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COVID-19 Policy Alliance

Essential Workers

Mobilizing, Recruiting, and Protecting Essential Workers

Shortages of staff, volunteers, ppe, and testing have been hindering the ability of long term care facilities to keep up with the challenges created due to the pandemic.  

From data analytics tools to implementation strategies our team of experts have been working with nursing home association leads and operators with the tools they need to operationalize efforts to support their residents and workforce. 



An example of the efforts are outlined below  


Profs. Kate Kellogg, Tom Kochan, Paul Osterman, and Mike Piore have been leading a team of students and colleagues that are helping the Massachusetts Senior Care Association (MSCA), the organization that represents 400+ of the state’s nursing homes.  Almost half of the COVID-19 deaths in Massachusetts have occurred in long-term care facilities.


This effort has led to a partnership with in Massachusetts to urgently match essential workers to open roles. has created a special portal to help Massachusetts nursing homes sign up potential employees and is utilizing its own resources to help mobilize new workers.  

To learn more about Monster’s From Home to Help Senior Care initiative and to view and apply to jobs, please visit


In partnership with the Broad Institute, the Alliance and MSCA created a program to increase COVID-19 testing of nursing home residents.  The Alliance was able to secure initial funding for the effort from Schmidt Futures.  The Alliance sees this type of surveillance as mission critical for moving from broad social distancing to targeted social distancing. 


The Alliance has also been instrumental in getting personal protective equipment (PPE) to nursing homes, by building on connections in China.  Profs. Valerie Karplus and Yasheng Huang have led this effort. “Our incredible team has worked hard to connect the dots and get nursing homes the equipment they desperately need,” Karplus said.


In one instance, Kellogg’s team turned around an order within 36 hours, resulting in 75 facilities ordering desperately-needed PPE.  Professor Kate Kellogg said, “I’ve always believed that MIT’s true uniqueness comes from the fact that collaboration is imprinted in its DNA. This vital effort between MIT professors and students, MSCA, and MA nursing facilities is just another testament to that.” 


The Alliance is continuing to work on all these efforts while working on additional ways to ensure that nursing homes and other facilities have the information, trained staff, equipment and money they need to protect their residents and the general public.

Please contact us to learn how our playbook of data tools and implementation strategies can serve your state/organization.


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