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PHCA’s Day of Caring Event Offers Support, Gratitude to Nursing Home Workers

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  • Written By: Allied Services Integrated Health
PHCA’s Day of Caring Event Offers Support, Gratitude to Nursing Home Workers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (September 29, 2022) –– The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the workforce crisis in long-term care, overwhelming the remaining workforce and jeopardizing access to care for seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) held a Day of Caring on Thursday at Allied Services’ Meade Street senior care campus in Wilkes-Barre to shine a spotlight on workforce challenges and express gratitude for caregivers.

Joining PHCA President and CEO Zach Shamberg at the Day of Caring event were Allied Services’ President and CEO Bill Conaboy and Vice President of Skilled Nursing Facilities James Cooney, State Senator John Yudicak (Luzerne, Carbon), Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (Luzerne) and Mayor George Brown (Wilkes-Barre). PHCA, Allied Services leadership and elected leaders all volunteered their time serving lunch to residents and staff. The volunteers also engaged with residents during a virtual reality activity. 

“This small gesture could not possibly express the level of gratitude and appreciation we all have for the men and women on the frontlines of the pandemic, and the care they provide each and every day,” said Shamberg. “We are here today to remind our frontline caregivers that, even though they may no longer hear ‘healthcare heroes’ wherever they go, what they’ve done throughout the pandemic is nothing short of heroic. The care they provide every day is greatly appreciated.” 

As workforce challenges in Pennsylvania continue to grow, long-term care providers are being forced to turn away vulnerable seniors in need of care. Access to senior care in Pennsylvania is a new crisis and could become alarmingly worse as providers struggle with financial viability while investing in their current and future workforce. The 2022-23 Pennsylvania state budget delivered a long overdue Medicaid reimbursement rate increase to nursing home providers, helping them to sustain operations. Future legislative support will be needed to overcome more challenges — especially workforce challenges — and deliver sustainability for long-term care well into the future. 

“Our legislature and Governor Wolf prioritized long-term care with a historic investment that will help better position Pennsylvania to where it can ensure the continuity of care for tens of thousands of vulnerable senior citizens and adults with disabilities,” said Shamberg. “But more work still needs to be done. Moving forward, we all must recognize how important long-term care is to the healthcare continuum, and do all we can to support our heroes on the front lines. Only then can we build back our workforce, and ensure our loved ones will be cared for in the years to come.”

Allied Services highlighted the investments and advancements they have made in resident care, their staff and the facilities they operate, including increasing staff wages, providing additional bonuses, purchasing memory care retention technology, as well as updating and expanding capacity for buildings.

“We are grateful for the constant support from our volunteer board of directors and Allied Services leadership,” said Cooney. “We truly care about our residents, our staff and our facilities. Every decision and every investment that is made is thoroughly assessed and answers the question, ‘how will this benefit our residents and our staff in our skilled nursing and personal care facilities?’”

Senator Yudichak and Representative Pashinski expressed their gratitude to caregivers and stressed the importance of the state to continue investing in long-term care. State investments allow providers to invest in their workforce and daily operations to sustain care for Pennsylvania’s rapidly aging population. 

“I would like to thank the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and Allied Services for stepping up in the early stages of the pandemic to call for immediate action on assisting our seniors and nursing home residents. I was determined to partner with PHCA and our long-term care facilities here in northeastern Pennsylvania to help protect our most vulnerable residents and we were able to do so by collaborating with AllOne Foundation and Charities to create the NEPA Nursing Home SOS Program, which raised over $1.1 million in funding and provided over 2 million pieces of PPE to the region’s nursing homes,” said Senator Yudichak. “It has been one of my top priorities since the onset of the pandemic to ensure our front-line healthcare heroes and nursing home and long-term care residents had access to the supplies that they needed to endure the pandemic. It is a commitment from the entire NEPA legislative delegation that was recently reflected in this year’s Pennsylvania state budget where $420 million in funding is being dedicated to nursing home staffing, long-term living programs and supplementary payments to personal care homes. Moving forward, we need to make sure we continue to invest in programs that protect our most vulnerable and that support our front-line health care heroes.”

“Not everyone or anyone can become a front-line caregiver for some of our most vulnerable family, friends and neighbors,” Representative Pashinski said. “It takes a special person to have the incredible desire and ability to develop the skills necessary to help those in need by providing comfort and strength to their residents, healing the sick and improving the quality of their lives. I appreciate Allied Services’ investment in making sure the quality of their facility matches the quality of their staff. The best way we can show thanks as legislators is to build on recent investments in our long-term care workforce through increased wages, improved working conditions, and make caregiving a more sustainable profession.”

Allied Services employs more than 3,500 workers, caring for nearly 600 residents in northeast Pennsylvania. 

For more information on careers in long-term care, visit