Four Virginia Nursing Homes Receive Grants To Increase Retention of CNA's

A Portsmouth nursing home is one of five in Virginia to be awarded a grant in a new state initiative to improve nursing home care.

Autumn Care in Portsmouth will receive $40,865 during the next year for a proposed effort to reduce employee turnover at the 108-bed facility.

The grant is part of a new initiative called Virginia Gold, aimed at better care in licensed nursing facilities. The goal is to increase recruitment and retention of certified nursing assistants, considered the backbone of long-term care.

Projects funded by the grants will be evaluated after a year to see how effective they were, in hopes of duplicating them in other facilities. Other facilities that received grants are Trinity Mission in Charlottesville, Birmingham Green in Manassas, Dogwood Village in Orange County, and Francis Marion Manor in Marion.

Funding for the grants, which are up to $50,000 per facility, come from penalties imposed and collected when nursing facilities across the state are found to be out of compliance by state health inspectors on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Jillene Whitenack, administrator of Autumn Care in Portsmouth, said the facility proposed forming a partnership with Portsmouth Community Health Center to provide health care to the center's certified nursing assistants.

Autumn Care provides insurance for the certified nursing assistants, but the deductible is high, so employees may delay or skip basic health-care needs. Whitenack said the partnership with the Portsmouth Community Health Center will give them a less expensive option.

Whitenack said the facility also is working on other ways to retain staff through team-building training. For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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