The New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (NYACH), the healthcare industry partnership at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, in partnership with Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson and the Mayor’s Office for Workforce Development, is leading an emergency COVID‑19 planning workgroup focusing on workforce challenges in the long-term services and supports subsector, specifically including skilled nursing homes, home care, and residential facilities for people with disabilities.
The COVID‑19 emergency response sections of the NYACH website are intended to provide resources to healthcare employers and their partners working to improve conditions on the ground, especially in longterm care. This is an aggregation of resources shared with NYACH or developed for this purpose and will continue to be updated as new resources become available.
Elevating the role of direct care workers
Direct care workers in longterm services and supports are essential and unseen healthcare workers fighting on the frontline against COVID‑19 and risking their lives to care for some of NYC’s most vulnerable populations. These are the approximate 300,000 workers in NYC, predominantly low-income women of color, who provide longterm care and personal assistance to those who are elderly, living with disabilities, or have chronic health conditions, in nursing homes, home care, or residential facilities for those living with disabilities. NYACH and our partners are working together to elevate the essential role of direct care workers during COVID-19 so we can ensure these workers receive equitable resources and treatment through emergency response and recovery.
NYACH Industry Brief: Hybrid Virtual Home Health Aide Training Pilot – Lessons Learned
In June 2020 NYACH and SBS, in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), launched an emergency hybrid virtual home health aide (HHA) training program to help meet a sudden increase in demand in the healthcare workforce. The combination of the pause of in-person training programs and the consequences of COVID-19 exposure among this workforce resulted in a skyrocketing need for HHAs in NYC, and it was clear that virtual training methods were needed to maintain the pipeline of workers.
This industry brief details this pilot initiative including insights from the implementation team as well as trainees and instructors. We hope this information will be of value to others in the sector interested in establishing their own hybrid virtual trainings.
Read the industry brief here: Hybrid Virtual HHA Training Pilot Lessons Learned_NYACH
NYACH Industry Brief: NYC COVID-19 Emergency Response Efforts in Long-term Services and Supports
In September 2020 NYACH released an industry brief summarizing the actions of its Long-term Services and Supports Emergency Working Group, which coordinated action among industry players and local government from the early days of the COVID-19 emergency, as there was no already existing government emergency response for this subsector of the healthcare industry.
The report outlines key concerns raised by this workgroup and some solutions that were put in place to address these concerns, illustrating the work this emergency response workgroup did together from March to May 2020.
Read the industry brief here: NYC COVID-19 Emergency Response in Long-term Services and Supports
PHI recently released new fact sheets about the direct care workforce in New York
“Let’s Thank All Caregivers, Not Just the Most Visible”
Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson and New York Academy of Medicine President Judith Salerno published an op-ed in the Gotham Gazette demanding that direct care workers — including home health aides, personal care aides, direct support professionals, and nursing assistants —get the respect and support they deserve.
Social Media Campaign
In order to leverage social media and ensure direct care workers feel seen and appreciated both individually and as part of a larger movement of people in similar roles, the LTSS workgroup has developed a set of hashtags to create community, unifying language, and visibility online. In developing the hashtags, the group took into account the following considerations: 1) workers feel comfortable using the hashtags to tell their own stories; 2) workers who choose to stay home during this time do not feel alienated; and 3) this traditionally underrecognized workforce is not again lost in a broader category such as “healthcare worker.”
Please join NYACH and the LTSS Workgroup by using the primary hashtag: #ValueDirectCareWorkers coupled with at least one secondary hashtag: #EssentialHomeHealthAides, #EssentialNurseAssistants, #EssentialDirectSupportProfessionals, and #EssentialPersonalCareAides in social media posts.
We also encourage all partners or those interested in NYACH’s work to connect with us on social media:
Business financing support and tools for employers
There are financing options and technological supports available for small businesses and organizations providing vital services during this emergency.
NYC Department of Small Business Services offers a range of assistance and guidance available for NYC small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
We recommend subscribing to the NYC Department of Small Business Services update emails, focusing on supports for businesses
The City of New York offers ways for organizations including healthcare facilities, small businesses, and non-profits to seek assistance
The U.S. Department of the Treasury came out with an FAQ clarification on April 15th indicating that some businesses may qualify for the Paychecks Protection Program (please find information on this program at the NYC Department of Small Business Services website linked above) based on a revenue standard even if they exceed the number of employees under the headcount standard
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance
NowPow is a personalized community referral platform that gives free access to a comprehensive resource directory and the ability to quickly refer people to vital emergency resource services via text message, email, or print. All resources are validated with updated service availability on a regular basis during the COVID-19 crisis.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment in NYC and across the country, and leaders are working around the clock to produce and procure protective equipment for our essential healthcare workers.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is managing the distribution of the City’s inventory of PPE to healthcare providers including those in the longterm services and supports space
If you are a healthcare provider and you are not currently in touch with DOHMH about PPE and would like to be
NYACH is also working with the Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council (MaiiC) to connect healthcare providers with local manufacturers
MaiiC with support from the Tech Talent Pipeline (TTP) and local industry partners have launched the NYC PPE + Reopening Supplies Marketplace. The Marketplace provides a one-stop-shop for businesses to find medial and non-medial grade products such as (i) face masks and coverings, (ii) face shields, (iii) gloves, (iv) cleaning and disinfectant products, (physical barriers and portable furniture, (v) thermometers, (vi) fabric gowns and coverings. The marketplace represents local and regional suppliers and manufacturers to provide a wide-range of order minimums for purchase.
