– Recognizing the ongoing challenges faced by Pennsylvania’s frontline health care workers, Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) on Wednesday joined his House colleagues in supporting the allocation of $225 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to hospitals statewide, including two in Carbon County. The bill was then signed into law by the governor as Act 2 of 2022
Under the new law, St. Luke’s Carbon Campus Hospital was awarded $113,879, while St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus received $462,573.
“I am happy to see this funding go to help those health care employees on the frontline who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much during the pandemic,” said Heffley. “Our hospitals have been under enormous pressure, especially during the recent surge in cases, as they deal with capacity and staffing issues. This funding will go toward their retention and recruitment efforts to ensure Carbon County residents continue to receive quality health care services.”
Act 2 directs $100 million in funding to be shared among all hospitals and $110 million for critical access hospitals, high Medicaid-use hospitals and behavioral health providers. The measure also allocates $15 million for a nursing student loan forgiveness program.
Hospital executives and administration, contracted staff and physicians are not eligible for payments. The funding can only be directed to nurses and other hospital employees.
The General Assembly is also expected to pass another proposal next month that would direct $25 million to EMS and fire companies.