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Providers and the Elders They Serve
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FHCA Statement on Gov. Emergency Rule

Summit Planned for Friday, Sept 22, in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPT. 17, 2017: The Florida Health Care Association and LeadingAge Florida support Gov. Rick Scott's intent to increase generator capacity to help harden nursing care centers even more effectively against disasters. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Legislature, and regulators to discuss how these meaningful goals can be achieved timely and reasonably, including implementation, funding support and regulatory procedures for nursing centers for this purpose.

To that end, FHCA and LeadingAge Florida will host a Nursing Center Emergency Preparedness Summit in Tallahassee on Friday, Sept. 22, to discuss the Governor’s emergency rule. Invited participants include long term care providers, utility companies, generator suppliers, emergency management personnel, regulators, government officials and other emergency planning partners.

Deepest heart-felt sympathies flow from the FHCA, LeadingAge Florida and the teams of our more than 550 nursing center members to the residents and their family members who suffered such terrible losses in the Hollywood Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation facility tragedy. As that Hollywood facility is among the 13% of all nursing centers in Florida that are not members of our nationally-respected professional associations, we do not have any inside knowledge of the policies, protocols, or practices utilized by the operator of this center.

FHCA, LeadingAge and our associations' members accept the serious daily responsibility for the health and safety of the residents entrusted to our care. As part of that priority commitment, the associations and our members have committed to ongoing intensive disaster response training since the horrendous storm season of 2004. The most recent was conducted just the week before hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck.

We also commend Gov. Scott for his steadfast leadership in this historically dangerous Hurricane Irma. His dedicated efforts and actions before, during and after Irma's impact demonstrated his outstanding leadership to protect the welfare and safety of thousands of nursing center residents and Florida's entire population. We also commend all the federal, state and local elected officials and courageous first responders who have reached out to our member centers and assisted them through this disaster.

Lastly, we want to set the record straight. FHCA and LeadingAge Florida actively supported legislation during the 2006 legislative session that would have provided partial reimbursements to nursing centers that chose to purchase emergency backup generators. While the legislation was ultimately not successful, the vast majority of nursing centers in the state continue to modernize their backup systems, including installing backup generators and other supplemental systems. Those efforts and the dedication of our associations' member nursing centers is why the tragedy in Hollywood Hills was an isolated incident.

Kristen Knapp, APR
FHCA Director of Communications
(850) 510-4389