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Good afternoon, Advocate,

We begin 2012 by preparing for a "mid-biennium review" of the budget, which means more potential policy changes that could affect health, human services, and early care & education in Ohio. Statehouse leaders will need to hear from all of us!

Will you help Advocates for Ohio's Future gear up for budget adjustments by sharing your story?

Over the next few weeks, AOF will be collecting stories for the OhioSPEAKS project about how human needs programs have made a difference in Ohioans' lives. We will send you an email each week focusing on services for seniors, children and families, people with disabilities, food and housing assistance, and behavioral health and addiction services.

We're starting this week with senior services!

During the state budget deliberations last spring, we advocated for shifting long-term care dollars from expensive nursing home institutions to home- and community-based care when institutional care was not necessary. This helped maximize taxpayers’ investment in a system that is prevention oriented and responsive to people’s needs. A recent Columbus Dispatch editorial asserted that long-term care is now more balanced. But there's still work to be done, particularly as Ohio looks to unify the long-term care waivers this year.

Will you share your story about why PASSPORT and other senior services are important to you?

Dianne Vranic shared her and her mother's PASSPORT story with Advocates for Ohio's Future. Watch Dianne tell her lively story on YouTube.

The Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging has also worked to collect consumer stories about how PASSPORT improves lives and saves taxpayer money. Click here to read examples of o4a's consumer stories.

Will you take five minutes to share your story -- as a consumer or provider -- today? Click here to write your story or upload a video.

Please forward this email and give seniors in your community the opportunity to get involved and share their story.

To stay on our mailing list but opt out of this type of communication for the next few weeks, just click here.

Will Petrik, Outreach Director

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