Pennsylvania Homecare Association, Legislators Call for Greater Support for In-Home Care Industry

Harrisburg (April 12, 2022) – Today, the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA), along with members of a Pennsylvania General Assembly, held a press conference to call for critical funding and resources to ensure that access to quality, in-home care remains available for all Pennsylvanians in need.

The demand for in-home care has never been higher. Unfortunately, home-based care providers continue to face persistent barriers in serving Pennsylvanians in need, including chronic underfunding, a crisis-level workforce shortage, and unnecessary regulatory burdens.

As a result, Pennsylvanians most in need are at risk of losing access to quality, in-home care.

For years, Pennsylvania has underfunded the Medicaid programs that allow participants to receive in-home care, despite the fact that this care is far more cost-effective than facility-based care. As a result, homecare agencies have been severely limited in their ability to provide competitive and commensurate wages for caregivers. Today, the average hourly wage for a direct care worker in Pennsylvania is just $13.40.

Homecare agencies are simply not able to compete in today’s job market, where many private employers can offer starting wages of $18/hour and more for far less demanding work. In order to begin to address the current workforce crisis, a substantial increase to the Medicaid reimbursement must be made in this year’s budget.

During the event, Senator Maria Collett (D-Montgomery) and Representative David Zimmerman (R-Lancaster) reaffirmed their commitment to champion initiatives that support and advance quality, in-home care in Pennsylvania.

“We look forward to working with Senator Collett and Representative Zimmerman, and all legislators to support access to quality in-home care to Pennsylvanians who need it,” said Teri Henning, Esq., CEO of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association. “We can no longer afford to underfund and underappreciate the critical value of these programs. Home is not only where individuals want to age and receive care, it is also cost-effective, with improved outcomes. Home care is win, win, win.”

It’s time to champion home care.

About PHA… The Pennsylvania Homecare Association is a statewide organization of nearly 700 home health, homecare and hospice providers. PHA members provide quality care and serve as advocates for their patients and clients on a variety of healthcare issues. PHA and its members work to improve professional standards and ensure access to quality homecare throughout the Commonwealth. To learn more, visit www.pahomecare.org.

 

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Nurses Aide Apprenticeship Program

New Registered Apprenticeship Program for Nurse Aides and Home Care Aides!

Friday, June 14, 2019 Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced a new registered apprenticeship program for nurse aides and home care aides with the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The apprenticeship will help meet growing demand for workers to provide care for seniors.Oleksiak toured the Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services facility and discussed the Wolf Administration’s commitment to helping Pennsylvanians become better prepared for in-demand careers. The governor’s Statewide Workforce Education and Accountability Program (SWEAP) proposal would provide an additional $10 million to expand access to education and training opportunities, apprenticeships and STEM careers to build on the success of PAsmart that launched last year.

Deer Meadows Home Health is pleased to be partnering with The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Holy Family University on an innovative apprenticeship program for nurse’s aides and advanced home health care aides. The goal is for the program is to become a job-generating program starting with entry level home health aides.Holy Family University will deliver the curriculum although training for nurses’s aides and advanced home health care aides was not part of their curriculum up until this point, “it fits with our competencies,” says Karen Galardi, EdD, MBA, Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies at Holy Family University. “We have nursing programs from the baccalaureate through doctorate levels. Assisting with this program is a natural fit.” Dr. Galardi also hopes to see the program expand in the future.

Stanley Rynkiewicz, RN, MSN, WCC, DWC, CCS, NHA, and Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, Administrator, is pleased to participate in the program as a way to give back to the community. He sees the program as an opportunity to help employees succeed. “In time, it will help people that want to stay employed and grow with the program,” he says. They hope to add an LPN track to the program in the coming years. “It’s great to work with partners like Holy Family University and the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Without partners, something like this would not happen,” he says.

Apprenticeship programs like this make advanced training obtainable and provides for those who are seeking training to enter the healthcare field. “The program with the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is great because it’s a non-traditional sponsor, Holy Family University is a non-traditional trainer, and Deer Meadows is a non-traditional employer,” says James Chiarchiaro a workforce intermediary with the Keystone Development Partnership. “Programs like this can provide opportunities for women, minorities, non-English speaking individuals, and members of the LGBT community, among others.” He hopes to see the program grown into other occupations, such as information technology, that will help provide the training needs for a 21st Century workforce.

Funding for this type of program can be provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor & Industry, Philly Works and local Career Link.

Registered Apprenticeship Program
Registered Apprenticeship Program

Weekend Referral Program

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services is the only home health care agency in the Philadelphia region that guarantees a 24 hour response time for patient admission referrals.”Physician practices, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals find it incredibly difficult to find a home care agency that is readily available to accept their patient referrals on a weekend”, says Marketing Coordinator Shawn P. Hanshew. “We are always available by our cell phones and we have a dedicated e-fax line in place to accept weekend referrals. The physician, skilled nursing facility or hospital can send their referral to our e-fax, and the referral information will go directly to our on-call clinical and administration team. From there, an assessment nurse will call the patient or patient’s family to schedule the start of care the very next day.” says Hanshew. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services is the only five star rated home health care agency in Philadelphia and is the home health care agency of choice within the medical community because of our guaranteed 24 hour start of care- even on a weekend!

