PENNSYLVANIA – Four skilled nursing facilities currently caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients will soon receive help from new regional long-term care support sites, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Monday. .
The aim is to ease the pressure on hospitals and skilled nursing facilities that are under heavy load during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 hospitalizations remain at historically high levels and healthcare workers need some support to get through this current surge,” Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said.
Depending on demand, staff resources at these sites should be deployed for up to 90 days.
“Creating these long-term care support sites will benefit hospitals and nursing homes caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients,” Klinepeter said. “This collaborative effort between state agencies and the healthcare community is the next step in the Wolf administration’s multi-tiered approach to relieving pressure on healthcare workers and facilities.”
Klinepeter was joined by representatives from the Departments of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, to announce this next step in the state’s healthcare support initiatives.
“Our agency regularly works at all levels of government and across the public and private sectors to lead collaborative planning efforts to respond to complex situations that present unique challenges such as the ongoing pandemic,” said the director of PEMA, Randy Padfield. “We are pleased to continue to participate in the planning and execution of this new initiative.”
Over the next seven to ten days, regional support sites will open at the following skilled nursing facilities:
- Vincentian Home in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
- Lutheran home in Holidaysburg, Blair County
- Springs at the Watermark in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
- Clarview Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Sligo, County Clarion
The health department will assess the hospitals’ needs for regional support throughout the process.
Each facility will receive clinical and non-clinical support staff to open up to 30 beds to enable faster discharge of patients from hospitals, when clinically safe, freeing up additional acute care space to meet COVID demands -19.
“These missions are successful through our partnership with the Department of Health and PEMA and our collaborative efforts demonstrate how the government is working together, to serve and support our communities, especially residents and staff of healthcare facilities. long-term,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The Health Department hires clinical staff through General Healthcare Resources, which focuses its staff hiring and recruiting on healthcare professionals outside of Pennsylvania to avoid increasing costs. current staffing limits in the state.
General Healthcare Resources will provide clinical staff, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified practical nurses. The Pennsylvania National Guard will provide non-clinical personnel to support the facility’s existing staff, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will help with coordination.
This staffing assistance is separate from the state-led strike teams currently deployed to Grand View Health in Bucks County and Crozer Health in the Southeast, as well asat Scranton and York hospitals.
Additionally, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation last week providing $225 million in federal funding under the U.S. Bailout Act to support healthcare workers in Pennsylvania.
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