Dear Residents and Families,
Two months since we first began our fight with this terrible virus, we strongly believe we have weathered through the worst and can begin to look towards the future. As Massachusetts begins its phased approach to safely reopen the state, we too have moved away from crisis-mode and have started to make plans. While we remain strongly vigilant in our efforts to keep the virus contained, we eagerly await guidance from federal and state health experts on the timeline to ease restrictions and how to best protect our residents and staff. You will be hearing directly from leadership at your loved one’s residence about the first steps to allow residents to leave their rooms in early June. We would like to share with you the following updates from our team.
Nursing Homes Complete Baseline Testing and Receive Perfect Scores on State Infection Control Audits
As part of Massachusetts’ efforts to provide additional resources to nursing homes, the state has implemented an infection control checklist and auditing process and mandated testing of all residents and staff. In our last letter to you, we highlighted that state clinical surveyors had visited all four of our skilled nursing residences in Chelsea, Peabody, and Longmeadow and found no issues. We recently received our final report and are proud to announce that we received a perfect score of 28 points in each of our nursing homes, an accomplishment that less than a third of all nursing homes in Massachusetts achieved. We congratulate and thank all our staff for delivering high quality and compassionate care to all our residents. In another sign of how the industry and state look to us as leaders in infection control, our Chief Operating Officer, Betsy Mullen, and Vice President of Quality and Safety, Karen Petruccelli, were among the few selected to serve as infection control advisors to other nursing homes who failed their audits.
For baseline testing, we are pleased to report that we far exceeded the 90% testing requirement by the state for both residents and staff. We have previously shared with you how our strategy of testing much earlier and more frequently than other nursing homes was critical in protecting our residents and staff. We believe that ongoing surveillance testing will be an important component as we think about how to re-open our doors.
COVID-19 Status in our Residences
In response to your request for more information, we had been publishing daily reports on our website of the status of COVID-19 in our residences since May 1st. Thanks to the dedication and heroic efforts of our front-line staff, we are pleased to share that Leonard Florence Center for Living and all three Assisted Living Residences are COVID-free. There are also only 14 cases in total across the rest of our sites. We understand that this is only a point in time, and although we do not expect all our nursing homes to be COVID-free because we continue to participate in the state’s program to accept recovering patients into our isolation units, we are committed to preventing new infection in our residences.
We also celebrate the recovery of more than 244 residents across all sites, including 21 individuals who went home to their very grateful and relieved families. Each person we send home to loud cheers lifts the spirit of our staff and fellow residents. We look forward to doing this more in the coming weeks.
These celebrations, however, cannot take away the pain that we feel for every one of our beloved residents who have passed away because of COVID-19. Like many across the globe, our hearts are heavy with the loss of so many of our loved ones, and we share in the grief of their families. While we wanted to honor and celebrate the lives we lost together in person, we are now planning a virtual memorial event. We will share more details as soon as we can.
Thank You for Your Feedback
About two weeks ago, we invited all of you to complete a brief survey to let us know how we can continue to improve our communications and services. Thank you to the over 100 families who have shared their thoughts with us. We are in the process of reviewing all the responses and are already planning changes based on your feedback. We are eager to share these improvements with you in a future correspondence.
If you have not completed a survey, it is not too late. You can access it here.
For any questions or to share words of encouragement or support for our staff, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Berman, President
Barry Berman, CEO
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