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

(Mar 24, 2022)

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 Read more

 

Sainato: Area hospitals receiving more than $400,000 for pandemic relief

(Mar 24, 2022)

NEW CASTLE, March 24 – Area hospitals are receiving more than $400,000 in federal funding to restore resources and personnel exhausted by the pandemic, state Rep. Chris Sainato, D-Lawrence, announced today. Sainato said the money – which comes from $225 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding he and other lawmakers helped allocate – includes $408,677 to UPMC Jameson. “Our community’s health care workers remained on the front lines resolutely during the pandemic, continuing to care for patients despite overworked, understaffed conditions,” Sainato said. “Securing this funding is going to help bring critical reinforcements to ease their burden and ensure our community’s patients continue receiving the excellent care they deserve.” 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 Read more

 

Merski resumes EMTA senior bus pass program

(Mar 24, 2022)

ERIE, March 24 – The return of a popular program offered by state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, will make it easier for Erie seniors to “ride the e for free,” Merski announced today at a news conference with Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Jeremy Peterson. Merski said a combination of factors prompted him to resume the program, which provides seniors who visit his 3901 Liberty St. office same-day service in applying for and obtaining the Senior Citizen Transit Identification cards that allow residents 65 or older to ride any EMTA bus for free. “The pandemic kept some seniors home and discouraged others from using mass transit more than strictly necessary,” Merski said. “Now, with more folks vaccinated and COVID-19 posing less of a severe threat, we’re anticipating seeing more seniors return to riding the bus more regularly – especially as gas prices continue to rise. “Our bus pass program will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ in which seniors can obtain an application, receive any help they need completing it, and get their Senior ID card issued – all in one visit to our office. I encourage anyone who is eligible for a pass but does not yet have one to stop by.” “EMTA is proud to partner again with Representative Merski on this,” Peterson said. “We fully support efforts like this that facilitate easy access Read more

 

Harkins, Merski announce more than $6.6 million to area health care centers

(Mar 23, 2022)

ERIE, March 23 – Erie hospitals and behavioral healthcare centers strained by the pandemic will be receiving more than $6.6 million in federal funding to replenish resources and fund recruitment and retention efforts, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding, which represents Erie’s share of $225 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act, will provide critical reinforcements to healthcare workers who have remained on the front lines throughout the pandemic. “The pandemic showed us the heroic side of so many Erie workers, and our healthcare workers are a shining example of that,” Harkins said. “Incredibly dedicated frontline medical personnel have been working tirelessly through extreme challenges, and they need reinforcements. This funding is going to allow Erie hospitals and care providers deliver those reinforcements by funding recruitment and retention of staff and other critical resources.” Merski said, “Staffing shortages have not only strained our health care resources but can affect patient care. Securing this funding brings relief to frontline workers and also helps ensure that Erie residents continue receiving the dedicated level of health care they deserve.” The funding includes the following: LECOM Health Corry Memorial Hospital -- $118,100 Millcreek Community Hospital Read more

 

Rep. Sainato's Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter

(Mar 18, 2022)

Rep. Sainato's Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter Read more

 

Rep. Chris Sainato's Senior Update newsletter

(Mar 18, 2022)

Rep. Chris Sainato's "Senior News" Newsletter Read more

 

Longietti, Sainato announce $45,000 digital literacy grant

(Mar 18, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 18 – A $45,000 grant from the state Department of Labor and Industry will help job seekers in Mercer and Lawrence counties develop important tech skills, state Reps. Mark Longietti and Chris Sainato announced today. The lawmakers said West Central Job Partnership will use the Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grant to teach job seekers how to search for jobs online and use digital platforms, making them more attractive to prospective employers. “Digital literacy – the ability to find, use and communicate information using digital technology – is a critical skill in the modern workforce,” said Longietti, D-Mercer. “Knowing how to navigate online platforms is key to searching for good jobs – and often key to getting good jobs, as more and more businesses that rely on the internet to remain competitive are demanding a digitally literate workforce. The training funded by this grant will help job seekers develop those skills.” Sainato, D-Lawrence, said, “The grant is going to fund eight eight-week, in-person sessions of intensive training to help people with low levels of digital literacy improve those tech skills. Although the program will actively recruit some people – such as residents without a secondary diploma/GED and folks coming from re-entry programs – the classes will be open to everyone and should open doors to greater opportunities.” The Read more

 

Harkins, Merski announce $500,000 grant to Erie City School District

(Mar 17, 2022)

