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Department of Human Services names health systems, academic medical centers selected for regional response health collaboration program

The state Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced applicants selected to participate in the Regional Response Health Collaboration Program (RRHCP). They include Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley Hospital.
The RRHCP will directly support COVID-19 continued readiness and response planning in long-term residential care facilities, improve quality of care related to infection prevention, expand COVID-19 testing to include asymptomatic staff and residents in facilities, and facilitate continuity of care and services provided by long-term care facilities in an attempt to mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19 to staff or residents. This effort is a collaboration between DHS, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
"Long-term care providers provide a home and care for some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, and COVID-19 remains a serious threat. The Wolf Administration will continue to do all we can to support our long-term care providers during this pandemic and beyond,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “The Regional Response Health Collaboration Program will build on accomplishments thus far and be a resource to long-term care facilities as COVID-19 evolves. Through these collaboratives, long-term care facilities will have a network to learn, respond, and prepare for what is ahead in the fight against COVID-19.”
Selected grantees will be awarded $175 million collectively through funding approved by the General Assembly. Funding for the RRHCP is divided regionally by the long-term care facility census in each region. Applicants selected and the regions they will serve include:
Southeast Region ($65.8 million):
1. Thomas Jefferson University
2. University of Pennsylvania
Northeast Region ($24 million):
1. Geisinger Clinic
2. Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inc.
Southcentral Region ($22.9 million):
1. The Pennsylvania State University
Northcentral Region ($9.8 million):
1. Geisinger Clinic
Southwest Region ($38.9 million):
1. UPMC Community Provider Services
Northwest Region ($13.6 million):
1. LECOM Health
2. UPMC Community Provider Services
The program will also support facilities as they enhance testing capability for both individuals in care and staff under the expanded statewide testing order released last month. The RRHCP partners will be a critical resource in implementing this testing order for facilities that do not have dedicated clinical staff.