Senator Hassan Hears from Nursing Home Administrators About Efforts to Keep Residents Safe Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
During Virtual Roundtable, Senator & Participants Discussed PPE & Testing Needs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and nursing home and long-term care facility administrators participated in a virtual roundtable where they discussed the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions, as well as what nursing homes and long-term care facilities need to protect residents and staff.
Senator Hassan thanked health care providers for their critical work. “I know how hard the work is in more typical times, and during a pandemic, where everybody is just working every day to figure out next steps, it’s even harder. I also know how hard your staffs are working and the care they work so hard to give to residents,” said Senator Hassan.
Multiple facility administrators addressed the need for ongoing access to personal protective equipment and testing supplies. “Our biggest concern is still N-95 masks,” said Joe Bohunicky, Administrator at Mt. Carmel Rehabilitation & Nursing. Dr. Carolyn Blackman, Senior VP of Medical Affairs at Genesis HealthCare, addressed the need to test asymptomatic residents and staff.
Senator Hassan said she is “going to keep pushing to get the resources that you need.”
Senator Hassan and participants shared concerns over the administration’s production and distribution of critical medical supplies, and discussed a hearing that Senator Hassan participated in recently in which she pushed top administration officials on the production and distribution of essential medical supplies to states, including to nursing homes.
Multiple administrators on the call also called for continued hazard pay for nursing home and long-term care facility employees, which can help with morale as well as incentivize employees to remain on staff at this difficult time. Senator Hassan stated that she is continuing to push in Congress for an additional COVID-19 response package that includes hazard pay for all frontline workers.
“I believe all of our frontline heroes need this [hazard pay]. People are stepping up and we need to recognize that, and I will work to do that,” said Senator Hassan.
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