ERIE, March 17 – The Erie City School District is receiving $500,000 in new state funding, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today. The lawmakers said the Ready to Learn block grant will help the historically underfunded district shore up academic resources. “The new funding will help get critical resources into the hands of students and teachers,” Harkins said. “For decades, Erie City School District has been severely underfunded, in some cases operating with several thousand dollars less per student than other districts around the state. “We fought hard to get $14 million in recurring aid that is helping the district exit financial watch status and for level-up funding that is helping to level the playing field somewhat. But until fair funding is applied across the board – to every education dollar allocated – our students are still getting shortchanged. “A state court is finally reviewing the issue, and the right decision could right the tables once and for all. But until that happens, the district can use every dollar in additional funding it can get.” Merski said that the grant can be used to address a broad range of needs. “Ready to Learn grants are especially helpful because districts can use the funding to create or expand academics, reduce class size, build STEM skills, and strengthen other resources that Read more

 

Longietti hosting free state program workshops

(Mar 16, 2022)

HERMITAGE, March 16 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, is hosting a series of free workshops in March, April and May to help eligible residents apply for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “Although residents can apply online for state programs offering water or heating assistance or rebates on 2021 property taxes or rent, some folks may have questions about whether they qualify, and others may prefer to complete the application with assistance from my staff,” Longietti said. “My series of free workshops can provide that help and make the process as easy as possible.” The sessions – all held from noon to 3 p.m. and open to the public – are scheduled for the following dates and locations: Saturdays, March 26, April 9, and April 23 (appointments preferred): Greenville Satellite Office, 182 Main St., Chamber of Commerce Building, Greenville, 16125. Wednesday, April 27 (walk-ins welcome): Greenville Municipal Building, Council Chamber Room, 125 Main St., Greenville, 16125. Wednesday, May 18 (walk-ins welcome): Pymatuning Township Building, 256 Edgewood Drive Ext., Transfer, 16154. (PTRR/LIHWAP assistance only; LIHEAP deadline is May 6.) Longietti said the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Read more

 

Longietti, Brooks: $223,000 awarded for Hermitage stream restoration project

(Mar 15, 2022)

HERMITAGE, March 15 – New funding of $223,000 will help the city of Hermitage complete a project to restore a section of the Bobby Run stream, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the city to address erosion and sediment runoff that have deposited high levels of phosphorus into a section of the stream located several hundred feet west of the PA Route 18 and 518 intersection. “This section of Bobby Run Stream has been plagued by erosion and designated impaired by the state Department of Environmental Protection because of high phosphorous levels entering as runoff,” Longietti said. “The sediments have damaged water quality and endangered the ecosystem. “The city has already begun efforts to slow erosion and stabilize the stream bank, but more work has been needed. The new grant will help the city complete the project by funding more substantial efforts – including installation of plantings, rock clusters, and other structures – that should slow the pollutant loading and restore nearly 750 feet of the stream located upstream of the Longview Road bridge.” Brooks said, “I appreciate the incredible amount of time and effort everyone contributed to help this project come to fruition. I am confident that it will Read more

 

Merski hosting drive to aid Ukrainian refugees in Erie’s sister city in Poland

(Mar 14, 2022)

ERIE, March 14 – State Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, is hosting a necessities drive to help thousands of Ukrainian refugees who are arriving in Erie’s sister city of Lublin, Poland, which lies about 70 miles from the Ukrainian border. Merski said that for many in Erie, the crisis in Ukraine hits close to home. “Erie has a vibrant Ukrainian community, and people are desperately worried for loved ones still in Ukraine or fleeing for safety,” Merski said. “My wife, Emily, and I have friends in Erie’s sister city of Lublin, Poland, which is not far from the border. When we reached out to them, we learned that tens of thousands of refugees are arriving. “Lublin residents have opened their arms and hearts, but they need our help. Officials there have provided a list of needed items, and I know our community will step up – as it always does in times of crisis – to help.” Merski said residents should bring the following to his 3901 Liberty St. office Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: Space blankets/thermal blankets/sleeping bags/sleeping pads (foil covered)/mats. Raincoats/men’s, women’s and children’s underwear/thermoactivated underwear. Body soap/bodywash/toothpaste/toothbrushes/hairbrushes. Adult diapers/children’s diapers/sanitary pads. Reusable Read more

 

Rep. Pat Harkin's 2022 Winter Newsletter

(Mar 10, 2022)

Rep. Pat Harkin's 2022 Winter Newsletter Read more

 

Rep. Bob Merski's Winter 2022 Newsletter

(Mar 10, 2022)

Rep. Bob Merski's 2022 Winter Newsletter Read more

 

Longietti, Brooks: More than $162,000 awarded for improvements to Community Library of the Shenango Valley

