Senator Collins Announces Nominations of Mainers to Grandparent and Family Caregiver Federal Councils

Bette Hoxie of Old Town was nominated to the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Brenda Gallant of Wiscasset was nominated to the Family Caregiving Advisory Council

Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of Senator Collins and Bette Hoxie

Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of Senator Collins and Brenda Gallant

 

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, announced today that Bette Hoxie of Old Town was nominated to the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Brenda Gallant of Wiscasset was nominated to the Family Caregiving Advisory Council.  Senator Collins authored the laws that created both of these councils.

 

“Bette Hoxie and Brenda Gallant are two outstanding Mainers who have devoted their lives to uplifting seniors. 

 

“Bette has a wealth of personal and professional experience and insight that will benefit grandparents and other relative caregivers across the nation.  Over the past 50 years, she has fostered more than 150 children.  Recognizing the need for a statewide support system for adoptive and foster families, Bette founded and led a nonprofit organization for 20 years that now serves more than 3,000 families across the state, 80 percent of which are led by grandparents raising grandchildren.

 

“Brenda has helped lead efforts in Maine to allow seniors and adults with disabilities to achieve and maintain their independence to live right where they want to be—in the comfort and safety of their own homes.  As the leader of Maine’s Ombudsman Program, Brenda has pioneered the use of technology to help more than 140 nursing home residents and patients to transition back to the community since 2012. 

 

“I congratulate both Bette and Brenda on their nominations to these councils, and I thank them for continuing to donate their time and expertise to benefit seniors in Maine and across the country.”

 

 

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Ms. Hoxie is a kinship provider and the retired Executive Director of the Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine Inc., and the Kinship Program.  Ms. Gallant is the Executive Director of the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in Augusta.

 

In March of 2017, Ms. Hoxie served as a key witness at a Senate Aging Committee hearing Senator Collins chaired on the increasing number of grandparents raising grandchildren due to the opioid crisis.  Earlier this year, Senator Collins chaired an Aging Committee hearing on how technology can improve the lives and independence of seniors and indivduals with disabilities.  She invited Ms. Gallant to share how Maine’s Ombudsman Program uses technology to help seniors in nursing homes and other institutionalized care facilities become more independent and transition back to their own homes.

 

The Family Caregiving Advisory Council was created by the RAISE Family Caregivers Act, which was authored by Senators Collins and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and signed into law in January 2018.  The Council includes up to 15 voting members and provides recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on effective models of both family caregiving and support to family caregivers, as well as improving coordination across federal government programs.  

 

The Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was created by the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, which was authored by Senators Collins and Bob Casey (D-PA) and signed into law in July 2018.  The Advisory Council will identify, promote, coordinate, and disseminate to the public information, resources, and the best practices available to help grandparents and other older relatives both meet the needs of the children in their care and maintain their own physical and mental health and emotional well-being.