April 1, 2020: Lynne Giacobbe on community-based services during a pandemic
April 2, 2020: Dennis Adams on serving low-income housing residents and protecting staff
April 3, 2020: Frank Soltys on FMLA and serving residents living with dementia during the pandemic
April 4, 2020: Aric Martin on legal liability for providers coping with the pandemic
April 4, 2020: Dave Gehm on serving COVID-19-positive residents, building trust, and testing
April 5, 2020: James Bernardo on lack of PPE, stress on staff, and communicating with families
April 6, 2020: Carla Rafferty on Coronavirus policies for assisted living, independent living, and skilled nursing
April 7, 2020: David Smart on how COVID-19 affects older adult housing, plus supporting staff
April 8, 2020: Elizabeth Weingast on coping with a large number of COVID-19-positive residents
April 10, 2020: Roger Myers on COVID-19-positive residents, philosophies driving crisis response, and protecting housing residents
April 13, 2020: Will Blackwell and Teresa Forney on their experiences with state surveys done remotely
April 14, 2020: David Hood on emergency preparedness plans and working with local and state emergency agencies
April 15, 2020: Dr. Samira Beckwith on PACE and hospice programs during the pandemic
April 16, 2020: Toby Halliday of HUD on guidance for housing providers coping with COVID-19
April 17, 2020: Dr. Danielle Doberman on advance care planning and coronavirus
April 18, 2020: Nesa Joseph on how hospice and other community-based services have adjusted to COVID-19
April 19, 2020: Michelle Norris on pandemic stresses for a multistate provider, plus planning and lessons learned for the future
April 20, 2020: Dave Isay on StoryCorps and its new partnership with LeadingAge
April 21, 2020: Carrie Chiusano on how the pandemic affects care for those living with dementia
April 22, 2020: Carol Silver-Elliott with a positive message for LeadingAge members
April 23, 2020: Dr. Nicole Lurie Offers Facts and Cautions About COVID-19 Testing
April 24, 2020: Carrie Hays McElroy on Adapting a PACE to Pandemic Restrictions
April 25, 2020: Ginny Helms on How Georgia is Opening Up and How it Affects Providers
April 26, 2020: Pat Tursi on Operating a Center for Medically Complex Children in the Age of Coronavirus
April 27, 2020: Justin Hinker on Planning for COVID-19 Cases in a Retirement Community
April 28, 2020: Jack Rollins on Issues of Concern to State Medicaid Programs
April 29, 2020: Karolee Alexander and Sue LaGrange on Emergency Staffing
April 30, 2020: Sharon Wilson-Geno on How VOA Pivots to Cope With COVID-19
May 1, 2020: Nancie-Ann Bodell on the Rural Housing Service at USDA
May 4, 2020: Dr. Paul Katz on Containing Outbreaks, Testing, and Workforce Challenges
May 5, 2020: Nick Yablon on Creating Time Capsules During the Pandemic
May 6, 2020: Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay on Helping Counties “Find the Virus”
May 7, 2020: Dr. Nimalie Stone on the Role of CDC and Difficulties That Face Aging Services Providers
May 8, 2020: Deborah Royster on Reconfiguring Services for Community-Based Customers
May 11, 2020: Neal Buddensiek, M.D., on a Multi-State Provider’s Pandemic Preparation, and Concerns About Testing
May 12, 2020: Michelle Just on Communication, Opening Up, and Handling Mixed Messages
May 12, 2020: Nick Uehlecke on How HHS Views Provider Relief Funds
May 13, 2020: Karen Hatfield on Hospice Services, Grief, and Help for Mental Health
May 14, 2020: Rob Lahammer on Tough Media Environment, Staff Engagement, and Opening Up
May 15, 2020: Carol Silver-Elliott on Fighting COVID-19 in the New Jersey Hotspot
May 18, 2020: Beth Kilgore-Robinson and Karina Barragan on the Mental Health of Residents and Staff
May 19, 2020: Robert Espinoza on Disparities in Communities of Color and Why We Must Better Support Low-Income Workers
May 20, 2020: Dr. Tom Frieden on the CDC and Thoughts on Reopening
May 21, 2020: Marvell Adams on Staff Stress, Scheduling, and Self-Care
May 22, 2020: Howard Gleckman on How COVID-19 Changes the Future of Long-Term Services and Supports
May 26, 2020: Kate Shepard on Recovered Residents, Maintaining Positivity, and Testing
May 27, 2020: Lee Ann Hubanks on Challenges Facing Her Affordable Housing Organization
May 28, 2020: Ami Schnauber on the Nightmare of Coronavirus in New York
May 29, 2020: Minnesota Testing Spotlight with Sharon Zehe, Karen Martin, and Diane Rydrych
June 1, 2020: Maureen Carland on Handling a Large Outbreak of COVID-19, and Why Planning for it is so Hard
June 2, 2020: Ralph Gaines on Affordable Housing in Pandemic, Thoughts on HUD Expectations
June 3, 2020: Lori McLaughlin on Overcoming Staff Fears and Poor Service from Public Health Services
June 4, 2020: Keith Knapp on COVID-19 in Kentucky and Positive State Responses
June 5, 2020: Karyne Jones on Overcoming Fear of Discussing Race in Aging Services
June 8, 2020: Jess Maurer on COVID in a Rural State With an Aged Population
June 9, 2020: Mario LeMay on Serving COVID-10-Positive Residents and Overcoming Staff Fear
June 10, 2020: Gus Keach-Longo on Testing, Tracing, and a “Soft Opening” in Elder Housing
June 11, 2020: Stuart Hartman on Protecting Residents and Staff in a Large National Organization
June 12, 2020: Nick Uehlecke of HHS on Provider Relief Funds
June 12, 2020: Col. Brian Kuhn on FEMA PPE Supplies
June 15, 2020: Rebekah Levit on Quickly Responding to an Early Outbreak, and Preparing to Reopen
June 16, 2020: Karen Sturchio on Preparing for Ending of Restrictions and Difficulties of a Rural Provider
June 17, 2020: Tina Sandri on Coping With COVID-19 Early, Plus Workforce and Testing Difficulties
June 18, 2020: Kristi Strawser and Kara Allread on how a Long-Standing Provider Partnership Faced the Pandemic
June 19, 2020: Capt. Joselito Ignacio of FEMA on Quality and Decontamination of PPE
June 22, 2020: Walter Ramos on Finishing Construction and Doing Move-Ins During the Pandemic
June 23, 2020: Michael Soccio on the Economics and Benefits of a Large Home Care/Hospice Program
June 24, 2020: Julie Thorson and Carol Silver Elliott on Leadership in a Time of Crisis
June 25, 2020: Kim Brooks on How HSL is Thinking Through Reopening
June 26, 2020: Mary Stompe on Keeping Housing Residents Engaged While Preparing for Reopening and Another Surge
June 29, 2020: Peter Sullivan on Protecting Residents in a Tourist-Heavy Town, Plus a Visitation Pilot Program
June 30, 2020: Katrina Gray on Procuring and Managing PPE
July 1, 2020: Deke Cateau on Morale, Testing, and Reopening
July 2, 2020: Phil Jacob on Transparency, His Own COVID-19 Infection, and Preparing for a Surge
July 6, 2020: Nancy Evans on How a Large Housing Provider Copes and Thinks About Reopening
April 1, 2020: Lynne Giacobbe, executive director, Kendal at Home
Topics: The challenges of community-based clients who are unwilling to allow caregivers into their homes; supporting staff and minimizing caseloads; how telehealth has improved for some members; keeping clients socially connected; and praise for staff resilience. Length: 12:04.
