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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – An Update from Mark Ricketts, President & CEO

Recent News | April 24, 2020

Dear National Church Residences Family,

We are honored to be part of a unique partnership to deliver the rapid turnaround of COVID-19 testing for vulnerable seniors in post-acute settings, including 1,500 nursing homes (skilled and long-term care) and assisted living facilities in Franklin and surrounding counties. The new Post-Acute Regional Rapid Testing (PARRT) program launched this week in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Health, Franklin County Health Department and Columbus Health Department, with grant funding provided by The Columbus Foundation. Read more about the PARRT.

To continue to serve our seniors in the Atlanta area, we have also been awarded $345,000 in funding from two Atlanta non-profit organizations: The Fulton County COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund, which provided $250,000 and a joint effort from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, which provided $95,000. These grants will be used for nutritional support, along with purchasing personal protective equipment and supplies, in addition to providing residents access to transportation for picking up prescriptions and taking care of other critical needs. We will also utilize the funding to design and implement a centralized, on-demand food hub service at Big Bethel Village for older adults, formerly homeless and people with disabilities in the county. These efforts are being coordinated by our team at the National Church Residences Atlanta headquarters.

While we have imposed the highest level of infection prevention in every setting where we serve seniors, and closely followed the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we still have had seniors impacted by this dangerous virus.

Our seniors are still sheltering in place in our 340 communities across 25 states. Our staff has been wildly creative keeping the residents engaged. From TV and Hallway Bingo to Dance Parties and Food deliveries, they are going above and beyond to take care of our seniors. We have been doing all in our power to keep the seniors we serve and the seniors in the community safe. Hear more stories here.

To this end, National Church Residences, in collaboration with our media partners in Ohio, Georgia and Florida, launched a Public Service Campaign to reinforce the message of staying at home to #SaveOurSeniors. Every decision you make in the coming weeks will impact someone’s life – and it could be your own.

How can you help?

While there are a lot of things you can’t do right now, there are many things you can do to help the cause.

  • Stay Connected. During this time, we encourage families to communicate with each other and your senior loved ones by calling, texting, posting on social media, video chatting, and setting up family gatherings in online meeting rooms. Here is a post with other ideas on staying connected to a senior.
  • Stay Calm: If you or a loved one is impacted directly by the virus, the best thing to do is to remain calm, relaxed and know that our care teams are working diligently to prepare for the prevention of infection.
  • Stay Compassionate. Help a less fortunate senior by donating to our Resident Emergency Fund.
  • Stay Informed: Please visit the CDC website for current coronavirus information. For information about restrictions in your area, check your State Department of Public Health.
  • Stay Home: The most important thing you can do is to stay home. If you must go out, practice social distancing. While we recognize our visitor restrictions may create inconvenience, please know we are acting in the best interest of all concerned. You might be showing the most love by not showing up at all.
  • Contact Us: If you should have a concern regarding a specific resident or one of our campuses with regard to the virus, please contact your specific community.

What are we doing?

  • Our physician-led, COVID-19 Task Force continues to meet daily, adjusting Infection Prevention Plans in response to new CDC and state guidelines as well as changing senior community situations.
  • To help support our senior residents in need, we’ve launched a national Rapid Response Service Coordinator program to arrange for services and supplies.
  • To help support our front line staff, we launched a COVID-19 Staff Support Hotline. This provides immediate access to guidance and needed resources.
  • In recognition of the financial impact the coronavirus is having on our frontline staff at a time they are going above and beyond for our seniors, our Board agreed to provide additional Crisis Compensation through April 30, 2020.
  • Every day we’re gaining new wisdom, discovering new ways to do things, uncovering staff talents and re-allocating our resources to best adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. We are committed – and determined – to save lives.

To all of our National Church Residences family, be safe, and may God Bless you as we continue this journey together.







Mark Ricketts, President & CEO

Disclaimer: Please be aware that due to the rapidly evolving situation, recommendations regarding Coronavirus are constantly being updated as our organization becomes aware of the latest government recommendations and as the situation changes.  The information in this message may become quickly outdated so we advise you to always consult with the CDC and your local health department for the most up-to-date information in your area. National Church Residences is not providing medical or legal advice through this communication and shall not be liable for the action or inaction of third parties based upon the information provided.

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