The Human Resources Council put a survey out to providers in order assess the demand for PPE
Support and resources for essential workers
Free and subsidized resources are available to essential workers.
The Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) has compiled a list of transportation resources available
New York City’s hotel program for essential workers has been extended to direct care workers
Free meals are available to every New Yorker at over 400 locations
Text ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877
GetFoodNYC Home Care Pilot
NYACH in partnership with Get Food NYC is launching a pilot with two home care agencies, Sunnyside Community Services and Cooperative Home Care Associates, to ensure more COVID-19 vulnerable, food insecure New Yorkers are able to access the City’s free meal delivery program. Each agency will have home health aides to report eligible patients to designated centralized staff who will act as authorized enrollers in the program. Between these two agencies alone, over 11,000 COVID-19 vulnerable New Yorkers, many of whom are food insecure, will have increased opportunity to access to the program. If this model is a success, the hope is to scale it to other home care agencies across NYC. The program launched on Wednesday, May 27th.
Testing sites throughout the city are open to 1199SEIU workers, health care workers, and residents over 65
For more information call 1-888-OneMED1 or go to onemedical.com and use the code NYCCARE30
Filling emergency workforce shortages
There are many critical workforce needs and shortages during this emergency. In addition to prescribing providers (doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners) and nursing staff, there is a huge demand for support staff throughout the healthcare sector.
In the longterm services and supports subsector, NYC is experiencing critical support staff shortages in:
- Home health aides
- Certified nursing assistants
- Personal care aides
- Direct support professionals
- Environmental service workers
- Dietary workers
- Administrative support workers
- Supplies and procurement support workers
Resources for employing workers
There are many resources available to both job seekers and employers looking to source workers. Below is information related to three large-scale job matching resources that have been activated for use during this emergency.
|New York City and New York State Emergency Management||New York City Department of Small Business Services – Workforce1||1199SEIU Training and Employment Fund Employment Center|
|Are you a worker looking for work helping with COVID‑19 response?||If you are a certified and credentialed healthcare worker, please register with ServNY||If you are a job-seeker looking for work, please visit the City’s Virtual Workforce1 Career Center and select your borough to be connected to professionals who can help||If you are seeking employment as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistant, dietary worker, environmental services worker, home health aide or any clinical or non-clinical role in a hospital, nursing home, health care center or home care agency, please complete this online application to be connected to employers.|
|Are you an employer looking for workers to support COVID‑19 response efforts?||If you are a New York City healthcare provider seeking certified and credentialed clinical healthcare workers, please complete the survey with Help Now NYC||If you are an employer with a current need for workers, please register to connect with the professionals at the City’s Virtual Workforce1 Career Center who can vet and connect you with a wide range of both clinical and non-clinical job-seekers to meet your needs||If you are a healthcare employer, we have candidates to fill a variety of job functions. Please email EmploymentCenterTEF@1199funds.org
and include your name, type of healthcare facility, your phone number and the job titles of the workers you are seeking. They will do their best to respond within 24 hours.
Resources for free and subsidized non-clinical support
NYC Service is coordinating the City’s official volunteering efforts in response to COVID‑19
If you are a healthcare provider and would like support in requesting help from non-clinical volunteers to complete remote administrative tasks or on-site projects, please get in contact with NYACH
Regulatory or logistical changes for licensure, certification, or training
There are various regulatory waivers or other efforts underway to allow workforce flexibility to respond to this emergency. We will continue to update this page as relevant official guidance is released.
Information about CMS regulatory changes
The NYS Governor put out an executive allowing health professionals, including RNs and LPNs, who are licensed in other states to work without registration in New York
If you have or know of an existing training resource that has been created or can be adapted for use during this emergency, please let us know
The 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds released an 11 minute video on safety measures in environmental services
The video is free to access and does not ask for a the viewer to register or otherwise input their information
The Audacia Foundation has created a YouTube account where videos on COVID-19 infection prevention in homecare, including on handwashing technique and PPE, can be found.
Feeding Assistance Training
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) offers a free, one-hour online training that is allows trainees to work as temporary feeding assistants. Temporary feeding assistants are authorized in emergencies to assist residents of skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities with eating. To take this training, the participant should register and create an account using his/her name and e-mail. Once an account has been created, the course can be completed at any time.
Instructions On Creating An AHCA Account Can Be Found Here
With Your Newly Created AHCA Account, Click Here to Register For The One Hour On-Line Feeding Assistant Program
To complete the training, watch the one hour training video and then take the final assessment
The City University of New York (CUNY) has recently launched an Upskilling website that has a number of resources for CUNY students and other New Yorkers
Tapping into talent pools
NYACH is working with partners to pipeline workers from key talent pools including foreign-trained clinical workers, recently laid off hospitality workers, current healthcare or CUNY students and others.