Category Archives: Health

Consumer Voice – quality long term care

View this message on our website.The Voice logoSHARE:  November 1, 2022

In this Issue:Staffing in Nursing Homes and How It Affects Residents
See the Agenda for the Virtual Consumer Voice Conference
Save the Date: Virtual Office Hour on Visitation During the Holidays

Inadequate Staffing in Nursing Homes and How It Affects Residents

Chronic understaffing has been a serious problem in nursing homes for decades and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are numerous factors contributing to this problem, one major cause is the lack of adequate minimum staffing standards at both the state and federal levels.  Consumer Voice has continued to focus on staffing in nursing homes as an advocacy priority.Report: High Staff Turnover: A Job Quality Crisis in Nursing Homes – Our report sheds light on how nursing homes with higher staff turnover perform poorly in a variety of measures. It examines how staff turnover harms residents, the causes of high turnover, and offers solutions to this endemic problem.Last Spring, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that included requests for information regarding the implementation of a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. Minimum standards ensure that staffing will not fall to a level that would be harmful to residents. Consumer Voice submitted comments to CMS strongly supporting the proposal for a minimum staffing standard.  CMS stated it planned to propose a minimum staffing standard within one year.Report: Staffing Matters – Our report looked at federal data regarding nursing home staffing levels and how it affects outcomes for residents. It found that nursing homes with higher staffing levels have higher overall, health inspection, and staffing ratings. Plus, the data also revealed that as staffing levels decrease in nursing homes, the instances of resident abuse rise.
Learn more about our work around staffing in nursing homes on our website.

See the Agenda for the Virtual Consumer Voice Conference

Join us online December 8-9, 2022 for the virtual portion of the Consumer Voice Conference!Listen to key experts discuss the latest policy updates; Hear the voice of long-term care consumers; Connect with advocates nationwide and learn about best practices;Gain skills relevant to your work; and Get revitalized and equipped with new tools to put your systems and individual advocacy into action!2022 Virtual Conference AgendaPlus, view select recorded sessions from the in-person conference. Register for the virtual conference to participate in the live event and to have access to session recordings and materials for 60 days.

Save the Date: Virtual Office Hour on Visitation During the Holidays

The National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) is hosting a virtual open office hour the last Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm ET for long-term care Ombudsmen representatives. The next call is Wednesday, November 30th. This is an opportunity to ask questions, share information, and have open conversations with your peers and NORC staff.

The focus of the November call will be visitation in nursing homes during the holidays. These Zoom calls do not include a structured presentation and are open to all State Ombudsmen and their program representatives. These calls will not be recorded and do not require registration. Use this link to join:

Improvig Quality of Care, Together

Lebanon Family Health Services – June 8, 2022 Farm to Table Day

Abilities in Motion Upcoming Events!

Abilities in Motion Art Show at Goggleworks

Lebanon Family Health – Splash of Color Party & Art Auction

View this email in your browserYOU’RE INVITED!
Please join Lebanon Family Health Services as we celebrate the arts with our eighth annual Splash of Color on Saturday, June 18th, 2022, at 7 p.m. at The Red-Headed League and Market Mezzanine, 33 S. 8th St., Lebanon, PA 17042.

Our silent auctions will be open for both virtual and in-person bidding, buying, and winning!
Register Your Bidder Account Today!

will feature work from artists across Central Pennsylvania and beyond. Enjoy an exciting and entertaining evening of original art, music, live performances, and friendship as we kick off this year’s must-attend event! Seating will be limited, so reserve your spot today!

per person to attend the event in person. This year’s event will be held at The Red-Headed League’s Worrilow Room and Market Mezzanine and will begin at 7 p.m. Enjoy a selection of complimentary hors d’oeuvres along with 2 two drink tickets for your choice of beer, wine, or a signature mixed drink!

Bid on selected works and experiences from some of our area’s most celebrated artists while supporting Lebanon Family Health Services.  Attending in person allows you to participate in our exciting live auction experiences! Registered bidders can actively bid and track their silent auction activity directly from their smartphones or mobile devices starting on May 21st.

Receive text updates for Splash of Color 2022 directly to your phone! To opt-in text SPLASH to 844-984-2454.
Register Your Bidder Account Today!

Mobile Mammography Event – May 24th

Last-Minute Lowdown: COVID-19 Resources from CDC, CMS, and Quality Insights

Welcome to the Last-Minute Lowdown! This weekly e-bulletin provides a summary of the week’s news and resources specific to immunizations, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, a recording of our weekly webinar offering and any questions addressed during our weekly office hours.

Register and Attend Our Upcoming Webinar and Office Hours Next Week
Weekly Topic: Updates to COVID-19 Guidelines for Nursing Home Visitation & Testing. Ask your questions during open office hours and learn more during our weekly webinar.

Office Hours (now using a new live-chat platform instead of Zoom):


CDC Resources 

CDC campaign aims to raise awareness of TB amid COVID-19

Preliminary data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week show that reported tuberculosis (TB) disease diagnoses fell in 2020 and 2021. The CDC said the decline may be due to missed TB diagnoses amid the pandemic, and is campaigning to raise awareness of TB.

