Physical Disabilities & Aging

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The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) is continuing to offer virtual Mandated Reporter Training at no cost to mandated reporters in Pennsylvania.

This three-hour virtual training is approved by the Departments of Human Services, Education, and State. It meets all requirements for training on recognizing and reporting child abuse (to include Act 126 for school employees).

The training is also approved for continuing education credits under Act 31 (Department of State for health-related licenses) and Act 48 (Department of Education for teachers) at no cost. PFSA will submit your training verification to the appropriate department on your behalf (details will be provided during training).

Please register for your preferred training date and time here.

Each person must log in through a separate device, using the unique access link emailed to them after registration to receive credit.

If you have questions or wish to schedule a session specifically for your organization, please email PFSA.

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This communication is to update and replace the ListServ email entitled “Vaccination Information for Office of Long-Term Living Home and Community-Based Services Providers” that was sent on January 11, 2021. This updated communication adds information about an available map of vaccine providers and an update to the steps to take once you select a vaccine provider. The updates are in red text below. Please disregard the previous communication.

Vaccination Information for Office of Long-Term Living Home and Community-Based Services Providers

Getting Pennsylvanians immunized with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is an essential step in reducing the number of virus-related cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) guides the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The purpose of this communication is to inform Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) providers of the most recent COVID-19 vaccine information provided by DOH. OLTL HCBS providers with a direct care component are included in the definition of health-care personnel in the Phase 1A sub-prioritization guidance found in Section 3 of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan.

Recently, DOH issued an Order of the Secretary. This order, effective January 6, 2021, requires that hospitals, health systems, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and pharmacies reserve at least 10 percent of each shipment of vaccine to vaccinate health-care personnel not affiliated with a hospital or health system.

Health-care personnel in Phase 1A who are not affiliated with a hospital or health system should work with an enrolled hospital, health system, FQHC, or pharmacy in their jurisdiction. Please refer to the attached overview issued by DOH for Phase 1A health-care personnel not affiliated with a hospital or health system.

HCBS providers should consider:

Establishing a process to track vaccinations within your agency.

  • Although vaccination information will be reported to DOH by vaccine providers, all health-care personnel or their employers are requested to track vaccine participation and keep records of those who accept and those who decline vaccination.

A map of vaccine providers is available on the DOH website. The map provides important details to help you select a vaccine provider, including whether the provider has received the vaccine yet. The map will be updated as more providers receive the vaccine.

    • Communicate the number of individuals within your agency and locations needing a vaccine to the vaccine provider.
    • Mark the date and time of vaccination and ensure that individuals within your agency who were identified are scheduled to receive their second dose. This second dose is given three weeks later for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks later for the Moderna vaccine.
    • Follow processes and procedures required by the vaccine provider.

If individuals are asked for proof of employment, and they are a direct care worker in the participant directed model, they can log in to the PPL website to download a letter conveying proof of employment.

Please share this guidance with others in your agency and stakeholders as applicable.

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Yesterday, the Wolf Administration launched an interactive vaccine provider map. This map shows enrolled vaccine providers and indicates which providers have received vaccines to date. In addition to highlighting the status of vaccines available, this map also includes contact information to connect Phase 1A eligible individuals who are not affiliated with a hospital/health system with vaccines.

The map is also provided on the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) main COVID-19 vaccine page. DOH will continue to update this resource as information becomes available.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is supplying guidance on COVID-19 vaccination for providers. The information in 2021- PAHAN- 545- 01-06- ADV should be used to supplement other relevant guidance documents and guide the implementation of public health expectations for vaccine providers.

Key messages included in the guidance include:

  • There are two mRNA vaccines with 90 – 95 percent efficacy in preventing clinical COVID-19 currently available through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
  • The only absolute contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination is a history of an immediate allergic reaction to either COVID-19 vaccine or any of their components.
  • Severe adverse reactions are uncommon, but vaccine providers should be prepared for this rare event.
  • Vaccine providers should report all adverse events following vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Recording System (VAERS).
  • All COVID-19 mitigation measures should continue to be followed after vaccination.

 

The Pennsylvania State Board of Rehabilitation meets quarterly to hear reports from directors of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council (PaRC), Client Assistance Program (CAP), and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) as well as to hear and provide advice on information related to OVR policy and services.

These meetings are chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Industry. The schedule of dates and locations for the upcoming year is:

  • March 11, 2021 – Virtual
  • June 3, 2021 – Virtual
  • September 16, 2021 – Pittsburgh
  • December 2, 2021 – Harrisburg

The public is welcome to attend.

All materials provided, produced, and published by OVR will be made available in the appropriate alternative format upon request.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided for these meetings. Additional auxiliary aids and services are available upon request for individuals with disabilities.

Please contact Cheryl Novak at 610-506-9035 or Lee Ann Stewart at 717-787-3216 for further information or assistance.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Omnibus Appropriations and Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act has now been signed into law. The Omnibus Bill contains a long awaited COVID relief package, which includes several important provisions to address critical needs resulting from financial hardships due to the pandemic. Maher Duessel’s blog provides a summary of the bill’s stipulations, which impact non-profits, governments, and employees.