April 2, 2020: Dennis Adams, CEO, Christopher Homes
Topics: How visitor restrictions are working in affordable housing, including residents who resist the restrictions; challenges in screening essential visitors for an organization without clinical staff; increasing employee compensation and challenges faced by staff; dealing with multiple COVID-19-positive residents; how to help residents buy supplies when they can’t leave home. Length: 14:53.
April 3, 2020: Frank Soltys, president & CEO, Felician Village
Topics: Felician Village’s process for deciding which positions to exempt from FMLA provisions, and evaluating how policies affect staff; and infection control processes and contingency planning for COVID-19 cases in memory care units. Length: 8:25.
April 4, 2020: Aric Martin, managing partner, Rolf Goffman Martin Lang LLC
Topics: Intro by Cory Kallheim of LeadingAge, on seeking clarity on PREP Act provisions for immunity for liability for providers. Aric Martin on: providers acting as “quasi-governmental agents,” and deserving immunity; the danger of legal battles down the road, even if providers have strong defenses; PREP act coverage for testing or treatment choices; why all-encompassing federal immunity, or strong state immunity, are necessary; situation in various states—why are some practitioners given protection while those in other states are not; and why LeadingAge should form coalitions with other entities. Length: 18:44.
April 4, 2020: Dave Gehm, president and CEO, Wellspring Lutheran Services
Topics: How to serve residents living with dementia who are COVID-19-positive; on communication with staff, and dealing with staff fear; offering testing to all residents and staff, and how it builds trust and confidence; making a new type of decisions in the face of legal and regulatory liability; and why leaders must ask the right questions and be transparent to empower people with knowledge. Length: 16:12.
April 5, 2020: James Bernardo, president and CEO, Presbyterian Senior Living
Topics: Coping with a lack of PPE; proactive policies by state of Pennsylvania; stress on staff, and supporting them; and helping family understand the severity of the problem in the early days. Length: 13:41.
April 6, 2020: Carla Rafferty, administrator, assisted living, Asbury Place Maryville
Topics: The challenge of setting guidelines for independent living residents who are free to come and go; why the organization is implementing the same rules in assisted living that are used in skilled nursing, to maintain consistency; challenges of guidance on masks and physical distancing for memory care residents who may not comply; an assisted living resident’s creation of customized cloth masks; contingencies for handling a COVID-19-positive resident in assisted living. Length: 13:18.
April 7, 2020: David Smart, president and CEO, Eaton Senior Communities
Topics: How the jobs of service coordinators and wellness coordinators have changed; creating new procedures to remain within guidelines; why it’s especially important for people to move into older adult housing during the pandemic; how emergency preparedness has helped; using operating funds for purchase of PPE; incentives to staff during the pandemic—reduced hours but full-time pay, plus bonuses to exempt staff; and the best way to get in an argument (talk about masks). Length: 12:51.
April 8, 2020: Elizabeth Weingast, vice president, clinical excellence, The New Jewish Home
Topics: Going from one COVID-19-positive residents to more than 140; why advance directives must be a part of planning for coronavirus cases; the variety of symptoms among positive people; why cluster units are necessary; the most typical grouping of symptoms; planning for inevitable illness among staff, typically 10-14 days in duration; financial incentives for staff; dealing with backups at mortuaries; why the organization hired a nurse practitioner to serve staff who are out sick; who to contact re testing options; educating new staff; and why you should never allow communication and transparency to diminish. Length: 22:19.
April 10, 2020: Roger Myers, president and CEO, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
Topics: How PVM is doing (32 confirmed positive residents, 14 deaths; 14 confirmed positive staff, 1 death as of 4/10/2020); why it’s important to “live the mission,” and project calm, confidence, and reassurance; why PVM prioritizes factual information, capturing positive stories, and looking for innovation opportunities; how technology department is using its 3-D printer to make 150 face shields per day; coping with COVID in affordable housing; and things PVM wishes it had known earlier—importance of PPE, need to rethink some contingency plans; and policies put in place to keep virus out of affordable housing while allowing critical services to come in. Length: 18:13.
April 13, 2020: Will Blackwell, VP of health services, Westminster Canterbury Richmond, and Teresa Forney, executive director, Thornwald Home
Topics: Both members’ experiences with recent surveys, performed by phone; how advance planning for the pandemic was time well-spent; value of ongoing recording of changes as they occur for future reference and future surveys; importance of daily meetings; and questions about PPE fit tests. Length: 14:17.
April 14, 2020: David Hood, Principal and Director of Operations–Healthcare, RPA
Topics: Adapting existing emergency preparedness plans for a pandemic; why all providers must engage with their local offices of emergency management, which can be very helpful in supporting providers; why staffing issues are one of the biggest problems for providers during this episode; a review of some “staff reduction mitigation options” and resources he has observed. Length: 16:49.
