PA Highlights Partnership with Long-Term Care Facilities to Improve Care for Older Pennsylvanians

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) joined long-term care stakeholders at the Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center, a skilled nursing facility in Erie, to highlight recent upgrades to the facility made possible through the DOH’s Long-Term Care Transformation Office (LTCTO). These upgrades, like enhanced patient-to-nurse communication devices, internet upgrades, leadership and management training, and hand sanitation stations, help to improve the quality of life for older Pennsylvanians at the Nightingale facility.  

“During the pandemic, it became clear that the Commonwealth’s long-term care facilities needed help and guidance to proactively respond to their residents’ needs. That is why the Long-Term Care Transformation Office was created in January 2023 when Governor Shapiro took office, to help facilities fill those gaps,” said Long-Term Care Transformation Office Director Megan Barbour.

Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center Administrator Jonali Derry highlighted the facility’s various investments, which were made possible through funding from the LTCTO’s Quality Investment Pilot. Other enhancements include clinical certifications for staff and software upgrades to facility technology.

“The Long-Term Care Transformation Office partnership has significantly contributed to fostering growth and educational opportunities for our esteemed team of professionals, thereby equipping them with the necessary skills to deliver exemplary care,” said Jonali Derry. “It facilitated the revitalization of critical technical and physical aspects within our facility. This included the implementation of updated call bell systems aimed at enhancing customer service and the integration of walkie-talkies to streamline communication processes.”

In early 2023, the DOH consolidated its older Pennsylvania care efforts into the LTCTO to help address the long-term care industry’s challenges.

The Office provides guidance and assistance to care communities, including assisted living, intermediate care, skilled nursing, personal care homes, and state veterans homes. It works with multiple state agencies and stakeholder organizations to understand industry challenges and implement positive changes.