(STL.News) – Governor Tom Wolf announced that nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 hospitals across the commonwealth through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program, or HELP, which provides short-term financial relief as hospitals combat the surge of COVID-19 cases in their area.
“As Pennsylvania continues to practice social distancing, we have successfully flattened the curve, but we know that our fight against COVID-19 is far from over,” said Gov. Wolf. “This funding will allow our hospitals to hold steady in that fight with the peace of mind that they have access to the resources they need to provide critical care to their communities.”
A list of approved hospitals can be found here.
The loan package was made available to the commonwealth’s hospitals to provide immediate financial support for working capital to ensure that these facilities have sufficient personnel, equipment, and personal protective equipment.
The funding was dispersed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and is being administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) through the Pennsylvania First Program (PA First).
“Our number one priority is protecting the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians, and that priority extends from the home to the hospitals,” Governor Wolf said. “By distributing this emergency funding to our commonwealth’s health care system, we are safeguarding our hospitals working hard to combat this virus.”
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, with the goal of easing the financial strain of the pandemic and smoothing the transition back into regular health care operation.
Pennsylvania health care facilities licensed as hospitals by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under the Health Care Facilities Act of 1979 that are eligible to receive federal grant funding through the CARES Act are eligible for HELP.