– Recognizing the ongoing challenges faced by Pennsylvania’s frontline health care workers, Reps. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne) on Wednesday joined their House colleagues in supporting the allocation of $225 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to hospitals statewide, including two in Susquehanna County. The bill was then signed into law by the governor as Act 2 of 2022.
“This funding is going to be well spent on retention and recruitment efforts to ensure residents will continue to receive quality medical care at facilities in Susquehanna County,” said Pickett. “Nurses and other hospital employees have worked so hard during the pandemic, and they should be rewarded in this way for their lifesaving service to our communities.”
Local hospitals will receive funding as follows:
Barnes-Kasson County Hospital – $180,692.
Endless Mountains Health System – $180,692.
“Our health care workers have experienced immense hardship as they continued to take care of the high influx of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Fritz. “My colleagues and I have listened to the discussions surrounding their current struggles, and I am pleased to support this legislation, which offers some financial relief to these health care workers and the facilities that employ them.”
Act 2 directs $100 million in funding to be shared among all hospitals and $110 million for critical access hospitals, high Medicaid-use hospitals and behavioral health providers. The measure also allocates $15 million for a nursing student loan forgiveness program.
Hospital executives and administration, contracted staff and physicians are not eligible for payments. The funding can only be directed to nurses and other hospital employees.
The General Assembly is also expected to pass a similar bill next month that would direct $25 million to fire and ambulance companies.