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Florida Professional Association of Care Givers to Close

December 12, 2013

After 19 years of providing education opportunities, support, and recognition to nursing assistants “regardless of their title or place of employment,” the Florida Professional Association of Care Givers (FPACG) will be closing on January 31, 2014.

The announcement was made by Terry Bucher (left), FPACG founder and past president, in a recent letter to members and associates.

The FPACG board of directors made the decision to “dissolve” the association because of insufficient finances, the letter says.

FPACG was the first professional membership association in Florida — and one of the first in the nation — for certified nurse assistants, home health aides, and other primary health care workers, Bucher said.

Since the association was launched in 1995 — first as the Nurse Assistant Educational Support Group of Polk County and incorporated in 1997 as the Florida Association of Nurse Assistants — its members have participated in legislative efforts in Tallahassee and Washington, DC. The group has been a strong advocate for federal wage protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (Read Bucher’s op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel.)

FPACG has been a “primary resource” for health career opportunities, best practices, and career ladders, Bucher said. Among the association’s accomplishments has been the development of its own education department to provide educational home in-services, on-site programming, an annual conference, and local chapters.

“The opportunity for members and non-members to meet together in our local chapters for education, networking, and sharing increased awareness of quality care issues and best practices has served as a reminder of resident client rights and the overall dignity of all we are privileged to serve,” the letter says.

FPACG has been a pioneer in developing a code of ethics specific to its primary caregivers. It has also helped to prepare its members for greater involvement and opportunities within the association and the workplace through leadership development, which has given FPACG members “greater confidence in speaking about their unique roles in health care.”

— by Deane Beebe

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