Letter to the Editor in Crain’s Cleveland Business: Proper funding needed for long-term care facilities

Proper funding needed for long-term care facilities

Eliza Bryant Village Letter to the Editor in Crain’s Cleveland Business:

Ohio’s long-term care facilities provide safe, high-quality care for more than 400,000 of the state’s most frail, elderly citizens. While the COVID-19 pandemic may be unprecedented, the industry’s commitment to providing compassionate, resident-centered care is unwavering. But this critical work requires adequate resources.

Eliza Bryant Village, a nonprofit incorporated in 1896, is the oldest African-American-founded long-term care facility that remains in operation in the country. Through our skilled nursing, adult day care, home care, affordable housing, and elder abuse services, we care for more than 1,000 seniors each year. However, inadequate public funding severely hinders our long-term capacity to meet the needs our predominantly Medicaid-eligible residents require and deserve.

Many media stories have rightly focused on COVID-19’s impact, but far fewer address the obstacles long-term care facilities face. Nonprofit nursing homes need fair financial reimbursement from government sources and less restrictive support from foundation and other private funders. Recent research reported on in the Chronicle of Philanthropy documented that nonprofits led by minorities and focused on minority issues, such as Eliza Bryant, are typically awarded less funding, with more strings, than their majority-led counterparts. This too needs to change.

COVID-19 has shined a light on many deficiencies in our elder care systems, which need to be addressed. However, one way we can all ensure older adults are properly cared for when they need it most is to substitute for that nameless, impoverished senior, the face of someone we love.

 – Danny R. Williams, JD, MNO, LNHA, President & CEO of Eliza Bryant Village

Click here to read this letter on Crainscleveland.com.

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