2020 Rhode Island General Assembly Candidate Survey

Bring the Vote Home Rhode Island is an initiative of the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care Political Action Committee to educate our industry’s 7,800+ workforce members and our 20,000+ patients and clients, as well as countless members of our patients’ and clients’ family and friends that will vote in the upcoming elections. The Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care represents providers licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health to deliver healthcare services, such as, but not limited to personal care and homemaking, skilled nursing and physical/occupational therapy, infusion therapy, palliative care and hospice/end-of-life support. These providers deliver care to pregnant mothers experiencing a medically-difficult pregnancy, newborns and infants with medically-challenging start-of-life, children with exceptional disabilities and medical fragilities, adults with disabilities and elders with physical limitations and co-morbidities, and all those requiring clinical support at end-of-life regardless of age.

Home care and hospice providers face statutory and regulatory challenges that establish barriers for our workforce to earn an adequate wage, never mind a dignified wage, barriers to provide additional services and prevent consolidation of services due to low Medicaid and commercial insurance reimbursement rates, and barriers for prospective patients and clients to access home care and hospice based on their geographic location within Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care is asking the following questions to candidates seeking to be elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in the upcoming term about their positions impacting home care and hospice service delivery. We asked candidates to not just answer “yes” or “no”, but rather provide us with their thoughts about these important issues. The purpose of "Bring The Vote Home Rhode Island" to educate voters on issues that they will consider when casting their ballot and assess what we need to do to further educate our elected officials on our issues and the public policy solutions that we are offering to break down current barriers to home care and hospice. 

Questions to Candidates

  1. During the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Raimondo allocated federal stimulus funding toward wages for frontline workers in congregate settings. Unfortunately, frontline home care and hospice workers, including those actively delivering essential healthcare services to COVID-19 positive patients in congregate settings, were excluded from receiving a $20.00 minimum wage. What is your position on elevating wages for frontline home care and hospice workers to a $20.00 minimum wage with sustainable reimbursement rates to support said wages? What is your position for hazard pay incentives to stabilize an adequate level of frontline healthcare workers during public health emergencies?
  1. Have you experienced home care for yourself or home care or hospice for a loved one? Can you share with us your story with some information about this experience?
  1. Should you win your election, we would like to invite you to participate in the “Rhode Island Home Care and Hospice Legislative Caucus”. Sponsored by the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care, the association will host an event during the next legislative session for members of the General Assembly to learn more about delivering optimal healthcare in the homes of Rhode Islanders, the barriers in which providers face in delivering said care and how the House of Representatives and the Senate can breakdown these barriers and enhance access to home-based healthcare services regardless of a patient’s zip code. Would you participate in the “Rhode Island Home Care and Hospice Legislative Caucus”? In addition, would you be willing to meet with a Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care representative to learn more about home care and hospice and to participate in a home care visit for one of your constituents?

Bring The Vote Home Rhode Island: 2020 General Assembly Candidate Survey Responses



Political Party

General Assembly District

District Communities


Question #1: Position on Home Care and Hospice Funding

Question #2: Personal Experience with Home Care or Hospice Services

Question #3: Home Care and Hospice Legislative Caucus

Edith Ajello


House 1


Candidate is incumbent

“We continue to learn about the facts of COVID-19. I don’t think anyone providing actual work like home care should be paid less than a reasonable living wage. $20/hour.”


“I’d like to very much meet with you and learn more. After my 28 years in the House, I’ve learned that I have more to learn.”

Rebecca Kislak


House 4


Candidate is incumbent

“In order to keep people living at home as safely and as long as possible, we need to invest in our home care infrastructure. Of course, home care workers should be paid a living wage and included as critical infrastructure workers. Also, I support a path to a living wage for everyone.”

Someday, I can talk about my grandmother, who died peacefully at home after years of decline and cobbled together resources in Florida. But what I want to say here is that on the doors, ‘how am I going to stay at home’ is a very big issue for folks. We need to do better.”