The CDC’s preliminary data show TB diagnoses fell 20% in 2020 and remained 13% lower in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. The CDC said the decline may be due to the following: 

  • efforts to prevent COVID-19, such as wearing masks, may have also reduced the spread of TB
  • disruptions to health care services during the pandemic may have delayed TB diagnoses and/or strained public health services from focusing on prevention and control of TB
  • similarities in symptoms between COVID-19 and TB may have led to missed TB diagnoses

The CDC has renewed efforts to raise awareness of tuberculosis with the Think. Test. Treat TB campaign. The website serves as a one-stop hub with resources to help inform and guide conversations between patients and providers, as well as additional materials to communicate latent TB infection information.

  • Click here to read the full CDC news release.
  • Click here to download patient and health care provider education materials on TB.

 ACIP updates vaccine recommendations and guidelines
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has made updates to its General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization.

In the Timing and Spacing of Immunobiologics section, a new table has been added highlighting categories of vaccines. There are four categories: live; live-attenuated; non-live; and non-replicating. The guidance says to check renumbering if you’ve exported stand-alone documents.Click here to download the updated section. Click here to go straight to the revised page.In the Contraindications and Precautions section, information has been added specifying that the dengue vaccine should be used only in persons in endemic areas who have evidence of prior infection with dengue virus. Additionally, “Lack of laboratory evidence of previous dengue infection” has been added as a contraindication to dengue vaccine. Click here to download the updated section. Click here to go straight to the revised page.  AAP issues report on trends of vaccinations for US children
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a report drawing on data recently released by the CDC.

The CDC studied children and adolescents ages 5 to 15 who received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Its report found the vaccinations resulted in a reduced risk of Omicron infection. 

The AAP used the data obtained by the CDC to issue its own report on the trends of COVID-19 vaccinations for U.S. children.Click here to read the full report. Click here to read the AAP’s key findings from the report.
CMS Resources
CMS makes updates to QSO guidelines
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made updates to its QSO-20-38-NH and QSO-20-39-NH guidelines. Revisions include: adoption of “up-to-date” vaccination languageclarified preference for antigen test if health care personnel/residents are tested within 90 days of prior infection (in general, testing is not necessary if asymptomatic)clarified that visitors should meet the same requirements as residents for ending quarantine/isolation before entering the facility (facilities should screen all who enter for these visitation exclusions)Download the revised guidelines by clicking the links below. Updates are colored red:QSO-20-38-NHQSO-20-39-NH

PACES Connections = Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences

Roundup   formerly ACEs Connection
Filmmaker Tom Weidlinger   Filmmaker Tom Weidlinger confronts his own ACEs while discovering his father’s hidden past Paul Weidlinger, a structural engineer who worked with some of the 20th century’s most famous modern architects, never talked about the Holocaust. He never told anyone in the U.S., including his son, that he was a Jew. By Sylvia Paull, PACEs Connection writer       Hands cradling the feet of two infants NEW Parenting with PACEs resources! We know how hard parenting with PACEs can be. PACEs Connection supports you in your parenting journey, and we’re excited to announce that we have lots of resources for you. By Natalie Audage, PACEs Connection staff       Illustrations of electrical pulses in the brain. ACEs and the Resilient Brain Here are six additional keys to optimal brain health and function, including “Nature” pills, reducing stress, and addressing brain-damaging medical conditions.  By Glenn Schiraldi, PACEs Connection member       What seems . . . reasonable . . . . For people who grew up focusing on survival, it’s not a lack of hard work that keeps them from changing. Surviving ACEs took hard work. What they didn’t have was the luxury or safety to turn  their attention toward anything except day-to-day survival. By Ron Arnold, PACEs Connection member   NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE    
For more information about PACEs Connection Roundup contact Rafael Maravilla. Got a question, a correction, a good idea on how to improve PACEs Connection, contact the Community Manager. Visit or join the PACEs Connection website for regularly posted stories, share stories, comments, and calendar events! Sign up for our emails!

PennCares Upcoming Trainings

PennCares conducts researched-based trainings designed to assist caregivers, families, and professional individuals working in the field of human services.  PennCares provides trainings with excellent resources, current information, all in an engaging webinar format, which are fun, informative, and keeps the attention of participants.

March 30, 2022
This webinar is made possible through a generous
grant from the Memorial Health Fund

See additional trainings by clicking on Upcoming Trainings below!

New name for APPRISE: Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA (MEDI)

new apprise name

Effective July 1, 2021, APPRISE is now Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI – Same Program, Same Services for Pennsylvania’s Medicare Beneficiaries, now with a New Name.

Pennsylvania Medicare Education  and Decision Insight (PA MEDI) offers free Medicare counseling to older Pennsylvanians. PA MEDI Counselors are specially trained to answer your questions and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance. 

PA MEDI Counselors do not sell Medicare products but rather offer current, non-biased Medicare education to help you make the most informed choice about the Medicare options available to you.

Read more about the name change here.