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The Bonnie Kantor-Burman (Page 1 of 2)

An Interview with Bonnie Kantor-Burman
Director Of The Ohio Department Of Aging

Director Kantor-Burman: The Ohio Department of Aging is a wonderful resource for our citizens and for caregivers of today, and those who may be in that role someday. We are charged with ensuring that our state is at the leading edge of responding to the needs of Ohioís citizens, while also ensuring that they are heard and that they are front and center in any decisions that we make.

Gary Barg:  Whatís your vision going forward for what Ohio caregivers are going to see, need, and have to deal with regarding support?

Director Kantor-Burman:   I would be very upfront in that I donít see more resources coming to our states and federal government. And here, weíre talking about our elders and others who need our services, and that their caregivers are allocated resources in the most effective and responsive way.

The core of what we are promoting in the State of Ohio is Person-Centered Care. What our caregivers should be looking for, expecting, and Iíll go out on a limb and say demanding is that they receive excellent services in the way that they would define it. Person-Centered Care, or care that is based on relationship, choice, self-determination, and purposeful living, is actually the most cost-effective care to deliver on every front.

Gary Barg:  Person-Centered Care has to be one of my favorite phrases when dealing with healthcare that has come around. And Iím so glad weíre talking about that.

Director Kantor-Burman: When I say Person-Centeredness, I want to make sure that the caregiver is respected and their needs are being acknowledged, and that is not only the family caregiver. Itís also the individual who comes into the home, a nursing home or any other setting and provides the care.

Gary Barg:  It reminds me of the old joke about them waking you up to give you a sleeping pill. Thatís not person-centered care. Thatís system-centered care. We donít know why, but thatís the way it always has been. The incentive that youíre offering brings everybody to the tableóthe service providers as well as the family caregivers and government organizations. So thatís just very smart medicine all across the board.

Director Kantor-Burman:  You just said something really important by mentioning the role of the family caregiver. Our goal is for families and other individuals who care for and about our elders and others needing services is to expect excellence, and to understand the precepts of Person-Centered care. So, we are going to be providing for families and caregivers.

One of the things that we say, and this comes down from the top as Governor Kasich believes very strongly that Mom and Dad should be able to be at home if they so choose, that Person-Centered care is the appropriate way to provide that kind of care. But we also have learned from the governor that thereís only one truth, and thereís only one story, and so, it is in everyoneís best interest that everybody hears the same thing, and hears it together.

Gary Barg:  I know that Ohio will soon institute a program called Integrated-care Delivery System in support of Medicaid/Medicare enrollees in a way that gives them the best possible care. Could you talk about how that will affect Ohio seniors and Ohio caregivers?


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