June 01, 2020

N.M. Delegation Announces Over $20 Million in CARES Act Funding for Skilled Nursing Facilities

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), announced that 59 skilled nursing facilities in the State of New Mexico will receive $20,537,500 to help combat the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds come from the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. 

Nursing facilities in New Mexico provide critical skilled care to the state’s seniors and people with disabilities. Nursing facilities have faced tremendous challenges preventing and containing the spread of COVID-19, resulting in heartbreaking losses of loved ones for many families across the country, including in New Mexico. This funding will be used for nursing facilities’ critical needs such as increasing staff, scaling up testing capacity, acquiring personal protective equipment and other expenses directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Even before this public health crisis, our health care system had failed to keep up with the growing number of seniors and people with disabilities in need of care in New Mexico and across our nation,” Udall said. “And the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in tragic losses in our nursing facilities, leading to heartbreak for too many New Mexicans. This funding will provide much needed relief to nursing facilities to better protect our most vulnerable and high-risk populations. I will keep fighting for the swift distribution of the remaining CARES Act funding and I will keep working to obtain additional resources so that our indispensable health care workers and all frontline workers have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and safely.”

“We have seen how residents of nursing homes and other assisted living communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the novel coronavirus,” said Heinrich. “We must do all we can to assure that we are giving residents of these facilities the care and attention they deserve. That’s why I was proud to help secure funds in the CARES Act to make sure nursing homes have the resources they need to scale up their staffing, testing capacity, and PPE supplies. As we continue our effort to contain the spread of the virus, I will keep doing everything in my power to fight for a strong public health response that protects the health and safety of all New Mexicans.”

“New Mexico’s nursing homes are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and they need strong federal investments to care for our elders and loved ones with disabilities during this public health crisis,” said Luján. “I’ll keep fighting alongside the New Mexico delegation to ensure our nursing homes and assisted living facilities have the resources they need to maintain high standards of safety, protect residents and staff, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. I’ll also continue to push the Trump administration to release aid for the remaining health care providers that have been unfairly excluded from the relief Congress provided.”

“Health care facilities that care for elders and those with disabilities are stepping up right now to help keep our family members healthy, but coronavirus has taken a sad toll on our nursing facilities’ staff and the family members who live there. I know what it’s like to have a parent in on of these facilities – I worry every day for her safety and also am deeply grateful to the staff keeping her healthy. That’s why we included funding for nursing facilities in the CARES Act, and now that funding will be disbursed to support caregivers and nursing staff with personal protective equipment, increased testing capacity, and even increases in staffing, so that we can protect those we love in those facilities,” said Haaland. 

“Nursing facilities across New Mexico have been on the frontlines, fighting to protect and care for seniors and the most vulnerable. However, COVID-19 has stretched many facilities beyond their limits. As healthcare providers and caregivers continue to work around the clock with limited resources, this funding will provide support to meet critical needs like increased staff capacity, expanded testing, and PPE,” said Torres Small.