Nursing and Rehabilitation:
Member Spotlight: Alton Memorial Rehabilitation and Therapy
From the Desk of Karen Messer, President and CEO
LeadingAge National member CEOs and executive directors who are new to their roles are invited to register for LeadingAge’s new virtual Fellowship Program. The curriculum will guide a small cohort of participants through a transformative experience that is designed to enhance leadership confidence and effectiveness through deep thinking, introspection, and the collective power of a peer network. I encourage those new to the role of CEO or executive director learn more and sign up.
Today’s updates include:
- Update on CDC Travel Guidance
- Clarification from CDC on Residents’ Mitigation Measures
- State Receives $124 Million from Federal Government to Expand COVID-19 Vaccinations
Update on CDC Travel Guidance:
The CDC has released new travel guidance:
Fully Vaccinated Individuals:
Those who are at least two weeks past the final dose in their vaccine series are considered fully vaccinated and can safely travel within the US while continuing to practice mitigation measures including masking, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and practicing hand hygiene. Fully vaccinated healthcare personnel do not need to be restricted from work. Fully vaccinated residents do not need to quarantine upon return to the nursing home.
Those who received the final dose in their vaccine series less than two weeks ago, who have received only one shot in a 2-shot series, or have received no vaccination at all must all follow the guidance for unvaccinated individuals. This means getting a viral test 1-3 days prior to traveling, another viral test 3-5 days after returning from travel, and self-quarantining for 7 days after returning from travel.
The CDC recommends that unvaccinated individuals avoid being around people who are at increased risk for serious illness for 14 days after travel. This would mean that healthcare personnel in our settings would be restricted from work for 14 days, even if they are only quarantining in the community for seven days. (E.g. you can go to the grocery store after Day seven but cannot return to work until after Day 14).
The CDC recommends that unvaccinated residents quarantine for 14 days following readmission (returning to the nursing home when being out for more than 24 hours).
Everyone must follow state guidelines. The CDC has created this search tool, also linked in the travel guidance, to help identify specific state guidance.
Clarification from CDC on Residents’ Mitigation Measures:
On a recent small call with LeadingAge National and the CDC, the CDC provided clarification on what mitigation measures fully vaccinated residents should be practicing. In the long-term care setting, fully vaccinated residents should continue to follow CDC guidance for healthcare settings to practice universal source control, meaning masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, etc. When a fully vaccinated resident leaves the nursing home for a social excursion, such as going out to visit family, residents should follow CDC’s interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. That means that a fully vaccinated resident can visit with her fully-vaccinated son and his family in his home in the community and will not need to wear a mask or social distance during the visit.
State Receives $124 Million from Federal Government to Expand COVID-19 Vaccination:
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued an alert today indicating the State has received $124 million from federal government to expand COVID-19 vaccinations. Click here to read the release.
Partners in Quality Virtual Visit Held with Veteran Legislator
This morning, we held our 28th Partners in Quality Virtual Visit of 2021. State Representative Dan Brady (R-105th District; Normal), deputy minority leader, was walked through the experiences of Fairview Haven in Fairbury, a community he has annually visited as a part of the Partners in Quality campaign.
Dave Blunier, administrator, Brandon Stoller, director of nursing, and Lila Fehr, director of senior services each described how the community responded to COVID-19 to safeguard residents and staff. The trio explained their experiences with PPE, vaccinations and other situations, which included a great working relationship with their local health department. The visit was summarized with asking the representative for his support of our funding ask of the Illinois General Assembly for recovery dollars for providers.
“Thank you for all you do and to all of your staff for what they do,” said Rep. Brady. “What your folks went through and what you did to step up, there is not enough thanks to be given to you for what you did. I look forward to getting back there and visiting. You do an outstanding job.”
If you would like to hold a virtual visit with your legislators to tell you story and urge support for the aging services industry, contact Jason Speaks.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) recently released their Supportive Living rates, effective April 1. Click here to view.
Nursing and Rehabilitation:
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) released Medicaid rates, effective April 1. Click here to view.
Member Spotlight: Alton Memorial Rehabilitation and Therapy
Alton Memorial Rehabilitation & Therapy (the former Eunice C. Smith Home) was built in 1966, and has been serving seniors and their families in Alton and the River Bend area for 55 years. The community is located on the campus of Alton Memorial Hospital, on a tract of land donated by Miss Eunice Smith and her family.
The community offers short-term skilled rehabilitation, including respiratory services and long-term care. The majority of their patients arrive after begin discharged from Alton Memorial Hospital and surrounding area hospitals, with a goal of returning to the safety and comfort of their own homes. The community has received local, state, and national recognition for the quality care and services provided.
Mark Jeffries, vice president and administrator, leads the community and has long been a leader in the membership of LeadingAge Illinois. “My career in long-term care administration began 20 years ago, after taking care of my grandmother at home until her death at 93 years of age,” said Mark. “I realized that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their families by making sure that they received the highest quality care possible. It has been more meaningful that I ever could have imagined.”
The LeadingAge Illinois Partners in Quality program has annually made a stop in Alton with Mark educating his legislators on what quality care in aging services looks like. With in-person visits not possible at this time, Mark recently educated his new State Representative Amy Elik (R-111th District; Alton) on his community and industry issues in a virtual visit.
Mark, like his colleagues, endured the toughest year in industry history alongside his staff and residents. Now, staff and residents have been offered vaccinations and the community continues to ensure staff and residents are safe. He is proud to work for his community and BJC Healthcare and Bethesda Health Group. Mark also stats that he is a proud member of LeadingAge Illinois and LeadingAge National. “There is no comparison to the level of quality, services, and support that these organizations have provided our homes,” said Mark.
He is also a veteran. “I support organizations that honor the service of our heroes, such as participation in the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight. In addition to supporting the Veteran residents asked to participate in this initiative, Bethesda honors all Veterans who pass at the facility with a very special and touching ‘Veteran’s Escort’ ceremony,” explained Mark.
Bethesda’s vision is to foster successful aging through compassion and innovation. That vision is how Mark has always viewed his place in the industry. “As industry leaders, we need to continually to adapt to the ever-changing long-term care environment, while continuing to provide our patients and residents with the quality care and services they need to live their lives comfortably,” said Mark. “For the short term, there’s no question that the pandemic has added many challenges to this effort, but I’m very proud of what all of us in this field have been able to accomplish. I think we’ve all learned a lot, I certainly have, and I truly believe that our abilities to serve our residents and patients will continue to progress.”
Over 125 of Your Colleagues Have Already Signed Up
On Thursday, April 8, LeadingAge National will host a live webinar to address life safety and emergency preparedness compliance after 1135 waivers end. More than 125 nursing home and hospice members have already registered to attend the training that will review how to prepare for a return to pre-pandemic operations. If you could use a review of survey citation trends or help documenting your organization’s response to COVID-19, join us for an hour that will end up saving you many more. Learn more and register today.