Delaware will spend more than $75 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds for hospitals, long-term care centers and state operated facilities to provide hiring and retention bonuses to workers.
The money is aimed at alleviating staffing shortages in the medical field by enabling providers to give hiring and retention bonuses to health care workers.
“This new funding from the American Rescue Plan will help Delaware hospitals, long-term care facilities and State of Delaware facilities keep workers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and recruit qualified new workers into these critical roles,” Gov. John Carney said during his announcement.
Lt. Gov, Bethany Hall-Long cited her experience as a nurse in understanding how the pandemic has affected health care workers.
Wayne Smith, president and CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association said COVID-19 has placed a tremendous burden on hospitals and health care facilities.
“Having the needed amount of front line workers to care for all who access our facilities is not optional,” Smith said.
The announcement comes one day after the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services shared their plan to use funds from ARPA as well as federal matching funds to recruit and retain direct support professionals who provide home and community-based services to Delawareans with disabilities.
Under DHSS’ plan, new direct support professionals employed on or after May 1, 2021, and existing ones who were employed prior to April 30, 2021, would be eligible for a one-time $1,000 payment if they work a minimum of 25 hours a week.
DHSS said in a press release that the investment will stabilize and strengthen the home and community-based services workforce that serves thousands of individuals across Delaware.
Last week, Carney announced multiple projects paid for using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, including a $25 million investment in the revitalization of Wilmington’s Riverside neighborhood, a $50 million investment in workforce development initiatives and a $110 million plan to provide universal wired broadband access for all Delaware homes and businesses.
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