Gov. Charlie Baker announced $800 million on April 7 for Massachusetts healthcare providers amid COVID-19 pandemic
CANTON, Mass. – As additional state and federal funding flows to hospitals and other healthcare providers in Massachusetts, nurses and healthcare professionals are calling for resources to be directed toward the front lines.
- Ensure every nurse and healthcare worker who comes in contact with any patient has an N95 mask and other best practice PPE to guard against the highly contagious and stealthy spread of COVID-19.
- Staff should be redeployed as appropriate to help with the COVID-19 surge rather than be furloughed, laid off or otherwise sent home without pay or forced to use their own time off.
- Support recommendations from the perspective of frontline nurses and healthcare workers. The latest April 7 letter from the MNA to Gov. Charlie Baker detailing these recommendations can be found at www.massnurses.org/COVID-19.
Gov. Baker announced a plan on April 7 to send an additional $800 million to healthcare providers. This supplements $840 million in previously announced assistance to the Massachusetts healthcare system. Congress has also approved $100 billion in funding for hospitals in response to the pandemic.
“To effectively combat this virus, we need these additional resources directed to the front lines to protect nurses and healthcare workers and flatten the curve,” said Donna Kelly-Williams, RN and President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, representing more than 23,000 frontline nurses and healthcare professionals in 85 healthcare facilities and the vast majority of RNs in hospitals statewide.
“Too many nurses and healthcare workers who could be redeployed to help fight this pandemic are being furloughed, laid off or cancelled,” Kelly-Williams said. “We need all hands-on deck and now that hospitals are receiving additional financial support, they should be able to redeploy, train and house staff who are willing and able to help fight this outbreak.”
Local Examples of Hospital PPE/Furlough Issues
- Trinity Health of New England is furloughing nurses and other healthcare workers. Trinity has also been cancelling nurses rather than redeploying and training who is able to assist in other units and is not providing N95 masks to all frontline nurses and healthcare workers.
- Nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and all other Partners Healthcare facilities are not being provided N95 masks in all patient areas, despite researching showing the virus can spread without symptoms.
- Steward Healthcare MNA members at hospitals around the state have raised the need for consistent proper PPE and better two-way communication and expressed concern about abruptly shuttered ICUs.
Read the April 7 MNA letter to Gov. Baker and more information at www.massnurses.org/COVID-19.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.