If you have a weekend referral or would like more details of this program, please contact our Marketing Coordinator Shawn Hanshew at (267) 648-0361 and shanshew@deermeadowshomehealth.org. Our weekend referral e-fax number is (484) 361-4619.

Written By  Shawn Hanshew

Taking Care of Caregivers From a Social Workers Point of View

As a social worker and clinician, I’ve met a lot of caregivers who are stressed out, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Caregivers spend an average of 40.5 hours a week if they live with a loved one who needs care AND 24.4 hours if the loved one lives in another home. More than 96% of caregivers who provide complex care help provide activities of daily living such as shopping for food, dressing/undressing, providing technology, booking medical appointments, and the list goes on. Caregiving for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful.

With all that time being spent helping someone else, it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed if you don’t take care of yourself. Imagine that you are on an airplane, the flight attendant tells you “in case of a pressure change, place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then a child or dependent”. Self-care is the oxygen. I love this metaphor because it’s really something that carries over into mental health for everyone. We must take care of ourselves before we can give anything to others, or we will burn out. Burnout looks like having less empathy, less patience, being more easily frustrated, depression, cynicism, and tiredness. When we continue to care for others without taking care of ourselves, not only are we running on empty, we aren’t able to really care the way we would like to.

What does practicing self-care really look like? It might be taking 15 minutes just to do something for yourself such as: sleeping a full 8 hours, saying no to extra obligations, joining a support group, eating healthy, starting a journal, or anything that allows you to recharge your energy bank. You might worry that practicing self-care is being overindulgent, that we should work even harder. In fact, when we work harder without replenishing ourselves, we are even less productive and provide less compassionate care. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk to a qualified professional.

Written by Andreea Socoloschi, MSW LCSW

Wound Care Program – Deer Meadows Home Health

Shawn Hanshew from the Deer Meadows Home Health marketing team has been promoting our wound care program to the medical community of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks. Our clinical specialist team members are board-certified in Wound Care WCC, Diabetic Wound Care DWC, and are Ostomy Management Specialists OMS. We practice evidence-based and current standards of care, and work with physicians to customize an individual plan of care for the patient. We will achieve increased healing rates and decrease readmission’s for patients.

Shawn has been partnering with a number of podiatrists to offer home wound care for their diabetic foot wound patients. Approximately 15 percent of all patients with diabetes can be expected to develop ulceration in their lifetime, thus putting them at risk for lower extremity amputation. Treatments for infected diabetic foot wounds account for one quarter of all diabetic hospital admissions in the United States. Patient education, proper footgear and regular foot examination can decrease the frequency and severity of ulceration. However when ulceration does occur, the Deer Meadows home wound care specialists can be a cost-effective intervention that can avoid hospital admissions in appropriate cases.

We are utilizing the most advanced technology and treatments in the industry, including Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (Wound Vac), Compression Therapy, Unna Boot Application, Lymphedema Treatment, and Tissue Analytics. In specific, Tissue Analytics is bringing wound care into the 21st century by turning the common smartphone into a sophisticated image analysis platform. Our wound care nurses objectively and automatically measure wounds with HIPPA Compliant IOS and Android Apps.They can also stream photographs directly to a physician’s desktop where the physician can evaluate, track, and manage patients on our secure web portal.

In addition, Shawn has been working closely with several colorectal surgeons to promote the Deer Meadows home wound care and ostomy referral program.He plans to work directly with surgeons, their teams, and their pre/post-surgical ostomy patients through a home care referral process. This will give ostomy patients access to our highly-trained and certified wound care nurses and ostomy specialists while recovering at home. Shawn has been sharing his personal story as a former ostomy patient himself and walking the patients through the process of their ostomy through its reversal. Our ostomy specialists are helping patients with distal irrigation of their stomas, educating the patient and their family, and closely monitoring patient progress at home. Once the patient’s reversal surgery is complete and the patient is discharged to home, our wound care and ostomy specialists will continue to monitor the patient at home and treat any open wounds that may have been caused by the surgery. The colorectal community is very excited to partner with Deer Meadows Home Health to make this program available to their patients.

If you have a wound care referral or would like more details of this program, please contact Shawn Hanshew at (267) 648-0361 and shanshew@deermeadowshomehealth.org.

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services Blog

Deer Meadows Home Health Offering Clinical Services to Philadelphia Residents

This week starts a busy time over the next few weeks for the staff of Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services(DMHHSS). Kate Liggins, Private Duty Manager has worked closely with Carla Fleming, the Manager of Special Programs for many PHA sites in the Philadelphia area to schedule events at 6 PHA housing sites in the Philadelphia area. Of the selected sites, 5 of these locations has never been visited by DMHHSS staff previously. This will be the selected locations first chance to receive 5-star care from one of Philadelphia’s premier home care agencies. At these events participants will be able to have their blood pressure screened by a licensed nurse as well as speak with a licensed clinical social worker in regards to depression. The participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the services that DMHHSS has to offer and also to sit down and enjoy a refreshing drink and snack. DMHHSS is no newcomer to providing these types of services to the Philadelphia residents. In the past DMHHSS has not only offered blood pressure screenings but has also offered diabetic foot clinics to educate the residents of the communities of which it serves. This is the beginning of DMHHSS working closely with PHA sites and DMHHSS staff hopes to be able to keep Philadelphia healthy one screening at a time.