(Mar 09, 2022)

HERMITAGE, March 9 – The Community Library of the Shenango Valley will be receiving important upgrades thanks to a newly awarded $162,113 state grant, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today. The lawmakers said the funding – awarded by the state Department of Education under the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund – will fund needed renovations and improvements. “Our library is such a rich resource, welcoming residents throughout the entire region for educational programs, storytelling and exhibits, community events, and so much more,” Longietti said. “But like all aging buildings – especially those receiving heavy year-round use – repairs and upgrades are essential. “The funding awarded today will allow the library to make critical structural, security-related and energy-saving improvements that will ensure residents stay safe and comfortable while saving taxpayer dollars on operation.” Brooks said, “Our libraries are an important part of our communities and a welcoming space where community members can access not only books, but resources, programming, broadband and more. This funding for much-needed infrastructure upgrades will maximize comfort and safety for library patrons so that they can continue to connect with valuable resources and each other.” The grant will fund half the Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $222,000 awarded to fight crime, reduce recidivism

(Mar 09, 2022)

ERIE, March 9 – The city of Erie will have new resources to combat crime, reduce gun violence and guide former offenders toward productive lives thanks to $221,836 in grant funding, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency includes three separate grants of federal funding that will continue the work of a police intelligence analyst, target gun violence and redirect offenders toward productive lives. “Securing this funding will allow us to up our game when it comes to tracking, investigating and prosecuting crime,” Merski said. “Part of the funds will support the work of a police intelligence analyst – a position that provides critical assistance in identifying suspects and witnesses and supplying other information that leads to arrests and convictions. Other funding will support ongoing targeted enforcement of gun and gang violence for safer neighborhoods.” Harkins said, “Equally important to crime investigation and prosecution is how we deal with folks exiting the criminal justice system and returning to the community, because the resources we provide can make a critical difference in the path they take and whether they end up returning to productive lives or falling back into recidivism. Some of the funding we secured today will bolster services that steer Read more

 

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $118,000 awarded to upgrade Blasco Memorial Library

(Mar 09, 2022)

ERIE, March 9 – Blasco Memorial Library will be receiving some important upgrades, thanks to newly awarded funding of $117,757, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding -- awarded by the state Department of Education under the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund – will make the library safer and more accessible for visitors. “The grant is going to help Blasco with several important renovations, including construction of ADA-accessible restrooms on the second floor and upgrades to the existing 25-year-old elevators,” Harkins said. “The work is going to enhance safety for visitors and ensure that residents with mobility issues are able to enjoy the library as fully as everyone else.” Merski said, “Blasco brings our community together in the best possible ways – for learning, storytelling, community events and exhibits that celebrate our unique Erie culture and history. The funding awarded today is going to help modernize some of the facilities so visitors have the best possible experience.” The lawmakers said grant will fund half the projects’ total cost of $235,515. Read more

 

Merski, Harkins to host unclaimed property search March 15

(Mar 08, 2022)

ERIE, March 8 – State Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins are encouraging residents to visit their Treasure Hunt Unclaimed Property Search on Tuesday, March 15. The lawmakers said the event will be held from 9-11 a.m. at Merski’s 3901 Liberty Street office. “Many residents aren’t even aware they have unclaimed property being held in the state treasury,” Merski said. “Every year, the state Treasurer’s Office receives hundreds of millions in unclaimed property that never makes it to its rightful owner because of simple errors like misspelled names or wrong addresses. “If folks stop by our event, we can help them search the database. It’s quick and easy, and it sometimes yields unexpected but welcome results.” Harkins said, “It’s estimated that one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property waiting for them in the state treasury. Those are pretty good odds, but there’s no way to find out without searching the database. I hope everyone will stop by on March 15 so we can help them search. It’s exciting helping folks discover money or other property they didn’t even realize they had.” The event is free, and no registration is required. The lawmakers said that if residents are unable to make it to the event, they can also call Merski’s office at (814) 455-6319, and staff can help them over the phone. Read more

 

Longietti speaks at state Capitol to support Pennsylvanians with rare diseases

(Feb 28, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, joined patients, families, advocates, health care professionals and fellow lawmakers at the state Capitol today to highlight the needs of approximately 1.2 million Pennsylvanians living with a rare disease and to encourage participation in a patient survey launched by the Pennsylvania Rare Disease Advisory Council. Longietti, who was a prime sponsor of the legislation establishing the council in 2017, said the survey will provide PARDAC with critical information to guide its efforts and establish priorities into the future. “One out of every 12 Pennsylvanians lives with a rare disease, and two-thirds of those patients are children,” Longietti said. “Today, we heard from 13-year-old Charlotte McMackin, who shared her experience living with KIF1A Associated Neurological Disorder. There are rare disease patients like Charlotte in every county of the state, including Mercer County, and they all face unique challenges because they lack access to the same level of diagnosis, care and treatment available to patients with more common diseases. “The council is launching a needs-assessment survey seeking input from patients. I urge anyone with a rare disease to visit www.pardac.org and take the survey. The information will provide critical guidance in helping the council carry out its No. 1 mission, which is to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians with these rare diseases.” Read more

 

Harkins: For a stronger public safety response, is it time to combine forces?

