Longietti: Area hospitals receiving more than $1.6 million for recruitment, retention, critical resources

HERMITAGE, March 24 – Two hospitals in the 7th Legislative District are receiving nearly $1.65 million in federal funding to help address staffing shortages and replenish resources drained by the pandemic, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, announced today.

Longietti said the money, which comes from $225 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, includes $962,517 to Sharon Regional Health System and $684,982 to UPMC Horizon.

“During the worst of the pandemic, our community’s frontline health care workers worked around the clock to save lives, despite incredibly stressful conditions,” Longietti said. “The funding coming to our community hospitals should help ease the strain by funding recruitment and retention efforts and the purchase of additional critical resources.”

The money is part of Act 2 of 2022, legislation that appropriated $225 million to support the following health care areas: 

  • $100 million to be distributed to acute care, critical access and children’s hospitals licensed by the Department of Health on a per-bed basis. The funding will be used strictly for recruitment and retention payments to direct care staff. 
  • $110 million to be distributed on a per-bed basis to high-Medical Assistance hospitals, designated Critical Access Hospitals, and inpatient and residential behavioral health facilities for recruitment and retention payments to key staff. 
  • $15 million to quadruple the funds available for the nurse loan forgiveness program at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, a high-demand program which has already received more than 20,000 applications by the March 1 deadline.

Additional details on hospitals and facilities receiving allocations are available on DHS’s website.