Advocacy | Be Their Voice

Advocacy | Be Their Voice


As we rapidly approach a new year and budget cycle, we encourage you to review the 2023 legislative work and advocacy effort outcomes. Heritage thanks you for your support and engagement, as this vital work can only be done with full community support.
To see a full recap of our efforts with our
policy partners, Leading Age New York, click here.

Our team is working to educate legislative and regulatory leaders on our budget requirements.

When Governor Hochul releases her budget for 2024, we look forward to working with you to ensure these measures are confirmed. At Heritage, our critical priorities remain:

  • Addressing the ongoing staffing shortage
  • Increasing Medicaid reimbursement to a sustainable level
  • Reform and rationalization of the Medicaid nursing home reimbursement system


  • Staffing shortages have led to over 5,600 bed closures statewide – these shortages lead to overcrowding in our hospitals who have nowhere to discharge patients in need of continued care
  • Insufficient Medicaid increases put pressure on both the seniors and communities to bridge an $810 million funding gap – this affects 75% of nursing homes


The Heritage Ministries public policy team advocates on behalf of our residents, their families, and our staff, to enact policies that will address the needs, quality care, and safety that ensures all our communities are beacons of Hope, Dignity, and Purposeful Living. Add your voice to ours!


1. Sign up to be an advocate!
2. Write to your representative.
3. Like us on Facebook for real-time updates.
4. Contact your representatives (below).

The Real World: Recent Staffing-Related News

“Rural America Is Losing Nursing Homes, and Small Towns Are Reeling” 
The loss of long-term-care facilities – and the “deserts” they leave behind – has cascading economic implications for communities.
-Bloomberg; October 11, 2023

“The federal aid directed at hospitals and nursing homes during the early part of the pandemic temporarily covered up the fundamental problems with the industry’s economics, says Kelly Arduino, head of the health-care practice at advisory firm Wipfli. With government assistance winding down, there will be more financial distress and closures. “It’s only going to get worse,” she says. “We all see it coming. We don’t see a mechanism for how to fix it.”

“Across the country, almost 690 nursing homes have shut their doors since 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, expects the number to keep ticking up in the coming years, because of a combination of rising labor costs, falling enrollments and government reimbursements that fall far short of paying the bills…”

Congress is currently considering many issues that affect the lives of seniors and their service providers. We need your help to make sure Congress hears how their actions impact you. Please take a moment to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. Take action today…click here to learn more and contact your representative!

Please contact Sallie Williams, Vice President of Advancement at for more information or to share your concerns.



@GovKathyHochul MUST provide meaningful funding to NY Nursing Homes in this year’s budget! A 1% Medicaid increase after years of cuts is not enough. Nursing Homes need resources to be able to compete for staff and serve residents. All seniors deserve better. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul ALL seniors deserve better funding and support from the state. Nearly 75% of nursing home care is paid for by Medicaid; the rest is mostly Medicare. Better staffing in nursing homes requires better funding than a 1% increase to inadequate rates. #SupportOurSeniors

@GovKathyHochul No funding has been provided to enable nursing homes to meet new staffing mandates, which ignore the reality of the healthcare workforce crisis. We need funding and support for nursing homes, not penalties! We must do better.

@GovKathyHochul NY nursing homes need over 12,000 new nurses and aides to comply with the new 3.5 nurse hour mandate. Homes cannot reach this shared goal of enhanced staffing without a substantial Medicaid increase to recruit them. Please #SupportOurSeniors in this budget!


@GovKathyHochul State funding is going to Broadway, bars and the Bills, but not for needed COVID relief funding to adult care facilities and assisted living. Don’t leave these residents and staff behind. Please #SupportOurSeniors!

@GovKathyHochul After 14 years without a Medicaid increase, New York’s assisted living programs need more than a 1% increase. Low-income older adults living in these settings deserve better. Please #SupportOurSeniors in the final budget!



Kathy Hochul
(518) 474-8390
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224


Elise Stefanik
(315) 782-3150 or 782-1291
88 Public Square
Suite A
Watertown, NY 13601


Mark Walczyk
(315) 786-0284
317 Washington Street
Dulles State Office
Watertown, NY 13601


Patty Ritchie
(315) 782-3418
317 Washington St
Dulles State Office Building
Room 418
Watertown, NY 13601

Please share this message and contact information with family members waiting to see their loved ones - encourage them to contact Governor Hochul today!


For visits, call The Lodge for visitation hours (if applicable). Click here for current visitation policies, fact sheets, and screening forms.

For advocacy questions and for general inquiries, please contact us at

For press inquiries, please contact Melissa Anderson at or (716) 338-1585.