PA State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El serves an Abbeyville Skilled Nursing resident during the Pennsylvania Health Care Association’s “Day of Caring.” Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Health Care Association

The Pennsylvania Health Care Association went on the road to celebrate its fourth “Day of Caring” at Abbeyville Skilled Nursing in Lancaster, PA, serving up barbeque and appreciation to thankful staff members.

“These are the people that cared for our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones who really stepped up throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and or who are continuing to do that,” said PHCA president and CEO Zach Shamberg. “The pandemic really shone a spotlight on long-term care and really elevated some of the issues that we need support and help with and to talk about some of what we need to ensure not just for the survival of our industry but the sustainability of our industry moving forward.”

Shamberg was joined by the executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Kristen Rodack, and State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El in serving lunch to residents.  Staff members, meanwhile, were treated to a catered lunch from nearby Piper Belle’s BBQ. 

It provided the advocacy group’s leaders a much-needed opportunity to catch up with the caregiving employees they represent, something they don’t often have a chance to do during the legislative session.

“We have members who we talk to every single day but we don’t often get the opportunity to interact with those who are literally on the front lines, CNAs, the LPNs, the RNs, the directors of nursing, even the administrators,” said Shamberg.

PHCA officials also said they hoped media coverage of the event would remind potential job candidates that working in long-term care is a promising career opportunity.

 “We think it’s important to get that positive narrative out there as much as possible to shine a bright light on these careers of compassion in long-term care,” Shamberg added.