“Yes, but not a home care visit right now. I won’t go into people’s homes. I would visit outside because of COVID-19.”

Angel Subervi


House 7


Daniel McKiernan (D) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date 

“I support elevating wages for frontline home care and hospice workers. Yes, for hazard pay incentives.”

“Yes, several of my elderly uncles and aunts. I have seen what my wife had to go through when she was a CNA. It is absolutely a job that requires strong public service and vocational abilities. It requires love, passion and dedication to serve others.”

“Absolutely honored! I want to be the voice of our frontline healthcare ‘angels’. Honored.”

Ramon Perez


House 13


Mario Mendes (D) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

“In favor.”



Maryann Lancia


House 16


Christopher Millea (D) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

“Elevate wages! The Governor got $1.25 Billion from the federal government. Some of that money should of been used for the very issues you’ve brought up”



Patricia Serpa


House 27

Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick 

Candidate is incumbent

“Each and every single class of workers referenced in Question #1 should be eligible for $20/hour as well as for hazard pay!”

“Yes, I have. My husband has Parkinson's Disease. As a result, he has been in and out of nursing homes several times. Upon release, he has needed home healthcare. It was an excellent experience. I presently take care of him at home.”


Scott Guthrie


House 28


George Nardone (R) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date    

“Considering the complexity and difficulties treating patients such as your organization and those that provide healthcare in any form, wages should be not only fair, but measured by the type of care given. It takes courage, character and devotion to duty to be able to provide these services. I stand 100% in support of your organization and others that work the toughest of professions and would support increased salary. You are no less essential than any healthcare workers, period.”

“After surviving a cancer with a 68% mortality rate, and a one month rehabilitation in a nursing home, my recovery would have been far more difficult with home care. That care lasted an additional three months in home. I have been cancer free for over 12 years and I am dedicated to those that got me to this position in life.”

“It would be an honor to participate in your legislative caucus. I served in the General Assembly in the past, where I served in many caucuses, including the American Cancer Society.”

Julie Casimiro


House 31

Exeter, North Kingstown

Candidate is incumbent

“Frontline healthcare workers should absolutely be receiving hazard pay during a global pandemic”


“Absolutely! I have gone on home visits in the past and would appreciate going on more.”

Guiseppe “Joe” Mattiello


House 41

Cranston, Scituate

Robert Quattrocchi (R) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

“CNA workers are grossly underpaid and not appreciated for their hard work that most would not entertain doing. I’ve been humbled by watching them in action when my mom spent 5 years at an area nursing home and private care. They should be compensated!”

“My mom was placed in a nursing home for 5 years while struggling with dementia. CNA and hospice are so critical to survival of our loved ones and while there, nursing home was cutting their medical benefits creating a shortage of CNA. Terrible!”

“Yes, I’m all in to provide support for this much needed industry. In addition to supporting nursing homes, home care is a much better, less used alternative because of high cost. We need to develop a support system to advance home care.”

Deborah Fellela


House 43


Candidate is incumbent

“I believe there should be hazard pay. They are on the frontline and they deserve it. Whether it be an increase hourly or a set fee for the week. I feel that hard to get workers in the field deserve to be appreciated.”


“I would welcome this invitation if I win re-election. I believe more action is needed for home care workers, whether it is their pay or the staffing needs. Always have advocated for this industry. Gladly always willing to learn more.”

John Cullen


House 46

Lincoln, Pawtucket

Jack Lyle, Jr. (I) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

"In my opinion, Governor Raimondo failed and was derelict in not supporting frontline home care and hospice workers, including those actively delivering services to COVID-19 positive patients in congregate settings. Governor Raimondo spent money on her public relations and daily briefings of body counts and contractions of COVID-19 when much more could have been spent and done to protect the most vulnerable COVID-19 population. I suport $20 minimum wage and sustainable reimbursement rates. Hazard pay is something I would consider.”

"I support home care fully since it brings comfort to your loved ones to be at home. My grandmother had home care and died at home in 1959. My mother received hospice care for only three days and that care was loving. My mother-in-law was at a nursing home, but home care would have been preferable, if made available to us.”

