Nursing Home Quality Jobs Initiative advocates testify during hearing

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic in a nursing home, confined to her room with no visitation or organized activities, “was a nightmare,” Rose Marie Pardo recalled Tuesday.

But Pardo described the four certified nursing assistants who care for her at the Hancock Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Quincy as her “dream team.”

Pardo told the Legislature’s Health Care Financing Committee she contracted COVID-19, spending two weeks in a dedicated unit, and said her roommate “died a terrible death” from the virus. She said the CNAs “put their lives on the line” to care for their patients and “went through hell day after day.”

More:Your opinion: CNAs are heroes: It’s time to pay them a living wage

Rose Marie Pardo has lived at Hancock Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Quincy for nearly six years.

“These CNAs provided care, comforted our fears, listened to our needs, and they were there when no one else could be there,” she said. “I am grateful for my dream team every day, but especially now, after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time to recognize the commitment and dedication of the essential CNAs who work in our nursing homes.”

Speaking alongside Hancock Park administrator Adam Ernst, Pardo was one of a handful people to testify by video in support of bills dubbed the Nursing Home Quality Jobs Initiative, which were filed by Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. John Lawn, the committee’s House chair.

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