No CARES COVID-19 cash for Vigo Well being Dept? | Native Information

The Vigo County Ministry of Health does not have the resources to continue its COVID-19 response after December 31, according to a notice sent to county officials.

Funding from the CARES act was used for contact tracing and contract nurses to administer the COVID vaccine. It has also been used to house COVID-positive homeless people in motels and to provide food to people in quarantine.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Joni way



In a letter received by the Tribune-Star, Vigo County’s Department of Health Administrator Joni Wise wrote to the County Council and Board of Commissioners saying the funding process has changed for 2022 but the Department of Health has not been informed. Way wrote:

• The VCHD was not directed to ask the District Council for additional funding for COVID-19 related expenses in 2020.

• The Department of Health was not directed to ask for funds from the Council when preparing its 2021 budget for expenditure related to COVID-19.

• Health Department has not been directed to ask the Council for additional funding when preparing its 2022 budget for expenditure related to COVID-19.

• All applications related to COVID in 2020 and 2021 were sent to the auditor’s office, marked as such and paid from the CARES law fund for the county, not the general health fund.

• It wasn’t until December 16 that the public health department learned that the manner in which claims were filed in 2020 and 2021 for Covid-19-related expenses would not continue in 2022.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Mike Morris



Mike Morris, President of the Commissioners, said Tuesday that “there is currently no funding. It will stop on December 31st … It has not been funded.”

When asked why, he replied, “I don’t know.”

When asked if something can be done, he said, “Well, they are doing something. They (the health department) go to the council and try to get money for it,” he said.

Before January 1, according to other district officials, the district commissioners had control over how funds from the CARES law were spent.

That won’t be the case after December 31, Morris said. “Not after the first of the year. It was all going to the general fund … from the council,” he said.

Morris noted that several surrounding counties are not conducting contact tracing.

“You (Ministry of Health) did not apply for funding and found out about 10 days ago. This is not my fault. So I’m supposed to correct your mistake – I don’t understand, ”he said.

Commissioner Brendan Kearns, who is in Hawaii, said the CARES law funds are under the control of the commissioners. Much of this was used to cover overtime for health department workers and to hire contact tracers.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Brendan Kearns

However, the question arose as to who is now in control of the CARES Act dollars, and that has not yet been resolved, he said. By mid-December, he believed the county commissioners had full control over those dollars, but other commissioners suggested otherwise.

“I asked my commissioners for a 45 day extension (from CARES Act-Dollar) … after Jan 1st and then we will use that period to figure out where we need to be to make sure the contact tracing is done properly” said Kearns.

Kearns said he spoke with Council President Aaron Loudermilk about a possible 45-day extension of funding for the CARES bill for the public health department.

Given the surge in COVID cases and the surge in local hospitals, Kearns considers it a public health emergency to continue with the Department of Health’s COVID response funding.

“The time is not to stop funding,” said Kearns. “It is the right time to find out what we need to do over the next few months and then create a backup plan in case we see (COVID) spikes again and contact tracing is required.”

Kearns believes there is still a “substantial balance” of funding from the CARES Act that could cover contact tracing for 45 days.

Kearns also said, “There are people in the annex who want the contact tracing to end. I’m not one of them. I will support the end as soon as Dr. (Darren) Brucken says so.” Bridges is the district health officer.

Whose problem is it?

Loudermilk said the district council could not act until there was a request from a department or from elected officials, and in this case none was made.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Aaron Loudermilk

The council supported the requested funds for contact tracing, he said. He only knew in mid-December that the funds for the health department would not be there.

“I think it is a function of the Commissioner. They have made these requests in the past to fund this. I think it is up to them to keep doing this,” said Loudermilk. “I don’t know how that has changed. I wasn’t aware that there would be a change. “

The money from the CARES bill “was usually controlled by commissioners,” he said. “In my opinion it still is.” Applications then go to the council, which applies funds.

He was talking to the police station and bridges, he said. He said he hoped something could be worked out this week so that funding “doesn’t die on January 1st”.

Loudermilk advocates continued funding for perhaps 30 to 60 days “until a solution can be developed for how to proceed,” he said.

There is nothing the Council can do this week. “I believe there is an opportunity for commissioners to debit funds and use them maybe next month for contact tracing,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Switzer said there was a COVID-related item in the general fund.



