November is National Gratitude Month and at JEA Senior Living, we have an incredible amount of gratitude for our amazing Team Members. 2020 has brought with it so many challenges and so much change, yet our Team Members have shown outstanding compassion, patience, flexibility, grit, and determination in the face of it all.
Starting back in January with our development of enhanced infection prevention protocols, our Health Services Teams prepared for the advent of COVID-19 to ensure our resident’s health and safety. Since the rollout of these protocols, our community teams have been continually implementing and updating these measures as needed per CDC and W.H.O. guidelines under the direction of our VP of Nursing Services, Kathleen Price. It is by Kathleen’s leadership and foresight that our policies were developed to exceed CDC recommendations, in order to create the safest possible environment for our residents and team members.
Our many policies have included the most precautionary measures, such as:
- Screening all employees upon arrival to work each day.
- Restricting non-essential visitors to the community.
- If employees exhibit any form of illness such as fever, chills, aches, we want them to please stay home and notify their supervisor or Administrator immediately.
- If employees work at another location that has a confirmed case of COVID-19, or an employee has been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 from someone outside the community, they are to report that immediately to their Supervisor or Administrator.
- If employees show any symptoms (fever, aches, chills) while at work, we will send them home.
- If employees do show symptoms, we are asking employees to stay away from work for at least 72 hours after the employee is fever-free. We may extend that time up to 14 days if needed.
- We may request additional information from a physician regarding absences or may require a release back to work from a physician.
As many states are beginning a phased approach to reopen, we would like to note that healthcare communities like ours are not scheduled to lift restrictions until the final phase. In order to maintain compliance and ensure the safety of our residents and team members, we are keeping all of our existing policies in place at this time.
But adherence to these policies would be impossible without vital resources like CDC-approved masks and face shields, gloves, gowns, and more. It is thanks to our incredible home-office logistics team that our communities have been supplied with ample resources to provide the very best resident care while completing their jobs safely.
Keeping everyone safe and rolling with the punches, our Home Office Logistics Team has done an amazing job going above and beyond the call of duty. In addition to their typical roles and functions, Teri Bush, Minyonn Nakata, and Trudi Kinsman have been ordering, processing, and sending out vital Personal Protective Equipment to all of our community teams.
From here, our Team Members took it a step further, participating in marketing campaigns to encourage increased mask use outside of our communities. By joining part in the Healthcare Heroes pledge and #iwearmymask, JEA Team Members stepped up in a huge way to show their compassion for keeping their residents safe from COVID-19.
By participating in these programs and marketing campaigns, our Team Members truly created a culture of safety which allowed for our communities to maintain a strong response and proactive approach to keeping COVID-19 out of our communities. In addition to our enhanced infection prevention controls, safety culture created by our Team Member engagement initiatives, we are also fortunate that the majority of our memory care settings are in a secured setting. The building layout is optimized to help us control ingress/egress for residents who may be prone to wandering. These same features also allow us to create even more advanced safety controls in our infection prevention measures.
Chris Belford, CEO of JEA Senior Living, had this to share about our amazing Team Members, “As we continue through this season of COVID, the seismic shifts that have taken place throughout our industry have affected us all. It is through working together, supporting each other, and leveraging the knowledge and abilities of all JEA team members that we will best serve our residents. I will also honor the work you do for our residents and will commit to doing everything in my power to ensure you have a rewarding and successful career at JEA”.