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Consumer Voice's 40th Anniversary

We are pleased to announce that 2015 marks our 40th anniversary, and we invite you to join us in celebrating “40 years of making care matter!”

The traditional 40th anniversary gift is a ruby and we know that YOU and the consumers, long-term care ombudsmen, family members, citizen advocates, providers, and others in our network are the true gems for supporting our work and advocacy over the last four decades.

In the coming months, we will highlight Consumer Voice’s Gems and milestones from the last 40 years. Our Gems include individuals, organizations, and special moments that have made a significant impact on our organization’s development, mission, and advocacy.

There will be several opportunities for you to share in the celebration via social media, our website, and in-person, so pay attention to your inbox, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter to join the fun!

Consumer Voice Highlights and Accomplishments

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care was formed as NCCNHR (National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform) in 1975 because of public concern about substandard care in nursing homes. Since then, the Consumer Voice has expanded into advocating for those receiving all types of long-term care.  Read the timeline to see highlights of the organization's past 40 years.


In celebration of our 40-year ruby anniversary, we will recognize the individuals, organizations, and special moments that have made a significant impact on the organization’s development, mission, and advocacy as Consumer Voice’s Gems. 

Elma Holder, NCCNHR Founder

Passage of the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987)

Long-Term Care Consumers

Long-Term Care Ombudsmen

Citizen Advocacy Groups and Family Members

Consumer Voice's Efforts to Preserve the Federal Nursing Home Reform Law


Consumer Voice's Work to Improve Staffing Standards

Policymakers and Their Staff

All Advocates in Our Network, Past and Present

Wish the Consumer Voice a "Happy 40th!"

  • "Dear long term care reform advocates, Congratulations on 40 years of hard work." - Adeleigh Belyeu 
  • "Thanks for your needed and important work." - Meredith Bates
  • "Dear advocates, Congrats on your 40th year." - Adeleigh Belyeu
  • "Elma is indeed a gem! Beginning with her excellent work investigating the hearing aid industry with Maggie and Ralph Nader and continuing through her founding of NCCNHR and everything she's achieved since has left the world a better place for those who are vulnerable or marginalized because of their age, disability or economic status. She has been an inspiration for me and so many others over the years and continue along with Maggie to be the conscience of the aging movement. Congratulations to Elma and to Consumer Voice on their 40th Anniversary." - Stephen McConnell
  • "Congratulations on the good work of all of you and particularly, Elma Holder. I see the benefits of the good work when I visit facilities. There are still many problems, but the positive changes are evident. The vulnerable residents deserve to be treated with dignity and respect." - Jan Noyes
  • “Changing the face of long-term care, one day, one report, one bill, and one conference at a time. There is no more worthy group to support.” - Catherine Hawes
  • "CONSUMER VOICE - 40TH ANNIVERSARY - MAKING SURE CARE MATTERS We never could have done it without all of you. We have come a long way but the work is far from being done. You are the GEMS that help make it work for us. Thanks for all the hard works now and in the future. Care Matters and it starts with all of us working together with bright  new ideas." - Pat Warnick
  • "Congratulations on 40 great years! Thanks so very much for all that you do and have done to make sure the consumer's voice is heard." - Greg Shelley
  • "Congrats and thanks for the advocacy and activism!" - Lynn Fields Harris
  • "Elma, Your work founding NCCNHR created an institution in the very best sense of the word.  It will live beyond our years and will positively make a difference in resident's lives. Thank you!" - Anne Meier
  • "Congratulations! Keep up the good work." - Carol Dieffenbach
  • "Elma, Although you and I personally had not worked together, your legacy flows through the weins of every ombudsman throughout the nation.  Thank you for your work, contribution, writings, trainings, and the belief and love in the ombudsman programs.  You are truly a gem." - Susan Tonarely
  • "Thanks for all your hard work on these vital issues." - Deboarah Socolar
  • "Congratulations on a successful journey!" - Nancy McCabe
  • "Thanks to Consumer Voice for your longstanding leadership in championing quality of care for those in long-term care services!" - Kathy Bradley
  • "Moving forward to enable a better quality of life for people of all ages." - Carole Hayes Collier
  • "Congratulations, Elma and Consumer Voice! Here's to many more years of making life better for long-term care consumers and the workers who care for them." - Elise Nakhnikian
  • "Thank you for your perseverance and courage!" - Juanita Beale
  • "The early Board photo triggers so many memories of our work in the late 1970's and 1980's.  We have come a good distance, yet the needs for advocacy at the federal and state levels are challenges for today and tomorrow.  Let's enjoy this milestone and go another mile. Congratulations." - Iris C. Freeman
  • "Congratulations on a terrific past - and a bright future!" - Christopher E. Laxton
  • "One person in the right place at the right time can make the difference for many! Thank you for your dedication to the issues which make lives in nursing homes better!" - Sandy Walker
  • "I had the honor of meeting you at the 2014 Consumer Voice Conference. I want to thank you for your lifelong commitment to the wellbeing of our elders! You are truly an inspiration to us all!" - Kathryn Curry
  • "May Consumer Voice continue to stay true to its mission and may many join the ranks of this organization.  Emma had a dream and a passion for wanting to improve long-term care.  May that same passion ignite in all of us to continue what she started 40 years ago and let it burn for eternity." - Patti Warnick
  • "Thank you for your continued efforts and hard work.  You are amazing! Congratulations and I support you." - Sharon K. Mack
  • "Thank you so much for all that you knew to advocate for better nursing home and home health care services for individuals who often times are not able to advocate for themselves!" - Roxie Mayfield