April 15, 2020: Dr. Samira Beckwith, president and CEO, Hope Healthcare
Topics: Operating a PACE when the PACE center must be closed, and finding ways to visit clients one-on-one using the PACE buses; reassigning staff; offering more education for family caregivers; launching virtual classes and activities for clients; connecting clients with technology; using consistent staffing; why we need to continue to enroll new hospice patients; possibilities for virtual or socially distanced hospice visits; consistent information for staff re PPE use and other issues related to COVID-19 and their work; how Hope Healthcare works with nursing homes; and how we can be an “and.” Length: 15:58.
April 16, 2020: Toby Halliday, Director of HUD Multifamily Housing’s Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight
Topics: How to find guidance re treatment of stimulus payments under the CARES Act; guidance re rights and responsibilities for tenants, including re eviction moratoriums; guidance re forbearance for owners; service coordination funds; HUD deferring to public health officials re handling COVID-19-positive residents; guidance on move-ins/move-outs; and guidance for owners re COVID-19-related expenses. Length: 15:30.
April 17, 2020: Dr. Danielle Doberman, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Medical Director of Palliative Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Topics: Definition of advance care planning (ACP); why people at any stage of life should be planning; how independent living elders can access resources and create advance directives; how COVID-19 affects ACP, and why we must do direct education; do-not-transport options; what should be re-assessed in the light of COVID-19; and trying to envision the illness process in the case of COVID-19. Link to Dr. Doberman’s presentation. Link to Serious Illness Communication and ACP Resources on LeadingAge.org. Length: 15:54.
April 18, 2020: Nesa Joseph, president & CEO, Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis
Topics: Anxiety from clients and family members re hospice workers and Advanced Illness Management (AIM) workers in their homes; safety measures instituted to help reduce anxiety from clients and staff—“getting used to doing business as unusual”; no staff layoffs so far, despite business down 15-20%; and a new telehealth initiative involving Tapcloud, rolled out just before the lockdowns began. Length: 17:59.
April 19, 2020: Michelle Norris, executive vice president, National Church Residences
Topics: Effects of COVID-19 in a 25-state organization; preparing for reopening in stages, and keeping clients and staff safe; managing norms in different states; strategic concerns on many levels for the future; supporting frontline staff holistically; the PARRT regional testing program for SNF or assisted living communities; testing and PPE lacking in all senior living communities; adding service coordinators to buildings without them; how LTC is the overlooked player in the health care system; and lessons learned for future crises (weakness of paper-based systems, telework, ways to keep staff in many states up to date, and the bigger the crisis, the bigger the heart—great response from employees and volunteers). Length: 25:30.
April 20, 2020: Dave Isay, founder and president, StoryCorps
Topics: The history of StoryCorps; the launch of StoryCorps Connect using a digital platform; now is a critical moment of urgency to connect with a loved one; how it can help prevent social isolation; why a partnership with LeadingAge is a natural opportunity; website is storycorpsconnect.org; and information about a simple toolkit for LeadingAge members. Length: 15:41.
April 21, 2020: Carrie Chiusano, executive director, Dementia Care Center for Excellence, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network
Topics: Keeping up with teams in multiple sites; making it a priority to keep residents and family members in contact; residents with advanced dementia respond to video calls; ways to emphasize resident engagement while maintaining distancing; ways to communicate about COVID-19, and altering body language, with residents; families going to great lengths to interact with loved ones; offering more support to family caregivers; and memory cafes becoming virtual. Length: 15:25.
April 22, 2020: Carol Silver-Elliott, president and CEO, The Jewish Home Family
Topics: A message from the LeadingAge Chair on celebrating our successes; counteracting the inaccurate, negative picture that the media paints of our field; and the importance of staying focused, positive, and together. Length: 2:45.
April 23, 2020: Dr. Nicole Lurie, COVID incident management team leader, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives (CEPI)
Topics: Facts about tests to detect current infections; the limitations of day-to-day fever screening; why tests do not tell us as much as we might expect; facts about tests to detect antibodies; why many of the available antibody tests are questionable; and the effects of poor leadership, and of good leadership. Read this article on LeadingAge.org, based on Dr. Lurie’s presentation. Length: 23:54.
April 24, 2020: Carrie Hays McElroy, VP, clinical operations/CNO, Trinity Health PACE
Topics: Outline of how a PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) works; revising care plans to deal with closure of the PACE center; reassigning employees to offer support in clients’ homes; how family support has increased, allowing reduced workloads for staff; weekly staff meetings for PACE employees in multiple states; organized prayer calls; activity packets delivered to clients’ homes; daily check-in phone calls; PPE supplies (adequate due to affiliation with health system), and conservation strategies; serving the few COVID-19-positive clients; confidentiality issues in remote interactions with clients; and challenges for staff who go into clients’ homes. Length: 18:54.
April 25, 2020: Ginny Helms, president and CEO, LeadingAge Georgia
Topics: Experience of Georgia’s phased reopening; how reopening makes providers hypervigilant; members investigating infection control systems; independent living residents are pushing for reopening in many places; life plan communities not doing move-ins, but planning for how to balance quality of life and safety in the future; how adult day providers are adapting, and preparing for limited reopening; and need for funding of adult day providers. Length: 17:47.
April 26, 2020: Pat Tursi, CEO, Elizabeth Seton Children's Center, and Resident Stephanie Gabaud
Topics: Aggressive infection control has kept COVID-19 out; protecting kids who had to go to hospitals; 5% of staff tested positive, most have returned to work; dealing with staff concerns; sharing information and stories with community and media; how to tell families they could not visit with their children; heartbreaking stories of small children whose parents aren’t allowed to visit; comments from Stephanie Gabaud, long-time resident; and the importance of smiling and having fun. Length: 22:16.
April 27, 2020: Justin Hinker, administrator, Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community
Topics: Avera’s experience with COVID-19 positive residents; connection to Avera health system helps with planning and PPE; creating a COVID-19 wing in anticipation of May peak; financial help to staff, including covering health insurance; creating a “virtual town hall” for family members and planning to keep doing it indefinitely. Length: 16:58.
