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The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Makes Major Investment to Support Launch of Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers National Advocacy Program

Organizations come together on National Caregivers Day to share a vision for caregivers

AMERICUS, Ga., February 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of National Caregiver Day, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) today announced that the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation made a major investment to support equitable, evidence-based policies that center caregivers on the new national advocacy program. The Foundation’s commitment is a three-year grant from $5,140,520.

Mary Wilson (left) and Rosalynn Carter

Since the caregiver pandemic has developed, their isolation has intensified and their physical/mental health has suffered.

This latest grant from the partnership between RCI and the Foundation is in direct response to a growing crisis facing caregivers. During the pandemic, caregivers have multiplied, their isolation has intensified, and their physical and mental health has suffered. According to a national caregiver survey conducted by RCI, 83% of caregivers report an increase in caregiving stress since the start of the pandemic. As the country moves toward recovery, this investment will support a much-needed and largely invisible part of America’s healthcare system: the nation’s 53 million family caregivers.

The first piece of RCI’s policy agenda is a bold proposal to centralize support for caregivers across federal research, policy, funding and programs through the creation of an Office of Caregiver Health at the Department. of Health and Social Services. In addition to national advocacy, RCI will begin working to advance statewide policies to support caregivers in Michigan, new Yorkand Georgia.

For nearly 35 years, RCI has provided direct support, resources and programs to caregivers. During this time, caregiver responsibilities, stress and isolation have increased while their support systems have stagnated. Now, under the added strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, caregivers have reached a breaking point.

“History is filled with calamitous events that propelled historic changes, often reshaping politics,” said Rosalynn Carterformer first lady of United States and founder of RCI. “COVID has demonstrated how essential caregivers are to a healthy American society, and we must seize this moment to invest in institutions that support them.”

With this charge, RCI is expanding its portfolio of work to include advocating for systems-level change to help build a national support system for family caregivers nationwide.

“Caregivers are the invisible front line of health care in America and the last 18 months have proven that we could not function without them,” said dr. Jennifer Olson, CEO of RCI. “Now is the time to change systems and change lives, and with partners like the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, I believe we can finally give caregivers the support they deserve.”

Caregivers are one of main areas of intervention of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the partnership between RCI and the Foundation grew out of Rosalynn Carter and by Mary Wilson common interest in supporting caregivers.

“Ralph has long held a special place in his heart for caregivers, understanding the value and importance of their care in making our communities strong and resilient,” said Mary Wilson, chairman of the board and trustee for life of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Now more than ever, it is important that the voices and experiences of carers are reflected in our state and national policies.”

About RCI: The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers promotes the health, strength and resilience of caregivers throughout United States. Founded in 1987 by the former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Institute’s priority is the unpaid family carer: people who care for a relative, friend or loved one. To learn more about RCI, its advocacy, how to participate in programs or build a partnership, visit www.rosalynncarter.org.

About The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a granting organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life for the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. Both estates reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s dedication to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his beloved Buffalo Bills NFL team. Prior to his death in 2014, Mr Wilson planned that a significant portion of his estate would be used to pursue a lifetime of generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation that bears his name. Situated at Detroitthe Foundation began with a grant-making capacity of $1.2 billion over a period of 20 years, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire that the impact of the Foundation be immediate, substantial, measurable and overseen by those who know him best. For more information, visit www.rcwjrf.org.

Media contacts:
Barbara Ann Luttrell
Communications Director
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers
[email protected]
334.477.8849

Carly Strachan
Senior Program Officer
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
[email protected]
313.460.8100

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SOURCE The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation