Shapiro Administration Highlights Statewide Partnership With Long-Term Care Facilities Improving Care For Older Pennsylvanians

Governor Josh Shapiro’s Proposed 2024-2025 Budget Will Invest An Additional $10 Million In Long-Term Care Industry Resiliency Efforts.

Group Picture: Jonali Derry, Jaime Caputo Babiak, Megan Barbour, Tiffany Fellows, Katie Zboyovski, Steven Isaac, and Chuck Quinnan.

05/15/2024. Erie, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) joined long-term care stakeholders at the Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center, a skilled nursing facility in Erie, to highlight recent upgrades to the facility made possible through the DOH’s Long-Term Care Transformation Office (LTCTO). These upgrades, like enhanced patient-to-nurse communication devices, internet upgrades, leadership and management training, and hand sanitation stations, help to improve the quality of life for older Pennsylvanians at the Nightingale facility.

“During the pandemic, it became clear that the Commonwealth’s long-term care facilities needed help and guidance to proactively respond to their residents’ needs. That is why the Long-Term Care Transformation Office was created in January 2023 when Governor Shapiro took office, to help facilities fill those gaps,” said Long-Term Care Transformation Office Director Megan Barbour. “The Shapiro Administration understands and supports the work we are doing and has proposed $10 million in funding for the office in the 2024-2025 fiscal year budget to help ensure older Pennsylvanians get the care they need.”

Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center Administrator Jonali Derry highlighted the facility’s various investments, which were made possible through funding from the LTCTO’s Quality Investment Pilot. Other enhancements include clinical certifications for staff and software upgrades to facility technology.

“The Long-Term Care Transformation Office partnership has significantly contributed to fostering growth and educational opportunities for our esteemed team of professionals, thereby equipping them with the necessary skills to deliver exemplary care,” said Jonali Derry. “It facilitated the revitalization of critical technical and physical aspects within our facility. This included the implementation of updated call bell systems aimed at enhancing customer service and the integration of walkie-talkies to streamline communication processes.”

“We are grateful for the Long-Term Care Transformation Office’s supportive partnership with providers who share the same mission: to enhance the lives of people living in long-term care,” said Chuck Quinnan, Senior Vice President and Chief Government Affairs Officer of LeadingAge PA. “We need to stop villainizing aging services providers and instead recognize their care and dedication. There are still many challenges, including immense funding and workforce shortages and regulatory barriers that impact access to care, but it is refreshing to join together to cheer on the successes of long-term care and its workers today.”

In early 2023, the DOH consolidated its older Pennsylvania care efforts into the LTCTO to help address the long-term care industry’s challenges.

The Office provides guidance and assistance to care communities, including assisted living, intermediate care, skilled nursing, personal care homes, and state veterans homes. It works with multiple state agencies and stakeholder organizations to understand industry challenges and implement positive changes.

The Office is focused on resiliency in the long-term care workforce, infection prevention and control, emergency preparedness, and sustainable outbreak response operations to help protect residents.

Read more about it here 


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