At last week’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care Association, celebrated the long term care provider community’s achievements over the past year and shared the Association’s blueprint for helping members to address their persistent workforce challenges. “Today, I am extraordinarily proud and grateful to all of you to report that Massachusetts nursing facilities have achieved universal vaccination of our workforce with 98.3% of our staff vaccinated and 1.7% with approved declinations,” said Gregorio. ”This milestone is a direct testament to the hard work of nursing facility staff coming together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their residents, each other and their families.”
In response to the ongoing workforce crisis, Mass Senior Care Association and Mass Senior Care Foundation, led by President Bill Bogdanovich, have developed and assisted with the implementation of critical initiatives that are designed to help increase the overall pool of direct care and clinical staff. Gregorio noted, “In order to make meaningful and sustained progress in rebuilding our workforce, we must build upon the recent $150 million in base rate investments and once and for all close the Medicaid funding gap, since our ability to hire and invest in our dedicated staff is directly tied to government payments given that 70% of our residents have their care paid by Medicaid.”
Gregorio also thanked the Associate Members who generously sponsored the Annual Meeting, including CLA, Marcum, HealthPRO Heritage, Geriatric Medical, Harmony Healthcare International, IntelyCare and Unitex.
Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), spoke about efforts to support long term care facilities at the national level by advocating for additional Provider Relief Funds, a continued extension of waivers and targeted initiatives designed to increase the workforce supply.
Dr. Larissa Lucas, Medical Director, North Shore Physicians Group, spoke about the importance of preparing for what lies ahead with the winter months fast approaching. Noting that vaccine immunity is waning and more people are gathering inside, Dr. Lucas urged members to encourage the uptake of booster shots among facility staff and residents and reviewed current therapeutic treatments.
Mass Senior Care’s Chair, Tom Lavallee, Chief Operating Officer of Alliance Health Management echoed Gregorio’s remarks, noting “You have proven to all of us once again, that this association and this industry, though tested mightily again this past year, is strong. I am amazed by your actions every day.” Lavallee recognized 5 member nursing facilities for their achievements in the 2021 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards program, including:
Silver - Achievement in Quality Award
• Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility, Greenfield
• Sunrise of Wayland, Wayland
Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award
• Broad Reach Healthcare / Liberty Commons, Chatham
• John Adams HealthCare Center, Quincy
• Ledgewood Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center. Beverly
During the Business Meeting Kevin Morris, Association Treasurer and President of BaneCare Management, presented the 2022 Association Budget and Matt Salmon, Nominating Committee member and CEO of SALMON Health & Retirement presented the Slate of Officers and Members at Large, both of which were approved. Tom Lavallee was re-elected Chair of the Association along with Vice-Chair Adam Berman, President, Legacy Lifecare, Treasurer Kevin Morris, President, BaneCare Management and Clerk Christopher Hannon, Chief Operating Officer at Pointe Group Care.
Board Members-at-Large elected to a three-term beginning January 1, 2022, include:
Sharon Donaghue, Division President, Marquis Health Services
Karen Laganelli, Chief Executive Officer, Notre Dame Health Care
James Mamary, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Health Group
J. Dennis Morgan, Managing Partner, Village Square, Inc.
Colleen Pino, Executive Director, JML Care Center
Barry Slotnick, Regional Vice President of Operations, Genesis HealthCare
Additional speakers at the Annual Meeting provided valuable insights into lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and practical strategies members can implement to support the long term care workforce as we adjust to a new operating environment. We are grateful to the afternoon speakers for sharing their expertise and knowledge, including Dr. Brent Forester, Chief, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, Kezia Scales, Director of Policy Research at PHI, Martha Hayward, Lead Faculty for Patient Centered Care at IHI and Bill Bogdanovich, President and CEO of Borad Reach Healthcare.
Thank you to our Sponsors!
CLA, Premier Sponsor
HealthPRO Heritage, Quality Leader Sponsor