No CARES money for Vigo Health?

Chris Switzerland

Anything over $ 500 should be submitted to commissioners for approval, he said. “I don’t know if a lot of it happened because I’m only finding out about it today,” he said.

But on December 31st: “That line dies even if there’s still money in it. So if someone wants to say it’s still CARES money, that’s just not true.”

As of January 1, there will be no more funds for this money, but the health department will use it to pay for contact tracers, contract vaccines and other items related to COVID.

“I’m not going to say it was bad planning by Joni and the health department, but that should have been found out sooner,” he said. “They should have included it in their budget during budgetary time or they should have … asked for additional funding” from the Council.

Switzer, a freshman commissioner, said, “Maybe it’s my fault for not being educated enough to know I need to keep these funds going through to 2022, not for the Vigo County Health Department.”

The commissioners have no say in approving rewards that would be paid out to county employees in CARES dollars, he said.

He added, “I think there is a lot of misinformation out there.”

About the contact tracing, he said, “I certainly do not want to stop contact tracing. I think it can be turned back quite a bit. We spend a lot of money on contact tracing. I’d rather see it spent on vaccines. “Education or something so that people get vaccinated more.”

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at sue.loughlin@tribstar.com Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.

State lawmakers urge Ohio Medicaid director to designate Summa Well being a ‘distressed hospital’ and supply cash for hiring extra workers

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A group of state lawmakers sent a letter on Wednesday asking the Ohio Department of Medicaid for more resources for Summa Health to hire more nurses to alleviate care bottlenecks caused by a surge in coronavirus cases Omicron variant were caused.

The letter to Ohio Medicaid director Maureen Corcoran said Summa Health, which operates two hospitals in Akron and Barberton, should be viewed as a “distressed hospital” eligible for more state and federal aid to help more nurses to adjust. The hospital system manages nearly 60% of all emergency rooms in Summit, Stark, Portage, and Medina counties.

The eleven lawmakers, seven Republicans and four Democrats, urged Corcoran to allocate money from the US dollars passed by lawmakers that year to help coronavirus.

“The Summa health system is in a state of crisis,” the letter said. “We urge you to use the resources that we supported in HB 169 to create the necessary state labor incentives so that our region can cope with this crisis.”

Summa Health President and CEO Cliff Deveny said he was aware of the letter and was in regular contact with four counties’ lawmakers and state officials. The strain on Summa Health’s ability to care for patients – both with and without coronavirus – has been caused by two main factors.

“It really is a function of the exposure to the number of COVID patients,” he said. “They stay about twice as long as a typical patient, so they use up a lot more resources. Since everyone has a problem with staffing, we spend a lot more on bonuses, overtime and temporary work. “

In the letter from the legislature, the fluctuation rate in the care sector was highlighted, which is almost 15.6% and is thus well above the fluctuation rate of 9.4% in 2019 before the start of the pandemic.

HB 169 provided US $ 124 million for “hospitals with critical access, rural hospitals, or hospitals in distress,” according to Corcoran. Summa Health manages more than 68% of all inpatient care for Medicaid recipients in the four counties.

The hospital system is also so overloaded that 30% of inpatient beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. The hospital system paused dialing operations December 6, redirecting its staff to emergency, surgical and critical care. Emergency room patients wait an average of 48 hours before bed.

According to the letter, the hospital system also manages 35% of positive coronavirus cases in hospitals across the region, 49% of patients in intensive care units, and 58% of patients who require a ventilator.

“You are essentially at a turning point,” said US State Representative Casey Weinstein, a Hudson Democrat. “It’s a combination of a surge in COVID patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated, which honestly means that I am close to tending to my constituents.”

State Rep. Bill Roemer, a Republican from Richfield, said he hoped the letter would convince Corcoran to send additional money to offset Summa’s cost of hiring temporary nurses.

“We need the right funding,” he said. “Summa spends $ 180 an hour on visiting nurses. That’s the problem. We want to make sure that we can attract, retain, and adequately pay the current workforce we have so that we can address the problem. “

Deveny didn’t speculate on what could happen without help, but said Summa would expect even more hospitalizations, the peaks of which tend to lag behind the daily case numbers. The state reported more than 12,800 newly confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, beating the daily record of 12,500 set on Tuesday. The hospital brought refrigerated trucks in case they needed extra space in the morgue.

