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June 23, 2020

In this Issue:

    • Family Advocacy for Residents During COVID
    • COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents - Part IX
    • COVID-19 and Ombudsman Programs: Understanding How Trauma Affects You, Residents, and Your Advocacy

Consumer Voice Executive Director Named to Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, including Consumer Voice Executive Director Lori Smetanka.  CMS has directed the Commission to perform an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  CMS tasked independent contractor MITRE Corporation to select members for the Commission and facilitate the Comission's work.  The Commission’s review will help inform current and future responses to COVID-19 and potential future infectious disease outbreaks within nursing homes.  

The Commission includes 25 members, selected from over 800 applicants, with a variety of expertise and backgrounds including resident advocates, infectious disease experts, directors and administrators of nursing homes, academics, state authorities, clinicians, a medical ethicist and a nursing home resident.

Read the press release from CMS »

Webinar Materials Available
Recordings and slides are available from last week's webinars hosted by Consumer Voice and NORC

Family Advocacy for Residents During COVID
Families are facing many new issues as they support and care for their loved ones in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This webinar provided information and tips on how to advocate for quality care individually and through family councils.  The webinar also covered topics of particular concern to family members, including visitation, facility transparency and reporting requirements, transfers and discharges, COVID-19 testing and more.

COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents - Part IX
The landscape of COVID-19 response in nursing homes continues to evolve rapidly at the federal and state levels. This webinar series from Consumer Voice, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities and its residents.  Join us again this Friday, June 26th at 2pm ET as we review the latest updates, issuances from CMS, legislation, and strategies for advocates and families. See materials from past webinars in the series.

COVID-19 and Ombudsman Programs: Understanding How Trauma Affects You, Residents, And Your Advocacy
In partnership with the Colorado Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, Consumer Voice and NORC are offering a four-part webinar series regarding the impact of trauma due to the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care residents and Ombudsman programs. The webinar series highlights important themes related to trauma-informed care, person-centered care, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. The third webinar in the series addressed anxiety related to COVID-19, coping mechanisms, and tools for you and to help others. Dr. Gibson discussed coping strategies in response to COVID-19 related anxiety to assist Ombudsman programs and the residents you serve. She also highlighted two tools, a COVID-19 anxiety scale, and a coping tool that provides simple, practical steps to recognize and address anxiety. Join us for the final webinar in the series on Wednesday, July 29th.  See materials from past webinars in the series.

New NORC Resource: Tips for Ombudsman Program Communication with Residents, Long-Term Care Facilities, Families, and the Public During COVID-19
Tips for Ombudsman Program CommunicationIn-person visitation restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 required Ombudsman programs to adapt quickly to ensure residents continue to have access to program services. In-person visits with residents are a core part of Ombudsman program outreach and advocacy, and there is no substitute. However, during this crisis, programs must use other means to connect with residents. NORC has developed a new resource providing tips and examples to promote effective communication between the Ombudsman program and residents, families, providers, and the public when in-person visitation is limited.  See the resource »

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