PA DHS Awards Grant for Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative

The PA Department of Human Services has confirmed a $125,000 grant to the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in support of the Revisiting the Teaching Nursing Home Initiative (RTNH).

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have long been plagued with quality issues, including high rates of falls, medication errors, infections, and hospital readmissions. In 2020, COVID-19 swept through long term care in Pennsylvania and across the country to devastating effect, disproportionately affecting members of marginalized groups among the residents and workforce. Even before the pandemic there was a realization that, as the demand for and acuity of skilled nursing residents was growing across the Commonwealth, it would be imperative to assure that SNFs improve their capacity to provide the level of care required to assure safe, quality, and equitable care of their residents and staff. This improved capacity would require a stabilization of workforce, an investment in furthering the clinical and leadership skills, consistent access to resources and supplies, and the identification of organizational, cultural, and regulatory barriers that impede nurse autonomy and leadership within SNFs.

The Commonwealth now joins The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Independence Foundation, and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation in advancing a pilot project to address the quality of care and the workforce pipeline in nursing facilities through partnerships between Schools of Nursing and nursing homes in three regions of the state. RTNH promotes evidence-based practice and research at the skilled nursing facility level for nursing professionals to improve outcomes for residents and to improve the quality of the jobs in that setting. The effort will document the opportunities, challenges and strategies to broadly disseminating the RTNH model following the pilot project. JHF serves as the project lead, providing project coordination to a national and statewide project advisory group and a statewide working group (including all project partners); and offering ongoing support for regional project teams.

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