(Feb 24, 2022)

Sometimes, all it takes is a personal experience to underscore the urgency of a problem. My wife, Michelle, and I were driving home a few nights ago and were just outside the city limit when Michelle suddenly shouted to pull over, pointing to a house with flames billowing out of the side. We rushed to the entrance, where a distressed and disoriented young woman who lived there told us there was an elderly man inside. I called 911 and headed in to find him. Heavy smoke made it difficult to see, but I could hear him in the distance and made my way over. Barefoot and disoriented, he resisted leaving at first, saying he had to find his prescription medications, but he allowed me to grab him and get him out the door. Outside, Michelle was comforting the young woman, and we brought her and the homeowner into our car to wait for the firefighters. The homeowner – an 85-year-old organ transplant recipient, was still distressed about his prescription medicines. By the time firetrucks arrived 12 to 14 minutes later, fire had consumed a good portion of the home. The firefighters – volunteers from a nearby station – acted quickly to extinguish the fire, and the homeowner was relieved to see two of them emerge carrying several trays of prescription medications. A neighbor couple arrived to help, and later, a priest offered the displaced occupants a place to stay at the local rectory. The night could have ended much differently had it not been for Read more

 

Longietti lauds state investment in Mercer County farms

(Feb 24, 2022)

HERMITAGE, Feb. 24 – State Rep. Mark Longietti today praised the state’s purchase of development rights to three Mercer County farms, including a 91-acre crop and livestock farm located in the 7th Legislative District. Longietti, D-Mercer, said the nearly $263,400 investment – which includes $231,142 in state funds and $32,229 in county dollars – eases the pressure on farmers and preserves the land for future agricultural use. “By purchasing the development rights to this property and other farms like it, the state is protecting this fertile land, relieving the pressure on the farmers committed to keeping it, and ensuring that it will remain in productive hands, feeding our community, for years to come,” Longietti said. “It’s more than a purchase of rights; it’s a statement of faith in our talented farmers and an investment in one of our most important industries.” The purchases are part of a $6.4 million investment of state and county dollars to protect nearly 2,000 acres on 26 farms in 12 counties. More information, including a list of the farms, is available here . Read more

 

Longietti: Area hospitals receiving more than $1.6 million for recruitment, retention, critical resources
Mar 24, 2022

Sainato: Area hospitals receiving more than $400,000 for pandemic relief
Mar 24, 2022

Merski resumes EMTA senior bus pass program
Mar 24, 2022

Harkins, Merski announce more than $6.6 million to area health care centers
Mar 23, 2022

Rep. Sainato's Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Newsletter
Mar 18, 2022

Rep. Chris Sainato's Senior Update newsletter
Mar 18, 2022

Longietti, Sainato announce $45,000 digital literacy grant
Mar 18, 2022

Harkins, Merski announce $500,000 grant to Erie City School District
Mar 17, 2022

Longietti hosting free state program workshops
Mar 16, 2022

Longietti, Brooks: $223,000 awarded for Hermitage stream restoration project
Mar 15, 2022

Merski hosting drive to aid Ukrainian refugees in Erie’s sister city in Poland
Mar 14, 2022

Rep. Pat Harkin's 2022 Winter Newsletter
Mar 10, 2022

Rep. Bob Merski's Winter 2022 Newsletter
Mar 10, 2022

Longietti, Brooks: More than $162,000 awarded for improvements to Community Library of the Shenango Valley
Mar 09, 2022

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $222,000 awarded to fight crime, reduce recidivism
Mar 09, 2022

Harkins, Merski: Nearly $118,000 awarded to upgrade Blasco Memorial Library
Mar 09, 2022

Merski, Harkins to host unclaimed property search March 15
Mar 08, 2022

Longietti speaks at state Capitol to support Pennsylvanians with rare diseases
Feb 28, 2022

Harkins: For a stronger public safety response, is it time to combine forces?
Feb 24, 2022

Longietti lauds state investment in Mercer County farms
Feb 24, 2022