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Nisha Hammel, MSW, LSW

Nisha HammeDirector of Advocacy

  • Oversees state & federal legislative efforts, payor & other stakeholder advocacy related issues
  • Identifies and communicates member capacity to deliver quality
  • Works with Communications Committee to advance quality message
  • Staff liaison to Advocacy Committee

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Policy Matters

Senate Budget Wrap-Up: On to Conference Committee

On June 21, the Ohio Senate passed its version of the HB49, the State’s biennial budget.  The bill moves to conference committee where House and Senate members will reconcile the differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed versions. The members of the Conference Committee on HB49 are Representatives Ryan Smith (R-Gallipolis), Scott Ryan (R-Newark) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Senators Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood). The first meeting of the group is set for Thursday, June 22.    

LeadingAge Ohio has worked tirelessly through this budget season to ensure its members' voices are heard, and the vulnerable citizens in their care are maintained at the forefront of our legislators' minds. To review previous communications on the Ohio budget process, click the following links:

LeadingAge Ohio has been successful on multiple fronts, including preserving the $100 million for nursing homes included in the House version of the budget, and introducing an exclusion which eliminates barriers to antipsychotic use near end of life for nursing home-residing hospice patients. LeadingAge Ohio continues to work closely with our legislators through this final "home stretch" of the budget process. 

If you have a question about the budget or about grassroots advocacy, contact Nisha Hammel, Director of Advocacy, at

Lame Duck Wrap-Up

This lame duck session was a very busy one. The legislature returned from their summer break for the general election on Tuesday, November 16 and worked until 4AM on Friday, December 9. The 131stGeneral Assembly did not adjourn sine die, saving that for the end of the month.

The bills which passed the General Assembly included the following, which LeadingAge Ohio had either followed or directly intervened: 

To read a summary of each of these bills, as well as bills which will affect all employers in Ohio, click here. 

SB 165, which would implement Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) did not pass during the lame duck session, and therefore will need to be introduced in the next General Assembly for consideration.

Any questions regarding these or other bills may be directed to Nisha Hammel, Director of Advocacy at

 Lehner Recognized with Public Service Award

 Left to right Nisha Hammel LeadingAge Ohio Director of Advocacy Kathryn Brod President/CEO LeadingAge Ohio Senator Peggy Lehner Ohio District 6 and Bridget McAuliffe Advocacy Consultant Barnes & Thornburg.Nisha Hammel, LeadingAge Ohio Director of Advocacy; Kathryn Brod, President/CEO, LeadingAge Ohio, Senator Peggy Lehner, Ohio District 6 and Bridget McAuliffe, Advocacy Consultant, Barnes & Thornburg.

At this year’s LeadingAge Ohio Annual Conference and Trade Show, Senator Peggy Lehner of the Dayton area was recognized for her stalwart leadership on issues affecting Ohio’s older adults. In accepting the award, Senator Lehner shared a personal account of her experience with LeadingAge Ohio member Hospice of Dayton. She was driving back to Columbus late one night when “I got the call,” she said. She shared how she turned around, drove to the hospice facility and was impressed with how peaceful the experience was. “There were no visiting hours, I just walked in,” she said.

On behalf of its members, LeadingAge Ohio expresses its deep appreciation to Senator Lehner, who recognizes the value our members provide, and who regularly steps up for seniors.

To learn more about advocating on behalf of Ohio’s seniors, contact LeadingAge Ohio Director of Advocacy, Nisha Hammel at

Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.