NAHCA Response to CNN Investigation

For immediate release

Contact: Jeff Wellman (417)623-6049 2/23/2017

The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is saddened and sickened by the CNN investigative report on sexual assault in this nation’s nursing homes. As an organization promoting on- going education and a CNA Code of Ethics, NAHCA is resolute in the fight against resident abuse of any form. NAHCA supports the Elder Justice Act and the maximum punishment for those committing any form of abuse and those failing to act on resident complaints of abuse.

Lori Porter, NAHCA CEO, states “As an organization, NAHCA is taking immediate action to provide additional CNA education on identifying and reporting signs of sexual abuse. Additionally, we work to empower CNAs to feel confident in their role as resident advocate and to immediately report to administration and authorities any resident complaints or suspected signs of abuse without fear or retaliation.”

orter continues, “Let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of hard working, professional, quality CNAs who have dedicated their lives to serving the frail and elderly—and do so lovingly and with respect and compassion. NAHCA has always been committed to developing a high quality, professional CNA workforce. The role of CNA is an extremely important one, and the paycheck does not match the responsibilities.”

n conclusion, the words of the judge sentencing a male CNA who had confessed to sexual assault of an 83-year-old female resident, as reported by Ellis and Hicken in the CNN investigative report, validate how extremely crucial CNAs are in America:

"You violated (a) position of authority, a position of trust," Judge Elizabeth Cutter said at the sentencing hearing. "The ramifications of what you did are so far-reaching. ... It also affected everyone in that facility. Everyone who stays in that facility. Everyone who works at that facility. It affects everyone who has to place a loved one in a facility." (Ellis & Hicken, 2017)

AHCA has a membership of more than 26,000 caregivers, representing over 500 nursing homes in 29 states and the District of Columbia. It provides recognition for outstanding achievements, development training for caregivers, mentoring programs to reduce CNA turnover, and advocacy for issues important to long term care and caregivers.

References

Ellis, B., & Hicken, M. (2017). Sick, dying and raped in America’s nursing homes. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/health/nursing-home-sex-abuse-investigation/