Gov. Kay Ivey has authorized a $100 million allocation for nursing homes and hospitals throughout the state that have proven to be the frontlines of Alabama’s battle against COVID-19.
Ivey announced two grant programs on Friday that will offer up to $50 million for nursing homes and another $50 million hospitals to help their efforts to respond to and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
The allocations are coming from Alabama’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which has served as a passthrough for the roughly $1.9 billion in federal aid made available to the Yellowhammer State through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act earlier this year.
In addition to helping local governments and schools, Ivey said protecting Alabama’s most vulnerable populations was a logical choice for these federal dollars.
“While there are many aspects of COVID-19 that we still don’t know, one thing that isn’t in dispute is our seniors and those with preexisting health conditions fare the worst when contracting the virus,” Ivey said in a statement.
“Protecting our most vulnerable citizens remains a priority for my administration, and it is incumbent to ensure that our nursing homes and hospitals have every tool possible to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as well as keep their staff and health care professionals safe as they offer exceptional care to those who are ill.”
This allocation of up to $50 million will be for operational costs that are COVID-19 related, such as purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning, personnel costs and other expenses incurred that are related to the ongoing pandemic.
The Alabama Nursing Home Association Education Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c)(3), previously received $18.27 million to provide baseline testing for coronavirus and proactive surveillance of the virus for health care personnel and residents of nursing home facilities across Alabama.
“On behalf of Alabama’s nursing homes, I thank Gov. Ivey for her continued commitment to assisting the residents and staff in our facilities,” Brandon Farmer, president and CEO of the Alabama Nursing Home Association, said. “Our nursing homes continue to provide high quality, compassionate care despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. These funds will help cover the unexpected and ongoing costs we incur during this pandemic and allow us to focus on caring for those most vulnerable to this virus.”
In partnership with the state of Alabama, the Alabama Nursing Home Association Education Foundation has agreed to take on the task of dividing up the grant funds “fairly and impartially” and the Alabama Hospital Association has agreed to play a similar role in distributing the $50 million allocated to hospitals.
“Despite unprecedented challenges and financial strains as a result of the pandemic, Alabama’s hospitals have continued to rise to the occasion in meeting the health care needs of our citizens,” Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson said. “[These grant funds] will go a long way to ensure hospitals are able to care for all patients who need hospital services and protect their employees while doing so.”
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