VOICE began as the PA Culture Change Coalition (PCCC) 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 the elderly. From the symposium participants emerged a group of “innovative managers, major elder care industry associations, unions, advocacy organizations and professional associations” that founded in 2000 what they called the Pennsylvania “Culture Change” Coalition.
According to minutes from a March 20, 2002 PCCC 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 Mary Anne Kelly and Carol Tschop were elected as co-chairs. Standing committees of Best Practices, Education and Policy were formed as well as a mission statement, vision and values based on those of the Pioneer Network were adopted.
The Coalition continued with its advocacy work which culminated in May, 2003 with the “following specific recommendations to Governor Rendell:
- Coordinate long-term care reforms through the new Office of Health Care Reform and the Intra-Governmental Council on Long-Term Care
- Launch the “Better Jobs-Better Care” demonstration program
- Use existing state funds for training in “Culture Change” practices
- Design and implement improved training for direct care workers
- Develop a measurement tool that ensures accountability for public funds spent on long-term care
In August, 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 the first formal state coalition.
From 2007 to present, PCCC has transformed from an eastern-based organization coordinated by a Steering/Advisory Committee to a state-wide coalition of providers and consumers with Regional Leadership Teams managing the education, advocacy, involvement/networking and communication initiatives throughout the entire Commonwealth with guidance and governance from a 15-member Board of Directors who equally represent each of the 3 regions – Western PA (WPA), MidState PA (MSPA) and Eastern PA (EPA). Holding 4 different Regional Education Events (REE) in 25 sites across the Commonwealth broadcast via recorded Webinars is the method by with PCCC has chosen to reach thousands 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