Ambassador Spotlight: Christine Detweiler

Christine Detweiler (left) poses with fellow home care advocates and state representative Craig Staats during Advocacy Day

A little over a year ago, SEL Associate Christine Detweilerwas featured in this newsletter for her advocacy outreach and engagement with legislators through district office visits.  Christine is a constant advocate for her field staff and clients because she wants to ensure that they have a voice in Harrisburg.

“Home care is important to so many Pennsylvanians, and many aren’t as readily able to meet with legislators to share their stories,” she said. “I see advocacy as an extension of why I do what I do at BAYADA: We need to make sure we get out there to be a voice for those who don’t have one!”

Christine has been progressively adding more interactions to her advocacy portfolio—in the past few months she has hosted multiple home visits. Home visits are the most impactful way to demonstrate the importance of home care to legislators because it gives them a chance to see firsthand how clients receive services. To say Christine’s most recent Home Visit resonated with state Representative Marguerite Quinn is an understatement.

Representative Quinn joined Christine on a Home Visit with a five-year old client who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). His mother shared their heartwarming story and their family challenges and the time it took to diagnose him.  Shortly after this home visit, Rep. Quinn emailed Christine to follow up with the client’s mom to assess the family needs and how she could help them obtain a transportation cart that would make the client’s care easier. The outreach didn’t stop here.

A few days later, Christine received an email from Rep. Quinn’s secretary asking her to review a proposed bill that Rep. Quinn created to add SMA screening to the newborn screening list to help diagnose this disease before a child is even born. As of today, the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Bill (HB 2484) has been introduced and placed in the Health Committee for consideration. Representative Quinn reached out to her House colleagues and asked for co-sponsors for the important resolution and to bring awareness to this condition.

Our GAO Hearts for Home Care Team can’t be prouder of the impact that Christine has made so far! Her passion and tenacity has reached the hearts of many legislators, and she is truly making a name for herself in Harrisburg as a tireless advocate!

Rep. Marguerite Quinn’s visit with a five-year old client with SMA led her to introduce a bill about newborn screening for the disease!