SPOKANE, WA—LeadingAge Washington announces Representative Joe Schmick and Senator Linda Evans Parlette as the 2016 Legislators of the Year at their annual Awards of Excellence ceremony. The LeadingAge Washington Legislator of the Year award recognizes state policymakers who have made significant contributions in advocating for Washington state’s older adults and advancing the work of aging service providers.During the 2016 legislative session, Representative Schmick and Senator Parlette passed key legislation that improves the access to care and information for Washington residents living in long-term care facilities. Representative Schmick led stakeholders in creating an improved payment system for Washington’s skilled nursing facilities and helped craft a registration process for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) standardizing the disclosure of information important to resident choice. Working closely together, Representative Schmick and Senator Parlette reduced a rate penalty that skilled nursing facilities face for caring for residents with lower levels of nursing needs. Additionally, Senator Parlette was successful in modernizing the long-term care pharmacy laws that ensure residents in long-term care facilities have timely access to critically necessary medications.Representative Schmick represents the 9th District, which includes Asotin, Garfield, Franklin, Adams, Whitman and south Spokane counties. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 and has been sent back to Olympia by voters 4 times. Senator Parlette represents the 12th Legislative District which includes approximately 137,000 people living in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties. Parlette’s legislative experience began in 1996 when she was elected to the House of Representatives. She served two terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 2000. She was re-elected to her fourth four-year term in 2012 and recently announced that she will be leaving office in early 2017.“We are extremely grateful for Representative Schmick’s and Senator Parlette’s leadership in support of our skilled nursing facility, CCRC and assisted living members as they continually strive to improve the lives of those they serve,” said LeadingAge Washington CEO Deb Murphy.For more information about LeadingAge Washington’s Awards of Excellence, visit http://leadingagewa.org/recognition/awards-of-excellence/About LeadingAge WashingtonLeadingAge Washington is the largest state association representing the continuum of care for our aging population. With over 180 not-for-profit and mission driven member providers we support meaningful choices in long term services and supports for over 50,000 older Washingtonians. Our “Return on Investment” is the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents, our staff and the communities in which we live.

Contact: LeighBeth Merrick, Director of Senior Living & Community Services,

LeadingAge Washington, 360.631.1322, lmerrick@leadingagewa.org

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