The Lead February 5, 2021

Top Stories:
LeadingAge Launching the Building Trust Initiative
Vaccinations Update
New Faces, Assignments in Congress
Trio of Partners in Quality Virtual Visits Held This Week

Independent Affordable/Subsidized Housing:
Affordable Housing Update

Top Stories:
LeadingAge Launching the Building Trust Initiative

Vaccinations Update
Today’s update includes:

  • IDPH Weekly Meeting Recap
  • Updates from LeadingAge-CDC Meeting
  • CDC Offers Vaccine Confidence Consultations for Jurisdictions
  • AMDA Statement on Vaccines
  • CDC Vaccine Rollout Recommendations
  • Additional Resources:
    • COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured
    • CMS – Benefits of the Vaccine
    • Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

IDPH Weekly Meeting Recap:
LeadingAge Illinois and the other associations held our weekly meeting with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) yesterday.  Dr. Catherine Counard, chief medical officer at IDPH reported that the state has directed excess vaccine from Pharmacy Partnership Program (PPP) to those eligible in Phase 1B.  She reported that uptake at long term care facilities has not been high at this point and about 97,000 doses were transferred out.

LeadingAge Illinois and the associations provided a listing of pharmacies member utilize.  IDPH is working to enroll the pharmacies as COVID-19 vaccine providers.

Updates from LeadingAge-CDC Meeting:

  • Governors may direct Pharmacy Partners and aging services providers to provide or not provide first doses to staff in third clinics. Pharmacy Partners (CVS, Walgreens, a few others) are advised by CDC that if the state or locality allows first doses at third clinics, the Pharmacy Partner may provide them. The state, of course, must make a sufficient number of doses available to the Pharmacy Partner. The Pharmacy Partner is NOT responsible for connecting the individual to a second dose.
  • The Pharmacy Partnership was never intended to cover every resident and every staff person in every participating provider organization. It was meant to give a head start to long-term care settings.  Since the early planning for the program, the intention was to have a smooth handoff to the Retail Pharmacy Program, which begins on February 11.  Although LTC pharmacies are not included in the initial rollout, they will be added soon after, depending on vaccine supply.
  • Request for addition to Retail Program listing. LeadingAge asked CDC to look into adding information to the Retail Program listing of pharmacies that would indicate which pharmacies will provide onsite clinics for provider organizations (and others).  They thought it was a good idea and said they would look into it.
  • CDC is looking into adding tallies on the number of doses administered in HUD 202 and assisted living settings. Right now, the CDC Pharmacy Partnership for LTC tracker only includes data on vaccine doses administered in nursing homes (4,210,027 as of Wednesday evening).

CDC Offers Vaccine Confidence Consultations for Jurisdictions:
The CDC Vaccine Task Force is rolling out vaccine confidence consultations for interested jurisdictions. The program will match jurisdictions with CDC experts to answer questions around vaccine hesitancy and develop strategies to instill vaccine confidence for hesitant populations. To request this service, interested jurisdictions can reach out to the consultants by email.  CDC also has online tips for building vaccine confidence.

AMDA Statement on Vaccines:
AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, released a statement this week on vaccine access for all residents and staff in long term care facilities.  They recommend that even short stay residents be given at least a first dose, because they “deserve to benefit from the partial protection offered by the first dose.”  They also recommend long term care facilities continue to have access to vaccines and that the federal and state governments reduce barriers to COVID-19 vaccinations.

CDC Vaccine Rollout Recommendations:
Because the U.S. supply of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be limited at first, CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. CDC’s recommendations are based on those from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts. While CDC makes recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first, each state has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated first and how they can receive vaccines.

Additional Resources:

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New Faces, Assignments in Congress
We have two new members of U.S. Congress in the Illinois Delegation that took office last month. And, a trio of our Illinois members of Congress also have new assignments.


  • Representative Mary Newman (D-3rd District; Chicago) is a new member, replacing Dan Lipinski.
  • Representative Mary Miller (R-13th District; Danville) is a new member replacing John Shimkus.
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th District; Schaumburg) will join Rep. Bill Foster (D-11th District; Joliet) on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. LeadingAge Illinois had virtual visits with both representatives in the last few weeks. We held meetings with both senate offices and with 13 of the 18 house members.

Senator Richard Durbin (D-Chicago) has been named Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

We will continue to monitor actions of key committees and share updates on activity from LeadingAge National throughout the session, as usual.

