HCAOA has the privilege to work with some of the best and brightest leaders in the home care industry and benefit from their wisdom through their service on the Board of Directors. Emma Dickison of Home Helpers Home Care has served as the President of the HCAOA Board of Directors for the past 3 years, helping our organization and the home care industry navigate uncharted waters.
Reflection on Emma’s Leadership
“Emma Dickison was the right person at the right time for HCAOA,” said HCAOA CEO Vicki Hoak. “I had only been with HCAOA for four months when the pandemic hit. From the beginning, Emma committed to ensuring HCAOA members always had the most up-to-the-minute information on COVID and we maintained that commitment through the pandemic.”
“Emma has consistently championed efforts to elevate the home care industry and supported our [HCAOA] staff. She led our association through unprecedented challenges--a pandemic, an explosion of demand for in-home care, and maneuvering through the worst workforce shortage in decades. Emma Dickison is a class act and we all owe her great deal of gratitude for what she has done over the last three years,” said Hoak
HCAOA asked Emma to share some thoughts from her time as Board President.
What accomplishments are you most proud of from your term as President of the HCAOA Board of Directors?
Dickison: I am humbled by how much HCAOA leadership has accomplished in a few short years. When I came on board, we set the goal of increasing the understanding of home care’s role in the healthcare continuum. We also foresaw the need to elevate the profession and help more people find valuable careers in the industry.
While I could never have predicted the impact a global pandemic could have, I am most proud of our work to help home care agency owners navigate the pandemic—helping them find funding, sourcing PPE, and having home care workers recognized as Essential Workers. In doing so, we have helped build awareness and understanding that home care is a vital component in the healthcare continuum. We were able to access needed support for home care workers through CARES Act funding and elevate the perception of our businesses.
Home care has grown through this challenging time, which many industries cannot say. Today over 1.4 million people are working in the home care industry. And at HCAOA, we continue to lead the industry by building understanding in our communities for home care’s role, the rights of home care workers, and access to professional training for home care agencies.
In 2021 during your Board presidency, HCAOA established a Code of Conduct. Why was this an important step for HCAOA and the home care industry?
Dickison: HCAOA member agencies must represent the best standard of care for clients and patients, regardless of location. In developing standards, consumers can be confident when choosing an agency that has committed to the Code of Conduct that they will:
These standards reflect the best in care for our agency members and are a testament to the values of the agencies that uphold them. By maintaining excellence, our industry can continue to self-regulate, reducing barriers to entry for new agencies as the need for home care continues to rise.
How have you observed the home care industry change during your time as HCAOA Board President? How has HCAOA influenced this change?
Dickison: Awareness and understanding of home care as a viable and preferable option for seniors, in particular, has increased far faster than I could have imagined. And the level of professionalism within our agencies and our staff working to keep up with the growing demand has been impressive.
Through this growth in understanding, HCAOA has helped empower the professionals in the industry and elevated the quality of care being performed. Our work is critical – home care helps people remain independent longer, in many cases reduces healthcare costs, and provides a more engaged fulfilling life for the client.
Is there anything else you would like to share with HCAOA members?
Dickison: In closing, I would like to add two things. First, the ongoing, relentless efforts of our HCAOA staff are phenomenal. They are a very small group of people, making a tremendous impact. I would like to thank them publicly and ask that when you interact with them, please do the same.
And second, if you know agency owners, who haven’t yet joined HCAOA, take it upon yourself to bring them into the organization. The more member organizations with access to this critical programming, the greater the demand for our services and the stronger the attraction to working in our industry will be. Professionalism is key to attracting more Caregivers to the industry, and HCAOA can help you provide more opportunities to your staff and you.
Thank you, Emma, for your dedicated service to the Home Care Association of America and our members.