April 26th, 2021
Common Ground Health enlisted to convene a long-term care task force
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello was joined today by Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, Alyssa Tallo, Executive Health Director of Monroe Community Hospital, CSEA Regional President Steve Healy and Todd Oldham, MCC Vice President of Economic Development, Workforce and Career Technical Education to announce a series of measures being implemented aimed at improving staffing retention and recruitment at Monroe Community Hospital. As part of the announcement, a new long-term care task force will be convened through Common Ground Health to study opportunities to address the communitywide nursing home staffing crisis.
“Like so many things, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t create the staffing crisis we’re seeing in long-term care facilities and nursing homes throughout Monroe County and New York State. Instead, it exacerbated an existing problem that can no longer go unaddressed,” said County Executive Bello. “My administration and the leadership at Monroe Community Hospital have been working together over the last several months to develop a strategy to improve the pipeline of nursing and support staff at MCH, and are committed to ensuring the residents of our facility continue to receive the best service and care possible.”
As an initial step to address nursing staff turnover at MCH, Monroe County implemented pay increases for CNAs, LPNs and RNs, created new leadership positions for additional growth opportunities for current and future employees, and improve new employee recruitment with the creation of a new nursing recruiter position. The County administration received approval for these pay increases and the creation of the new positions from the Civil Service Commission on April 8, 2021.
“We are truly grateful to the Bello Administration for their continued support, as we join with long-term care facilities across the state and nation who are grappling with staffing shortages,” said Executive Health Director Tallo. “The County Executive understood the importance of this facility right away. He knew that we needed focused support to withstand COVID-19 and come out the other end, ready and able to tackle the systemic issues that are impacting the workforce pipeline for caregivers. This is a community-wide problem, which requires a community based solution. We are so grateful to the Bello Administration for helping lead this critically important effort.”
"On day one of his administration, Adam Bello and his team have been solid partners remedying MCH issues of the day. We all agree we are not where we want to be right now. However, the spirit of cooperation from all the stakeholders and the level of collaboration we are seeing can only be described as true progress. CSEA believes the new initiative to create a career pipeline from MCC to MCH is fundamentally sound and a brilliant idea,” added Steve Healy, CSEA Western Region President.
To further attract new talent and improve the career pipeline at Monroe Community Hospital, County Executive Bello also announced a new partnership with Monroe Community College to provide advanced training and education to accelerate job growth and advancement within MCH’s nursing staff. This initiative would be bolstered by MCC’s MPower Healthcare program and would create a career ecosystem at MCH, giving employees the opportunity to grow their career and advance within the organization.
“Without the support of Monroe County and local providers we would not be able to create programs like Mpower Healthcare. Through this partnership, MCC has trained over 600 new workers for critical clinical support roles in our community” said Todd Oldham, MCC Vice President for Economic Development, Workforce and Career Technical Education.
Recent reports suggest that upwards of 500 jobs are available in long-term care and nursing home facilities throughout Monroe County at any given time. Staff retention and pay scale concerns are not unique to Monroe Community Hospital and have been well-documented over the last several years. To address this issue on a long-term basis, County Executive Bello has asked Common Ground Health to convene a long-term care task force to identify critical issues contributing to the staff turnover crisis felt in facilities throughout Monroe County.
Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood said, “While our community’s older-adult population continues to grow significantly, the long-term care system has not kept pace. Common Ground Health looks forward to working with Monroe County and engaging a task force to create a plan to meet the community’s long-term care needs, including recruiting, training and retaining a diverse skilled and home-health-care nursing workforce.”