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Trio of Partners in Quality Virtual Visits Held This Week
This week, LeadingAge Illinois along with members conducted three Partners in Quality Virtual Visits.  We have had 12 so far in 2021.  We met with Senator Sue Rezin (R-38th District; Morris), deputy minority leader, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-102nd District; Shelbyville), and State Representative Tim Ozinga (R-37th District; Mokena).

Special thanks to the following members for doing an exceptional job of educating their legislators:

  • Carrie Becker, administrator, La Salle County Nursing Home
  • Michael Mutterer, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer, Silver Cross Hospital
  • Scott Paddock, senior vice president, external affairs, Silver Cross Hospital
  • Brenda Yanosik, director of operations, Carriage Crossing

Brenda Yanosik, director of operations, Carriage Crossing, updated Rep. Halbrook on the experiences of Carriage Crossing, which has a community in Arcola in his district.  The representative has visited there previously, in addition to several other visits he has had in our Partners in Quality program.  The representative has been to their Arcola community as well as their Champaign community just outside of his district.  “We have really worked hard to keep our residents safe,” said Brenda, telling the story of the work her staff has done to ensure resident safety. The community had 100% resident participation in the vaccination program.  “This was good, because I need to hear these things,” said Rep. Halbrook.  He indicated he will follow up with the Governor’s Office on issues related to price gouging that has been experienced during the pandemic.


Carrie Becker, administrator, La Salle County Nursing Home, has worked with the community about 12 years and recently was named Administrator after previously serving as Director of Nursing. Before COVID-19, the home had been through another disaster with a tornado taking the roof off the home.  Sen. Rezin has been to the home and toured after the tornado.  “It was amazing to see the community come through, said Rezin. Carrie covered how unanticipated costs have impacted providers and shared experiences with PPE, staffing, and COVID testing and vaccinations.  “I love this home. We call it home with a heart and I get emotional just thinking about it,” said Carrie.  She also passionately talked about the toll COVID-19 has had on residents and families.

Sen. Rezin is not only on the leadership team for the Senate minority, but also is a new member on the Senate Health Committee, a key committee LeadingAge Illinois monitors as legislation impacting member settings often goes through that committee before moving forward. She committed to utilizing La Salle County and LeadingAge Illinois as a resource for educating her on issues impacting the industry and thanked Carrie for the work her and her staff continue to do for the older adults in her district. “The community is really blessed to have that home,” said Sen. Rezin.  “We thank and commend you for what you do and for what your staff does.”

Michael Mutterer, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer, and Scott Paddock, senior vice president, external affairs at Silver Cross Hospital, had the opportunity to educate new State Representative Tim Ozinga (R-37th District; Mokena) on their organization, including the home health clinic.  Michael and Scott covered the costs of PPE, testing and staffing needs.  Michael also informed the representative of how the state and nationwide nursing shortage is a priority issue in the industry.  Rep. Ozinga stated he will continue to learn the issues impacting members, has a knowledge of LeadingAge Illinois, and will utilize the association as a resource.

We encourage members to take part in our 2021 Partners in Quality Virtual Visits campaign and educate legislators on the needs of aging services providers and the residents they serve.  To take part, contact Jason Speaks.

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Independent Affordable/Subsidized Housing:

Affordable Housing Update
In today’s update, we have for you:

HUD Warns Against COVID-19 Scams at Communities:
In a joint presentation by HUD and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agencies warned of scams at housing communities related to the coronavirus. The presentation gave pointers about what real contact tracers will not ask residents or staff in order to trace contacts and possible COVID-19 exposure, including information about social security numbers, bank account information, or immigration status. Similarly, the presentation explained that residents will not be able to pay to receive the vaccine early, and should be cautious about requests or offers to do so. The presentation slides, which give an overview of fraud attempts and fraud protection posters for communities, is available here.

Housing Nominees Advance in Senate:
Two Senate Committees have voted this week to advance key housing agency leadership positions, including Congresswoman Marcia Fudge for HUD Secretary and former Secretary Tom Vilsack as Agriculture Secretary, which oversees rural housing programs. Next, the full Senate will vote to confirm Ms. Fudge and Mr. Vilsack, setting them up to take office as early as next week. LeadingAge’s letter in support of the HUD nominee details top priorities for working with new agency leadership.

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