Coronavirus on Smart Talk Friday: Nursing home protections; Help for the vulnerable

  • Scott LaMar

About two-thirds — or maybe more — of the COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania have occurred in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. It’s not just in Pennsylvania — the state of Maryland is requiring testing of all long-term care facilities because the death rate there is so high.

Republican Speaker of the State House of Representatives Mike Turzai is proposing legislation that would would establish a public-private-partnership approach of regional health systems. According to the Speaker, these health collaboratives would administer/manage personnel, protocols, testing and expenditures to protect the seniors in these facilities.

Speaker Turzai is on Friday’s Smart Talk.

Meanwhile, Democratic State Rep. Rob Matzie of Beaver and Allegheny Counties is proposing legislation that would require immediate inspections at all Pennsylvania nursing homes or other long term care facilities to assess infection control and provide testing.

Rep. Matzie appears on Friday’s Smart Talk.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) Office has been awarded $3 million from the federal government to support efforts to mitigate and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ADRC, also known as the PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources provides information and referral services to older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Pennsylvania’s Deputy Secretary of Aging Steven Horner  joins us on Smart Talk to explain what the program is doing during the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) is launching a volunteer think tank comprised of 25 experts who will develop a plan to make Pennsylvania a trauma-informed state during the coronavirus pandemic. The Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) was established last year to protect Pennsylvania’s vulnerable populations.

Office of Advocacy and Reform Executive Director Dan Jurman is with us on Smart Talk.

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource Center Toll-Free Helpline: 1-800-753-8827

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