April 28, 2020: Jack Rollins, program director for federal policy, National Assn. of Medicaid Directors
Topics: Dramatic increase in telemedicine, occurring much more quickly than we thought possible; lots of modifications to reimbursement policy; NAMD wants more state involvement in distributing provider relief funds; Medicaid providers not being prioritized; wants more granular provider-specific funding award information to make better decisions on how to help providers at state level; concerned about “financially fragile” providers (in many fields) that may not be able to remain open, including those who provide non-COVID related care; creation of COVID-19-specific LTC facilities; some states doing higher rates for COVID-19 services; a lot of newly unemployed people likely to end up on Medicaid, and ways to prepare for that, including a higher match rate; and how good data is what policymakers need most to better understand pressure on LTSS providers. Length: 18:12.
April 29, 2020: Karolee Alexander, director of reimbursement and clinical consulting, and Sue LaGrange, education director, Pathway Health
Topics: Providers need to have emergency staffing policies, preferably with addendums re COVID, with focus on different phases; planning for leadership backup; accounting for factors outside of work life that affect staff; fear caused by staff who have frail relatives at home; consider reducing medications management workloads for staff; why memory care units are sites of high transmissibility; good acuity-based staffing tools don’t exist, but PBJ numbers could be a source of data; communicating altered standards of care; trying to reduce non-direct care subtasks from nurses and CNAs by training other staff; hiring new staff; delegation to volunteers; finding ways for staff to build camaraderie; sources of new staff—including hospital nurses, nursing students, and idled cafeteria workers; and a toolkit for emergency staffing and policies. Length: 20:42.
April 30, 2020: Sharon Wilson-Geno, EVP, chief operating officer national services, VOA
Topics: Why VOA staff stays on-site in housing communities; keeping residents active and engaged; operating in multiple states, and dealing with outbreaks in 3 states; how state governments’ views on the virus differ; coping with different reopening plans and communicating with residents; testing—if you look for it, you will find the virus; the validity of tests; why housing and health care, and their funding streams, need to be thought of together; thinking about the people we don’t serve; and how to determine what staff must be tested, and how. Length: 19:04.
May 1, 2020: Nancie-Ann Bodell, deputy administrator for multi-family housing with the Rural Housing Service at USDA
Topics: Intro to USDA multi-family housing; 68% of Section 515 USDA affordable multi-family housing are elderly or disabled; 14,000 units total, 13,000 of them Section 515 rural rental housing; USDA to begin including service coordination within the Sec. 515 portfolio; have heard anecdotes about COVID-19-positive residents, and deferring to CDC and health department recommendations; seeing many interim recertifications due to wage loss; interim certifications being provided to adjust income even for non-wage earners, which may include elderly; what’s unique about rural needs; and impactful job losses. Length: 15:22.
May 4, 2020: Paul Katz, M.D., Chair, Dept. of Geriatrics, Florida State U. College of Medicine
Topics: Difficulty of containing a small outbreak in a nursing home or assisted living; does the acute-care sector understand what skilled nursing faces? Thoughts on mandatory testing and contact tracing for all residents and staff; why hospitals should test everyone who comes in; the acute-care sector misunderstands the LTC workforce; will changes in physician staffing be required in LTC? Comments on team care and telehealth. Length: 19:28.
May 5, 2020: Nick Yablon, associate professor of history, University of Iowa
Topics: An introduction to time capsules; the value of creating time capsules during a difficult time such as this pandemic; how senior living communities can make their mark with time capsules; advice for providers wanting to do time capsules for their residents and staff (and why they should not be buried). Length: 14:35.
May 6, 2020: Andrea Lazarek-LaQuay, Chief Clinical Officer, Nascentia Health
Topics: Home health clients choosing to reduce face-to-face visits; increasing use of telehealth units as a substitute; working with different counties, each with its own emergency management system; connecting with a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Syracuse, NY; how Nascentia worked with counties to go and “find the virus” in individuals’ homes; Nascentia staff visiting “hotspots” in senior living communities in Onondaga County to do testing; working with providers to allow entry into their facilities; over 1,200 people tested; how to leverage resources in your own community; identifying a limited number of staff as a “target team” to deal with COVID-19 cases; why nasal pharyngeal swabs are still the most effective tests; why this would work in affordable housing. Length: 15:56.
May 7, 2020: Dr. Nimalie Stone, medical epidemiologist, CDC
Topics: How CDC supports providers and health departments; praise for how LTC providers have performed; how providers are vilified; roles of CDC and CMS and how they differ; a snapshot of differences between state agencies—survey agencies vs. health departments; facts about NHSN, and streamlining of reporting during the pandemic; concerns about difficulties with duplicative reporting; and CDC recommendations re masking. Length: 31:31.
May 8, 2020: Deborah Royster, CEO, Seabury Resources for Aging
Topics: Changing services to serve elders sheltering in place; dramatically boosting meal deliveries; great stories of staff going the extra mile to serve; racial disparities in effects of COVID-19; underscoring the importance of protocols and emphasizing it to customers; preparing for Mother’s Day—giving out roses and chocolates, a special meal, window visits, remote family connections; and bringing remote activities, classes, and religious services to residents. Length: 18:19.
May 11, 2020: Neal Buddensiek, M.D., chief medical officer, Benedictine
Topics: A grant 2 years ago allowed creation of an infection tracking system and infection documentation in EMR system as part of our pandemic preparation; a large COVID-19 task force has met every day across the organization; how Benedictine’s “virtual strike team” helps walk individual communities through COVID-19-positive cases, using data; a system that allows us to track infections and data across states; how a system that operates in 5 states can work across all; possibility of turning some COVID-19 units into hospice units; concerns about the logistics and consequences of mass testing of staff and residents. Length: 23:23.
May 12, 2020: Michelle Just, president and CEO, Beatitudes Campus
Topics: Quick adjustments by staff to lockdown of campus; keeping residents engaged—a daily theme for education and resident contact; daily updates for residents by CEO or senior VP; ways to encourage resident questions and comments; thoughts about opening up; how Beatitudes handles marketing, sales, and move-ins; and reminding staff of duty for safety while the state opens up. Length: 14:01.
