By Okon Ekpenyong
One staff member’s fraudulent use of a nursing home resident’s credit card can make other healthcare workers uncomfortable and give the facility a bad rap. That means one bad apple can spoil things for the rest of the other good ones. To combat this epidemic and protect residents from abuse and neglect, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine launched a nursing home quality and accountability task force, joining other states.
The Ohio Department of Aging, which advocates for older Ohioans, their caregivers, families, and communities, will lead this initiative. A diverse group of medical professionals, experts in aging policy, and representatives from skilled nursing facilities make up the Task Force. March 2 was the TF’s inaugural meeting at the Ohio Department of Safety, and Governor DeWine was the great speaker.
On February 24, 2023, Governor DeWine signed executive order 2023-06D to create the task force. The initial announcement came during his 2023 State of State Address on January 31, when the Governor stated that he received numerous gut-wrenching letters from family members begging the administration to do something because their loved ones were not receiving the best quality care at some of the nursing facilities.
“I promised that this task force would move quickly because we can’t afford to wait,” Governor DeWine said. “While many of our State’s nursing homes are very good, others are not meeting the standards we expect for those caring for our older loved ones. All too often – we hear of preventable tragedies occurring: medication errors, failure to provide care, poor infection prevention and control, and sometimes even elder abuse.”
According to the CMS overall quality Star Ratings, Ohio ranks 39th in the country, indicating some of the tragedies caused by systemic problems in nursing homes include poor infection control and prevention, medication errors, inadequate care, and elder abuse were avoidable.
A newly formed task Force met with the Governor for the first time on Thursday and stated that the committee had what it takes to provide an actionable report. During the first meeting, Ursel J McElroy, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging, and Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, introduced the TF’s members. It took them only a short time to identify some of the root causes, and they were already describing problematic areas in nursing homes and how to combat them.
“We are going to put people first in everything we do. Nursing home residents, their caregivers, family members, and friends will be at the forefront of this conversation from day one. No voices are more valuable in this discussion than those of the people living it daily,” Director McElroy said.
The committee will travel to Seven cities in the State between now and May to speak with family members and nursing home staff as part of its investigation. Ohio legislators will review the task force’s findings and incorporate them into the budget after they complete their investigations. Those who are interested in attending one of the sessions can visit the following link to register: https://aging.ohio.gov/about-us/who-we-are/nursing-home-quality-and-accountability-task-force
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Youngstown State University
Kilcawley Center – Chestnut Room
117 University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555
1 – 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
University of Cincinnati
Tangeman University Center – Room 400
2701 Bearcat Way, Cincinnati, OH 45221
1 – 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Sinclair Community College
Conference Center – Charity E. Earley Auditorium
444 W. Third St, Dayton, OH 45402
10 a.m. – Noon
Friday, March 24, 2023
Columbus State Community College
The Event Center at Mitchell Hall
250 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43215
1 – 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Wood County Senior Center
140 S. Grove St, Bowling Green, OH 43402
2 – 4 p.m.
Thursday, April 6, 2023
The Lodge at Hocking College
15770 OH-691, Nelsonville, OH 45764
10 a.m. – Noon
Thursday, April 13, 2023
The Conference Center at Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
11890 Fairhill Road, Cleveland, OH 44120
1 – 3 p.m.
The task force will meet 12 more times, with May 23 being the last. All meetings will be at the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Charles D Shipping-Atrium on Broad Street.
Governor DeWine’s Nursing Home Quality and Accountability Task Force members:
* Ursel McElroy, Director, Ohio Department of Aging Chair
* Bruce Vanderhoff, Director, Ohio Department of Health Vice-Chair
* Trey Addison, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Alzheimer’s Association
* Robert Applebaum, Professor, and Director of the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project, Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University
* General Deborah Ashenhurst, Director, Ohio Department of Veteran Services
* Blaine Brockman, Chair of the Elder and Special Needs Law Committee, Ohio State Bar Association
* Jessica Coleman, President, Ohio Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care
* Maureen Corcoran, Director, Ohio Department of Medicaid
* Lori Criss, Director, Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services
* Jacqueline DeGenova, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Ohio Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
* Kim Hauck, Director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
* Holly Holtzen, State Director, AARP Ohio
* Ira Kaplan, Co-Chair of Long Term Care Committee, Jewish Federations of America
* Jennifer Kucera, Disability Rights Advocate
* Greg Miller, Vice Chairman, Board of Executives of Long-Term Services and Supports
* Chris Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Academy of Senior Health Sciences
* Pete Van Runkle, Executive Director, Ohio Health Care Association
* Susan Wallace, Chief Executive Officer, LeadingAge Ohio
Support the New Americans magazine to continue to serve our community with precise news that affect the new American, immigrant and refugee community. https://paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=8LHFS78NRNJJY&source=
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.