Senator Samra Brouk Responds to Attorney General Report on Nursing Home Deaths

ALBANY, NY - Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, today announced that she will co-sponsor S1168, the “Safe Staffing For Quality Care Act” to address inadequate staffing levels in nursing homes and acute care facilities.

“Today's report on COVID-related nursing homes deaths from the Attorney General confirms what we already suspected -- inadequate staffing levels, poor compliance with infection control protocols, and a lack of transparency are serious problems that need to be addressed,” said Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55). “Now that we have this information we must act quickly to enact the recommendations laid out by the Attorney General and prevent future harm to nursing home residents and workers. This legislation is a step in the right direction to make sure we learn from our mistakes.”

Senate Bill S1168, sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chair Gustavo Rivera (SD-33), would require acute care facilities and nursing homes to implement nurse-to-patient ratios in all nursing units. It would set minimum staffing requirements such as requiring every such facility to submit a documented staffing plan to the state, and require facilities to maintain staffing records during all shifts. 

Statement from MaryDel Wypych, Co-chair, Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice:

“Although more than 20 years of research indicates that good staffing levels are positively associated with positive outcomes for residents, New York State does not regulate staffing levels. It has been reported that fewer than 10% of nursing homes met the federal guidelines of 4.1 direct care hours per day or about a 1:6 direct care staff to resident ratio. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many nursing homes experienced levels as low as 1:20 and 1:30. Elder Justice Committee of Metro Justice is pleased to have Senator Samra Brouk sponsor the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act, addressing the long-term problem of understaffing in nursing so that all residents may receive the care they deserve.”

About Elder Justice: Elder Justice seeks to enable elders to live purposeful, self-directed, meaningful, and dignified lives in their homes and communities. Elder Justice is a Committee of Metro Justice, a progressive member-driven, grassroots organization dedicated to social, economic, and racial justice in Rochester, NY.