Unprecedented Times, Unprecedented Caring
By Michael E. McRae
President & CEO, St. Ann’s Community
May 11, 2020
If anyone ever doubted the importance of healthcare workers to the functioning of our society, I think it’s safe to say those doubts have vanished. “Healthcare heroes” around the globe are being recognized as they go above and beyond to care for those battling the coronavirus.
Here at St. Ann’s, “heroic” deeds are being done by employees in every department. Of course our top-notch clinical team has risen to the challenge with courage, grace, skill, and compassion. Also stepping up are our housekeepers, maintenance staff, food service workers, administrative and support teams, and everyone in between. (We’ve added a “Healthcare Heroes” section to our website to recognize those efforts.)
These are unprecedented times, and I could not be more proud of the unprecedented level of support our employees are providing our residents. It is their contributions to daily life at St. Ann’s that enable us to weather this storm.
- Staff from every department have stepped up to volunteer for our Buddy Program, spending quality time with our residents to ease their isolation. One staff member shared her experience helping a 102-year-old resident Zoom chat with his four children: “It meant so much to them to be able to see their dad and know that he is okay. If I were in their shoes, I know how much I would miss my father, so it made me feel really good to know that I was able to help them through that and ease their worries.”
- We’re finding non-traditional ways of brightening our residents’ days. Window visits with family have replaced room visits; our in-house TV channel brings church services and entertainment to our residents in their rooms; and activities, birthday parties and other celebrations are being held with appropriate fanfare while observing safety and social distancing.
- Our parking lots have become center stage for a variety of uplifting events arranged by our staff that residents can observe from their windows. Recently, our local police and fire departments let loose their lights and sirens in a show of support, and 300 vintage cars rolled through our Irondequoit campus in the “COVID-19 Classic Car Cruise” thanks to B&C Auto Restoration. Others in the community have taken similar gracious steps to add some spice to our lives and smiles to our faces.
As one family member told us recently, “We appreciate everything you’re doing to keep residents feeling loved when we can’t be there because of the pandemic.”
Our staff give their all every day, and that’s never been more true than during this time of disruption and uncertainty. It is an honor to do everything we can for our elders, who themselves have done so much for our community and our world.