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MDHHS expands Rapid Response Staffing Resources program statewide to assist long-term care facilities

Expansion offers additional hours and new staffing options.
(MGN Image with WLUC Edits in Canva)
(MGN Image with WLUC Edits in Canva)(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is expanding its Rapid Response Staffing Resources program which offers assistance to long-term care facilities facing staffing shortages due to COVID-19 across the state.

“Since this program launched in July, surge staffing has been in high demand due to staff testing positive during regular COVID-19 testing in long-term care facilities,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director. “To meet this need and ensure the safety of long-term care residents in Michigan, MDHHS is expanding the program statewide, adding additional staffing options and increasing the amount of time facilities can request emergency staffing.”

The program initially offered 72 hours or less, of consecutive staffing assistance through 22nd Century Technologies, Inc. in 11 counties. The newly expanded program offers up to 120 hours of staffing to facilities in any part of the state. In addition, new staffing options have been added to include licensed practical nurses, social workers, direct care workers, dietary aides, dietary cooks and environmental services staff. This is in addition to registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, personal care aides or resident care assistants.

Nursing homes, assisted living centers, homes for the aged and adult foster care homes are eligible for the program. Facilities requiring staffing assistance will need to meet specific criteria and demonstrate they have exhausted all other options. Up to five staff members per shift can be requested and this can include one registered nurse or licensed practical nurse and one social worker. Facilities can choose the mix of staff that best fits their needs.

Rapid Response Staffing Resources will support long-term care facilities based on facility and resident need, but will be prepared to assist with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, eating); provide infection prevention assistance; and provide environmental cleaning assistance. Facilities will be responsible for orienting staffing agency employees to resident care plans, as applicable, and providing onsite supervision at all times.

For more information on the state’s plans to address COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDNursingHomePlan.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For continuing coronavirus coverage from TV6 & FOX UP, visit uppermichiganssource.com/coronavirus.

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