WellLife Network Responds to COVID-19
During the past several months Welllife Network has faced an unprecedented challenge to the people we serve and our staff who supports them – COVID-19. Our professional and personal lives have been upended. The way we work, study, socialize, worship and care for the most vulnerable in our community have fundamentally changed. Unlike crises of the past, this pandemic affects the entire WellLife family.
Initiatives that Preserve Our Commitment to Excellence
WellLife Network has taken several steps to ensure that Program members continue to receive high quality, compassionate, and person-centered services.
WellLife Network has instituted a strict no visitation policy for all of our residential locations. We carefully screen all team members who work in our residences and do not permit inside deliveries. We have emphasized enhanced training in infection control methods for all of our locations. If necessary, we have quarantined residents, if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Protecting Our Residences and Program Facilities
We have incorporated the use of telehealth services (either by telephone or video) so that patients and program participants can receive the same high level of care without coming to our clinic or programs. For the protection of our team members and program participants, we will continue to promote remote working for our non-residential team members and improve and enhance the telehealth technologies for our program participants.
- Expanded Use of Telehealth
WellLife Network has temporarily closed all Day Habilitation Centers and relocated the daily activities to our residential facilities. In addition, our clinical facilities for our addiction treatment and mental health services are limited to appointment-only for very limited treatments that require in-person interactions. All other group activities for these services are being conducted using telehealth technology until it is determined that it is safe to return to in-person interactions.
- Relocation of all Group Activities in Our Programs
WellLife Network provides each facility with hand sanitizers, antibacterial soap and masks. We value our staff, our frontline workers, and have provided N-95 masks, gloves, gowns and faceshields to prevent the spread of the virus. We also provide all residences with “no contact infrared thermometers,” pulse oximeters, and require the use of surgical masks while in our residential facilities.
- Implementing In-Person Safeguards
WellLife Network has implemented expanded in-service training of COVID-19 related protocols on patient safety, proper use of personal protective equipment, safe food handling, identifying COVID symptoms, social distancing and communicating effectively with families and guardians.
- Expanded In-Service Sessions for Staff
The agency has implemented a more flexible working routine for non-residential staff. They now have the ability to work remotely with strict accountability for the completion of all assignments and projects.
- Flexible Working Schedules for Staff
During this health crisis, WellLife Network has instituted many targeted regional town hall meetings with staff. These online forums provide staff, at all levels, the ability to voice their concerns, opinions, and suggestions.
We also provide daily e-blasts on relevant COVID-19 topics, ranging from safe food shopping to mind and body relaxation techniques and have also initiated a staff-nominated WellLife Network Superheroes e-news. These articles highlight staff who provide outstanding service and contributions to the individuals in our care.
- Enhanced Communication with Staff
This pandemic has also required us to rethink how we provide and enhance our basic services. Our Accounting, IT, Facilities Purchasing and Communications infrastructure departments enable us to be nimble and turn challenges into opportunities. WellLife Network has honed problem solving to become a competitive advantage to survive and thrive in this challenging environment.
COVID-19 is teaching all of us at WellLife Network the difference between wants and needs and to never lose sight of the values that we hold dear – integrity, quality, person-centered, compassion, accountability – and assisting people to heal, recover, and become more independent in the community.
- Sea Changes in Health and Human Services
In these trying times, I am so proud of the extraordinary effort our team is exerting. We have also learned that social distancing does not mean that we work in isolation. Instead, our focused efforts of working together as a nurturing community – the WellLife community – helps to keep us all safe and productive. Our management team has weathered this storm and continues to do an outstanding job attending to the needs of our team members, and the people who rely on us to provide support, care and compassion now more than ever.
Be Well and Safe
Dear Network Community Members,
As you know, the U.S.
At the same time we are fully committed to the safety, well-being and of every individual or family member who seeks our help through our network of services. A team of our leadership, administration and emergency management experts are meeting regularly to ensure that
I want to reassure everyone that Network’s executive staff is in regular touch with the federal, state and local health authorities that are managing the virus outbreak, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NY State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the NY State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). We are actively monitoring all developments, globally and here at home.
We ask you to watch for communications from our leadership about this evolving issue.
You can contact Covid-19@WellLifeNetwork.org to request the latest updates about our services during this emergency. You can also email me at Sherry.Tucker@WellLifeNetwork.org, or any member of our executive leadership team.
Please remember to be kind to one another during these trying times, and reach out if you have concerns or need guidance about the evolving situation.
Wishing You Good Health