If you are of voting age and live in Kentucky, PLEASE contact 1) your state representative and 2) State Representative Tom Burch to ask them to SUPPORT House Bill 157 (a/k/a “HB 157”) which mandates minimum staffing levels in nursing homes throughout Kentucky. The phone number for Rep. Burch’s Frankfort office is (502) 564-8100, extension 601.  As co-chair of the House’ Health & Welfare Committee, Burch is single-handedly acting as an obstructionist in preventing HB 157 from even being discussed (let alone voted up or down) in committee!

At the present time Kentucky facilities are only required to abide by Medicare’s staffing regulation, which is notoriously vague (e.g., nursing homes must have “adequate” staffing levels at all times).  When “adequate” is interpreted by a mindset of corporate greed, you can be sure that staffing levels are anything BUT “adequate”!  “Adequate” is defined by one nursing home (located in Louisville, Kentucky, where  my mother lived in 2008) as having two (yes, just 2) nurses aides caring for a unit with 60 (yes, sixty!) residents — on first shift! Five CNA’s would be scheduled to work, but many days only two or three would show up!  This kind of gross under staffing is not only dangerous, it is downright reckless!

Please be an agent for change and contact 1) your Kentucky representative and 2) Rep. Tom Burch as soon as possible!