Public Comments for 01/17/2023 Health, Welfare and Institutions
HB1409 - Drug Control act; distribution of hypodermic needles.
Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

HB1409 - diabetics need these items, so this will make it easier for them. Having to constantly check out needles for various issues and shots of all kinds, at least one of them will be made easier by this bill. HB 1489 - this is needed because any one can call themselves an ND and have very little training. This would be better to standardize it so you know what you're getting (at least more than what we do now).

HB1446 - Certified nursing facilities; minimum staffing standards, administrative sanctions.
Last Name: Phillips Locality: North Chesterfield

Regarding HB1446, minimum staffing standards for nursing homes. I am writing from my many experiences related to nursing home care of family members. I can tell you about the many times that the level of care provided was inadequate or even dangerous, however I suspect that if any of you has had a family member in a nursing home, you already know. I would like to refer you to a paper published 06/29/2020 in the National Library of Medicine PubMed, titled Appropriate Nurse Staffing Levels for US Nursing Homes. The authors of this paper note that several organizations have determined that 4.1 hours per patient day would be the recommended number of hours from RNs, CNAs, and LPNs combined. This would permit appropriate care to reduce the insufficient care that results in urinary tract infections, falls, and pressure ulcers, all of which can result in needless deaths. This staffing needs to be consistent across shifts as well. In my experience night and weekend shifts are particularly skeletal. I would say also that minimum staffing needs to take into consideration the actual needs of the patients- some need much more intensive care than others and that also affects the ability of staff to meet their needs. This bill does not approach asking for that many hours, but it is the best we have and it is a start to addressing this shameful situation which truly can mean life or death for some of our most vulnerable members of this commonwealth. Please do your best to get this bill passed during this session.

Last Name: Wood Organization: NVAN Locality: Arlington

Here is the brief comment I would have in person had time allowed: I am Erica Wood, representing the Northern Virginia Aging Network, which includes all five Northern Virginia jurisdictions. We have long advocated for nursing home staffing standards to protect Virginia’s 30,000 residents. We appreciate Delegates Watts and Del. Orrock moving this process forward, and hope they will continue working and collaborating toward an effective and timely bill. Especially important to us is consistent enforcement through both corrective opportunities and sanctions so that standards can make a real difference in the lives of residents. Thank you

Last Name: Pompey Organization: Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities Locality: Richmond Va

Goodmorning,   My name is Tracey  Pompey,  I am a former Nursing Assistant  and Vice President  of Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities Org.   Each member of this organization has lived the pain of  losing a parent to Nursing Facility Neglect.   I have spoken with so many families that are living through this same pain. There are Important key elements in this bill that must be  addressed.   First, this bill does not address Training and Accountability in these nursing facilities.  Properly trained staff is key when dealing with seniors with a variety of illnesses.  During my years as a Nursing Assistant, I have observed facilities hiring staff just to have a warm body in place and would put them on the floor without any orientation. Secondly, there must be a clear  statement of accountability regarding  Underperforming or Non Compliant facilities. There should not be wiggle room under any circumstances.   Currently, failing facilities wouldn’t face any consequences for 6 years. This is Unacceptable!  This is an injustice to the countlesss families that have and will continue to  suffer the loss of a loved one at the hands of these Nursing  Facilities and Corporations that for decades have been allowed to put Profit Over Lives of vulnerable seniors! Lastly, to address  limiting exemptions,  As written, this  bill allows for poor performers to be exempted from facing sanctions;  The question here is Why? Why are facilities whose mission statement is to care for aging seniors, given a pass when they fail to provide  that care?   Again, Unacceptable!  Clear statements of Accountability must be in place.  When it comes to Accountability, there should be an Inspection every quarter to ensure that facilities are compliant.  Having an Inspection once a year is too long. I have seen where facilities would scramble knowing that the inspector was on the way. Allowing for more frequent Inspections would provide more transparency.  It is time that our seniors get the care that they deserve. Profit Over Lives Must Stop! Agencies put in place to protect our seniors in nursing facilities have failed for decades. Please, Let's get it right this time. Justice and Change for Victims of Nursing Facilities! #WeareTheirVoice  

Last Name: Cohen Organization: AARP Locality: Norfolk

Del Orrock- I am a Masters Level nurse who has worked in this field for a significant period of time. The way this bill is currently written does not significantly address the issues it is supposed to champion. There are absolutely no near term resolutions to address the ongoing problems and there is poor accountability of the organizations who are currently charged with the responsibility of caring for our aging population. As our population ages there will be an increasing need for these nursing facilities. The issues that the AARP coalition has brought forward are immediate and will only worsen if not addressed now. As an elected official it is your responsibility to bring stronger regulation to this industry. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Culp Locality: Hanover

