The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) on March 24 unveiled its COVID-19 Honors program for long term care staff to recognize those employees in long term care facilities who have demonstrated strength and courage in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

AHCA/NCAL said any facility wishing to honor its staff can participate. There are three categories, which include:

1. Individuals who work in a long term care facility where there was a COVID outbreak
2. COVID survivors

3. Staff members who passed away from COVID

Honorees can receive the following:

• Pin and Letter of Recognition: Individuals who work in a long term care facility where there was a COVID outbreak

• Medal and Letter of Recognition: COVID survivors

• Medal and U.S. Flag Flown over the U.S. Capitol: Families of staff members who passed away from COVID

The association said when a facility purchases materials, they will also receive a communications packet, including:

• Ceremony guide

• Media advisory template announcing the ceremony

• Press release template (post-ceremony)

• Template letters to staff and family of staff who passed away

Honors materials are distributed on a rolling basis, so there is no deadline to purchase, AHCA/NCAL said. Facilities can order and purchase merchandise through the AHCA/NCAL bookstore. Items ship in mid-April, and merchandise is priced at AHCA/NCAL’s cost, the association said.