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Shapiro Administration Highlights Recent Achievements in Bolstering Long-Term Care for Older Pennsylvanians

Through recently formed office, the Shapiro Administration is funding personal care home upgrades across the Commonwealth.

04/11/2024

Bethlehem, PA - The Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Human Services, and Aging joined multiple stakeholder groups today to highlight recent facility upgrades at a personal care home in Bethlehem made possible through the Health Department’s Long-Term Care Transformation Office (LTCTO). The upgrades were designed to improve long-term care for older Pennsylvanians at Kirkland Village.

 

“During the pandemic, it became clear that the Commonwealth’s long-term care facilities needed help and guidance to respond to their residents’ needs proactively. That is why the Long-Term Care Transformation Office was created, to help facilities fill those gaps,” said Department of Health’s 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.”

 

Kirkland Village Executive Director Staci Warsaw highlighted the facility’s various investments made possible through funding from the LTCTO’s Quality Investment Pilot, including adding more campus Wi-Fi access points and purchasing push-to-talk devices to aid staff in responding more efficiently to residents’ needs.

 

Upgrades such as these help to improve the quality of life for older Pennsylvanians.

 

“Long-term care services and supports help older adults live as fully and independently as possible. Supporting these communities and their staff is an integral way we can ensure many older Pennsylvanians thrive as they age,” said Aging Secretary Jason Kavulich. “Pennsylvania’s 10-year plan for older adults, Aging Our Way, PA, will refresh the blueprint developed by our Long-Term Care Council to improve wages, benefits and training and establish a career ladder for care workers so they can continue to support others.” 

 

“Personal care homes and assisted living facilities offer individuals a place to live where they can both maintain independence and receive the support they need to age in place in their community — where they want to be,” said the Department of Human Services Deputy Secretary for Long-Term Living Juliet Marsala. “Facilities like Kirkland Village are vital long-term care options for Pennsylvanians, and the Shapiro Administration will do everything we can to continue to support staff and the residents across Pennsylvania.”

 

In early 2023, the Health Department consolidated its older Pennsylvania care efforts into the LTCTO to help address the challenges facing the long-term care industry.

 

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.

 

In a continuing effort to support long-term care throughout Pennsylvania, and to provide sustainable funding for the DOH’s Long-Term Care Transformation Office, Governor Shapiro proposed investing $10 million to continue the office’s work in 2024-2025. 

 

The Long-Term Care Transformation Office’s efforts to invest in the future of the Commonwealth’s long-term care workforce coincides with ongoing workforce development efforts by the Shapiro Administration, including: 

 

 

Pennsylvania Health Care Association and LeadingAge PA representatives also participated in the news conference.

 

Editor’s Note: Video downloads and photos from the news conference are available on PAcast.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark O'Neill - ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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