capacities and organizations, including the role of adjunct faculty in the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, telemedicine preceptor at Duquesne University, APP manager of Hospitalist, and specialty Medicine in Baylor Scott & White Health, and currently MSL at Upsher-Smith Laboratories. These roles have built enough competence in her capacity as a PA and thus made her way into the board. She is a progressive leader experienced in organizational leadership and playing essential roles in PA legislative initiatives, telemedicine practice, and formulation of health regulations. Melinda has served in several appointed and elected positions within the state and national professional organizations, including an appointment to work with FDA. She was appointed by Rick Perry, Texas governor, to be the founding PA member of the Texas Physician Health Program and later appointed to her current secretarial position for the Texas Physician Assistant Board by Governor Greg Abbott, now serving for the second term. She has influenced numerous policies supporting quality health and effective working environments for healthcare providers, including physician assistants. This background information about Melinda indicates that she is competent enough to discuss the bill’s issues, H. R. 1474: Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Act. I conducted an in-person interview with the healthcare elected professional to discuss different aspects of the Act that supports the provision of grants to the unpaid caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients.
In the interview with Melinda, we discussed four main issues concerning the policy with including the personal needs and risks for self-care amongst the patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, the need for unpaid caregivers in improving patients wellbeing, the role of education in improving the quality of care among the unpaid caregivers, and the impact of grants to the unpaid caregivers on the quality of caregiving.
Personal needs and risks of self-care amongst the patients with Alzheimer’s disease are essential to establish the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the quality of life and wellbeing of patients to the extent of requiring assistance for their activities. Establishing whether dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is disabling condition places more weight on the need to support the motion to allow the provision of grants for the unpaid caregivers. The majority of the patients with Alzheimer’s disease are the elderly, affected by numerous health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases. These diseases require medications, and a higher adherence improves the quality of health and recovery time. Self-care amongst patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease increases the risk of poor adherence to medication which is a risk to their health and recovery process. A study by Cho et al. (2018) on the impact of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on the association between cognitive impairment and poor adherence to antihypertensive medication adherence among the elderly population indicated that dementia conditions lead to poor adherence to medications. Hypertension is one of the killer diseases, and thus whenever elderly patients with dementia are unable to adhere to the medications for the chronic diseases, they increase the risk of chronicity or death if uncontrolled.
Dementia means forgetfulness, an inability to remember things. This is a risk condition for patients under self-care. In their living homes, they prepare food, use electric appliances, and do various operations requiring a high concentration level. There is a high risk of leaving the appliances on out of forgetfulness, a factor that can highly contribute to fires. Portacolone (2018), through a personal experience letter of a dementia patient living alone, indicates that fire risks are some of the concerns for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. There is also the risk of falls among patients with Alzheimer’s disease. They may not remember returning objects to safer places and thus may randomly place them along the way, thus increasing the risk of falls. Allali & Verghese (2020) note that dementia is a key contributor to falls among the elderly population and that isolation and lack of assistance increase the prevalence of hazards among the elderly, especially with Alzheimer’s condition. This shows numerous hazards and health risks associated with patients with Alzheimer’s disease living alone.
The second issue discussed is the need for unpaid caregivers. The bill to be discussed focuses on the plight of the unpaid caregivers for the AD patients, and thus it is until we realize their validity in the healthcare system when the discussion can be effective for decision making. According to Jenkins (2020), about 6.2 million elderly Americans have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, an indication that the prevalence of the condition among Americans is very high. According to the source, about 11% of Americans across all ages have dementia, and thus more than 10 million Americans are estimated to be affected. This shows unevenness in the ratio of qualified paid caregivers to the patients. Other caregivers employ caregivers, leaving the low-income households with the option of volunteering to live with the affected patients for quality care. The unpaid caregivers thus help improve the quality of life for the low-income families unable to acquire services from the paid caregivers and cover the scarcity of paid caregivers within the healthcare system.
The other issue discussed is the importance of education to the caregivers. This is an important issue for discussion since the grants to be offered are meant to educate and train the unpaid caregivers to improve their efficacy and confidence in providing quality healthcare for AD patients. The largest number of the caregivers for AD patients in the US are unpaid, indicating that the largest portion of the AD patients in the country are under the care of unpaid caregivers who are majorly caregivers without professional expertise in caring for the affected patients. According to Jorge et al. (2021), 49.3% of the caregivers know AD and the disease risk factors with the care needed for the AD patients, while only 78.6% understand the symptoms of the disease. This indicates that most unpaid caregivers may not have enough knowledge on the health condition and thus may provide poor quality of services. A study by Tan et al. (2019) established that the quality of care among AD patients improves with increased training and education of the caregivers. Training and education thus enhance the knowledge on symptoms of the AD disease, the treatment medications needed, the quality of food to be given for improving the condition, the interventions in reducing depressive episodes, and the general practices in quality caregiving.
