From the CEO: We logged how many minutes on Zoom?
Dear Incompass Family:
It was the morning of March 16, 2020, that we announced LifeLinks CLASS was suspending our day programs due to the coronavirus. I often think about that initial message in the context of all we have been through – and all that we have overcome – since these notices went up around our facilities.
At the time, we were optimistically anticipating the full resumption of day programs within two weeks. Two weeks!?!? Instead, we endured – and continue to endure – the most difficult year any of us could have imagined.
But I’m so proud to say I was right about one thing…we were going to rise to the challenge!
Reflecting on the Past Year
Lives were lost. Families were separated. Schools were closed. And as our focus as an agency shifted to securing PPE and launching virtual programs, our front-line Care Champions faced these challenges head-on. You demonstrated your unwavering commitment to the people you support in their greatest time of need.
Group home visitations were halted, day programs were revamped to accommodate for social distancing and other COVID protocols, and virtual programs were launched. Our nursing team became a literal lifeline when health clinics and hospitals were at capacity. We’ve conducted over 1,800 COVID tests, and hosted numerous “pop-up” clinics for our community. Since October 1, we’ve recorded 26 positive staff COVID tests.
This has been a trying and emotional year for all of us, and I will honestly never be able to properly put into words the immense gratitude I have for your sacrifices.
Optimism For What’s Ahead
Now one year later, while we still aren’t back to our pre-COVID capacity, I can see brighter days are on the horizon.
Over the past six weeks, more than 300 group home residents, caregivers, and staff have been vaccinated at Incompass. Long Term Pharmacy Solutions has administered 549 doses, and 227 people are now fully vaccinated after receiving their second shot. By mid-April, every Care Champion at Incompass who chose to receive the Moderna vaccine will be fully vaccinated.
Not only that, but we are beginning to recall more and more Care Champions whose jobs were lost during the pandemic. The TREE program is back and running for the first time in months. We just opened our first group home for residents with an acquired brain injury last week. And we have more than 20 new staff members joining us this month, as we aggressively recruit for open positions to support our new group homes and day program growth.
We are continuing to demonstrate our resilience as Care Champions and our person-focused culture. Last week, we had a visit from a representative of MassHealth who was conducting on-site assessments of COVID-19 protocols at various provider agencies. Not only did we receive a perfect score, but the auditor noted the “great procedures” that she observed while she was here!
Our New Normal
Human services is all about connecting and empowering people. As I said in the fall when we announced our new brand, Incompass innovates to help the most vulnerable thrive. That’s what we do here! That’s what all of you do!
How many of you had even heard of Zoom prior to March 2020? My hand wouldn’t be up! But we made this tool a part of our everyday lives to stay connected to each other, the people we support, and their families. I asked Stacie Murphy, who manages our account, if she could pull some data for me to share with all of you.
That’s right…we’ve logged more than 1.3 million minutes on Zoom this year! Don’t get me wrong, we’re very much looking forward to returning to facility-based services and supports. But I believe that the ability to connect remotely through tools like Zoom will help us achieve our organizational goals and deliver critical services and supports to the people we serve.
Most Importantly…Thank You!
In the end, I just want to say thank you to everyone who is part of the Incompass family.
Thank you to our Care Champions. Thank you to the individuals we support. Thank you to the families and caregivers. Thank you to our donors and supporters. Thank you to our local, state, and federal officials. And thank you to the organizations who advocate for us, including The Arc, ADDP, and Providers’ Council.
It’s times like these that I’m reminded that it’s our open hearts that define us…
Jean Phelps, CEO