Coronavirus Commission


CNAs Represented on Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

CARL JUNCTION, MO – The National Association of Health Care Assistants, NAHCA, an organization with over 20,000 members working as CNAs primarily in the nation’s nursing homes and long term care facilities, issued the following statement after MITRE released the appointed members of the newly- formed Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes.

Lori Porter - NAHCA Co-Founder, CEONAHCA’s Chief Clinical Officer Lisa Sweet states, “We are so very pleased that CNAs will have a seat at the table represented by Lori Porter, NAHCA CEO. We are grateful that MITRE saw the importance of CNAs having a voice and role in developing practices to safeguard the health and quality of life of vulnerable Americans, as well as prepare for future threats to nursing home residents’ safety and to public health. Ms. Porter will represent CNAs on this diverse team and will contribute to the formation of practices to protect the health and safety of CNAs and residents.”

With decades of experience from nursing assistant to operating nursing homes, Porter will deliver a great deal of knowledge and perspective to the Commission. “I hear from CNAs daily, citing their fears and struggles to safely care for the residents while protecting themselves and others. Safe and quality care is difficult enough to deliver under normal circumstances in nursing homes. COVID-19 has taken the challenges to a whole new level,” Porter says. “Many homes are still working without enough personal protective equipment and other resources. I am hopeful the work product and recommendations created by this Commission will help enable rapid and effective identification and mitigation of transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in nursing homes. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this distinguished group on such a critical issue.”

Lisa Shepherd, CNA from East Dubuque, Illinois, Chairwoman of the NAHCA Board of Directors, states “This is a great day for CNAs to be recognized for their importance and contributions and given a seat at the table. The NAHCA Board and membership has been working toward this professional acknowledgement for years and we are so grateful to be represented! We hope this is only the beginning of CNAs being included in the solutions.”

The independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes members include resident advocates, infectious disease experts, directors and administrators of nursing homes, academicians, state authorities, clinicians, a medical ethicist, and a nursing home resident.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the formation of the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes on May 14. MITRE, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is standing up the commission and facilitating its activities and will independently author and deliver a report on the Commission’s findings and recommendations to CMS on September 1.

Learn more about the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes at


The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is a professional association of and for Certified Nursing Assistants and represents more than 20,000 CNA members across the country. NAHCA elevates the professional standing and performance of caregivers through recognition, advocacy, education and empowerment to maximize success and quality care. For more information about NAHCA, please visit their website at