Our Philadelphia Home Care Agency Receives DHS Award!

The Department of Human Services recently announced the awarding of nearly $8 million dollars in grant money to member agencies of the Pennsylvania Homecare Agency (PHA) to connect their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to the statewide health information exchange. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services was one of only six home care and hospice agencies in the state of Pennsylvania to receive the grant. Our Philadelphia home care agency will use the funding to upgrade our software programs and to provide training to other staff members. The funding will also enable Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services to integrate into the Keystone Health Information Exchange (KeyHIE), thus providing real-time notifications from over 20 hospitals in the Philadelphia area about patient admissions, discharges, and hospitalizations. We will be able to better coordinate care of our patients with other health care providers, in turn improving outcomes for our patients.

We Participated in Pennsylvania Home Care Association’s Annual Lobby Day Again

On May 22, 2018 representatives from Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services LLC. (Stanley Rynkiewicz, Administrator; Irene Dudley, Clinical Director; Kathleen Liggins, Private Duty Manager; Melissa Buettler RN; and Matthew Mortka, Community Liaison) went to the state capitol in Harrisburg,Pa to participate in Pennsylvania Home Care Association’s Annual Lobby Day. Pennsylvania Home Care Association otherwise known as PHA organizes an annual Lobby Day in which home health companies speak with politicians and state leaders about important issues surrounding home health from Certified Nursing Assistants, After Surgery Care to In-Home Physical Therapy and much more.

Our Philadelphia Home Care Service was one of many home health companies from all over the state that came to Harrisburg, Pa to take part in the days’ events. Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services spoke to various State and Local Politicians including State Representative Robert Godshall (R-53), State Senator John Sabatina Jr., and State Representative Mike Driscoll (D-173). Various issues were discussed including HB 1829, Medicaid reimbursement rates, and the Older Adult Protective Services Act.

Lobby Day is a great opportunity to have to ensure the decision makers hear our voice on the issues that are important (vital) to Home Health Care. Deer Meadows Home Health recognizes the importance of advocating for individuals who are unable to advocate for themselves. It was a memorable experience.

Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library’s Dedication

On Friday May 11th Deer Meadows Home Health & Support Services (along with Deer Meadows Retirement Community) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the grand opening of the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library.

The library, which is named after long-time DMRC resident and United States Veteran Bernard Stepanski, houses many historical books of Bernard’s that were donated by his family.Some of the books date back to World War II. The library will serve as the meeting place for DMRC’s Veteran’s club, as well as a place for veterans to go and check out books and spend time.

Several local politicians were also in attendance to show their support. Among those in attendance were PA State Senator John P. Sabatina, PA State Representative John Taylor, and Darrion Shuford, the Chief of Staff for PA State Representative Jason Dawkins.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony there was a reception with light refreshments in the Walton Conference Center where the Veterans History Project video of Mr. Stepanski was shown.

A fun time was had by all!

Deer Meadows Dedicates Library

The Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library celebrated its ribbon cutting last week.

Deer Meadows Retirement Community last Friday hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library.

A reception followed, with Stepanski’s Veterans History Project video shown.

The library is on the fifth floor at Deer Meadows, 8301 Roosevelt Blvd.

Stepanski grew up in South Philadelphia and graduated from South Philadelphia High School. He was a World War II Army veteran who fought in the Battle of Manila in the Philippines. He was a resident of Deer Meadows when he died last October at age 92.

Stepanski and his family donated numerous books on history and war that are displayed in the library. The library also features pictures of Stepanski, a table, seating, American flags and flags for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and POW-MIA.

State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. and state Rep. John Taylor were in attendance. Sabatina and an aide to state Rep. Jason Dawkins presented Deer Meadows with citations. ••

https://northeasttimes.com/deer-meadows-dedicates-library-372134afe92f

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC. (DMHHSS) and Deer Meadows Retirement Community (DMRC)

Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC, (DMHHSS) and Deer Meadows Retirement Community (DMRC) announced the plans for the grand opening of the Stepanski Veteran’s Library.The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Bernard Stepanski Veteran’s Library will be on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 10:30 am in Deer Meadows Retirement Community, 5th Floor Veteran’s Library. A brief reception will be held in our Walton Conference Center following the ceremony. We plan to show Bernard Stepanski’s Veteran History Project video with beverages and snacks. We will have raffles with proceeds benefiting the Veteran Library and donations are accepted.

Bernard Stepanski

Bernard Stepanski was a World War II Army Veteran and a resident of Deer Meadows Retirement Community. Bernard participated in the battle of Manila in the Philippines Islands. Bernard and his family have donated many books on history and on all wars that are displayed in this library. This library is dedicated in his loving memory.

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8301 Roosevelt Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19152
Phone: (215) 624-6038
Fax: (215) 624-6258
EFax: (484) 361-4619