For Immediate Release
Lisa Razza, Director of Communications
PITTSBURGH, PA (August 28, 2019) – Nancy Murray, President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh (an affiliate of ACHIEVA), was selected today as a co-chair of the Family Caregiving Advisory Council, a new national committee created by the federal “RAISE Family Caregivers Act.” The purpose of the new committee is to advise and provide recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as it relates to recognizing and supporting family caregivers of individuals with a disability, chronic or other health condition, or functional limitation.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act, which became law on January 22, 2018, directs the HHS Secretary to develop a national family caregiver strategy. The strategy will identify actions that federal, state and local governments, communities, long-term care providers, and others should take to recognize and support family caregivers. Nancy commented, “Family caregivers are a vital - and usually overlooked - national treasure. There is simply not enough funding or paid caregivers to provide all of the care that people with disabilities, seniors, veterans and people with chronic illnesses need. At one time or another, many, if not most, Americans become caregivers. Therefore, I am honored to be chosen to serve on this inaugural committee focused on family caregiving.”
Murray’s appointment was made by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar II. To be considered for appointment to the committee, nominations required two letters of recommendation, which Ms. Murray received from U.S. Senator Bob Casey and former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh.
The first meeting of the Family Caregiving Advisory Council occurred in Washington D.C. today, where the chairs were announced. A second meeting will be held tomorrow, August 29. Along with Nancy Murray, two additional co-chairs were selected: Casey Shillam, Ph.D., R.N.- BC Professor, University of Portland, and Alan Stevens, Ph.D. Director, Center for Applied Health Research. The new council is the responsibility of the federal Administration on Community Living (ACL), an agency within HHS. According to the ACL, “These recommendations will support the development and execution of a national family caregiving strategy.”
Ms. Murray’s credentials are numerous as it relates to family caregiving. She is the parent of two adult children with disabilities and has been an advocate for people with disabilities for nearly four decades. She was recently appointed by Governor Wolf to his Council on Reform to improve the support and protection of vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Murray is a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Medical Assistance Advisory Committee and the Office of Developmental Programs’ Information Sharing and Advisory Committee. She is also the founder and former coordinator of the Down Syndrome Center at Children’s Hospital (UPMC) of Pittsburgh. Murray was first hired as President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh in 2002. The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh is an affiliate of ACHIEVA, one of the largest advocacy and disability service organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania.
ACHIEVA is a non-profit organization located in southwestern Pennsylvania providing lifelong supports to people with disabilities and their families. ACHIEVA envisions a community where all people with disabilities lead lives of personal significance. Our services range from early intervention therapies and employment supports to special needs trusts and supports in the home and community. ACHIEVA advocates for, empowers, and supports people with disabilities and their families throughout their lives.