Sep 5, 2001
Press Release

NEW YORK: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney joined caregivers, seniors, and members of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) today at the Florence Nightingale Health Care Center in the Upper East Side to draw attention to the long-term care staffing crisis facing New York's nursing homes and to build support for a solution. Excerpts from Representative Maloney's remarks at the event follow:

"I am deeply concerned about the nursing staff crisis facing long term care facilities in New York. All New Yorkers are deeply affected by the availability and quality of health care professionals. We rely on the skill and dedication of nurses and caregivers every day to assist us and our loved ones in times of need. They deserve our gratitude, our respect, and our support.

"Federal authorities predict that by 2008, when the baby-boom generation begins to enter retirement, 800,000 caregivers will be needed to meet the growing demand for long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, New York State will need 27 percent more nursing assistants by 2020 to help care for its aging population. The bottom line is simple. We need to recruit and retain long-term care staff today to prevent a debilitating crisis tomorrow that would literally deprive individuals in our city of the care they so desperately need.

"I am cosponsoring two important pieces of legislation before Congress on this issue. The Nurse Reinvestment Act (HR 1436) increases funds for nurse education under Title VIII of the Public Health Services Act. Support for education in health care services is a critical step toward resolving the long-term care crisis. The second bill, The Nurse of Tomorrow Act (HR 1897), offers comprehensive reform. This legislation aims to attract new students into nursing schools, retain existing nurses, and provide incentives to nurses who have left the field to return to the nursing profession. It would provide grants to nursing facilities that are experiencing shortages in nursing personnel and establish tax credits for nurses working in not-for-profit and public hospitals, nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospices. These innovative ideas will help us solve an impending crisis in long term care services and I thank my colleagues, Representatives Lois Capps and Eliot Engel for their leadership on these bills. First and foremost, we must treat our long-term caregivers with the same amount of respect, appreciation and value that we most often receive from them in our moments of greatest need."

Also attending the event were: Bill Pascocello, administrator of Florence Nightingale Health Center, and Edward Stafford, Director of the New York State Health Facilities Association. Ms. Maloney also recognized Charles Roadman, M.D., President and CEO of AHCA , and everyone at AHCA for their work to raise awareness about the staffing crisis facing long term care facilities.