“We are anticipating a larger wave of patients than we have now,” said Deveny.

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer has contacted Corcoran and the Department of Medicaid for comment.

Read the letter:

Continue reading:

What’s driving the surge that has made Cuyahoga and neighboring counties the worst for rising COVID-19 cases?

“Overwhelmed” and “Exhausted” ERs – Cleveland Clinic University Hospitals provide an insight into the state of hospitals during the COVID-19 surge

How easy is it to find COVID-19 tests to use at home? Holidays are expected to increase the demand for home testing

Junk meals ‘ought to get cigarette-style well being warnings’, researchers say 

Junk food “should get cigarette-style health warnings”: Highly processed meals loaded with sugar, fat and salt must have warnings, researchers say

  • Researchers say junk food should contain cigarette style health warnings
  • The new study published says ultra-processed foods are the “new tobacco”.
  • Traffic light labels for food in the UK are voluntary and contain only a few numbers

Junk food should have cigarette-style health warnings on its packaging to help combat obesity, experts said.

Researchers argued that the public is being “bamboozed” by the clever marketing tactics of companies making popular ultra-processed foods containing sugar, fat, and salt.

They said foods that “our grandparents didn’t recognize,” like cakes, carbonated drinks and frozen pizzas, should be labeled with clear health warnings.

Junk food should have cigarette-style health warnings on packaging to fight obesity, experts said (file photo used)

The messages would alert us to the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and premature death from improper diet.

It is mandatory that cigarette packs contain text and picture health warnings such as: B. a picture of a cancerous lung.

Currently, traffic light labels for food are voluntary in the UK and only highlight numbers for fat, sugar, salt and calories.

A study published yesterday in BMJ Global Health said that ultra-processed foods are the “new tobacco” and called for stricter rules for their packaging.

Last year ministers put in place an obesity strategy that included a television ban on junk food advertisements before 9 p.m. (pictured in a file photo).

A box of biscuits, for example, would have a warning text that indicates that the snacks are highly processed and high in salt, sugar or fat.

The researchers added that such foods are “associated with positive emotions” because of “decades of persuasive marketing”.

Lead author Trish Cotter of New York Public Health Charity Vital Strategies said, “The industrial processing, as well as the cocktail of additives, flavors, emulsifiers, and colors that they contain to add flavor and texture, make the end product extremely palatable. … and potentially addicting, which in turn leads to bad eating habits. ‘

A sugar tax on soft drinks introduced in 2018 led companies to reformulate recipes, which in turn resulted in lower sugar consumption (file photo used)

A sugar tax on soft drinks introduced in 2018 led companies to reformulate recipes, which in turn resulted in lower sugar consumption (file photo used)

Miss Cotter said these products put us at a “higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression and death.”

She defined ultra-processed products as those that are ready-to-eat, contain more than five ingredients, and have a long shelf life.

The average Brit gets almost half of their calories from these foods, which is contributing to a rapid rise in obesity.

Do you fancy chocolate? Switch on the light

If you dip into the Quality Street can too often this Christmas, try turning the lights on.

Sweet and salty foods taste better in dimmed lights, as a study with more than 300 people found.

It could explain why popcorn and candy are so tasty in the movies. Researchers at Mercer University in Georgia in the US asked participants to eat a piece of milk chocolate, about half of whom wore tinted sunglasses to mimic a dark room. Those who wore glasses rated it higher.

Cookies, chips, and cheese all had similar results. The study, published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, concluded that poor eyesight can improve our sense of taste and smell.

Last year ministers put in place an obesity strategy that included a ban on television junk food advertisements before 9 p.m.

A sugar tax on soft drinks introduced in 2018 led companies to reformulate recipes, which in turn led to lower sugar consumption.

But a proposal to tax wholesale sugar and salt bought by manufacturers this year was not supported by the prime minister.

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LHC Group Goals to Make Worth-Primarily based Buying House Well being Care’s Model of ‘Moneyball’

Many home caregivers have seen pay increases this year due to labor shortages and skyrocketing demand.