May 12, 2020: Nick Uehlecke, advisor, HHS
Topics: HHS wants better data on who’s providing care and what it looks like; encourages members to submit to the portal for funding; working to make sure rural and Indian tribe providers get funding; HHS wants to identify individual communities that haven’t received any funding; working on a SNF tranche (including those that are 100% Medicaid) and concerned about relief re PPE as well; advice re how to track spending to come; HHS wants questions to be sent in (via LeadingAge or directly); advice re a multi-continuum provider using funds in various levels of care; question re using donated funds vs. provider relief funds; and questions about deadlines. Length: 19:54.
May 13, 2020: Karen Hatfield, team leader for counseling services, Hospice of the Western Reserve
Topics: None of the team is personally visiting patients; having to pay attention to all losses people experience, and how that affects grief; trying to figure out contingencies for future services the rest of the year; why staff sometimes feel their grief is disenfranchised; why we encourage staff to acknowledge their own grief; grief doesn’t always look like what you expect; the need to recognize delayed grief and validate grief; how we might have to alter services; where to go for counseling and support; we’re now reaching people who didn’t have access to us pre-COVID; new practices that might last beyond the pandemic—some virtual services, etc.; and working with visitor restrictions at LTC providers. Length: 22:31.
May 14, 2020: Rob Lahammer, VP of engagement and advocacy, Presbyterian Homes & Services
Topics: No part of the organization that hasn’t been impacted; value of early lockdown; the transitional care business dropped but we were able to reassign staff; 16 COVID-19 deaths so far; how to maintain a strong communications process; a centrally stored PPE supply; value of transparency; how one standalone transitional care site was converted into a COVID-19 site; in Minnesota, 81% of deaths were in LTC—press has been very hard on providers; difficulties with testing; unengaged employees are leaving, but others sticking, and employee engagement actually going up; dealing with a variety of resident attitudes in independent living; small drop in census; initial plans re relaxing restrictions; and difficulty recruiting new staff. Length: 20:20.
May 15, 2020: Carol Silver-Elliott, president and CEO, The Jewish Home Family
Topics: COVID-19 experiences in the center of a hotspot; turning management staff into dining assistants; this part of NJ was hit hard early on and local hospitals were overwhelmed early; decision to keep COVID-19-positives in-house; how JHF adopted hospital practices, and pushed physicians to be more aggressive; importance of turning and repositioning teams, hydration teams, and high-flow oxygen; praise for staff and others who supported the work; “parking lot guy” and many others that have helped get PPE; JHF has reopened to admissions, including some people in recovery; “You cannot let down your guard even though things are stable”; making full PPE a requirement to any family coming in; testing all new admissions 48 hours before entry; testing mandated in NJ for residents and staff, and how JHF has begun implementing; issues involving payment for testing and sequencing; why leaders and managers must always be positive even in bad situations; and why we hold celebrations for residents who recover. Length: 23:32.
May 18, 2020: Beth Kilgore-Robinson, member services coordinator, Goodwin House, and Karina Barragan, director of resident services programs, TELACU
Topics: Acknowledging grief; finding ways to look for the positive; incorporating mindfulness; organizing virtual services to keep residents and clients engaged; fighting isolation among affordable housing residents; dealing with PTSD, alcohol abuse, noncompliance with stay at home orders, reduced family connections, and hoarding; staff responding well to frequent policy changes; daily checks on resident well-being; and recognizing the need to focus on mental health. Length: 21:08.
May 19, 2020: Robert Espinoza, VP of policy, PHI
Topics: Coronavirus’ more negative effects on communities of color—highly overrepresented; direct care workers especially unable to weather the crisis and having greater difficulty with childcare and health access; why providers should be surveying communities of color re needs; tools to help develop a racial equity lens in our work; for home and community-based workers, why compensation must be improved; things employers can do to support these workers; policy wishes—improving compensation, sick leave, childcare, health coverage, provider compensation, pipelines for more workers into the HCBS sector; precarious lives of these workers creates impossible choices; getting technology to underserved communities; need for better training creates opportunities for both workers and employers; and value of connecting workers to community resources to support them. Length: 19:54.
May 20, 2020: Dr. Tom Frieden, president and CEO, Resolve to Save Lives, and former director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Topics: Role of the CDC, and optimism about beating the virus; what will a “new normal” look like; different risk levels for different areas; testing situation improving but does not meet needs yet; how providers should approach reopening; 2 false dichotomies (open vs. closed) and (health vs. economy); and 2 sites of interest (preventepidemics.org and covidexitstrategy.org). Length: 15:00.
May 21, 2020: Marvell Adams, COO, The Kendal Corporation
Topics: Understanding and alleviating stress on staff, both at work and in personal life; encouraging staff to use vacation, and have “staycations”; staff embracing mass testing; switching to 12-hr. shifts; keeping staff in consistent, separate teams, and general benefits of that model; simplifying menu plans to deal with diminished dining staff; encouraging staff to practice self-care; and lessons learned from a children’s book. Length: 16:13.
May 22, 2020: Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute
Topics: Disappointing absence of guidance on testing for providers; pandemic was a tragedy waiting to happen; broad recognition of an unsustainable LTC system; why paying for value can be a useful concept going forward; LTC becoming even less attractive to low-wage workers; labor and capital costs will go up; danger of focusing only on infection control; question of where will the money come from; providers understand delivery reform better than anyone; why the goal should be to build a system from scratch; financing LTC through Medicaid is unsustainable; benefits of a public insurance program; the biggest stumbling block is the money; can a shift toward better LTSS really reduce health spending? Length: 21:08.
May 26, 2020: Kate Shepard, executive director, Reformed Church Home
Topics: Things improving somewhat; thinking about opening up, and offering outdoor activities; update on testing challenges; positive media coverage re 2 residents in their 90s who have recovered from COVID-19; details about a separate unit for residents who have tested positive; using live TV system for communication and engagement; creating an employee appreciation fund; frequency and costs of testing for staff; and pay incentives for all staff, and for staff on the COVID-19 wing. Length: 18:47.
