By Dr. Colleen Morley DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM

“There are only four kinds of people in the world-those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” 

--Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States

In recognition of the passing of Mrs. Carter on November 19, 2023, and her dedication to the tireless efforts and immense contributions of caregivers nationwide, it is fitting to shine a spotlight on the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI), an organization that embodies the very essence of support and advocacy for caregivers.

Founded in 1987 by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the RCI has been a beacon of hope and a source of invaluable resources for caregivers for over three decades. Mrs. Carter, deeply moved by her own experiences in caregiving, established the institute with a mission to promote the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers at every stage of their journey.

At the heart of the RCI's philosophy is the recognition that caregiving, while rewarding, can be incredibly challenging and isolating. Caregivers often face emotional, physical, and financial strains, yet their work remains largely unrecognized in the public sphere. The RCI seeks to change this narrative by providing education, advocacy, and support to caregivers across the nation.

One of the institute's key initiatives is its evidence-based programming. These programs are designed to educate and empower caregivers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to care for their loved ones and themselves. From managing complex care routines to navigating the healthcare system, these programs address the diverse and dynamic challenges caregivers face.

Another cornerstone of the RCI's work is its advocacy efforts. The institute tirelessly works to bring the issues and challenges faced by caregivers to the forefront of public policy. By collaborating with policymakers, healthcare providers, and community leaders, the RCI aims to create a more caregiver-inclusive healthcare system and society.

The RCI also places a strong emphasis on research, continually exploring new ways to support caregivers. This research not only informs the institute's programs but also contributes to the broader understanding of caregiving challenges and solutions.

National Caregiver Month is an opportunity to reflect on the invaluable role caregivers play in our society. It's a time to recognize their sacrifices and celebrate their unwavering dedication. The RCI plays a pivotal role in this recognition, offering a platform for caregivers to be heard, supported, and honored.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of caregivers everywhere. As we observe National Caregiver Month, let us take a moment to appreciate the immense contributions of caregivers and the vital support provided by organizations like the RCI. Together, we can work towards a future where every caregiver is valued, supported, and empowered.

Mark your calendars for a FREE WEBINAR on December 14! “Professional Development: Finding Meaningfulness in Your Work” When: Thursday, December 14 @2 p.m. Eastern

Embrace life-long learning with insights from Dr. Colleen Morley, CMSA President, and contribute to the greater good. FREE for Members and Non-Members!

Register now:

Bio: Dr. Colleen Morley DNP RN CCM CMAC CMCN ACM-RN FCM is the Associate Chief Clinical Operations Officer, Care Continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the current President of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors. She has held positions in acute care as Director of Case Management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing Utilization Review, Case Management and Social Services for over 14 years; piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management. Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her 1st book, “A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management”, published by Blue Bayou Press was released in February, 2022. Dr. Morley has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include Med/Surg, Oncology and Pediatric Nursing. She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL; BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, VT and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.