In some cases, the providers increased the remuneration in order to strengthen internal loyalty and to minimize the use of costly temporary workers. Bruce Greenstein, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) believes that wage increases are simply the market that works the way it is widely believed.

“The price of the work itself has increased dramatically,” Greenstein told Home Health Care News. “And to a certain extent it may just be a market that works efficiently because we have massive excess demand for a limited supply of this thing.”

Thanks to the raise above, some nurses have been able to use money on travel, pay off student loans, or save more money for their families, he said.

While the current labor price is about 50% above normal levels, it will eventually stabilize, Greenstein added. But even if it does, providers can still likely expect a rate of around 5 to 10% more than they did before the pandemic.

“What we need to do as a nation is really focus on producing a larger clinical workforce,” he said. “Our universities have to get stronger. The state and federal governments must draw attention to this. Companies need to invest in training programs. We can no longer take the availability of both clinical and non-clinical care for granted. “

Technology also plays an important role in employee retention, although vendors often under-invest in the area, said Greenstein, who previously served as CTO of the U.S. Department of Health (HHS). In a 2021 survey by software and technology company Forcura, for example, only 38% of respondents gave technology adoption a top priority.

“We need to keep evolving and evolving our technology infrastructure to drive the productivity gains that come with properly implementing the technology,” he said. “And we really need to cultivate and develop people who are both well versed in the home health business and who really master the technology.”

The “money ball” of home nursing

In the early 2000s, major league baseball was disrupted by a new way of thinking. Statistical analysis changed the way the game was played, and the most efficient – not necessarily talented or richest – teams gained an edge.

All of this is documented in the book “Moneyball” by the author Michael Lewis, which titled the revolutionary way of thinking in the title.

Greenstein believes the Value-Based Purchasing Model (HHVBP) for home nursing could be home nursing’s own wallet.

“I’m excited about the decision to deploy the model nationwide,” he said. “It was one of [the most effective] Programs in the History of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). And if I could change something, I would ask CMMI and CMS to pass on some of the savings to the GPs who are creating the savings. “

The LHC Group took part in seven of the nine HHVBP demo countries and scored “very good” according to Greenstein.

“We’re doing really well with patient satisfaction and we do above average on readmissions,” he said. “When we think about how we’re going to do this, we intend to make the program ‘Moneyball’. It’s about paying attention to the individual characteristics of each agency. “

By and large, this means going to the individual agency – and individual clinician – level to provide coaching and support for HHVBP to be successful.

This is where technology comes into play again. To implement a detailed “moneyball” strategy for HHVBP, the technology must act as an intermediary.

“Technology is really important here,” said Greenstein. “We believe we will do really well there. Both the delivery and the orchestration of these assets together enable us to [execute] to this great idea. I think any agency will come up with a great idea for the value buying program – but if you can’t orchestrate and execute it, your results will be relatively stable. “

Zimmerman: San Jose’s timber enhance human well being and get monetary savings

Anyone who has ever read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree knows that people take the benefits and gifts of the trees around us for granted. We underestimate how they affect our lives and how difficult it is to protect them.

It seems like we are finally learning the importance of trees not only to the health of the planet, but also to the health and wellbeing of people in particular.

The right trees in the right place

The main pledge from the COP 26 climate summit was the pledge by countries representing 85% of the world’s forests to stop or reverse deforestation by 2030. The United States, as well as other large forest countries such as Brazil, Canada, and Indonesia have all signed this agreement. President Joe Biden also pledged that the US would lead by example, announcing that it would spend $ 9 billion on forest conservation and restoration.

That promise, and the money to keep it, is a significant step forward. Individual countries need to get creative in dealing with climate change as an international agreement becomes increasingly unlikely. Forests and trees and are an excellent option.

Woods absorb around a third of the CO2 produced worldwide every year. Deforestation has made a major contribution to climate change.

The battle for California’s trees

California has 33 million hectares of forest, and we are rightly proud to encourage visitors to see places like the Redwoods. We conveniently forget or don’t even know that since the 1850s, 95% of the California original old sequoia forests were logged.

California can use its forests in two ways. Reforestation is an option, although it can be full of difficulties such as location problems, water availability and loss of biological diversity. It is much better to focus on protecting the trees and forests that we have and letting those areas expand naturally.

