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Oklahoma Nursing Homes Eligible For COVID Training, Funding

Oklahoma National Guard Tech. Sgt. Kasey Phipps
Members of the Oklahoma National Guard sanitize a nursing home in McAlester in April.

Oklahoma's nursing homes will be eligible to receive facility-specific weekly trainings and a federally-funded stipend as part of a program through the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences' Project ECHO initiative.

"The nursing homes have the highest morbidity and mortality rates currently," said Dr. Joseph Johnson, OSU Project ECHO's medical director. "This particular program will hopefully decrease that, and give them an incentive to release some of their staff for participation that can impact changes within our 77 counties."

"It is a 16-week curriculum for COVID, specific to nursing homes, on quality improvement," Johnson said. "Eight weeks are related to ideas to prevent COVID from entering your facility, taking care of patients with COVID in your facilities, then eight weeks on quality improvement measures for your individual facility."

"Every single nursing home that participates will receive a stipend for $6,000," he said.

Johnson said about 200 Oklahoma nursing homes will be able to participate in the program, which is being funded through a federal grant directed through the University of New Mexico and will serve nursing homes across the United States. Johnson said nursing home administrators interested in enrolling their facility are encouraged to contact OSU Project ECHO staff.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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