Thursday 5/28/20

Thursday 5/28/20

Hello Everyone!

We wanted to let everyone know after completion of the client/resident Covid testing our facility remains Covid free! This is a huge accomplishment and we want to take the time to thank everyone within our organization for their contributions to making this happen. Thank you!

Next, under guidance by the state, we will continue surveillance monitoring and a portion of our client/resident population will be tested on an ongoing basis.

On Wednesday 5/27/20, a regional CMS surveyor from Boston entered our facility for a surprise infection control survey. She reviewed our screening process, infection policies and procedures and toured our potential Covid wing and processes in place. She was impressed by all of our efforts and we should hear more within 7-10 days.

With all of the recent donations, our PPE availability is in significantly stronger shape. Lauren will be obtaining more supplies from the ESU within the week. More updates to come regarding PPE!

I hope you all are enjoying the warmer weather and getting a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 5/22/20

Hello Everyone!

First and foremost, may all of you have a nice Memorial Day weekend. For those of you who are working, thank you for being here providing care to our clients and residents.

On Monday 5/18 all of our clients and residents were tested for Covid per state guidance. The specimens went to the state lab on Tuesday and were processed. We received word from the state that we should receive our results on Saturday, Sunday the very latest. We understand the amount of distress this may be causing our residents and staff as we wait. Please remember we do not have anyone symptomatic at this time. We have a plan in place to move resident/clients should they be Covid positive. We will continue to provide the same exemplary care we have always provided and will support our residents and staff any way needed. We are all in this together.

Some Staff Updates:

Please remember the entrance to the parking lot by the Hilton is a one way only. Please do not exit this entrance as it poses a safety issue.

Also, please remember you may clock in for your shift by the Hilton but please clock out on your unit. Thank you!

PPE Update:

We were fortunate enough to receive several donations of PPE by the ESU in the last week. The National Guard came by today twice to deliver 4,000 gowns and numerous cases of gloves in all sizes. We also received 500 surgical masks and 600 additional face shields. This places our facility in a favorable position to keep residents and staff safe.

We hope you have a terrific weekend!

Please stay safe.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Thursday 5/21/20

To: Long Term Care Eligible Employees

From: Steve Woods, Director of Long-Term Care Services

RE: Long Term Care Stabilization Program (LTCSP)

This memo is to provide you with an update on the LTCSP, which was established for eligible positions within Medicaid funded residential facilities. The State of New Hampshire put this program in place to provide financial support to frontline workers effective April 19, 2020.

Our submitted application has been approved and on May 15th we received the confirmation of eligible positions. Those employees that hold an approved position will receive a payment based on actual weekly hours worked onsite. Hours worked remotely, unpaid time, and use of Earned Time and Holiday Time do not count towards the LTCSP stipend calculation. Employees in the approved positions that work 30 or more hours will be eligible to receive $300 per week. Employees in the approved positions that work a minimum of 7.50 hours but less than 30.00 hours will be eligible to receive $150 per week. All payments will be retroactive to April 19, 2020.

Payments to eligible employees will be issued once we begin to receive the funds from New Hampshire Employment Security. Payments to Rockingham County are expected to be received within the next three weeks. The stipends will then be included in the regular biweekly payroll and is taxable income; it is not subject to New Hampshire Retirement withholding.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at 679.9337

Friday 5/15/20

Hello Everyone!

Below please see the letter sent to all residents and responsible parties this week. If you have any questions please see Steve or Tiffany for further clarification.

Dear Residents/Family Members/Responsible Parties,

I am writing to provide you an update about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).   We continue to follow all guidelines from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and continue to not be accepting visitors until further notice.  We understand that this continues to be a significant request but continue to feel it is necessary.    If you have any questions about this matter please call Cheri Clements, Social Services Director, (603) 679-9319.   Assisted Living specific questions should go to Kris Andreozzi, Assisted Living Director, at any time at (603) 679-9359.

We certainly appreciate the incredible understanding by all families. This is so difficult for everyone.     Staff are all wearing procedure masks at all times and encouraging all residents/clients to wear procedure masks when care is being conducted. We continue doing online Zoom, Facetime and Skype visits with families and having families coordinate visits outside the building to at least see their loved one through the glass. Please make sure the glass remains closed.  Also, please do not call the IPADS looking to Facetime. They are all clouded so your calls may be ringing in on someone else’s conversation time. If you missed a Facetime from us we will call you back.  Please coordinate all visits with Social Services.

We realize this is difficult for you and your loved one but in order to best protect during the visit as they remain the most vulnerable population with this virus.    We continue to allow families to bring care packages in.   We just ask that it be brought to and placed in the air lock at the entrances.   Then our staff will pick up the care package and see that it is delivered to your loved one. 

The state is working on testing all residents for Covid-19.  This could happen very quickly as they are seeking to test all facilities in the state and then do repeated random tests thereafter.  They will be using the oral swabs and not the nasal swabs and then the samples will get sent to the lab.  We have been very fortunate to have had no positive tests thus far amongst all of our residents and staff .  It truly emphasizes the hard work we all have done.