The other issue discussed in the interview is providing grants to unpaid caregivers. The issue was whether payment of the unpaid caregivers through the provision of grants might increase the performance of the caregivers in delivering more quality care to the patients. This is an important issue to discuss with the board member because the board is a key promoter of patient-related policies to alleviate health problems for quality improvement in care delivery. Apart from grants for education and training purposes, the bill proposes support for caregivers, which is highly debated. Payment and salaries are used as a model of motivation or compensation for services delivered. Even though caregivers can provide effective and quality care to patients even without payment, numerous studies have indicated that financial support or payment motivates caregivers to improve the quality of care to the patients. According to Reckrey et al. (2021), caregiving for patients with dementia requires much time and resources, and thus paying family caregivers enhances the quality of care.
Self-report of Interview
Melinda supports the bill by providing grants to the AD unpaid caregivers for education and personal support. The interview was effective, covering the highlighted issues on the role of unpaid caregivers in healthcare and the need for education and support grants for unpaid caregivers. The member provided various articles and positions that she has presented in various settings of the board and legislative processes in support for education and training of the family caregivers for quality care. She acknowledged not to have directly been involved in the specific bill but provided different advocacies and positions that handled the key parts of the bill. The interview was conducted for an hour, establishing the key challenges with the bill and her reason for support of the bill.
Ms. Melinda identified various needs for the patients living with Alzheimer’s disease, supporting the idea that they should not be left alone in their houses because it is a risk for them and their families. She argued that AD patients are prone to forgetting and thus may increase the risk of hazards in their places of living. According to her, most people with AD living alone without a caregiver end up having numerous falls, fires, and accidents within their homes, which can be associated with dementia. She said, “I have received many AD patients with burns and bone fractures resulting from accidental fires and falls which can be minimized by close monitoring by a committed caregiver.” The PA reported that poor adherence to medications for the elderly population is highly associated with a dementia condition on prescribed medication. Thus lack of a caregiver increases the risks for developing complexities in care and the patients’ health. These statements indicated her concern for leaving the AD patients alone without a caregiver, citing the risks associated with self-caregiving for the AD patients.
On the value of the unpaid caregivers, Ms. Melinda acknowledged the gap in access of the qualified paid caregivers to be the main reason for the existence of the unpaid caregivers. According to her, unpaid caregivers come in to cover the deficit in caregiving services due to the inadequacy of the paid caregivers. She said, “There are limited professional caregivers worldwide, and it would be inappropriate to claim that it is only the healthcare professionals and the identified paid caregivers who can take care of the AD patients in the United States.” She said that most unpaid caregivers are mostly family members who rise to help their kin achieve quality health, a gap that cannot be covered by the inadequate number of professional and paid caregivers. The PA supported education as a key factor in improving the quality of care to patients. “Not only in AD caregiving, but every health care process also requires a higher level of competency which is highly gained through education, training, and personal experience,” she said. In addressing this question, Melinda thus supported the education of the unpaid caregivers for the AD patients to increase the quality of caregiving to the patients.
On grants, Melinda cited reasons for supporting the bill, citing the opposing teams’ fears associated with the bill. According to Melinda, education to the caregivers would reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases among the elderly population and those with AD disease, contributing to improved quality health. She argued that most family caregivers lack enough financial capacity to finance their education in AD care programs and thus should be facilitated to impact the same to their AD patients. Melinda also discussed the issue of personal support to the unpaid caregivers. “The unpaid caregivers spend much of their time with the AD patients, which limits their ability to develop economically despite the high demand for finances in sustaining both patient and the caregiver,” she said. She thus showed her support for the bill in improving the quality of care for AD patients and the quality of life for AD caregivers.