May 27, 2020: Lee Ann Hubanks, president, Plano Community Home
Topics: Service coordinators doing excellent work; no coronavirus cases so far; unable to get tests so far; weekly memos to all stakeholders with updates; revenue losses due to lack of move-ins; PPE costs and additional payroll costs; still reluctant to begin opening up; securing a PPP loan; move-in logistics; and struggles to find PPE. Length: 13:22.
May 28, 2020: Ami Schnauber, VP, advocacy and public policy, LeadingAge New York
Topics: Members have significant challenges with decreased census, partially due to lack of post-acute rehab; hazard pay and testing costs created a huge financial hole; state changing rules and issuing frequent survey questions; tremendous unaffordable costs involved in state-mandated staff testing—total estimate for members at $44 million per week; lab capacity inadequate; how NY State makes the pandemic more difficult for providers; no clear communication from DOH re resident testing, and suddenly changing rules; DOH staff doing testing are not themselves tested, and training is spotty; we want testing, but the volume required is unworkable, unaffordable, and threatens livelihoods of staff; rules for testing of staff who work at multiple communities; and how testing rules may create new staffing shortages. Length: 25:09.
May 29, 2020: Minnesota Testing Spotlight: Sharon Zehe, Mayo Clinic, and Karen Martin and Diane Rydrych, MN Dept. of Health
Topics: the “Minnesota Moonshot”; huge financial, legal, and cultural challenges of doing comprehensive testing; problems of unreimbursed costs; legal issues where facilities do not have medical directors; how mass protests and riots will effect disease statistics and first responders; who pays—insurance companies with state as a backup; additional issues raised by a testing program; identifying asymptomatic workers; reasons for early hesitance by providers; why testing must be an ongoing process; role of Mayo Clinic Labs; working to make home-testing workable in the short term; still questions re infectiousness of asymptomatics; situation of highest-risk residents or staff; and comments re payment for testing. Length: 27:43.
June 1, 2020: Maureen Carland, administrator, Maine Veterans' Homes
Topics: Despite detailed preparation for coronavirus, the first case occurred in an unexpected way; ultimately 34 residents tested positive, 17 passed away, 14 of them directly from COVID-19; why you’re not prepared even if you think you are; why attention to the minutia of infection control is so important; half of staff assigned to that unit also got coronavirus; scheduled Zoom calls with families and staff; delivering meals to sick staff’s homes; many staff lived in a nearby hotel; social workers and chaplains doing regular staff support calls; dealing with social isolation, esp. on the COVID-19 unit; wandering minstrels, bikers, and antique cars coming to visit outside the building; setting up BBQs outside to produce smells for residents (also popcorn, other comfort foods); if doing it again, review how people enter the unit and creating a clean zone; being careful of the language you use; attention to detail in using PPE; thinking about ways to honor residents who die; determining what constitutes “recovered”; and criteria for doing universal testing, and lack of a plan in Maine. Length: 21:49.
June 2, 2020: Ralph Gaines, CEO, Embrace Living
Topics: Challenging environment in EL housing communities, but organization has had only 15 total cases, including employees; some difficulty with PPE supply, but was able to secure sanitizer from distilleries and masks; resident interactions and activities; importance of Wi-Fi access in affordable housing; workforce motivation ideas—staying in close contact in any way possible, a flexible telework policy, “appreciation bags” for employees; and this former HUD employee’s view on how this affects housing policy. Length: 20:37.
June 3, 2020: Lori McLaughlin, managing member, WestShore LLC
Topics: Dealing with panic from nurses when the first positive case occurred; reassuring residents and staff facing fear; used large amounts of PPE; still don’t know what costs will be; state-provided strike teams inadequate; poor response from public health departments; and logistics of testing employees. Length: 15:36.
June 4, 2020: Keith Knapp, senior advisor on adult programs, State of Kentucky
Topics: KY Long-Term Care Advisory Task Force—a group to advise state government re COVID-19 and long-term care; working on protocols on big-picture issues and smaller operational issues; state issued “guidances,” not “directives,” re admission of COVID-19 cases; KY moving away from traditional approach to surveys, has been collaborative and people have been surprised about how good the outcomes have been; KY has been early adapter in universal staff testing, now halfway through; KY has orchestrated wraparound services re different contingencies in testing; creating staff strike teams for bad situations; KY has contracted with a lab and is paying for all testing. Lessons learned: Hope it is the end of semiprivate rooms; hopeful we can pay staff more permanently; we must think through the imposition of isolation, hard issues involved; value of a call center. Length: 22:00.
June 5, 2020: Karyne Jones, CEO, The National Caucus and Center on Black Aged
Topics: Introduction to NCBA; learning about racial denial; disparities in pandemic’s impact on people of color; how social determinants affect health; aging services is segregated; bringing POC into leadership of aging services organizations; LeadingAge needs to do more; a shared responsibility for people of all races; learning to be comfortable talking about race, and stop being afraid of each other; culturally appropriate activities in multiracial communities; actively bringing POC into leadership-track career opportunities in our field; reaching out to POC in marketing for all LeadingAge communities. Length: 30:29.
June 8, 2020: Jess Maurer, executive director, Maine Council on Aging
Topics: Maine is oldest and most rural state, already struggling with a direct care workforce shortage; coronavirus exacerbated the problems; most volunteers are elders who dropped out; coping with the problem—member and partner conversations, direct advocacy; have gotten a lot of help from legislators and others; good ad-hoc partnerships; getting insurers to pay for home-delivered meals; concern about the likely failure of small nonprofits in northern New England; and helping service coordinators cope with pandemic demands. Length: 22:14.
June 9, 2020: Mario LeMay, director, organizational effectiveness, San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living
Topics: SF came through COVID-19 relatively well; preparing to serve coronavirus-positive patients, logistically and otherwise; preparing staff and dealing with employees’ fear; unit was never more than half full; how LeadingAge Leadership Academy experience helped him work through the crisis; and experience of baseline testing for residents and staff and dealing with resistance. Length: 16:59.