Our staff continue to do an amazing job.  We are continuing to do screenings on all employees that are coming in for every shift.  We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of health professionals.   We are working on plans every single day here to make sure we are staying abreast of the most current rules and regulations. 

For updated information please visit our Blog.   It is located at:

www.RockinghamCountyLTCnews.org

You will find information regarding Covid operations, PPE supplies, etc.

Thanks for your understanding of all of the inconveniences caused by this serious health concern.  I pray that you and your family stay safe.  Protecting your loved one continues to be our ultimate responsibility.

Updates:

Per new state guidelines, all residents/clients will be swabbed for Covid using the anterior nares swabbing method on Monday 5/18. The tests arrived today and we will start Monday morning. The samples will be sent to the state lab for processing. This will provide a baseline sample of our population and we will be testing a small percentage of residents/clients weekly after this baseline testing has been completed.

PPE update:

We acquired 15 gallons of sanitizer from Flag Hill Winery that we will continue to utilize for disinfecting wipes.

We received a large batch of PPE from the ESU which included: 20 cases of gloves, 500 surgical masks, 100 pairs of goggles, 100 face shields and 1000 disposable gowns. In addition, we have also ordered more reusable gowns and 3 new infrared thermometers.

On B2-B and F2 you will see some changes to the plastic that was placed weeks ago. This plastic will allow for better cleaning protocols and be easier for logistic purposes. Thank you to Paul Allen and his team for facilitating this quickly!

At this time we remain Covid free and thank you all for your efforts to maintain this status!

Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 5/8/20

Hello Everyone! Happy Friday!

As of today we remain Covid free. As this pandemic continues we need to remain diligent to follow all infection control practices and procedures. Thank you all for your continued hard work and commitment to protect the residents/clients we serve.

Next week we will be having a dress down week. Please take the opportunity to participate and have a little fun with this! The daily colors are:

Sun – Pink

Monday – Blue

Tuesday – Red

Wed – Green

Thurs – Orange

Fri – Multicolor/tie dye (be creative)

Sat – Purple

Please remember that if you wish to be tested for Covid there are testing sites and testing available to you. We are strongly encouraging staff to be tested, there are several test sites available to you. Please see www.NH.gov for further testing information.

PPE Update:

We received an additional 500 disposable gowns from the state emergency supply. While we are still in need of disposable gowns, this will certainly help replenish our current supply. In addition, we are utilizing our reusable gowns to help protect our current disposable gown supply.

We were pleased to have such positive coverage of RCRNC on WMUR last evening and this morning. The story reflected all of the hard work we are all doing to keep our facility Covid free.

Happy Nurses Week to all of the amazing nursing staff. This is a challenging time for the nursing profession, thank you for all that you do during this global pandemic.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of those celebrating this weekend!

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Tuesday 5/5/20

Hello Everyone and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

As of today we do not have any Covid + staff or residents/clients. This is a true testament to all of your hard work! Please remember it is imperative that you clean your hands with the sanitizer prior to entering the Hilton for screening and before you take your mask for the day. This helps reduce the spread of infection and keep our facility safe and Covid free.

We are looking for 6-8 staff members to join our “Clean Hands Count” initiative which coincides with the CDC initiative. We will meet regularly, if interested please submit your name to Lauren Kosow by Friday the latest. We are hoping to meet starting the week of May 18th.

As of May 1st we aligned with a new rehab vendor. Much of our existing rehab team has joined the HealthPro team. Please if you see new members of our HealthPro Heritage team take the time to introduce yourself and say hello!

Last week our two universal workers started and have helped with the residents and with our screening process. In the next couple of days you will see that the screening process is becoming more streamlined in an effort to make the overall process easier for check-in. If you have any suggestions we would love to hear from you!

PPE Update

We are carefully monitoring our gown usage as this continues to have a high burn factor. We have started to utilize our reusable gowns. Thank you to Bill Connolly and his team for customizing the gowns for easier donning and doffing. We have over 70,000 surgical masks and over 200+ N95s which we are conducting fit testing for our staff members. Thank you Kristen Babicki for coming at 3 am to fit test the off-shift staff members. We continue to look for gowns and gloves as these have a higher burn rate. We are looking for baby monitors for our quarantine unit, if you have one we could use we would appreciate it. This monitor will further help our continuous monitoring efforts.

Happy Nurse’s Week to all of you! We can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work and contributions to our organization.

“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”

-Florence Nightingale

Sincerely, Steve and Tiffany

Thursday 4/30/20

Long Term Care Stabilization Program (LTCSP)

You may have heard about the recently established Stabilization Program for eligible positions within Medicaid funded residential facilities.  The State of New Hampshire put this program in place to provide financial support to frontline workers effective April 19, 2020.

Chuck Nickerson, Director of Finance, Alison Kivikoski, Director of Human Resources and I have been working together to complete the necessary documentation to submit to the New Hampshire Employment Security office who is overseeing the administration of this program.

