SEIU Healthcare Missouri Members Applaud Release of New Report from St. Louis BOA Calling for Change in Region’s Nursing Homes

ST. LOUIS – Today, nursing home workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Missouri met with the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Special Committee on Long-Term Health Care Facilities. Frontline nursing home workers, who provided testimony to the committee, witnessed the adoption of the 21-page report. It is believed that this is the first report of its kind on the municipal level. 

The report contains recommendations for action at the city, state and federal level that the region’s nursing home workforce have raised throughout the pandemic and beyond. The committee heard testimony from national and local experts on nursing home finances, long-term care policy, healthcare policy and mental health treatment.

“St. Louis nursing home workers are building power to transform our region’s nursing home jobs into careers we can thrive in so we can deliver care that allows our residents to live with dignity,” said Gabby Love, St. Louis nursing home worker and SEIU Healthcare Missouri member. “This report will help enact policies that will stop inadequate staffing and lead to quality care for residents and better, safer working conditions for workers.”

The report finds that in Missouri, private investors looking for a bargain are driving a massive amount of churn in nursing home ownership. Nearly one in five Missouri nursing homes has changed ownership in the last six years, six of the fourteen remaining nursing facilities in St. Louis City have changed hands in the last five years, and private equity investors focused on near-term profitability often short-staff and skimp on resident care, which can diminish resident safety and quality of life. 

Just this December, the shuttered Northview Village Nursing Home left 184 frontline nursing home workers unemployed, without notice and without their paychecks, less than two weeks before Christmas. The abrupt closure had dire impacts on residents at the facility as well.

The committee was created to assess the current situation in St. Louis nursing homes and to make recommendations for policy changes that the Board of Aldermen and other governmental bodies might undertake. The Committee has engaged in a 10-month process, hearing from experts in long-term care, advocates for residents, nursing home workers, and the residents themselves. 

SEIU Healthcare Missouri nursing home workers stand ready to partner with elected officials at all levels of government to enact the changes recommended by the committee.