June 10, 2020: Gus Keach-Longo, CEO, The Towers at Tower Lane
Topics: Interesting story of the origin of The Towers; “fluid” levels of care offered to residents; 8 coronavirus cases, all contracted outside the building; testing program for all residents and staff, as a pilot; leadership took their tests on camera and broadcast throughout building; doing contact tracing for residents who may have had contact; closed to visitors but not service providers—and how those visitors are tested and screened; overcoming resident/family anger over restrictions; keeping community regularly informed; trying to figure out a “soft open” strategy because isolation is so dangerous; and how expenses of testing and meals are covered. Length: 24:21.
June 11, 2020: Stuart Hartman, SVP of operations, acquisitions, and development, Retirement Housing Foundation
Topics: Limiting interactions between residents and staff and the outside world; 80% of the corporate workforce working at home, and furloughed some staff; nationwide, 122 COVID-19 positives in 35 communities, 66 recovered, and 20 deaths; most facilities had zero cases; lessons learned from initial Washington state nursing home cases—especially involving staff working multiple jobs; enabling those employees to stop working multiple jobs; how RHF is planning ahead for the fall; distinguishing between cases of COVID-19 and influenza; scenarios for staff returning to work in various settings; and policies re vacationing staff. Length: 19:00.
June 12, 2020: Nick Uehlecke, Advisor, Office of U.S. Secretary of HHS
Topics: Questions re Provider Relief Funds—those who bill Medicaid managed care plans are eligible; providers, such as adult day, who had to close their physical space, are eligible; clarification of deadline for applications, will be July 20; status of payments to Medicaid-only SNFs; status of guidance on reporting; policy on “paying to the upper TIN”; what’s next for remaining funds; how provider relief funds affect PACE providers; and eligibility of LPCs, guidance to come. Length: 18:12.
June 12, 2020: Col. Brian Kuhn, White House Supply Chain Task Force, FEMA
Topics: Description of task forces re PPE; Hanes cloth facemasks—not designed for medical settings, intended for visitors; FEMA packages, 2 rounds with a 1-week supply each time; the “blue tarps”—level 3 nonsurgical isolation gowns; details re the next shipment; explaining the tracking and reporting system; “Project America Strong” is the Hanes facemask shipments; how to deal with defective materials; and AL eligibility. Length: 19:03.
June 15, 2020: Rebekah Levit, executive director, Rogerson House
Topics: An assisted living dedicated exclusively to residents living with dementia, plus a social day program; had one of the first COVID-19 deaths in the state; needed to put systems in place immediately; eliminating staff crossover within the neighborhoods; figuring out how to quarantine residents safely; paying close attention to all symptoms; changing the closed day program into the “COVID floor”; continuing to serve residents who cannot socially distance; responding to Governor’s recent announcement that visitation could resume (outdoors only); details about how these visits are managed; which type of visits residents and families like the most; and dealing with PPE needs. Length: 16:44.
June 16, 2020: Karen Sturchio, CEO, Kansas Christian Home
Topics: Reopening guidance in Kansas; alarmed that nursing homes to be opened without restriction in late June; managers wear a lot of hats; state not requiring baseline testing; testing was difficult but getting easier; if county lets emergency declaration expire, we can’t get FEMA reimbursement funds and it would cost about $750K over a year; managing balance between safety and social isolation; sustaining budgeting for a provider with a lot of Medicaid, lose money on every Medicaid resident; and operating on a tight budget and with no margin for error. Length: 25:01.
June 17, 2020: Tina Sandri, CEO, Forest Hills of DC
Topics: The logistics of testing at her previous employer, early in the pandemic; staff challenges early on; at Forest Hills, lining up additional staffing before testing; testing done by public health lab nurses; still a challenge to get staff tested weekly; tremendous cost of testing; majority of cases found have been asymptomatic; covering workforce holes with staff out; dept. of health survey results; and questions re workforce policies. Length: 14:33.
June 18, 2020: Kristi Strawser, executive director, State of the Heart Care, and Kara Allread, SVP, Brethren Retirement Community
Topics: The 40-year partnership between Brethren Retirement and State of the Heart Care (hospice provider); how the partnership helped in coping with the pandemic; some staff work for both organizations; how established good communications helped in working through risks and exposures, without eliminating the hospice’s access; aspects of good partnerships—not becoming complacent, keeping regular contact between leadership and clinical teams; encouraging staff to make “caring choices”; working with LeadingAge Ohio to create a “travel and social gathering risk mitigation tool”; daily alerts using OnShift to remind staff about careful choices made at work and outside; recognizing COVID fatigue; cooperating in staff recognition and support; and policies re staff who work for both organizations. Length: 19:05.
June 19, 2020: Capt. Joselito Ignacio, lead, Supply Preservation Support Team, FEMA
Topics: Quality of PPE, including fraudulent PPE; evaluating unsolicited offers of PPE and respirators; PPE preservation; reducing, reusing, and repurposing PPE; using barrier controls, when possible, to limit using PPE; extended use of PPE; and decontamination systems in hospitals being used on PPE. Length: 20:05.
June 22, 2020: Walter Ramos, president and CEO, Rogerson Communities
Topics: Boston area hit early by the pandemic, had to learn fast; completing a construction project during pandemic; new residents hesitant to move into the new community; move-ins have picked up in recent weeks; setting up many safety protocols for move-ins; great communication and transparency helped the process; no residents have objected to move-ins, and how trust was built among residents; thinking about how to get our residents first in line for getting a vaccine if one is found; financial impact of residents delaying their move-in to the new community; and move-ins to be a challenge going forward as well. Length: 18:21.
June 23, 2020: Michael Soccio, VP of clinical operations, Trinity Health At Home
Topics: Up to 1,500 home care + hospice patients per day in census; “Home Care Connect” program, created to lower costs, reduce in-home visits, and monitor people 24 hrs. per day; clients can launch remote visits at any time, round the clock; many calls after midnight involve anxiety and isolation; many clients in their late 90s who do really well with the technology; “Getting Better and Getting Different” is the mantra—always looking to meet the triple aim; heavily invested in remote monitoring platform; saw during COVID-19 that many patients had no insurance, so we decided to place the technology with all patients who tested positive or who we suspected having it; monitoring remotely is a way to conserve PPE and also reduce exposure of staff; had about 250 COVID-19-positive patients on monitor, and could create a COVID-19 pathway in the Home Care Connect product so device would gather vital signs every 4 hours, with slight changes recorded and assessed; our virtual care center becomes a call center during overnight hours; interesting story about a client with a clogged PIC line; why ER nurses are such experts at triage; why remote monitoring should be 24/7; a business case built on reducing expenses by reducing home visits; patients give positive feedback about the telehealth helping them feel less isolated; thoughts about getting signed orders for services from physicians; and comments about Vivify technology. Length: 25:46.
