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

Friday 4/17/20

Hello Everyone!

As of today, we still do not have any staff or residents/clients with Covid. We remain diligent in following all infection control policies and procedures as advised by the CDC and CMS.

All nursing home and ALF staff are able obtain Covid testing. We appreciate Governor Sununu’s forethought in seeing the seriousness in long-term care and making this testing available to all nursing home, assisted living and independent living facilities in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties. The Governor’s office did contract with Convenient MD to provide this testing. At this time we have two designated times (Sunday 4/19/20 at 0930-1030 and Monday 4/20/20 1300-1430). We do see the problem this created for our shift workers and have calls in to DHHS and the Governor’s office to facilitate additional and more convenient testing times. Please e-mail Meghan Welsh at mwelsh@co.rockingham.nh.us to be added to the current testing spreadsheet. Thank you Meghan for being available over the weekend to facilitate this for our staff. Testing will be at Riverwoods, 5 White Oak Drive in Exeter, NH. Please make sure to bring your Rockingham County ID.

We did receive approval from the Commissioners that long-term care employees will be eligible to carry over up to 40 hours of minimum usage earned time until January 30, 2021.

PPE Update:

We continue to closely monitor our PPE inventory. We received 100 more cloth masks from Exeter hospital, thank you Lauren for picking these up. We received 1000 surgical masks and 20 N95s from our generous community. We have 2000 more surgical masks being delivered by So Clean this weekend from Peterborough. Also, we were able to obtain several cases of surgical masks which should be delivered to us on Monday 4/20/20 and Friday 4/24/20.

Lastly, we are working on the logistics of the state sponsored 300 dollar (150 dollar part-time employee) stipend. We are advocating this be available to all long-term care employees. More information to follow.

Everyone stay healthy and safe. We thank you for all of your continued hard work and commitment to caring for our residents/clients. This is a true team effort and we can’t thank you enough.

Have a great weekend!

Steve and Tiffany

Tuesday 4/14/20

Hello Everyone!

We currently do not have any Covid positive staff, residents or clients here at RCRNC and Ernest P. Barka assisted living which is phenomenal and a testament to everyone’s hard work. We need to stay focused with all of our infection control practices.

Please remember that we need to ensure that all residents/clients have their temperature recorded each shift. This is essential for keeping everyone safe and implementing early interventions in case someone was ill.

PPE Update

On Saturday, So Clean from Peterborough, N.H. dropped off 2000 surgical masks and 200 K95 masks. We obtained 100 cloth masks from Jo-Ann fabrics in Hooksett. It is imperative that we have the cloth masks returned at the end of each shift to ensure there is enough for everyone. We will need to start having the residents/clients wear cloth masks, as well, to best protect everyone. We are working diligently to secure more cloth masks from our community.

The policy and procedure manual for Covid is updated. Please see the nursing supervisor office for this important information. Thank you to everyone for your continued hard work and focus during this challenging time.

Steve and Tiffany

Welcome

Welcome to the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Ernest P. Barka Assisted Living news blog. Here you will find frequent operational updates and at this time a large focus on the COVID-19 crisis.

Currently, we have no COVID-19 cases among staff and residents. We remain committed to practicing under the suggested CDC and CMS guidelines to provide a safe working environment for our staff and safe home for our residents and clients that we serve daily.

Today we received 95 more cloth masks for circulation from Jo-Ann’s Fabrics in Newington. Please remember to return your soiled mask at the end of your shift for laundering so we have enough masks to keep all staff members safe during this pandemic. We also received gowns, surgical masks, and gloves from the emergency state surplus distribution center today. Thank you Lauren for working out the logistics and acquiring these supplies.

We continue to meet daily, often several times a day, as a COVID team to develop new strategies and implement new guidelines as they become available. This interdisciplinary team is made up of several members of the long-term care and assisted living team.

Lastly, we would like to thank all staff for your continued support and hard work as we face these COVID challenges together. These are complicated and scary times but we will navigate these uncharted waters together as a Rockingham County family.

Stay well,

Steve and Tiffany