A bill introduced this week by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would restructure the state ombudsman program that is charged with protecting residents in long-term care facilities.
Wolk’s measure, Senate Bill 345, would turn the ombudsman’s office into a new independent nonprofit entity, rather than an appointed position overseen by the Department of Aging.
This change would lend the office the autonomy needed to speak out effectively on behalf of resident concerns, a news release from Wolk’s office states.
In addition, such a nonprofit could receive federal funding while being able to leverage external sources of funding, reducing the state’s financial obligations, the release notes.
The duties of the state’s long-term care ombudsman includes investigating long-term care resident complaints, protecting the legal rights of residents and publicizing issues of importance to residents.