Influence of the Decision
Melinda stated her support for the bill through the board advocacy programs and positions that influence the political legislature for the passing of the bill. The information provided in support of the bill is up-to-date since she relied on her current experiences and researches on the quality of healthcare for AD patients. Her philosophical stand influences her position on the purpose of education on healthcare quality. She believes that knowledge on “how to” improves the quality of processes in healthcare, and thus education and training of any healthcare provider on a specified field would positively impact their level of competence and service delivery. Being a scientific researcher, she has enough evidence on the role of education in improving the quality of care and thus supports the policy to educate the AD caregivers.
The interview was well coordinated and enjoyable in analyzing the contents of the Act. There are various lessons learned from the interview with Ms. Melinda. One of the lessons is that elective positions provide an important opportunity for advocating for quality improvement policies. To be elected in such positions, one has to be political enough to convince the policymakers of the need for the policy change for quality improvement. Another lesson learned is that, despite having a social and political influence on the elected leaders’ decision-making, leaders have the philosophies that guide them in advocating for what is right or wrong. Through this interview, I learned that identifying the key political elected leaders in the policy change process improves the policy’s chances of success. I employed two main communication strategies while interviewing Ms. Melinda. One of the strategies is maintaining eye contact to show value and concentration for the conversation. This is one of the positive non-verbal cues that enhance communication. Another strategy was more listening than talking. Listening allows the speaker to give their comments about the questions asked, showing value for their contribution.
Ms. Melinda showed high competencies in communication, maintaining a high level of confidence in addressing the issue with desirable clarity. She has the answers at her fingertips, showing her general preparedness in presenting and arguing about an issue in a political or social arena. She presents the content in a more organized and convincing way, indicating being competitive in communication. She is informed of nursing and healthcare issues, guided with enough evidence in arguing her positions. As an elected leader, she has enough content that is supported by scientific data and evidence to influence a policy change. Her reliance on scientific data increases her chances of influencing a policy change. Her style of communicating her ideas, backed with evidence, influences my professional development in the policy by encouraging me to practice being a public speaker with organized content and improving my competence in evidence-based practice to support the policy change process.
The Success of the Interview
In the interview, I sought to establish the stand of Ms. Melinda on the issue and whether it is a viable bill in the healthcare system. The interview was successful because I obtained the information I needed on the topic’s interviewees’ views. She answered all my questions to completeness, willing to offer enough time to allow the full interview without interruptions. The official provided supporting data for her positions and arguments supporting the bill, and thus the interview was successful. I never made a follow-up with the official due to her commitments but promised to get back to discuss further numerous issues affecting patients and specific vulnerable populations. There are various implications on nursing leadership for the issue discussed on the impact of grants to the unpaid AD caregivers. The introduction of education for the caregivers is important in reducing the chronicity and risks associated with uninformed caregiving for AD patients. The AD patients are exposed to numerous diseases and health risks, and thus the nurse leaders should provide health education to paid and unpaid caregivers for quality delivery of care. Implementing the policy for providing grants can highly impact the quality of life and living standards for both the caregiver and the AD patient since most of the caregivers are family members. The provision of the grants through the policy would largely impact the social and economic value for the AD caregivers that directly impact the quality of care of the AD patients.
Allali, G., & Verghese, J. (2020). Falls in Older Adults with MCI and Alzheimer’s Disease. In Falls and Cognition in Older Persons (pp. 211-228). Springer, Cham.
Cho, M. H., Shin, D. W., Chang, S. A., Lee, J. E., Jeong, S. M., Kim, S. H., … & Son, K. (2018). Association between cognitive impairment and poor antihypertensive medication adherence in elderly hypertensive patients without dementia. Scientific reports, 8(1), 1-7.
Jenkins, A. (2020). Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Website
Jorge, C., Cetó, M., Arias, A., Blasco, E., Gil, M. P., López, R., … & Piñol-Ripoll, G. (2021). Level of understanding of Alzheimer disease among caregivers and the general population. Neurología (English Edition), 36(6), 426-432.
Portacolone, E. (2018). On living alone with Alzheimer’s disease. Care weekly, 2018, 1.
Reckrey, J. M., Boerner, K., Franzosa, E., Bollens-Lund, E., & Ornstein, K. A. (2021). Paid Caregivers in the Community-Based Dementia Care Team: Do Family Caregivers Benefit?. Clinical Therapeutics.
Tan, Z. S., Soh, M., Knott, A., Ramirez, K., Ercoli, L., Caceres, N., … & Jennings, L. A. (2019). Impact of an Intensive Dementia Caregiver Training Model on Knowledge and Self‐Competence: The Improving Caregiving for Dementia Program. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 67(6), 1306-1309.