A message from the CEO: How WesleyLife is responding to COVID-19
March 19, 2020
Dear Residents, Clients, Team Members, Family Members, Partners, and Friends:
As we all continue to process the changes that have occurred in our world over the past few days, I wanted to take a moment to share WesleyLife’s comprehensive effort to keep our residents, clients, and team members healthy and safe, and to keep everyone informed of the practices, protocols, and plans we are relying on as the situation continues to evolve.
As I’ve shared with my teams over the last few days: In an unprecedented situation like this one, each of us chooses to be either the gasoline or the water that is poured on the fire. It’s my intent to be a water-pourer, and to reassure everyone that we will get through this time, and as a mission-driven organization made up of individuals with servants’ hearts, WesleyLife will thrive.
Thankfully, we have been monitoring the situation involving the global spread of the novel coronavirus since its early days. We began to pull leaders together to determine what needed to be done, and we put together a plan to address what was happening and to cultivate and respond to various “what if” scenarios.
Our COVID-19 Task Force was formed, and we began meeting daily to share guidance, create plans for implementation and communication, and anticipate the ways COVID-19 would change our organization, at least temporarily. As a result of those meetings, our Pandemic Action Plan was enacted. And with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the plan resulted in the safeguards you are seeing today across the organization.
On a high level, here are the protocols we have in place at this time – again, under federal and state guidance and mandate:
Visitors to our communities are restricted to those who wish to see someone who is near the end of life. Approved visitors undergo a brief screening process at the community’s front desk.
Our infection-control protocols are in place and are being followed by all clinical team members.
In addition, ALL team members are being medically screened before their shifts. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms of any kind, or if recent travel renders them at risk, they will not be able to work, and cannot return to work until they have been symptom-free for three days.
All team members are following recommended hygiene protocols, and are refraining from meeting in groups of more than 10 people. We are also practicing social distancing in all our locations.
We are using technology to continue doing business, using conference programs such as Zoom to communicate with partners, vendors, and candidates for employment.
Communal dining and programming at our communities have been put on hold. Our team members have developed a variety of ways to keep residents connected, and are making technology readily available to residents and families. Make sure to follow WesleyLife and our communities on Facebook, and you’ll see those plans in action.
Our website, WesleyLife.org, is filled with comprehensive information about our protocols.
In addition, each of our locations has additional plans in place to meet the needs of those particular campuses. I am happy to answer specific questions, or to refer you to the appropriate individual.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we are looking forward to the day when these protocols are no longer a necessity, and we can again focus entirely on the work of serving our residents and clients. Please know in the meanwhile, we will practice consistency, rely on the foundations that have held us in good stead for the past 73 years, and continue to pour water on the fire.
Thank you for all you are doing to help keep our residents, clients, and team members safe.
In hope and gratitude,