(Long-Term Care Resiliency, Infrastructure Supports, and Empowerment)
Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) have experienced the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic very acutely. The challenges of caring for our most vulnerable populations in a congregate setting while managing the threat of COVID-19 creates extremely challenging and stressful circumstances. While we are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines in LTCFs, they need more than our gratitude. It is imperative that LTCFs receive continued support in their efforts as they both battle the COVID-19 pandemic and as they work to recover and rebuild.
The Department of Health recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over and we are committed to continuing to support response operations for COVID-19 outbreaks. With funding provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the 2019 Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) – Enhanced Detection Expansion (EDE) grant, the Department will be transitioning from the Regional Congregate Care Teams (RCATs) to a new program, LTC RISE (Long-Term Care Resiliency, Infrastructure Supports, and Empowerment), effective January 1, 2022.
View the LTC RISE informational flyer.
LTC RISE Services
Most facilities eligible for the RCAT program will continue to be eligible for the following LTC RISE COVID-19 prevention and response support operations including assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, older adult daily living centers, personal care homes, and state veterans homes:
Call Center – Dedicated phone line with 24/7 access for LTCFs needing assistance will continue, including designated office hours, for inquiries, consultations, and follow up calls from long-term care facilities. Facilities are encouraged to contact their assigned LTC RISE call center in the county where their facility is located for direct support and assistance.
Consultation and Technical Assistance – LTC RISE teams provide referral to resources as well as guidance, recommendations, and interventions including those related to addressing vaccine hesitancy, enhanced infection prevention and control, environmental cleaning, PPE use, testing recommendations, lab interpretation, behavioral health, preparedness planning, staffing strategies, disease surveillance best practices, and implementation of conventional, contingency, and crisis standards for clinical care.
Assessment and Feedback
– LTC RISE teams assess reports by facilities and through direct observation, including auditing of hand hygiene, environmental cleaning, waste management, PPE donning and doffing procedures, cohorting, as well as movement in and between units.
Training – LTC RISE teams address opportunities identified through consultative and assessment encounters (including education to enable facilities to perform fit-testing, properly don and doff PPE, and safely collect diagnostic specimens).
Incident Management Coaching
– LTC RISE teams coach facility leadership to manage outbreaks, including operational planning, internal and external communication, continuity of operations, and succession planning.
Adult training facilities, vocational facilities, and community homes for intellectual disability or autism are eligible for engagement at the provider organization level. Please note, the LTC RISE teams will not provide any direct clinical care to any facility residents or staff.
The Department also recognizes the crucial need to support enhancing long-term care facility resiliency and self-reliance with the purpose of preventing and effectively responding to COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks. Therefore, as part of LTC RISE, awardees will also be providing quality improvement project opportunities to interested skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, personal care homes, and assisted living facilities in the following areas:
Long-term care facility workforce resiliency – promote long-term care workforce professional development opportunities, including continuing education and leadership development, as well as practices that address staff physical and psychological well-being to optimize resident-centered care.
Infection prevention and control and emergency preparedness – implement best practices to enhance delivery of resident-centered care based on what matters most to residents and their families and that supports residents’ mobility and mentation.
Sustainable outbreak response operation – develop constructs that meet each facility’s needs and build capacity through coordination of resources as well as engagement with the region and local community. These constructs will help mitigate future infectious disease outbreak scenarios.
LTC RISE Partnerships
The LTC RISE program is a partnership between the Department of Health (DOH), Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and four healthcare organizations. The healthcare organizations have established partnerships covering six regions across Pennsylvania to support preventative and emergent assistance for LTCFs. The healthcare organizations involved and the counties they cover are defined below.
- Penn Medicine in partnership with Temple Health
- The Pennsylvania State University
- LECOM Health
- AMI Expeditionary Healthcare
Other COVID-19 Resources
Facilities should aim to procure resources independently through the commercial market as part of their sustainable outbreak operations. When barriers or limitations exist, emergency outbreak-related testing support, PPE, and staff augmentation remain available. Requests can be made through the following links:
Testing Needs Assessment Form
Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Task Force Staffing Support Request
- In addition to the services outlined above, the Department of Health is operationalizing a capability to provide access to COVID-19 therapeutics to residents of Long-term Care Facilities. With the recent approval of oral antiviral medications for COVID-19, DOH is holding product in strategic reserve at a DOH warehouse specifically intended to be used by residents of LTC facilities and other congregate care settings. Upon receipt of a request for mediation, DOH will ship product same day or next day to the LTC facility. Due to the nature of medications, product is only appropriate for residents within five days of symptom onset. To request oral antiviral medications from DOH, please use this link.
For questions regarding the COVID vaccine for your facility, visit the
COVID-19 Vaccine Data and Strategy for Long-Term Care Facilities. To be matched with a vaccine partner, complete the
PA Long-Term Care Facility State COVID-19 Vaccination Partnership, or email to email@example.com.
Facilities are encouraged to contact their LTC RISE partner serving their counties through the following 24/7 phone lines.
LTC RISE Partner 24/7 Phone Lines
|LTC RISE Partner
24/7 Phone Line
|Penn Medicine in partnership with Temple Health
||Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Schuylkill
|The Pennsylvania State University
||Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, York
||Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango, Warren
|AMI Expeditionary Healthcare
|Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland
|AMI Expeditionary Healthcare Northcentral Region
||Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Tioga, Snyder, Sullivan, Union
|AMI Expeditionary Healthcare
|Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming