ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan announced that, as part of the state’s “No Arm Left Behind” initiative, Maryland has activated mobile vaccination teams to conduct additional clinics for nursing home staff and residents and is taking new steps to encourage nursing home and congregate care workers to get vaccinated.
“We are now instituting a plan to ensure that vaccines continue to be readily available to everyone who lives and works in our nursing homes,” said Governor Hogan, announcing the new campaign at a press conference at FutureCare – NorthPoint in Dundalk. “As I have repeatedly stressed for weeks now, the fastest way to get back to normal is to get everyone vaccinated. This Thursday marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, and I want to thank every single one of our selfless and courageous Maryland nurses.”
The governor was joined for yesterday’s announcements by:
- Gary Attman, President and CEO, FutureCare Health and Management Corporation
- Leonard Attman, Chairman, FutureCare
- Joe DeMattos, President, Health Facilities Association of Maryland
- Allison Ciborowski, President and CEO, LeadingAge Maryland
- Leslie Ray, District Director, Brookdale Senior Living and Board Member, LifeSpan Network
- Edwina Bell, Director of Nursing, St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
Mobile Vaccination Teams. Maryland was one of the first states in the nation to activate the federal long-term care vaccination program, which completed three clinics at each facility across the state. To ensure continued access to vaccines at these facilities for both residents and staff, state health officials are deploying mobile vaccination teams that are conducting clinics at more than 30 nursing homes each week.
Expanded Public Outreach Campaign. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has again expanded its statewide GoVAX campaign, launching a new PSA and related materials aimed at workers in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other congregate settings, urging them to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves and those in their care.
“As with all Marylanders, we strongly urge all nursing home and congregate care workers to get vaccinated,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We are working closely with these facilities to ensure that their staff is protecting themselves and residents from COVID-19, and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated.”
New Data Dashboard for Facility Vaccination Rates. In addition to the new public awareness campaign, MDH has partnered with the state’s Department of Aging to launch a new data dashboard showing vaccination rates at each of the state’s skilled nursing facilities.
A new health order requires the data to be reported weekly and posted inside the facilities in plain view. Read the MDH order.
“Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, the majority of residents, patients, and staff in Maryland skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers have been vaccinated—over 55,000 vaccinations have been administered since December 2020,” said Joseph DeMattos, president and CEO of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland. “Today, we join again with Governor Hogan to double our efforts to encourage vaccine uptake among healthcare heroes. While we have done well on this front, together we must do better to increase the vaccination of team members in skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and on assisted living campuses.”
The latest GoVAX campaign materials, directed to staff in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, and other settings, including a GoVAX Ambassador video, staff video, print ads, posters, flyers, and social media posts.
“All of our workers should get vaccinated to keep our nursing homes safe,” said Rev. Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in Baltimore, in the newest GoVAX Ambassador public service announcement set to launch this week.
$12 MILLION FOR HOSPITAL COMMUNITY VACCINATION GRANT PROGRAM
Governor Hogan also announced that the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) has awarded nearly $12 million to 11 hospital systems in Maryland to expand hospitals’ existing mobile and community-based vaccination programs and improve existing programs.
Hospitals will work with trusted community partners around the state—including local health departments, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and others—to increase Marylanders’ access to the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in vulnerable and hard-to-reach areas. This special funding program, first announced in March, was developed in alignment with the Maryland Vaccine Equity Task Force and MDH.
The program will direct funding through the state’s hospital rate-setting system to increase the statewide vaccination rate, particularly in underserved areas. Below is a list of the health systems that received an award. The funding will enable these hospitals to implement community-based vaccination activities through June 30, 2022.
- Frederick Health
- Greater Baltimore Medical Center
- Holy Cross Hospital
- Johns Hopkins Health System
- LifeBridge Health and Ascension St. Agnes
- Luminis Health
- MedStar Health – Baltimore
- MedStar Southern Maryland
- Meritus Medical Center
- University of Maryland Medical System