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Catholic Health System Heroically Provided Medical Staff To Help With Increased Patient Loads, Severity And Length Of Stay During COVID Outbreak

Schumer, Gillibrand: Federal $$$ Will Help Catholic Health System Recover From Economic Impacts Of COVID-19 Pandemic And Keep Up Lifesaving Care

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced Catholic Health System will receive two grants, one for $15,184,299 and an additional $20,175,953, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The senators said the funding will cover costs associated with emergency protective measures and increased staffing, including temporary contract staffing consisting of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, surgical technicians, certified medical assistants, and physical and occupational therapists for their COVID responses dating back to the start of the pandemic in Spring 2020. The senators said that today’s funding will give Catholic Health System the resources it needs to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic and keep our Western New York communities safe and healthy.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Health System’s ramped up staffing and nurses, doctors and first responders worked 24/7 to ensure the safety of Western NY patients, but like so many other impacted hospitals, their bottom lines struggled to recover because of revenue losses related to increased costs during the public health emergency. I championed reimbursement for expenses incurred during the pandemic in my American Rescue Plan so Upstate hospitals would have the federal dollars needed to bounce back and continue providing lifesaving care,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am proud to deliver this $35 million federal boost to help reimburse Catholic Health System’s expenses and ensure that it has the resources and funding it needs, and deserves, to support its incredible medical staff, care for patients, and ensure they can continue to provide lifesaving care to Western NY communities.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff at Catholic Health System provided life-saving care that kept New Yorkers safe,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will reimburse the hospital for the costs associated with efforts that helped protect the health and safety of those in Western New York during the pandemic. I am proud to deliver this federal funding and will continue to fight for federal resources to keep New Yorkers safe.”

 “The personal and financial impact of COVID-19 on our community and health system will be felt for years to come,” said Joyce Markiewicz, President & CEO of Catholic Health. “Despite the monumental challenges and great cost to our system, associates in our hospitals and nursing homes delivered the highest quality care to our community throughout the pandemic. We work hard every day to rebuild financially, and American Rescue Plan funds received in the past have helped immensely.  The ongoing support of Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, FEMA, and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to ensure these COVID costs are reimbursed will go a long way in our post-pandemic recovery efforts.” 

Schumer and Gillibrand have been relentless advocates in ensuring that Upstate communities have the federal resources needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) the senators both championed, Schumer and Gillibrand secured historic funding levels to provide the supplies, emergency response, testing, and public health workforce to stop the spread of COVID-19.  In 2022, Schumer also secured a first-ever agreement from FEMA that creates a pathway for reimbursement on previously rejected expenses incurred by hospitals in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, unlocking hundreds of million for New York’s hospitals, which otherwise would have been shouldered by the hospitals amidst the ongoing public health emergency.