Maine Health Care Association CEO Message

As the end of 2021 quickly approaches, I wanted to take a few moments to thank the membership for your continued support and your unwavering dedication to caring for your residents. I recognize how much of a continued struggle it has been with severe staffing shortages exacerbated by a pandemic that continues to rage on.

When I started back in June, it seemed like the worst of COVID was behind us. Little did we know that the Delta variant would soon arrive, and COVID-19 positive cases would reach numbers higher than what had ever been previously recorded in Maine.

Public health officials across the country are predicting a very concerning Omicron surge post holidays. Media reports over the past few days, as well as newly released scientific research, has provided evidence that Omicron is more contagious than any previous version of the COVID-19 virus. But the good news is that vaccines appear to provide strong protection against severe illness and mortality. While the new strain has not spread widely yet in the United States, AHCA/NCAL is urging us all to prepare. Omicron is not as deadly as Delta, yet it still will likely create major problems in the long term care sector.

Booster shots will be important in the ongoing efforts to protect staff and residents. If you haven't held your booster shot clinic yet and need assistance, please reach out to us so that we can assist you.
Finally, I want to express my personal gratitude and deep appreciation to all of you, the MHCA staff, and board members for welcoming me to the association. As we move ahead into 2022 together, there is hope that there are brighter days to come! Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Angela Cole Westhoff
President/ CEO

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