“California’s ancient sequoia trees, the tallest and oldest trees on earth, store more carbon per hectare of forest than any other forest in the world – by far,” said Sam Hodder, CEO of Save the Redwood League. “More than the Amazon rainforest or the coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest.”

Save the Redwoods League is currently raising funds for the purchase of five miles of undeveloped coastal forest in Mendocino County. the Lost coastal property is a second growth forest between 80 and 100 years and is threatened by accelerated harvest or development. Saving such existing areas and having them expanded and connected to other protected areas is far better, cheaper and requires less maintenance than replanting.

Hodder noted that through accelerated protection and good management in collaboration with tribes, local communities and public institutions, the sequoia landscape can become old again and be a vital part of the fight against climate change.

San Jose trees

Trees in our communities are just as important to human health as large areas of forest hours away. The sheer visibility of green spaces is linked to improved mental health, less stress, and better work and school performance. Put simply, humans need nature, such as trees, in order to thrive.

San Jose’s revised design Community forest management plan cites research that even found that tree-lined streets contribute to healthier lifestyles. Unexpectedly, there are also fewer car accidents. There is even evidence that well-managed vegetation deter crime.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but trees are rare commodities that become more valuable with age. In fact, every street tree brings nearly six dollars in utility for every dollar invested.

San Joses 2007 Green vision plan had the goal of planting 100,000 trees. Until 2014, the city planted forest in collaboration with Our City 12,289 trees in total which sequestered approximately 479.3 MT CO2 equivalent. The city’s goal was to have all trees planted by 2022; however, an apparent lack of resources has resulted in only 15,000-20,000 trees being planted to date.

Unfortunately, the management plan has also been found The canopy cover of San Jose has fallen nearly 2%, which equates to an area of ​​about 2.7 miles. The main findings of the document are instructive. First and foremost, the city needs to act quickly to meet the trend towards decreasing roofing. The biggest obstacle to this, besides the broken cooperation between the parties involved, is the ubiquitous money problem. The means for planting and cultivating trees are far below requirements.

Maybe we haven’t learned anything from “The Giving Tree” after all.

San José Spotlight columnist Erin Zimmerman is a Climate Reality Director for the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Climate Reality Project. Erin, a longtime environmental and political activist, holds a PhD in political science. Your column appears every third Wednesday of the month. Contact Erin at [email protected].

Springfield-Greene County Well being Dept. receiving more cash for COVID-19 vaccine incentives

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KY3) – Springfield City Council approved a contract with the Missouri Department of Health to do more for obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.

The city is being given $ 300,000 to incentivize more vaccinations. The approved new money will allow the department to purchase 6,700 more gift cards. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department provides incentives for anyone who receives their first or second dose of the vaccine. Employees reported that 35 percent of those who received the vaccination over the weekend at a specialty clinic in Springfield did so because of the incentives.

“It made a huge difference to us,” said Cara Erwin, communications and outreach manager for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. “We had a special event at the weekend. We had two locations at Williams Elementary School and our clinic on Battlefield East. And we vaccinated over 1,000, almost 1,000 people, and many, many of those people came knowing they were going to get the gift card. So that’s one of many reasons that motivates you to come here. “

The health department will ask you to register for the required dose of the vaccine. Click here to login.

To report a correction or typing error, please send an email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

UNC Well being Superior Care at Residence shortens hospital stays, saves cash :: WRAL.com

– A new program from UNC Health enables many patients to leave the hospital earlier than possible and receive acute care at home. It is a program that will save the patient money and open up the much needed bed space in the hospital.

Local UNC TV legend Roy Underhill was recently a patient who benefited from the new program. His television show “The WoodWright Shop” is still on public television channels across the country.

“[It was] for 37 years. It’s one of the longest-running television programs, “said Underhill, who also teaches students how to use traditional woodworking tools as opposed to power tools.

His students come to his woodcarving school in Pittsboro, some from outside the United States. “In a next class we have a student from Norway who has seen all the shows,” said Underhill.

Less than a month ago, kidney infection robbed the 70-year-old of his strength. “It’s known as sepsis and is fatal,” Underhill said.

He was in the UNC emergency room 24 hours and spent another three days in acute care. However, Underhill was presented with a new option. He describes it this way: “They had a new program and they said I could be home and they would bring me hospital care!”

