Schneider Regional Medical Center received the first installment of American Rescue Plan Act funds Thursday, the hospital’s administration announced on Monday.
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and the central government issued $2.5 million, with a total of $10 million to be provided over a four-year period, according to the news release announcing the distribution. The funds have been designated and restricted for specific positions that are difficult to recruit and retain and to support the Meditech Expanse project, it said. Therefore the money is not eligible to be divided amongst the entire staff.
Only a specific subset of positions within Nursing and Allied Health meet the criteria established by the Federal Treasury and provided by the Office of Management and Budget for these retention incentives, according to the release. These retention incentives are different from the premium pay incentive that is being rolled out for essential employees who worked during specified periods of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, SRMC will continue to lobby for all its employees to receive the premium pay incentive, it said.
SRMC has begun issuing checks to a total of 237 employees who remained employed throughout fiscal year 2022 in Nursing and Allied Health positions that met the criteria for the retention incentive payments, which include:
· Advanced Practice Nurse/Mid-Level Clinician
· Clinical/Administrative Care Coordinator/Head Nurse· Nurse Clinical Informaticist
· Staff Nurse
· Licensed Practical Nurse
· Laboratory Technician
· Respiratory Therapist
· Radiology Technicians
· Patient Care Technician/Attendant/Nursing Assistant
· Surgical Technician
· Hemodialysis Technician
“Let’s welcome this as a positive thing for our organization and all of us, even if we individually were not classified to receive a payment. By retaining and stabilizing our organization’s critical Nursing and Allied Health positions, we will be more financially viable and better prepared to afford tangible appreciation and salary increases to all our employees,” said CEO Tina M. Comissiong.
“And, by our colleagues in these positions receiving incentives to stay with us, we will have a stronger hospital with more permanent, committed, local staff to provide care to our community — which we may all need at any moment for ourselves or for our loved ones as it is the only hospital on island,” said Comissiong.