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Senator Hassan Holds Virtual Roundtable on Challenges Facing Long-Term Care Facilities in New Hampshire Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan yesterday held a virtual roundtable on the challenges facing long-term care facilities in New Hampshire as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on residents and staff at these facilities. The Senator was joined by leaders from the VA Medical Center, AARP-NH, Senior Helpers of Southern New Hampshire, and administrators at long-term care facilities in Portsmouth, Manchester, and West Stewartstown.


Senator Hassan is working to support older adults, including those in long-term care facilities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the NH Congressional Delegation announced that NH nursing facilities will receive $19.78 million from CARES Act funding, and the delegation also announced more than $11 million in federal CARES Act funding for NH nursing homes in August. Recently, Senator Hassan joined the rest of the NH Congressional Delegation in pushing the Department of Health and Human Services to update the methodology for distributing the next round of awards from the CARES Act’s $175 billion Provider Relief Fund to prioritize nursing homes and long-term care facilities in states like New Hampshire that have lower COVID-19 infection rates, but face serious issues with the spread of COVID-19 and mortality rates among residents of nursing facilities. Additionally, in August, Senator Hassan joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in urging federal health agencies to bolster efforts to protect residents and workers in nursing homes. Senator Hassan has also questioned the CDC Director on testing and personal protective equipment for long term care facilities.


See below for coverage highlights:


WMUR: Long-term care facilities discuss challenges with Sen. Hassan

By Nicol Lally


Many long-term care facilities in New Hampshire have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and outbreaks continue. Whether facing an outbreak or not, facilities in New Hampshire and most of the country have been changed forever during the pandemic.


Sen. Maggie Hassan held a virtual town hall on Monday to hear those concerns straight from the people who have been on the front line of the battle for months now.


[…] Patricia Ramsey with the Edgewood Center in Portsmouth said her staff is holding up the best it can and are anxiously waiting for vaccine clinics to start.


[…] Financial hardships on top of devastating outbreaks have exhausted nurses for months, more help from the federal government is something Hassan said lawmakers are working hard to hammer out in Washington.


Hassan said $2 billion has been set aside to help long-term care facilities in the current bill lawmakers are working on now.


“We know that lives are at stake, here and we know that addressing the challenges that long-term care facilities are experiencing has to be a top priority,” Sen. Hassan said.


Hassan said as negotiations continue on that relief package, great care is being taken to ensure that the most vulnerable population is taken care of.


WCAX: Health workers tell Hassan they face staff, funding shortages


During a virtual roundtable on Monday with long-term care facility staff, New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan heard from workers about the challenges they’re facing.


One issue experienced by facilities around the Granite State-- a shortage of staff.


Laura Mills, the administrator at the Coos County Nursing Hospital, told Hassan that community colleges need support to keep their nursing programs going to fill the pipeline with qualified health care workers.


Mills said partially because of their location they have a tough time finding qualified workers, and the pandemic only made things worse. […]