It’s called Advanced Care at Home, and it includes a home health monitoring system, backup power supplies and communication devices via a phone, and video via an iPad or even a button on a wristband.

“And so they actually see someone six to seven times a day, either virtually or in person,” said Ila Mapp, the program’s administrative director at UNC Health.

She says national data shows that patients recover more quickly on the program. “It allows patients to be more comfortable and in more control,” Mapp said.

She adds, “It’s the patients who aren’t quite sick enough to go to the hospital but can go home and still get the acute care they need.”

She says patients who receive home care are also less likely to get other hospital infections like MRSA or even COVID-19.

Underhill quickly accepted the home care offer. He said, “You wear your own clothes, you are in your own bed and only get the medication you need.”

Underhill points out that it’s also cheaper than staying in the hospital. “Releasing a hospital bed saves money, you get better faster. What’s not to like,” he said.

He’s also excited to be back in his own home as well as his wood construction school, sharing his old woodworking talents with eager students.

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San Antonians say psychological well being, housing, and infrastructure amongst finest methods to spend pandemic aid cash

SAN ANTONIO – As the San Antonio City Council decides how to spend the remaining $ 199.4 million in unallocated money from the American Rescue Plan Act, parishioners have made their wishes known.

In a presentation on Thursday to the council members, the city officials presented the results of the various surveys, town hall meetings and meetings with the Small Business Advocacy Commission from the previous months. Housing, infrastructure and economic development were high on the list of immediate spending priorities for community members, while they said mental health, housing and quality childcare were their preferred long-term investments.

The SBAC listed priorities such as access to capital, such as grants or loans; Capacity building through vocational training and financial literacy; and promoting art and tourism.

The city has been allocated $ 326.9 million in ARPA dollars, half of which it has already received. The other half is expected to be received in May 2022.

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The city is allowed to use the money for a variety of purposes, including: balancing budget constraints; pay for the public health response to the pandemic; Payment of bonuses for important employees; and water, sewer and broadband infrastructure works.

The city has already committed $ 97.5 million to fill budget gaps from lost revenue over three fiscal years. Council too Set aside $ 30 million to help people in arrears with their electricity and water bills.

On Thursday, city officials recommended allocating $ 35 million to the city’s COVID-19 response, $ 35.95 million for “immediate” community needs and $ 128.45 million for “effective investment.”

POSSIBLE BONUS FOR CITY WORKERS

City officials suggested two “premium payment” options for city workers, for the several council members had asked.

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Depending on their annual income, the first plan would pay employees a bonus of up to $ 3,000 if they worked on-site in the 12 months between March 2020 and March 2021.

This plan would cost $ 10 million and cover 5,920 eligible employees.

However, City Manager Erik Walsh had employees come up with a second plan that would cover all employees – 11,760 of them – and pay up to $ 2,000, depending on their hire date and annual earnings. This plan would cost $ 14.3 million.

“But from my point of view, I think we should treat everyone equally from the point of view of employees,” said Walsh.

While not all city employees would meet the ARPA guidelines for premium payment, which are intended for those who had to work in person during the pandemic, city employees could justify this by using the “revenue replacement” category.

Some councilors called for a third option that would still cover all 11,760 employees but offer a relatively higher bonus for the 5,920 who had to come to work.

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City officials noted that none of the other major Texas cities had yet chosen to use ARPA money for bonuses.

NEXT STEPS

The city council has yet to approve the overall framework for the use of the money. This is expected to happen in a February 3rd vote after the city council made adjustments based on Thursday’s discussion.

Thereafter, the council members will assist through various sub-committees in deciding which programs to fund the ARPA money.

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

Cleveland looking for to award $2M to financially troubled NEON Well being Providers utilizing pandemic aid cash: Stimulus Watch

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland City Council could pass bill Monday to allocate $ 2 million from the city’s pandemic funds to a nonprofit agency that is providing its CEO with more than $ 500,000 despite pre-pandemic financial difficulties pays.

Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services (NEON) are seeking funding from the American Rescue Plan to strengthen their health services in some of Cleveland’s poorest minority neighborhoods.