We are pleased to announce today that the required documentation has been submitted.  We are now awaiting approval and confirmation of the positions that will be eligible.  Those employees that hold an approved position will receive a payment based on actual weekly hours worked (excludes = ET, HOL, EPSL, unpaid work time). 

Employees in the approved positions that work 30 or more hours will be eligible to receive $300 per week.  Employees in the approved positions that work a minimum of 7.50 hours but less than 30.00 hours will be eligible to receive $150 per week.

Payments to eligible employees will be issued once approval has been confirmed and we begin to receive the applicable funds through New Hampshire Employment Security.  The stipends will be included in the regular biweekly payroll and is taxable income; it is not subject to New Hampshire Retirement withholding.

This program shall end as soon as additional payments can be made through the State’s Medicaid program, or if Medicaid funds are not available, the Program shall end on June 30, 2020.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at 679.9337.

Chuck Nickerson, Alison Kivikoski, Steve Woods

Monday 4/28/20

Hello Everyone!

We remain Covid free as of this afternoon for both residents/clients and staff. We can not thank you enough for your ongoing attention to following all infection control procedures and protocols keeping our residents/ clients and staff safe.

PPE Update:

We received a PPE delivery from the state emergency fund. It consisted of 50 face shields, 480 N95s, 200 XL Tyvec coveralls, 100 surgical masks, and 4 boxes of large gloves. In addition we purchased 10,000 surgical masks which we received today. We do have a need for PDI wipes and disposable gowns. Today, we have placed the reusable gowns in rotation as we have found we are burning through the disposables at a steady rate.

This week we have 2 Universal Workers starting with more to orient in the future. This will allow direct care staff to focus their time on licensed tasks leaving the Universal Workers to help with the additional needs such as; video visits, deliveries, mail distribution, laundry and delivering meal trays. We are very excited to have this valuable resource available to us. If you see Chloe and Diane please introduce yourself and make them feel welcomed to our team.

We also have a new weekend supervisor starting this week, Casey who comes with not only long-term care but acute care experience, as well. In addition, we have a brand new LPN, Alison, joining our team too. Please make sure to say hello to them as well!

A big thank you to Melissa Falls, LNA who is also a hair stylist who will be providing services to our residents/ clients during this chaotic time. While the details are still being worked out we thank Melissa for offering her talents in providing our residents/clients with emergency hair care during this time.

As always we thank you for your continued hard work and commitment to our residents/clients here at RCRNC and Ernest P Barka Assisted Living!

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany

Friday 4/24/20

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick update for the weekend.

We continue to be Covid free, both staff and residents/clients. This is a great testament of all of the hard work everyone continues to do here at RCRNC. If you have any questions regarding Covid please see the website listed below for a listing of frequently asked questions.

https://www.nh.gov/covid19/faqsdegreesofseparation

We continue to ask for MDI spacers, if anyone has one they would like to donate to the facility please let us know. This would help alleviate some nebulized treatments and reduce the risks associated with aerosolizing therapies and the risks with Covid. Please drop off any spacers to Donna Roe. Thank you Donna for coordinating this effort.

Today Mariyn Schreiber and the rest of the RCRNC team thanked the Glendale staff for all of their hard wok with thank you bags filled with treats and small tokens of appreciation. Thank you Marilyn for facilitating this amazing project!

Plaistow Pizza Company has reached out to our facility and will be delivering to the evening shift tonight! A big thank you to Plaistow Pizza Company for your thoughtfulness during this chaotic time.

Thank you all for your continued hard work and efforts during these challenging times. We appreciate everything you do to keep our staff and residents/clients safe at this time.

Have a great weekend!

Steve and Tiffany

Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success!

Thursday 4/23/20

Hello Everyone!

We are happy to report that as of today we still do not have any Covid + staff or residents/clients. Approximately 100 long-term care employees were tested on Sunday and Monday. We are hoping for additional testing times to become available and will alert staff as soon as we hear.

Thank you to BeanTowne Coffee House located in Hampstead for delivering approximately 100 meals to our staff as a token of thanks for the incredible work being done by the front line staff here.

Lauren has developed an informative video regarding mask use, please click on the link below or look on the media tab within this blog to view it. Lauren has also developed a do’s and don’ts regarding proper mask wear and storage. There are flyers available at the nursing office and we will post it here as well. Great job Lauren!

PPE Mask Use

Kathi Hayes has come up with a great idea to give back to our community through a food drive as many people are out of work and may be having difficulties feeding their families. Over the next week please consider donating food items, boxes are located in the Hilton auditorium.

PPE Update

We continue to utilize our surgical masks at a record pace. Please be mindful of proper PPE usage as we want to ensure we have enough PPE as this pandemic continues. Currently we have over 7000 procedure masks, over 1000 N95s, 200 pairs of goggles and over 200 face shields. Thank you Stacy Lane and Kim Gauthier for calling local distributors for PPE donations. Gloves continue to be ordered as available and we have a large amount available.

Thank you all for your continued efforts and keeping positive despite the stressors we are all facing daily with this Covid pandemic. We will get through these challenging times together.

Sincerely,

Steve and Tiffany