Society leaders to join congressional briefing in nation’s capital

Leaders will voice concerns with lawmakers about federal staffing mandate

Society leaders to join congressional briefing in nation’s capital

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society – the nation’s largest non-profit provider of senior care and services – will share how the final rule that was released for an unfunded federal staffing mandate for long-term care providers threatens access to care for seniors in rural areas. Leaders will meet with elected officials at the 2024 American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) Congressional Briefing June 3-4 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The invite-only congressional briefing provides AHCA/NCAL members the opportunity to connect with elected officials, gain insight on the latest legislative and policy developments and collaborate with other industry leaders.

Good Samaritan Society president and CEO Nate Schema, along with AHCA/NCAL CEO Mark Parkinson and other industry representatives, will participate in a press conference on Tuesday, June 4 at 9:15 a.m. CST at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. They will share their perspectives on the current state of the long-term care industry and how the federal staffing mandate will impact the communities they serve.

“At the Good Samaritan Society, quality care is at the core of everything we do. But delivering quality care is not a numbers game,” said Schema. “We use a team-based approach and determine staffing levels based on caregiver experience, training and resident health needs. There are simply not enough caregivers in rural America to meet the final minimum staffing requirements released by the Administration.”

This year’s briefing will focus on advocating for legislative policies that would protect access to care for seniors and strengthen the long-term care workforce.  The Protecting America’s Seniors’ Access to Care Act (S. 3410/H.R. 7513) would block a federal staffing mandate for nursing homes recently finalized by the Administration. New data shows that only 6% of nursing homes currently meet all four requirements.

Across the Good Samaritan Society’s footprint, only 5% of its locations meet the requirement to have a registered nurse on-site 24 hours a day. The non-profit organization would need to hire an additional 207 registered nurses and nearly 400 nurse aides to comply with the federal rule.

“The unrealistic and unfunded mandate will not improve quality. Instead, it will force rural nursing homes to close their doors when they can’t meet the minimum staffing requirements – taking our nation’s seniors away from their loved ones, and the lives they know,” Schema added. “We will continue to do all we can to work alongside our policymakers on meaningful, common-sense solutions to address our workforce crisis and protect access to care for our nation’s seniors.”

Good Samaritan Society leaders and staff participating in the briefing include:

  • Nate Schema, President and CEO
  • Aimee Middleton, Chief Operating Officer
  • Tom Syverson, Director of Government Relations
  • Laura Salonek, Administrator
    • Howard Lake, MN
  • Cassie Greene, Administrator
    • Auburn, NE
  • Kiara Tuchscherer, Senior Living Administrator
    • Fargo, ND
  • Alecia O’Neill, Senior Living Administrator
    • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Gina Rankin, Administrator
    • Albion, NE
  • Tiffany Zahnow, Lead Medication Assistant
    • Albion, NE
  • Lisa Andrew, Social Services Coordinator
    • Auburn, NE

During the event, AHCA/NCAL will also recognize the 2024 Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Awards recipients, including Good Samaritan Society Director of Government Relations Tom Syverson. The Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award is bestowed to AHCA/NCAL members who have worked directly to educate members of Congress about the needs of long term and post-acute care patients and to advance quality care

Posted In Company News, Corporate Services & Administration, Leadership in Health Care, News, Rural Health, Senior Services