Ohio’s congregate care settings, including senior housing, day centers, and senior centers have experienced major disruptions in service during the public health emergency. The new Regional Rapid Response Assistance Program (R3AP) builds on previous support by committing teams of regional experts to help identify and diagnose issues with care delivery and provide support to resolve them.
The Regional Rapid Response Assistance Program (R3AP), pronounced RAP, is designed to help Ohio congregate care centers and protect older Ohioans through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The first phase of R3AP focused on administering COVID-19 vaccine clinics at affordable senior housing locations (see below). But, there is now an expanded suite of services.
Assistance provided by the R3AP includes but is not limited to:
- COVID-19 testing and cohorting,
- Temporary staff support,
- Infection prevention and control education, and
- Crisis staffing support.
Interested locations should contact the R3AP team by calling 1-855-R3AP-ODA (1-855-732-7632).
Crisis Staffing Support
During the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing shortages have reached a critical level in Ohio’s long-term care facilities. There are many resources available in your community and within your organization to help you address a staffing crisis. This may include availing yourself of available nurses in your community, engaging staffing agencies, pulling from resources within your organization, changing recruitment strategies, using your leadership staff, following CDC crisis staffing guidance, and more.
However, we know that sometimes you can exhaust all of these options and still not acquire the help you need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your residents and staff. The Regional Rapid Response Assistance Program (R3AP) can provide staffing support in a crisis situation when all other, good faith efforts are unsuccessful.
Crisis Staffing Support:
- Can be deployed in as little as 24 hours.
- Is available on a short term basis (typically 3-5 days).
- May include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, state-tested nurse aides, and more.
- Is an option of last resort.
You can request crisis staffing support through the COVID-19 Care Center portal – the same portal where you coordinate vaccine and testing enrollment. Access the CCC portal with the same username and password you use to access other services. If you need help logging in, please call the R3AP call center at 1-855-732-7632.
Crisis staffing support is intended as a resource of last resort. Facilities are expected to explore in good faith all other available options in their communities before requesting assistance through R3AP.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
In pursuit of fairness and equity in the distribution of the scarce vaccines, R3AP will deliver vaccines directly into affordable senior housing locations. These senior housing facilities are home to tens of thousands of older Ohioans and are often residential clusters with apartment buildings ranging in units from 30 to over 200.
The Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Health is working with local partners to offer assistance through on-site clinics. These clinics will help ease the burden for many seniors having trouble navigating the registration process and arranging transportation.
Regional Rapid Response Assistance Program (R3AP) on-site clinics will be executed by:
- Engaging small multidisciplinary teams of experts
- Coordinating support from the Ohio National Guard
- Aligning with Ohio's Emergency Preparedness Regions
- Providing targeted, time-limited support for COVID-19 vaccines
On-site clinics are convenient, accessible, and equitable.
- Mobilizes to vaccinate residential clusters of individuals 65 and older
- Coordinates on-site vaccine education and registration
- Eliminates the need to arrange transportation to an o˛-site location
- Provides screening for isolation and resources for wrap-around services
- Eases the demand on local vaccine providers by sharing the work
The R3AP builds on the successful work of Bridge Teams coordinated by the Departments of Health, Medicaid, and Aging, which have helped facilities respond to staffing issues, evacuations, supply shortages, and more throughout the pandemic. While the Bridge Team focuses on supporting staffing needs in nursing facilities and assisted living facilities, R3AP goes beyond to reach more older Ohioans in community-based settings.
The R3AP assembles teams of experts statewide. These experts use a multidisciplinary approach to monitor data and identify facilities in need of support. Team members will analyze the issues to understand challenges and identify solutions specific to the provider. The R3AP also works with local health teams to mobilize and deploy personnel to provide key services.
The R3AP is operated and managed by the Department of Aging. The National Guard is providing support for this program with a short-term work force while more sustainable resources are secured.