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Last updated: 3.30.2020

Franciscan Ministries Takes Precautionary Measures In Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health of our employees, residents and their families is our number one priority at Franciscan Ministries. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more widespread, we acknowledge the importance in addressing concerns and questions as well as communicate actions that our organization is actively taking. For additional resources, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

For family and resident information, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

As of 03/30/2020 there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported from residents or staff members.

A Message from our CEO – 3.25.2020

Dear Residents, Care Givers and Family Members,

We have been very blessed by the outpouring of compassion and concern for the residents of our communities, as well as all of our associates. We are so very thankful for all the words of encouragement and support during these most trying of times.

We understand that everyone is getting a bit antsy from being confined at home. We know that you miss visiting your loved one(s). However, in order to protect ALL of our residents, we are asking that you follow the procedures that have been outlined by the CDC, the local and state health departments as well as the Governor’s office, so that together we can curb this virus. It is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of it all. Our job, as tough as it is, is to enforce the guidelines that are meant to protect our most vulnerable in society – the residents we serve.

Our front line staff are the real heroes. They all have family at home and have their own individual circumstances that they are working through during this crisis. Even with their own dilemmas, they are showing up to work each and every day to care for you or your loved one (s). We are so thankful for their loving care and service to the residents of each community.
While not the norm, we have had several instances of family members/visitors forcing their way past our front desk and nurses because they are bound and determined to visit their loved one (s). This behavior is simply unacceptable in these times. I came across the following definition about Consideration of Others:<

“Those actions that indicate a sensitivity to and regard for the feelings of others and an awareness of the impact of one’s own behavior on them; being supportive of and fair with others”

We are on this journey together. We each have a responsibility to our fellow human beings. Our individual needs must be placed in the context of the greater needs at this time. Please take every action you can to help each other throughout this crisis. Let’s do good by all. Every decision and restriction that is in place is for the protection of the residents we serve. We ask you, as a resident or a family member, to respect and follow the guidelines that are in place:

  • No visitors in the building – the only exception is end-of-life circumstances and a new resident moving in
    • We have a number of iPads and other devices that are available, so that you can Facetime or Skype your loved one
  • If you are bringing supplies to your loved one, please leave them at the front door and staff will deliver to your family member/li>
  • Our preference is that residents do not leave the building

As a closing thought – be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people. We are in this together. Help us enforce the guidelines that are in place to keep everyone safe.

With Kindest Regards,
Judy Amiano

A Letter From Our VP, Clinical Services Regarding Franciscan Village – 3.30.2020

The FACTS in Response to the Patch Article posted on 03/28/2020 | REGARDING: Rehab Patient and COVID-19 Diagnosis
To Our Franciscan Village Associates:

There was much confusion and fear created by the article posted by the Lemont Patch which identified a resident of Independent Living or Assisted Living at Franciscan Village as having passed away from the virus. That is NOT true.

Mother Theresa Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had a short-term rehab patient who was admitted on 2/21/20 from the University of Chicago with orthopedic and significant wound needs.

On 3/2/20, this resident went out to their orthopedic and plastic surgeon for a regularly scheduled appointment. At that appointment, it was determined that the patient needed to be readmitted to the hospital for their wound issues. This patient stayed at the hospital from 3/2/20 until 3/18/20. The patient was readmitted to Mother Theresa Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation on 3/18/20 back into their private room.

On 03/22/2020 this temporary rehab patient was sent back to the hospital due to having a fever. At no time did the patient exhibit any respiratory symptoms, have a cough or sneezing. This patient was in a private room. Because all communal activities had already been halted due to proactive prevention of spread, this resident had no contact with other residents.

On 3/24/20 Franciscan Village was notified by the hospital that this patient tested positive for COVID-19.

Given the patient was out of the facility from 3/2/20 to 3/18/20, we do not believe the patient contracted the virus at the facility. In consultation with the local health department, we followed their guidance in terms of additional precautions/protection for staff and residents with a confirmed case having resided in the building. Their recommendations, at this time, are to continue monitoring all residents and staff in all levels of care. There is no recommendation to test anyone for the COVID-19 virus unless they would become symptomatic. Unfortunately, while the patient was re-hospitalized at University of Chicago, the patient passed away.

We are unaware if this former patient passed due to the COVID-19 virus or her multiple pre-existing conditions.

At this time, a full 6 days post notification, we have no additional residents or staff members who are exhibiting any signs of infection currently, due to the excellent infection prevention of staff and the precautionary steps that we have continued to institute on a daily basis. As of 03/30/2020, there are no cases of COVID-19 in any staff members or other residents.
If you should have any further questions you may reach out to your direct supervisor. Thank you for your dedication to our residents and the Ministry

Sincerely,
Kathy Kelly
Vice President of Clinical Services

An Update from our VP, Clinical Services- 3.25.2020

The coronavirus known as COVID-19 has affected each of us but certainly the elderly in the most significant way. At the Franciscan Ministries’ communities, we have taken a number of steps to monitor residents and staff for any symptoms that may indicate a potential infection from coronavirus or possibly some other virus or bacteria. These protective measures remain in place and we have had to add further restrictions as the CDC, federal and state authorities and local health departments have directed. The situation is very fluid, changes daily and sometimes multiple times within a day. However, we have been personally dedicated to keeping up with the changes and communicating to our communities’ leadership.

