A reopening update from our President & CEO Judy Amiano

May 29, 2020

To the Residents and Family Members of our Franciscan Communities:

It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months since all of our lives were turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. The myriad of restrictions that were enacted throughout this time were necessary to provide the highest level of safety for the residents of our communities. However necessary those steps were, we all also recognize the psychological, mental and physical toll it has taken in every conceivable way on residents, family members and associates alike. We are all joyous to begin thinking about what it looks like to re-open our campuses both internally for resident dining & activities as well as externally for family member visits.

Our senior housing campuses fall under numerous Federal, State and local regulatory bodies who all have a say in the timing and extent to which we may allow visitors to our campuses. We have a team of staff who are dedicated to understanding all the regulatory requirements to ensure our compliance relative to the re-opening of our communities. Please know that we will phase our re-opening as quickly as possible within the safety guidelines under which we operate. I will continue to be a vocal supporter of getting families and their loved ones connected as soon as practically possible.

What we know today is that the skilled nursing section of the campus will be the last to re-open. It is no surprise that on Monday of this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued new guidance detailing steps that nursing homes should take before relaxing restrictions in skilled nursing. Much of the guidance will be dependent on how the State Health Departments interpret CMS guidance, and none have weighed in yet on what the timeline is for re-opening the skilled nursing.

Assisted living is also regulated by the various state departments of health, but we anticipate that we will receive some guidance on re-opening the assisted living portion of our campuses sometime in the next couple of weeks.

We will continue to do everything possible to arrange for FaceTime, Skype, window visits, etc. for the assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing residents. Please contact any member of the team if you need help with connecting with your loved one while we await some guidance about how we can comply with re-opening the campus. I promise to mobilize our teams as quickly as possible once we are given the “green light” to move forward.

Due to the unique circumstances at individual communities, each Executive Director will be sending out a memo in the upcoming next couple of weeks that goes over the particular plan for each campus. Our overall plan to open the campus has four key areas:

  1. Visitation Guide and Guidelines: each Franciscan Community will have a guide for visitation that you will receive from the Executive Director of the campus. Since each campus has a slightly different configuration, some campuses may start with outdoor visits and other campuses will start with a dedicated space inside the community for family visits. Visits may also vary based on level of care, i.e. assisted living versus skilled nursing .
  2. The Franciscan Ministries’ Infection Prevention & Control (“IPC”) program: the Franciscan Ministries’ (ICP) program will be extended to designated outdoor or indoor visitation areas and will identify protocols for social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectant requirements for associates, residents and visitors in accordance with the guidelines provided by state, local, CDC and CMS authorities. All visitors will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and remain in designated areas only during their visit. Please be assured that we will sanitize the area between family visits. Scheduling of the visits and specific guidelines will be shared with you by the Executive Director of the campus.
  3. Internal Reopen Planning and Procedures: each community’s Executive Director is also finalizing a roadmap that will outline timing and guidelines for the beginning of communal dining, chapel services and life enrichment activities in accordance with CMS and state health departments.

We recognize how difficult these past few months have been and how much our residents need to see their loved ones. It is our intention to make this process as quick, safe and smooth as possible. You all have been incredibly patient with us during this time, and we ask for your grace as we embark on this next step towards reclaiming our normal lives. Please know that every decision we make will be based on the safety of the residents of our communities.

Please continue to watch your email for more information regarding the reopening of our communities to help you reconnect with your loved one (s). Once again, thank you for your continued support, words of encouragement and prayers throughout this crisis. We can’t wait to welcome family members back to the campuses!

Sincerely,

Judy Amiano
President & CEO

"The friendliness of all the residents and staff. . . the "Good Mornings" and "Good Afternoons" said with a smile. That truly makes my day."

Lee S., resident of Franciscan Communities

"As the song goes "There's no place like home." My place here is "home sweet home." Employees provide service with kindness and there's so many good people to talk to."

Bernard S., Franciscan Communities Resident

"Mt. Alverna has such a friendly and caring personality and atmosphere. The skilled care helped me achieve independence and regain strength. Even the social activities reinforce physical therapy. I am blessed to have been able to rehab at this facility this past Spring."

Rev S., Mount Alverna