May 20, 2020By Angela Hoenig

CARES Act Provides Immediate Funding Opportunities for Healthcare Simulation

Healthcare Simulation Programs in the United States can immediately apply for funds from the CARES Act to support their educational, training, and patient safety initiatives during the COVID-19 global pandemic. CARES stands for “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” and it will provide more than $2 trillion in economic relief including medical education and training equipment and learning tools. Today, Angela Hoenig from Nasco Healthcare and Simulaids writes in to share more about these time-sensitive opportunities for financial support from the federal government!

What is the CARES Act and How Can It Help Medical Simulation?

Angela shares “With the Institution of Higher Education closed and classes going virtual, clinical educators have been tasked with creating an environment of learning that has not been proven. As we all sit in our homes, tele-educating, tele-working, and tele-learning, our fellow healthcare professionals are in hospitals understaffed in mandatory PPE.

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The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is available to IHEs to prevent, prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to “Institutions of Higher Education” IHEs.  A total of 90 percent of available funds will be disbursed to IHEs using the preexisting Title IV distribution system. In addition, 7.5 percent of the funds are reserved for minority- serving IHEs. The remaining 2.5 percent is reserved for grants for small IHEs that have the greatest needs due to COVID-19. IHEs may also invest in distance learning technology and the associated costs for implementing new technologies.

The CARES Act provides 30 billion dollars to both K-12 and Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), with 50% of that funding being mandated for students affected by institutional shutdown. Other support areas include:

  • Healthcare workforce education and training equipment
  • Hospital employee training to reduce COVID-19 exposure
  • Distance learning for medical students, faculty and staff training
  • Transition to virtual instructional delivery
  • Reimbursement of COVID-19 related expense including educational technology

Here is the shortest breakdown relevant to the clinical simulation community:

  • ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) 14 Billion
  • GEER (Governor’s Educational Emergency Relief Fund) 2.9 Billion: Available to both Elementary and IHE on a needs-based analysis
  • HEER (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund) 12.6 Billion: Funds available based in Institutional portion, minority schools, and post-secondary education.

For a complete list of the opportunities available to simulation in healthcare programs, Angela provided the opportunity to download this helpful folder of the CARES Act breakdown with notes on each funding sub-category and key funding provisions for Institutions of Higher Education!

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In all cases, after the mandated funds are allocated, the remaining granted funds need to be applied for by September 30, 2020. After reading many articles and doing hours of research IHEs may invest in distance learning technology and the associated costs for implementing new technologies. In this case you will want to look for the HEER FIPSE grant, which projects about $15M dollars will be available.

For the EMS side of patient care, grants are available through FEMA. $100M will be made available with Emergency Management Performance Grant Program (that does not state the exclusion of medical simulator equipment).”

Learn More About the CARES Act From NASCO Healthcare!

Editor’s Note: You can also check out the helpful CARES Act resources from CAE Healthcare, from VirtaMed and this helpful CARES Act post from Pocket Nurse!

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