"Yes, I would be a leader in the caucus. Yes, I would meet with home care providers to learn more about home care and hospice and to participate in a home care visit for one or more of my constituents.”

Michelle McGaw


House 71

Little Compton, Portsmouth, Tiverton

Dennis Canario (D) - Not seeking re-election

“As a pharmacist working in a long-term care environment, each day I watch as our frontline caregivers do extremely challenging work, under challenging conditions for inadequate pay. While it is in a facility setting, rather than at home, the work is similar. I have great respect for those that care for the most vulnerable among us. I would support increasing the minimum wage for these workers, with improved reimbursement rates so that we can continue to have a skilled workforce that will properly care for those in need. I was in support of this previously because of the work that is being done around me everyday, which is under-compensated. The recent pandemic has highlighted just how important those essential workers are. During times of crisis, we must not only provide them with hazard pay, but we must also guarantee that they have the supplies and protection they need.”

“I have been fortunate that I have not required home care or hospice for myself or a loved one. While I do not have a personal story to tell, I can say that through my daily work, I have much experience with the service that these healthcare providers offer. My experience extends beyond the skilled nursing facility. I have also worked briefly with a home infusion and home healthcare company where I worked directly with patients and families to help them recuperate in the comfort of their homes with the necessary caregivers. I recognize the importance to the patient and to the family of providing an option for patients to stay in their home with their loved ones where they can be most comfortable.”

“I would be honored to participate in the Rhode Island Home Care and Hospice Legislative Caucus. I am always open to learning more about the people in my community and how we can better meet their needs. Access to healthcare is one of the key components to my candidacy and a component of that is making sure that those providing the care receive the compassion and equipment they need to properly care for those in need of care. We can always learn more and strive to make more informed decisions.”

Christopher Semonelli


House 72

Middletown, Portsmouth

Terri-Denise Cortvriend (D) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

“It is imperative that we raise the minimum wages for frontline workers that are risking their lives. It is a part of my platform. Hazard pay must be paid. Also, all high school students should have a career path program to teach them these skills and drive up wages.”

“We have an autistic child and have worked with wonderful workers that don’t get paid enough. The survivors in the system have a passion that are critical to maintain the quality of care needed for positive outcomes for parents and siblings.”

"Yes, I would. I was a member of Senator Louis DiPalma (D-12, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton) Sustainability Commission and am now a member of the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council and the Rhode Island Families Organized for Reform, Change and Empowerment (RI FORCE). I also have disability nonprofit. We need a statewide program like the Massachusetts Caring Force, which is a grassroots initiative of the Massachusetts Providers’ Council.”

Valarie Lawson


Senate 14

East Providence

Candidate is incumbent

“I would support an increase in wages and reimbursement rates. I would like more information in regards to obtaining the $20 minimum wage. I do support hazard pay to frontline workers in public health emergencies.”

“Fortunately, I have not experienced home care for myself or hospice for a loved one.”

“I would attend a meeting to learn more about delivering optimal healthcare in the homes of Rhode Islanders. I would gladly meet with a home care provider and a constituent.”

Elizabeth Crowley 


Senate 16

Central Falls, Pawtucket

Candidate is incumbent

“I support the wages for all frontline workers, not matter at home or in other settings. The patient is the main concern and their care should be above the minimum wages generally given to them.”

“I had a visiting nurse for a short time, but I have a sister-in-law who works as a hospice care nurse. Every day these workers not only work with the patient, but also with families.”

“Yes, as a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, I would love to participate in the Caucus.”

Anthony Fagundes, Sr.


Senate 26


Frank Lombardi (D) - Running for re-election, but did not respond to date

“In favor of it.”

“My father-in-law was put in hospice. They were great to him.”


Elaine Morgan


Senate 34

Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich

Candidate is incumbent

“I am an advocate for home healthcare and support it.”

“Yes, I have had both and  they were wonderful experiences with home care.”

“Yes, I would participate.”