Partnership to focus on long-term care issues

Published 8:25 am Friday, May 22, 2020

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) are embarking on a new effort to allocate support and resources to long-term care facilities across the commonwealth.

This initiative – facilitated through the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP) and Russell Phillips and Associates (RPA), a Jensen Hughes Company and a leader in emergency preparedness and response consultation for post-acute providers – will provide the following support and resources to long-term care facilities:

• Infection prevention and control education and training;

• Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies, including guidance and training on appropriate reprocessing and use of protective gear;

• Access to COVID-19 testing and testing supplies;

• Clinical practice and communication support;

• Staffing support; and

• Sharing of best practices and lessons learned by other health care organizations.

“This collaborative effort is timely because COVID-19 continues to place significant demands on Virginia’s health care delivery system,” said Dr. Michael P McDermott, the president and CEO of Mary Washington Healthcare and the chairman of VHHA’s board of directors, said. “While the virus indiscriminately affects people of all ages and demographics, its severe effects have disproportionately impacted elderly residents in long-term care facilities. In light of these circumstances, and the fact that elderly patients seeking medical care frequently transition between long-term care facilities and hospitals, this pandemic makes it essential for hospitals and long-term care facilities to work together to limit community spread.”