Alabama hospitals, nursing homes getting $40M each in COVID recovery funds
Alabama’s nursing homes and hospitals are getting some much-needed financial relief thanks to Gov. Kay Ivey this week, as she announced Wednesday she’s allocating $40 million to each, for a total of $80 million.
The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan Act and is reimbursement for COVID-19 expenditures. The Alabama Hospital Association and Alabama Nursing Home Association will administer the funds.
Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson said that even though the pandemic seems near its end, supporting those who have been on the front line for the past two years is still imperative.
“Alabama’s hospitals and their staff have remained at the forefront of pandemic response, providing care to their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Williamson said. “This financial assistance is part of the ongoing commitment of the administration and the Alabama legislature to ensure Alabama’s hospitals remain operational, preserving access to care for all Alabamians.”
Alabama Nursing Homes Association spokesperson John Matson said he’s thankful for Ivey’s support.
“We will use this to purchase (personal protective equipment),” Matson said. “It can also be used for testing, modifications to our buildings and will also help with staffing, so this is coming at a great time for our nursing homes as we start the recovery process from COVID-19.”
Staffing for hospitals and nursing homes remains an important issue and is a key part of the funding bill.
“This can be used to help cover some of our staffing costs, whether you’ve got to run overtime or you’re having to bring in temporary staffing when you have an outbreak or something of that nature,” Matson said.
The funding can also be used to help train future staff.
“You can go to work in a nursing home without any training and they will train you and help you become a Certified Nursing Assistant, and from there you can choose your career path,” Matson said. “You can get scholarships to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Registered Nurse, or you may choose to go the social services route.”
Anyone interested in working in one of the 230 nursing homes across the state can receive paid on-the-job training and scholarships to advance their education.