I wanted to ask you to support HB1446. It is a very important bill that improves the standards of care for nursing homes. My uncle has been in a nursing home for many years and in the last few years I've seen his quality of care decrease significantly to the point that I am genuinely concerned that he is not being cared for as well as he should be because of staffing shortages. By instituting minimum staffing standards, it will provide needed reforms to our nursing home facilities. Thank You

HB1489 - Naturopathic medicine; establishes licensure requirements for the practice.
Last Name: Whitlock Organization: No Locality: Christiansburg

As a medical professional in the commonwealth for 14 years I urge you to pass HB1489. Passing this bill would establish a standard of practice for patients that are seeking an alternative treatment. Chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia, that has no cure, and difficult to treat leaves patients feeling hopeless. Having chronic conditions that traditional pharmaceuticals fail to treat effectively over and over with no other choice in treatment, makes you feel invisible. Diversity in treatment would increase the quality of life for our citizens. Giving patients the option other than traditional medicine will also aid in the opioid crisis. As a recovering addict having access to treatments that do not involve traditional pharmaceuticals is vital to sustained sobriety. Over and over the current healthcare system has failed our citizens, don't fail them today. Passing HB 1489 and having naturopathic medicine acknowledged in the commonwealth would mean; increased access to individualized healthcare and giving patients a chance to pursue treatments that best fits their needs. Citizens will be able to have the confidence in state standardized licensing for naturopathic providers. Voting YES to HB1489 would give the power of choice to citizens of the commonwealth and confidence in our elected representatives that you are acting in the best interest of our communities, thank you for your time.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

HB1409 - diabetics need these items, so this will make it easier for them. Having to constantly check out needles for various issues and shots of all kinds, at least one of them will be made easier by this bill. HB 1489 - this is needed because any one can call themselves an ND and have very little training. This would be better to standardize it so you know what you're getting (at least more than what we do now).

Last Name: Hofford Locality: Roanoke

Opposed to HB 1489 Mr. Chairman and Committee Members: This bill has been repeatedly introduced and studied over the years and has not been passed for good reasons. This a practice that is looking to become legitimate without high quality scientific and educational evidence. I ask you to oppose this bill again. Roger Hofford, M.D. Past President, Virginia Academy of Family Physicians Medical educator for the pass 40 years

HB1564 - Nursing homes; standards of care, administrative sanctions.
No Comments Available
HB1622 - Health regulatory boards; delegation of authority to conduct informal fact-finding proceedings.
Last Name: Willis Organization: self Locality: Roanoke City

I am a Certified Peer Support Specialist. I have a barrier crime for a charge I committed in 2014 was charged in 2016. I got clean 12/30/2015. I have completely changed my life and am not the person I was. I worked for NRVCS in Radford Va. I was a CPRS with a Qualified Mental Health Para professional. I worked primarily as a case manager. I trained some case managers that have college degrees, I applied for a position as a Peer Support Specialist Supervisor. The other agency really wanted to hire me and they did only to reject their offer due to my barrier crime. The then called me back 2 weeks later still wanting to hire me. They contacted NRVCS to find out how they hired me, hoping to find a loop hole. They could not. I now work for a non profit that the barrier crime is not a barrier at and I am grateful. My job at NRVCS was then in jeopardy due to being hired illegally. When trying to go through the process with DBHDS I was told by my supervisor at NRVCS that they did not want to rock the boat. I had already started the process however I had no back up to complete the process. This crime has held me back on many different career moves. If you have read this I appreciate you. Thank you! WE need some changes in this bill. I understand there should be some recommendations however it should not be this hard and stressful. Most addicts are going to have drug charges. Thats a given. That does not make me a bad person however my experience, strength, and hope have helped more people than most that do not. If you would like to talk with me my phone number is 5402504804.

HB1791 - Veterans' Behavioral Health Services Grant Matching Fund; created, report.
Last Name: Alexander Organization: Easterseals Serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, & Virginia Locality: Silver Spring , MD

Testimony in support of HB 1791, a bill to establish the Veterans’ Behavioral Health Services Grant Matching Fund, that would create a matching grant program for nonprofit community-based behavioral health clinics to provide critical services for veterans, active service members, and their families. Easterseals is an organization that provides these clinical services.

HB2231 - Social Work, Board of; expands powers and duties.
No Comments Available
End of Comments