June 24, 2020: Julie Thorson, president and CEO, Friendship Haven, and Carol Silver Elliott, president and CEO, Jewish Home Family
Topics: Leaders that recognize their strengths; giving each other the grace when someone is “having a day”; relationships that sustain us; the anxiety caused by uncertainty, and learning to put it aside; staying positive despite difficulties; how a closed employee Facebook group has helped; how the Leadership Academy helped; creating a list to prepare for a second wave; and continuing ongoing communication with families. Length: 25:52.
June 25, 2020: Kim Brooks, COO for Senior Living, Hebrew SeniorLife
Topics: Hit hard at 2 sites early, despite being very aggressive in taking steps to protect residents; a “guiding principles document” for reopening planning; residents created educational video for other residents; purposely using different language than the state’s phasing language; risk assessment and mitigation planning tools; home care services picking up lately; trying to get baseline and surveillance testing in independent living; how contact tracing might work well among HSL residents; a relatively unrestricted approach to visitation in independent living; building trust and transparency with all groups; things we’ll keep after COVID—virtual programming opportunities, fitness via TV; and thinking through the return of volunteers. Length: 21:31.
June 26, 2020: Mary Stompe, executive director, PEP Housing
Topics: Starting to open up community rooms to small groups with masks; keeping resident managers and service coordinators working remotely; have had only 1 case; most volunteers are residents, so prevented vulnerable ones from participating, and used staff to take over food delivery and expand the program; the only positions hard to fill were in lower paid jobs like maintenance staff; appreciation pay; reduced hours in summer; flexibility re remote work; “Project Sunshine”—lots of communication with residents, cards, worked with Covia on “Happy Mail” program, bringing music to the properties; managing repairs and inspections; and thorny issues with testing of staff. Length: 20:38.
June 29, 2020: Peter Sullivan, executive director, Birch Bay
Topics: Protecting residents of a rural community with a lot of summer visitors—over 1 million per summer; effects of sheltering in place on residents, esp. those with dementia; “touching” and social supports decreased due to pandemic; pilot project in residential neighborhood, to allow visitation from loved ones with negative swab tests; pilot may extend to assisted living in the future; and staff showing support for the pilot. Length: 22:12.
June 30, 2020: Katrina Gray, compliance officer, Buckner Retirement Communities
Topics: Phased reopening of life plan communities’ independent living residents, have pulled back a little due to Texas surge; testing and isolation from residents coming in from outside; difficulties in procuring PPE; building up an emergency stock of PPE; paying up front for unknown quantity and quality of PPE; designating a “PPE Czar”; using Microsoft Teams to connect staff; planning stockpiles of PPE for the future; LeadingAge Texas sending out useful PPE alerts; and useful help from state and local health departments. Length: 20:54.
July 1, 2020: Deke Cateau, CEO, A.G. Rhodes
Topics: Previous emergence preparedness programs put us in a good place to deal with COVID-19; had 57 resident cases and 38 staff cases, and 9 resident deaths; went to zero cases by June 1 and now have 9 cases again; families misunderstood the governor’s opening order and thought they could visit; outdoor visits opened last week. Lessons learned from pandemic: COO and myself took over ordering supplies ourselves; put vendors on net zero payment terms, or pay in advance as needed; we delivered supplies to the homes ourselves; have strong supply vendors; required administrative staff to come into the workplace, for morale reasons, and it was successful; focused on resident testing early, but have been aggressive about employee testing; “business as unusual”—how to apply person-directed care to the pandemic; COVID-19 will set back the culture change movement; had to re-install barriers such as plexiglass walls at nursing stations after taking them down in the past; 14-day quarantines for new admissions, but tracing is still very difficult; hiring staff for person-directed care involves interviewing for “fit” by asking questions about scenarios; census has dropped to 70% occupancy; new admits push back against 14-day quarantines; finding labs to provide testing; and A.G. Rhodes has purchased 3 testing machines of its own. Length: 19:43.
July 2, 2020: Phil Jacob, associate executive director, The Buckingham
Topics: COVID came along just as a major expansion was completed; shut down admissions when first positive case came along; some staff tested as “positive” for 70 days or more; instituted frequent testing early in the pandemic; many difficult decisions re testing, staffing, etc., early on; transparency required to deal with frequent policy changes forced by the course of the pandemic; making questions asked of staff and new admits intelligible; what happened when I learned I was positive and continued working from home through the disease, and a bad 3 weeks followed by 5 more weeks before coming back to work; how the organization handled the financial hits of the pandemic; Houston undergoing a surge in cases in early July; and handling intra-level of care visits, resident-to-resident, only via remote technology. Length: 20:56.
July 6, 2020: Nancy Evans, CEO, CSI Support and Development
Topics: CSI has a unique cooperative management system for 60 apartment buildings with 6,300+ units in 4 states; coop model conflicts with the need for residents to shelter in place, so shifting our focus is the challenge; 76 confirmed positives in just a few properties in Massachusetts and Michigan, and 20 fatalities, probably have many more positives we don’t know about; going property-by-property to determine reopening strategies; some local health departments have been helpful in doing testing; results of testing are mainly negative, and lots of asymptomatic positives; our communication has never been better and we believe we have a much better handle on what’s going on; working remotely has worked out extremely well; coops are purchasing iPads for council members; stopped all move-ins, and have staff now doing most of the admissions work that was formerly done by member committees; properties are absorbing costs of unoccupied units, but maintenance costs have dropped as well; thoughts about how to handle repairs as things gradually open up; and sanitizing practices for repair jobs. Length: 17:19.