VOICE began as a movement stemming from the desire of its founders to create change in how elders were cared for in Pennsylvania. In 1999, PA Auditor General Robert Casey, Jr. convened a symposium on staffing issues related to long-term care of older adults. In 2000, a group of “innovative managers, major elder care industry associations, unions, advocacy organizations and professional associations” emerged from the symposium to found what they called the Pennsylvania “Culture Change” Coalition.
According to minutes from a March 20, 2002 PA Culture Change Coalition meeting, “there was consensus among participants that culture change, not workforce, should be the focus of the Coalition and a reaffirmation of its mission/goals/values… Major priority areas were: public policy, advancing the platform, promoting best practices, education for internal and external audiences and coalition building.” A Steering Committee was formed to lead the Coalition and at the Sept. 10, 2002 meeting Carol Tschop and Mary Anne Kelly were elected as co-chairs. Standing committees of Best Practices, Education and Policy were formed, and a mission statement, vision and values based on those of the Pioneer Network were adopted.
In August of 2003, the Coalition held the first of its annual educational offerings referred to as the PCCC Accord. In April of 2004, PCCC formally established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and became one of the first formal state coalitions of the Pioneer Network.
PCCC evolved from an eastern PA-based organization coordinated by a Steering/Advisory Committee to a state-wide coalition of providers and consumers. Regional Leadership Teams manage the education, advocacy, involvement/networking and communication initiatives throughout the entire Commonwealth. Guidance and governance is provided by a 15-member Board of Directors, with equal representation from each of the three regions – Western PA, Mid-State PA and Eastern PA. The Coalition hosts four Regional Education Events broadcast to more than 25 sites across the Commonwealth each year, reaching hundreds of participants with the principles of culture change and person-directed care practices. The ACCORD remains the annual conference, and is held in November of each year with a rotating schedule that includes all three regions.
In 2016, the Board of Directors engaged in a branding and strategy process, resulting in a sharpening of its vision, mission and values, as well as a new name, VOICE (Voice Of Inspired Change for Elders). The Board believes that VOICE more clearly articulates our desire to be a positive force toward a vision of empowered elders living self-directed lives across Pennsylvania and beyond.