I’m a registered nurse, as is my mother. For the past 29 years I have had the honor of serving in two capacities at Applewood Center in Winchester. First as the center nurse executive for 16 years and currently as the center executive director.

It’s a special facility that annually plays host to the Senior Olympics, drawing participants from facilities statewide. Applewood participates in the national Malcolm Baldridge Quality program through the American Healthcare Association in which we embrace practices that support and achieve excellence.

These are challenging times, though, for care. Despite our perseverance in striving for excellence we are faced with many obstacles. For a few years, providers in the Monadnock Region, led by Cathy Gray at the Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, have been meeting to address workforce issues. We have been joined by area legislators, including Sens. Jay Kahn and Ruth Ward, who have tried to help.

Yet a fundamental problem is that New Hampshire just doesn’t value Medicaid care the way all other New England states do. Senate Bill 308 would make critical, overdue workforce investments. Whether at my nursing home, at Cedarcrest, or in the assisted living or home care settings, caregivers deserve to have their hard work honored by legislators.

SB 308 will help with quality and workforce stability. I encourage legislators and Gov. Sununu to support SB 308.

GAIL CUSHING

8 Snow Road

Winchester

(This writer is executive director of Applewood Rehabilitation Center in Winchester.)