Mar 24 Update from CEO Lynn Ricci Regarding COVID-19/CoronavirusMarch 24, 2020
An Update from CEO Lynn Ricci Regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus Released March 24, 2020
During these extraordinarily challenging times I must thank each of you for taking personal responsibility for flattening the novel coronavirus COVID-19 curve in our community and for your support of
our essential healthcare workforce. You can show your support for our incredibly dedicated healthcare workforce online…and on your front door. Click here to learn more.
I pledge to do my best to keep you up to date on the impact this ongoing situation has on our patients, their families, our staff and our capacity as an essential and unique component of Connecticut’s healthcare continuum.
We activated Incident Command, under our emergency operations plan two weeks ago and will continue to operate under these procedures until further notice. Dr. Brenda Nurse, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention and Control and Vivian Almario, APRN, Infection Preventionist, are actively engaged in the Incident Command team. We have brought on additional clinical resources to maximize their availability.
As a team we have implemented comprehensive infection prevention and risk reduction strategies across our facilities:
- We suspended inpatient visitation nearly two weeks ago and have organized a coordinated virtual visit program to keep families connected during this difficult but necessary separation.
- We continue to deliver outpatient physician and behavioral health care, physical, occupational and speech language therapy, including services for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Patients coming for outpatient care, their caregivers and essential vendors undergo risk screening, including temperature reading, on arrival.
- We will begin telemedicine services for neuromuscular and behavioral health patients, including psychology and autism services, later this week to reduce risk for highly vulnerable populations while still ensuring access to care.
- We launched our labor pool procedures, allowing us to match needs with available resources and to provide critical training to redeploy staffing resources effectively. We have trained more than 40 staff in feeding and patient support roles, including staff displaced by program closures.
- Our occupational health unit consults on every staff illness, assesses all travel and exposure risk, to ensure we can maintain a healthy workforce.
- We have had success working collaboratively with our partner the New Britain-Berlin YMCA Little Scholars program to reopen childcare for our employees with infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. We continue to work on finding options for staff with school-aged children.
- Working closely with our partners in healthcare across the state, we have informed the CT Department of Public Health of our capacity to accept additional patients should surge conditions occur.
We operate as a fiscally responsible organization, yet the days ahead will likely bring financial challenges we’ve not seen in generations. Revenue in outpatient care and charitable contributions have already begun to fall as people appropriately stay safe and stay home. We will weather this storm and continue to make critical investments to support our patients and our workforce through the difficult days ahead.
I have great confidence in the team here – and I know that despite their individual anxieties, worries and fears, our 1,400 employees will remain on the frontlines providing health care services to the most vulnerable patients in our state. We thank you for standing with us as we remain committed to rebuilding lives.
Lynn Ricci, FACHE
President and CEO