Temperatures of residents and staff are still being taken and monitoring of residents in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing for any respiratory symptoms is conducted daily. Handwashing is considered vital and we encourage it be done frequently not only by staff but by residents as well. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be an alternative but soap and water remains the best approach.

Visitation continues to be restricted according to the recommendations of the federal, state and local experts in the health departments. We realize how difficult this is and has been for families but please be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep your loved one(s) safe and healthy. We also stand ready to assist the residents and their families to connect via social media or through video technology. We know everyone is anxious for this to be over, as are we, but in order to interrupt the spread of this virus it is critical that the visiting restrictions remain in place.

Group activities continue to be suspended but we have sought alternative methods for keeping residents as engaged and active as possible, under the stringent guidelines we must follow. We continue to provide 1:1 activities as well as encouraging greater use of virtual events and we remain committed to meeting the psycho-social and spiritual needs of our residents through the use of creative approaches. Our stock of supplies and equipment varies day to day and while some communities have had a lower than desirable supply available at times, we have tapped in to our health departments who have access to the state inventory and they have provided small amounts to assist us – but our needs will continue going forward.

To date we have had one positive exposure identified in one of our communities in a resident who was with us for a brief time. The resident has been hospitalized since 3/22/2020, due to a medical condition. The resident had an elevated temperature but no other COVID-19 symptoms at the time of transfer to the hospital. Staff that had contact with this resident have been identified and are following the directions of the county health department and the CDC. The staff maintains their vigilance and exceptional care every day and we commend them.

The Franciscan Ministries’ communities will continue to follow the lead and recommendations of the Infectious Disease experts and we will adapt as they continue to change. We will continue to do our very best to keep you informed of changes we are making but it is important to realize that in this fast-paced and often changing situation there may be a bit of lag time in communication. We assure you though that we will do our very best to keep that lag time to a minimum and keep you informed with the understanding that our most important responsibility is to our residents.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the local community at any time. Members of the media can contact Patrick Schuerer, VP of Communications and Brand Strategy at 331.318.5130 for further information.

Sincerely,
Kathy Kelly
VP, Clinical Services
Franciscan Ministries

A Message from our CEO – 3.24.2020

To Our Franciscan Village Residents and Family Members:

Throughout this pandemic crisis we have been on the front line of caring for the most vulnerable in our society– our seniors. Even with our best efforts to prevent the virus from entering our community, we find ourselves in a situation of containment at this time.

Today we were notified by a local hospital that a skilled nursing resident of Franciscan Village, who is currently at the hospital, has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This particular resident was in our facility for a very short period of time and resided in a private room.
Because of the resident’s condition and the infection control measures that had already been in place during the time that the resident was in the facility, there was time-limited exposure and/or contact with staff and direct exposure to other residents was virtually non-existent.

We are doing everything to ensure we prevent the spread of this virus within our facility. The safety of our residents and associates is our most important concern. We are in very close communication with local and state health officials to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps at this time. Our staff and residents are following the recommended preventative actions.

We have no additional residents or staff members who are exhibiting any signs of infection at this time. Please know that we are doing everything within our power to mitigate the spread of the virus within the building. Per our discussions with local health departments we are following all guidance we are receiving regarding protection for our staff as well as the other residents. Their recommendations at this time are to MONITOR all residents and staff in the skilled facility. There is NO recommendation to test anyone for the COVID-19 virus unless they would become symptomatic.

We understand that this is a time of anxiety and unknowns for all involved. 100% of our efforts are geared towards the safety of your loved ones. We are asking that you do not call the facility directly, as that will pull very limited resources away from caring for the residents.

Should you have any questions, please visit our Franciscan Village Facebook page or the Franciscan Ministry COVID-19 Web Page for daily updates and information. Our pledge is to update that page daily with any new information. The best case scenario is that there is nothing new to report. Please do not call the community directly, as it will pull valuable resources away from caring for our most vulnerable.

For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page.

Sincerely,
Judy Amiano

A Message from our CEO – 3.24.2020

Dear Family Members and Care Givers,

In our ongoing efforts to be proactive during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread throughout the United States, we are doing everything we can to keep the residents at our communities safe.

As of today, we do not have any confirmed cases of the virus in our communities or any of our associates. We remain highly vigilant in our efforts to keep everyone safe. Our frontline healthcare workers are really the unsung heroes of this crisis. Please go out of your way to send a good thought, kind gesture or intention to the myriad of healthcare workers that are out there working hard every day to provide care and services to our residents and clients. From the nurses, nursing assistants, other clinical team members, housekeepers, culinary staff, life enrichment, plant services, marketing and administration at each of our communities, we are THANKFUL. Your loved ones are receiving exceptional care because each of our dedicated team members is working very hard while navigating their own circumstances of closed daycares, closed schools, extended family with needs and a whole bunch of other trying circumstances. We are grateful for their dedication.

