Action Needed Today: Funding to the HHS Emergency Fund

Action Needed Today: Funding to the HHS Emergency Fund


Dear ANCOR members,

I need 5 minutes of your time today – it’s urgent, and time sensitive. Congress and the Administration are very close to finalizing an interim legislative package. Importantly, it will add more funding to the HHS Emergency Fund, in addition to propping up the underfunded SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Together we’ve been relentlessly lobbying for I/DD providers to be included in the original $100 Billion that was included in the CARES Act — this additional funding must ensure HHS includes our industry in the next distribution of the fund. Please take action through our online tool here – the urgency of your need must be communicated as loud as humanely possible today!

Although we believe there will be another legislative package after this one, this opportunity must be leveraged to the fullest extent possible.  As I wrote to HHS Secretary Azar and Administrator Seema Verma today:

“Our system of services for people with I/DD and Autism is the first line of defense for millions of people. It is our Direct Support Professionals who are keeping those they support out of the emergency healthcare system.  A story in The Washington Post last week highlighted the struggles of a dedicated Direct Support Professional in a powerful way.  “Across the nation, we are – rightly – applauding health-care workers nightly, but many people have no idea what that man and his colleagues do daily. They work in one of the most difficult, and hidden, health-care jobs in the country. And it is one that has landed them, too, on the front lines of this pandemic. This is happening right in the heart our nation’s capital. From the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, the news media is now exposing how vulnerable this population is to this virus.  Providers are reporting COVID-19 deaths of both staff and individuals supported, but with the exception of the media coverage and our advocacy cries, it appears our sector continues to not be prioritized. It is in your power to correct this by ensuring I/DD providers are included in HHS response funding.”

Help us drive this message home today with Congress and take action immediately – thank you!

Barbara Merrill
Chief Executive Officer
American Network of Community Options and Resources


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