Oregon's governor proposed significant budget cuts in 2001 for nursing homes, which includes the Providence Child Care Center in Portland that serves profoundly disabled children.
Competition for state funds grew increasingly tough as the state began to dip into recession, tightening state tax revenue.
Representing the Providence Health System, CFM implemented a grassroots communications strategy that energized families of the children, employees at the center and other advocates to write or e-mail legislators. The cards rolled in emphasizing the importance of the center as a one-of-a-kind facility. Next, CFM invited the House Speaker and key Ways and Means Committee members to tour the center, seeing first-hand the caring, home-like setting.
The strategy worked as lawmakers restored the spending cuts proposed by the governor. The outreach proved valuable a year later when plummeting state tax revenues forced more spending cuts and the governor again put nursing home payments on the chopping block. Once again, lawmakers rebalanced the budget without cutting funds for facilities such as the Providence Child Care Center.