Today, Governors of IL, IN and Ohio have all announced a “Stay-At-Home” order for all citizens. This will have NO impact on our ability to provide care and services at our community, as we are EXEMPT from this order. The work we do in our communities is considered “essential” and as such, all of our workforce is exempt from the rule. We do anticipate that other States will be enacting similar rules and the same exemption will apply at all of our communities.  Fundamentally, we will continue to operate the same as we have been during this entire crisis.

Please know that we are getting very creative with trying to keep residents engaged during this time of social isolation. Hats off to the Life Enrichment teams and the Mission/Pastoral Care staff that are coming up with lots of fun things to help residents stay engaged.

Rest assured, we continue to follow all the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), and state health departments  recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus. Here are some of the preventative measures we continue to take:

Visitor Limitations

At the direction of CMS and state health officials we are restricting visitation by all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation. In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific room only.

We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to enter our buildings. Individuals authorized to enter will need to be free of respiratory symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough and new shortness of breath; not have a history within the last 14 days of travel to areas, including here in the United States, where a COVID-19 outbreak has been confirmed; and not have worked in another healthcare setting with a confirmed coronavirus exposure. Anyone entering the buildings will need to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel and frequently wash their hands while in the building. Everyone entering the building is being screened.

We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them during this time. Alternative communication methods include telephone, email, text message, video chat or social media.

Group Activities and Resident Outings:

Because the COVID-19 virus is spread through close contact, reducing its spread requires social distancing. Due to this need for social distancing, we have cancelled all group activities and communal dining over the last two weeks. Keeping our residents engaged and active socially is extremely important to their well-being. We will instead be implementing individually focused activities.

Thank you for placing your trust in us for the care of your loved one. Please know we are working around the clock to keep everyone safe. This crisis shall pass, and we will all be stronger for it. My admiration and gratitude is extended to our caregivers – we owe them a lot.

Sincerely,
Judy Amiano
CEO

Important Resources For Families and Residents

Updated 3.30.2020

covid-19 update
With a recent article posted by the Lemont Patch, there has been much confusion. In this article, Lemon Patch identified a resident at Franciscan Village having passed away from COVID-19. This information is NOT true. Please continue reading for the full story. Click here for more information.
covid-19 update
Though these times have been unprecedented, so has been the extraordinary outpouring of love, kindness and creativity. Click here for more information.
covid-19 update
The health of our employees, residents and their families is our number on priority. As COVID-19 becomes more widespread, we acknowledge the importance in addressing concerns and questions as well as communicate actions that our organization is actively taking. Click here for more information.
covid-19 update
During this very challenging time for our nation and our world, all of us at Franciscan Ministries continue to take the best care of our residents and staff as we journey through this time. Click here for more information.
Franciscan Village COVID-19 Message
Throughout this pandemic crisis we have been on the front line of caring for the most vulnerable in our society– our seniors. Click here for more information.
We have been very blessed by the outpouring of compassion and concern for the residents of our communities, as well as all of our associates. Click here for more information.
We are taking precautions related to social isolation to continue to provide quality resident experience and facilitate communication between residents and their family members. Click here for more information.
Are you not entirely sure what coronavirus is or how to spot symptoms? Click here to read the most recent update on our response to COVID-19 with our March 17th update.

Important COVID-19 Resources

Being in the middle of allergy and flu season, it can be tough to tell the difference between COVID-19 and seasonal sicknesses. Stay up to date on the symptoms of COVID-19 with this helpful guide from the CDC.
Whether you are a resident, visitor, volunteer or staff member, everyone has the power to help stop the spread of germs and lower the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Explore this informative guide from the CDC that has easy tips and advice that anyone can follow. Click here to read more.

Senior living communities must take extra precaution for COVID-19. That’s why the Illinois Department of Public Health has created guidelines for long-term care facilities that Franciscan is dedicating resources to uphold. Learn about these guidelines and how they help lower the risk posed to our communities.

Protecting the health of residents, clients, patients and staff is one of our top priorities. For COVID-19, that means implementing a new policy for visiting our communities. Take a look at our updated visitor form that is helping us screen visitors and volunteers before they enter Franciscan communities. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Are you not entirely sure what coronavirus is or how to spot symptoms? Click here to read the most frequently asked questions about the virus including how to prevent spreading and how to protect yourself.

Are you not entirely sure what coronavirus is or how to spot symptoms? Click here to read the most frequently asked questions about the virus including how to prevent spreading and how to protect yourself.

 

For Situation Summary, click here.

Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF), click here.

CDC Recommendations to Protect Yourself, click here.

It is our hope that this information was helpful and gave you some peace of mind during this stressful time. At Franciscan Ministries, we care deeply for the health and wellness of residents, visitors, volunteers, staff members and the larger communities we serve. If you have any questions, please free feel to contact us.