Send your congratulatory message to Consumer Voice!  Email messages to info@theconsumervoice.org. Or sign the e-card.

40th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign

We invite you to contribute to our special campaign to ensure that all persons who will be dependent on long-term care services are not alone and have advocates and a voice speaking up for their needs and their rights. Learn more.


          NCCNHR Staff members in the 1980s                                                       NCCNHR Board Members in the 1990s

                                                Citizen advocates in 1999


NCCNHR Staff celebrate the passage of OBRA  //  Senators visit with actor Kirk Douglas, honorary chair of Campaign for Quality Care.


Barbara Frank speaks about the Campaign for Quality Care.  //  Janet Tulloch, Curmet Forte, & fellow nursing home residents show their support of maintaining bed hold days for nursing home residents in Washington, DC.


Dr. Arthur S. Flemming, former U.S. Commissioner on Aging and architect of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, visits with two consumers during a Consumer Voice event.  //  Jackie Coombs was a member of the Consumer Voice Board of Directors for 12 years and a Board member of the King County Coalition of Resident Councils.


Floyd Hartley (left) is a former nursing home resident who transitioned to the community and now supports other individuals transitioning from nursing homes in his home state of Maryland. Dick Weinman (right) lives in an assisted living facility in Oregon State. In the photos, Floyd and Dick are sharing their experiences with long-term care services and supports during the White House Conference on Aging listening session at the 2014 Consumer Voice Annual Conference.

Rick Eldridge (left), consumer of home and community based services in Washington, D.C., shares his experience living in and transitioning from a nursing home during the White House Conference on Aging Listening Session of the 2014 Consumer Voice Annual Conference. Panel includes Brian Capshaw, Chairman of Consumer Voice Leadership Council and nursing home resident; Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL)/ Assistant Secretary for Aging (second to right); and Nora Super, Executive Director of the WHCoA (right).

Freida Gorrecht and Joan Knowlton, former Board members.  //   Cynthia Rudder, former Director of the Nursing Home Community Coalition of New York (now the Long Term Care Community Coalition) and member of the Consumer Voice Leadership Council with Elma Holder, Consumer Voice Founder. Cynthia was the 2005 recipient of the Elma Holder Founder’s Award.

Kathy Keegan Clare, Ellen Fuller, and Lisa Knock, of the Belvoir Woods Health Care Center Family Council (left to right). Ms. Clare and Ms. Fuller are co-founders of the family council and Ms. Clare was the 2014 recipient of the Janet Tulloch Memorial Advocacy Award.    //    Susan Titus

Mitzi McFatrich, Executive Director, Kansas Advocates for Better Care, and Vice Chair, Consumer Voice Leadership Council with Elma Holder, Consumer Voice Founder, and Patty Ducayet, Texas State LTCO and President, National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs during 2014 Consumer Voice Conference.   //    Advocates from Michigan's Citizens for Better Care

Gloria Black, family member and citizen advocate. Ms. Black received the 2011 Consumer Voice Public Service Award in recognition of her extraordinary research and advocacy to focus public attention and government action on the number of deaths among the elderly on bed rails and the need for public education and government action to eliminate this serious hazard in long-term care settings.     //       Arlene Germain, co-founder of the Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (MANHR) in 2000 and MANHR’s president since 2004 receiving the 2013 Janet Tulloch Memorial Advoacy Award.

Paul Van Westrienen, member of the Michigan Campaign for Quality Care, and current Treasurer of the Consumer Voice Governing Board poses with Alice Hedt, Maryland State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and former Consumer Voice Executive Director during the 2008 Consumer Voice Conference.


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Sing along again with the “Consumer Voice Chorale Singers” who led us through the beautiful Song of the Soul during our 40th Anniversary Party ....