Proponents argue that the money could go far in supporting major health programs. but Tax returns from NEON reveal a precarious financial situation – and a CEO who received a $ 100,000 raise in a year the agency was caring for fewer patients and was in the red.

NEON’s plan to spend the $ 2 million American Rescue Plan Act will use the lion’s share – $ 1.4 million – on several new and existing programs, including mental health services, lead prevention and intervention, food distribution, Education about healthy eating, chronic disease control and health literacy. However, this funding pool also includes items such as “NEON Administration” and “NEON Direct Costs – Transportation”, with no US dollar amounts specified for any program.

Another $ 360,000 would work with LegalWorks, Inc. to fund a detox clinic, and $ 200,000 would be used to repair damage to the NEON Hough Health Center, which caught fire in May.

The Hough Center is temporarily closed, and NEON’s other centers are bringing health services to other areas where Clevelander suffer disproportionately from negative health outcomes, including Miles-Broadway, Norwood, St. Clair-Superior, and the Southeast Side.

NEON is a state-qualified health center and, according to IRS filings, brings in primarily cash from contributions – about $ 13 million in 2019 – and program services like Medicaid reimbursements totaling about $ 11 million in 2019. Funding is received through the administration for health resources and services. This agency said cleveland.com that NEON receives funding until the end of the year and has been approved for a 3-year funding from 01/01/2022 to 12/31/2024. The agency spokesman was not yet able to announce the total amount of the funding at the time of going to press.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, NEON Caring for fewer patients each year, down about a third over the past five years – from 31,804 in 2016 to 21,605 in 2020. From 2017 to 2018 – the year that board member granted CEO Willie Austin a $ 100,000 raise – NEON served 2,740 fewer employees.

Although NEON serves fewer Clevelanders, NEON’s tax returns are in deficit in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – the last available year when net income was nearly $ 1 million in the red.

In 2020, NEON received more than $ 5 million in pandemic-related funding – a $ 3.6 million forgivable loan from the CARES Paycheck Protection Program and $ 1.6 million in additional Health Center Grants and $ 216,000 in Relief Funds.

Cleveland.com contacted NEON and Austin for this story.

Some of NEON’s financial difficulties are related to a payout of more than $ 1.3 million due to a Unlawful termination lawsuit. In this case, employee James O’Donnell was fired after raising concerns about a financial audit involving the questionable activities of Arthur Fayne, a NEON board member and head of the consulting firm hired to lead the New Eastside Market project, showed that the developer was responsible for the NEON.

In December 2020, Fayne has been charged with embezzling $ 855,000 from the Eastside Market project. The case is pending.

NEON was selected to develop the New Eastside Market in 2015 and rented the property on St. Clair Avenue from the city for $ 1 a year. The city has also deposited over $ 350,000 as well a 75 percent tax reduction for 15 years on improvements to the property, including new plumbing, electrical and roofing. When the project went over budget in 2018, the city approved an additional $ 500,000 grant. Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio also awarded grants of $ 750,000 each.

New Eastside Market opened in 2019 with a vision to operate a full-service grocery store in what is otherwise considered a “food wasteland,” as well as providing health and wellness services. But NEON has yet to deliver on some of his promises for the location, like opening a health clinic or a demonstration kitchen for nutritious cooking classes.

Alderman Basheer Jones, whose ward includes NEON’s Hough Clinic, was the council’s strongest supporter of raising $ 2 million in stimulus funds to NEON. Jones, who has given up his council seat because of an unsuccessful mayoral candidacy, has made the NEON proposal his final legislative proposal.

Speaking at a committee meeting on November 16, Jones said he saw NEON’s latest funding proposal as a step toward holistic health. Jones said when NEON was founded in 1967 it was one of the few health care providers that the city’s black community felt welcome.

“Well, I’m sure there have been a lot of mistakes along the way,” Jones continued. “Unfortunately we live in a country where some make mistakes and others can’t make mistakes… Why can some organizations as a city make mistakes and then get the resources and still be able to make mistakes? Do business and there are some who are excluded? “

The city council is expected to deliberate on the law at its final session of the year on Monday before a new council and mayor take office in January.

Stimulus Watch is a public service journalism project run by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer to track federal funding reaching Northeast Ohio through the US rescue plan. Read more undercleveland.com/stimulus-watch.