Otten to hold policy hearing in Exton on the state of the care workforce

EXTON, March 5 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the state of the care workforce in Pennsylvania.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Abraham Fetters-White School, 134 Sharp Lane. The media and public are invited to attend.

Otten requested the hearing to discuss the rising need for and shortage of care workers for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities; the need to raise wages and reimbursements for home health care workers and direct support professionals; and the need to ensure safe work conditions for all care workers, whether in the home or in a facility setting.

Otten will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

Panelists will include:

  • Kevin Hancock, deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Matt Yarnell, president, SEIU Healthcare PA.
  • Lolita Owens, homecare worker, Liberty Resources.
  • Tynia Stevens, nurse aide, Bryn Mawr Extended Care Center.
  • Lauren House, intellectual disability deputy administrator, Chester County Department of Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Jeanne Meikrantz, executive director, The Arc of Chester County.
  • Pennsylvania Homecare Association.
  • Deborah Rowe, vice president, nursing workforce development, PA Health Care Association.
  • Joanne Grossi, president, AARP Pennsylvania.
  • Colin Brigham, Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.

"Chester County is the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania, and our senior population is growing at a faster rate than any other segment,” Otten said. “We need to understand the obstacles that prevent families from being able to access care for elderly parents or family members with disabilities, and we need to talk about the way our current system is working for families, care workers and our community as a whole.”

This hearing is among a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is available at and hearing materials are at