Bill honoring late Mercy Medical doctor would provide pay for frontline workers

New legislation honoring one of Baltimore’s frontline health care workers would provide “Hero Pay” for those putting themselves in harm’s way to care for those who are sick.|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||The community at Mercy Medical Center was dealt a terrible blow […]

New legislation honoring one of Baltimore’s frontline health care workers would provide “Hero Pay” for those putting themselves in harm’s way to care for those who are sick.|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||The community at Mercy Medical Center was dealt a terrible blow this summer, when the head of their critical care unit, Dr. Joseph Costa, died from the coronavirus. Now they hope his legacy lives on to help other health care workers through this bill.“This is just an extraordinary honor to have this bill named after him,” said David Hart.Costa lost his battle with the coronavirus in July after caring for those sick with the disease. Now, U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., is introducing a new federal bill named in his honor.“Hospital workers, including doctors, nurses, specialist and non-medical staff such as custodians who work in close proximity to COVID-19 patients will receive an additional $225 a month. The same amount American troops deployed in combat zones Iraq and Afghanistan receive,” Ruppersberger said.The Dr. Joseph Costa Honoring Essential Americans Risking Their Safety or HEARTS Act would be retroactive to March 2020. It would apply to areas designated as hot spots by federal criteria. There are also benefits for those working in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Critical care nurse Denny Marshall hopes it passes.“It’s also recognition for what it is we do for caring for the patients for helping the patients to get better,” Marshall said.Ruppersberger says the bill has bipartisan support in the House but might get caught up in the Senate. He’s working to get more Republicans on board.“If you’re an American, if you care about people, if you care about people that are helping other people — what’s a better way to do it than what we’re trying to do right now,” the congressman said.The health care workers at the press conference Thursday say you can help them by wearing masks and social distancing.

New legislation honoring one of Baltimore’s frontline health care workers would provide “Hero Pay” for those putting themselves in harm’s way to care for those who are sick.

|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||

The community at Mercy Medical Center was dealt a terrible blow this summer, when the head of their critical care unit, Dr. Joseph Costa, died from the coronavirus. Now they hope his legacy lives on to help other health care workers through this bill.

“This is just an extraordinary honor to have this bill named after him,” said David Hart.

Costa lost his battle with the coronavirus in July after caring for those sick with the disease. Now, U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., is introducing a new federal bill named in his honor.

“Hospital workers, including doctors, nurses, specialist and non-medical staff such as custodians who work in close proximity to COVID-19 patients will receive an additional $225 a month. The same amount American troops deployed in combat zones Iraq and Afghanistan receive,” Ruppersberger said.

The Dr. Joseph Costa Honoring Essential Americans Risking Their Safety or HEARTS Act would be retroactive to March 2020. It would apply to areas designated as hot spots by federal criteria. There are also benefits for those working in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Critical care nurse Denny Marshall hopes it passes.

“It’s also recognition for what it is we do for caring for the patients for helping the patients to get better,” Marshall said.

Ruppersberger says the bill has bipartisan support in the House but might get caught up in the Senate. He’s working to get more Republicans on board.

“If you’re an American, if you care about people, if you care about people that are helping other people — what’s a better way to do it than what we’re trying to do right now,” the congressman said.

The health care workers at the press conference Thursday say you can help them by wearing masks and social distancing.

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