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Employee COVID-19 Hazard Pay Program

Today, A Pineywoods Home Health Care announced enhanced investments in their healthcare workers by offering hazard pay, childcare reimbursement and paid sick leave. Healthcare workers increase risk of exposure while in the line of duty caring for patients. Delivering the best care to patients involves recognizing those that are providing the care. 

The novel disease COVID-19 requires extreme sacrifices of millions of essential workers, especially those in the healthcare industry, who keep the country running by performing “essential” jobs. The health and safety of these workers and their families are put at risk each time they leave their homes for work. 

“Neal and I want to express our appreciation to our staff, both field clinicians and office staff for working so steadfastly during this tough time, especially our clinicians and providers that are going into the field,” state A Pineywoods owners, Neal and Mary Ann Naranjo, “they are making sacrifices everyday by going into the field and we want to make a tangible expression of how much we appreciate the devotion they have to care for patients and those in need.”

Many of the items A Pineywoods is putting in place are not required at the federal, state, or local level but being able to show additional value to those that are caring for some of the most vulnerable patient population is the type of core values we want to continue to show during times of success and tribulation. It’s easy to lead when things are going well, but how you treat your employees during uncertain times will be remembered for years to come. Our tiered hazard pay system will include: stipends based on the amount of risk assessed by exposure and job classification, childcare reimbursement to assist with the closure of schools and daycares, and paid sick leave due to exposure, symptoms, or caring for a sick child.

“We are proud to lead locally on the creation of policies that support our essential healthcare workers. Budgets are moral documents, and we believe in the personal and financial value of our nurses, therapists and caregivers, who risk exposure by caring for our over 1700 patients. We are thankful to work with our local SBA lending bank to support our staff, and call for additional state and federal resources so that larger organizations can join us in offering hazard pay, sick leave, and childcare benefits to their frontline healthcare workers.” said Katie Naranjo, CEO at A Pineywoods Home Health Care and Home Care Services.

Protocols have been put in place for COVID-19 to enhance the safety of staff and patients that are being cared for in their homes; enabling vulnerable citizens to remain at home and have the care necessary to manage their health conditions. Increasing safety protocols and wearing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) brings a sense of physical security while offering increased stipends for risk exposure gives more financial security. The health and safety of staff is paramount and that goes beyond physical considerations to include mental and financial health.

Kerri Griffin, A Pineywoods Home Health Administrator, states “I am very thankful for our staff that care so much for our patients and are persevering on the front lines during this pandemic while coping with the struggles of childcare and school closures, family illnesses, and financial hardships. A Pineywoods staff is not just a group of co-workers, we are family. I am happy that we are able to offer our employees: adequate PPE per CDC guidelines, childcare assistance, paid sick leave, and hazard pay during these difficult times. We appreciate our staff and the care they provide and want to be of service to them while they serve our community.”