AHCA/NCAL Praises Appointment of Long Term Care Providers, Other Stakeholders to Independent Commission Association Calls For a Collaborative Approach in Addressing a Once-In-A-Century Pandemic Released:June 19, 2020 AHCAPressOffice@ahca.org Page ContentWASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement after members of the newly-formed Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes were announced by MITRE today.The following statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL:“We are pleased to see a variety of stakeholders named to the Commission, including dedicated providers and valued partners Debra Fournier, Camille Jordan, Dr. Rosie Lyles, Neil Pruitt, Jr., and Janet Snipes. These professionals have devoted their lives to serving our nation’s seniors and improving the quality of care in America’s long term care facilities. Their leadership at the national level, including with AHCA/NCAL, will serve the Commission well as it evaluates ways to protect our most vulnerable from COVID-19.“Bringing providers, residents, families, experts and policymakers together is essential in fostering a more collaborate approach to addressing this once-in-a-century crisis. Nursing homes cannot beat this pandemic alone, and focusing on enforcement and penalties neither recognizes the nature of the virus nor solves the problem. Providers need the support of public health officials to prioritize our residents and help facilities acquire the necessary resources. We hope the independent Commission will address this critical need. “As the Commission begins its work, nursing homes and other long term care facilities are still in the day-to-day battle of keeping the virus at bay. Providers continue to face ongoing challenges in accessing and affording surveillance testing, personal protective equipment and additional staff support. Meanwhile, many states are re-opening portions of society, which is contributing to an increase in cases in some areas of the country. We want to get residents out of isolation and adapt visitations, so they can safely see loved ones again. But we must remain vigilant as research indicates that community spread is correlated with outbreaks in nursing homes, and we have yet to receive the level of resources we need. “We look forward to working with the Commission as it conducts this important work, but long term care facilities need immediate assistance now. Public health officials at every level can help in this effort by prioritizing long term care for testing, PPE, staffing and funding. Let’s work together now and in the coming months to rally around our nation’s Greatest Generation and our frontline heroes.”ABOUT AHCA/NCALThe American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the nearly 5 million seniors and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our facilities each year. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or www.ncal.org.