More than $75 million in financial support for Delaware hospitals, long-term care facilities, and State of Delaware-operated round-the-clock facilities was announced this week.
Funding can be used to make recruitment and retention payments to Delawareans working on the front lines in facilities that are facing staffing shortages in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The support is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA was championed in Congress by members of Delaware’s congressional delegation and signed into law by President Joe Biden/
“This new funding from the American Rescue Plan will help Delaware hospitals, long-term care facilities and State of Delaware facilities keep workers who have been on the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis – and recruit qualified new workers into these critical roles,” said Gov. John Carney. “That’s exactly how this federal funding was meant to be used, and it will help these industries stabilize their workforces so we can continue fighting the Covid-19 pandemic at full strength. Most importantly, I want to thank our health care workers, emergency response personnel, and all those Delawareans who have gotten us through a difficult 19 months.”
“As a nurse, I know how difficult it has been on our frontline health care workers as we have battled the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank all of our health care workers for their tireless effort and dedication to keep our families and communities healthy and safe every day,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “This $75 million investment from the ARPA funding will support the workforce of our hospitals and long-term care facilities that continue to take care of Delawareans. Thank you to the federal Delegation for this additional recruitment and retention tool to ensure we have a robust and qualified healthcare workforce in Delaware.”
“We are grateful that the Governor is recognizing the tremendous burden COVID-19 response continues to visit upon our hospitals and health care facilities through provision of these funds,” said Wayne Smith, CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association. “Having the needed amount of front line workers to care for all who access our facilities is not optional. This announcement is a great help and very much appreciated.”
“Today’s announcement is another example of how the state and federal government have responded to the impact of the pandemic on long-term care residents, staff and facilities,” said Cheryl Heiks, executive director of the Delaware Health Care Facilities Association. “Caring for our seniors should be one of our top priorities; this funding demonstrates a further commitment to caring and will help facilities to continue the goal of providing quality care during a time of unprecedented challenges.”
The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on Tuesday announced a plan to use American Rescue Plan Act funds available to Medicaid programs to recruit and retain Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who provide home and community-based services to Delawareans with disabilities. Under DHSS’ plan, new DSPs employed on or after May 1, 2021, and existing DSPs who were employed prior to April 30, 2021, would be eligible for a one-time $1,000 payment if they work a minimum of 25 hours a week.
Last week, Carney announced plans to invest $26.4 million in affordable housing in Wilmington, $50 million for jobs training programs statewide, and $50 million to build a new Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna.
Carney earlier announced a $110 million plan to provide universal, wired broadband access for all Delaware homes and businesses. Delaware is aiming to become the first state to close every “last mile” with wired, high-speed broadband.
Carney and Lt. Governor Hall-Long announced a $100 million Community Investment Recovery Fund to support major, nonprofit capital projects statewide.