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ACHIEVEMENTS

Client
Bayada Nurses, Inc.

Issue

Proposed State budget cuts

Objective

Work with the administration of Governor Chris Christie and representatives of the Department of Human Services to eliminate or offset a proposed $13 million cut in the State’s home healthcare reimbursements to providers.

Strategy

In conjunction with Bayada staff, we were able to create a simple, fact-filled “white paper” that detailed the very real potential for the proposed cuts in home health care reimbursements to actually cost the State far more in the long run by forcing patients into more expensive long-term care. We established meetings with key members of the Governor’s staff, and Legislators who were responsible for human services and budgetary decisions and disseminated the “white paper” while providing — with Bayada staff — a compelling outline of the likely cost increases of the proposed cuts. Our firm also coordinated testimony in front of Senate and Assembly budget committees which included presentations by Bayada officials and patients. We also worked with Commissioner Jennifer Velez of the Department of Human Services to identify ways to make some cuts in the cost of providing home health care reimbursements without harming the overall integrity of the program and driving patients to costlier long-term care.

Outcome

Governor Christie restored the $13 million in funding for reimbursement for home health care while Bayada was able to reduce costs in conjunction with the Department of Human Services to enable the department to meet its budget goals.

Client
Walmart Stores, Inc.

Issue

Image; legislative and regulatory initiatives; property development

Objective

Enhance image of the world’s largest retailer with NJ Legislature and key Administration decision-makers. Stop anti-big box and healthcare legislation targeted specifically at Walmart. National anti-Wal-Mart efforts by unions was adversely impacting the opinion of key decision-makers, especially Democrats in the Legislature.

Enhance image of Walmart as local approval process was undertaken on development projects throughout New Jersey. Obtain approvals while managing corporate reputation in the process.

Strategy

Engage proactively in approval process that was many times driven by developers with little regard for Walmart’s reputation. Identify new allies to offset significant negative image held by Legislature and Administration and many local officials in towns targeted for development. Maximize good relationships developed with elected officials in towns where stores existed and establish community-based strategies to highlight benefits of having a Walmart in their community.

Outcome

Walmart’s change in behavior allowed for the development of relationships with several of New Jersey’s largest trade unions, which effectively split the labor community and stalled both anti-big box and healthcare legislation that would have had a profoundly negative impact on the company’s operations in New Jersey. Walmart, which had for years only built prototype stores, began showing flexibility in design and size that allowed for give-and-take in the local and state agency approval process. A process, which had once proved almost always adversarial, has become more collaborative. A focus on charitable giving has helped address the negative image promulgated by the unions that continue to oppose Walmart, and highlights the benefits to the community of having Walmart as a good neighbor.