August COVID-19 Update

“Safe and well” sounds so positive. “Isolation and physical distancing” sounds so cold. These phrases have become such a common part of our speech now. Glenwood’s staff has been working hard from day one to ensure that those in our care are healthy and happy. These uncertain times are particularly challenging for people living with autism and other mental and emotional health concerns. Their well-being is our number one priority.

Please read below for an update on how the individuals served by Glenwood and staff are doing during unsettling times.

Covid-19 Update August 2020

Residential care: Glenwood serves 125 children and adults in 30 homes. They will remain in isolation at least through July. Managers and direct support professionals have been creative in minimizing potential exposure to the coronavirus and providing activities to make it easier to endure. Friends have provided extra supplies such as arts and crafts for use. Staff have provided ways for the outdoors and common areas to be used safely. Families have missed their home visits, yet understand and are thankful their loved ones have been kept safe.

Schools: Teachers and aides have worked with in-home staff to provide packets and use technology to continue learning in the homes. Allan Cott School for children with autism and Lakeview School for boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders plan to open in August. It was fun to see the students call out to their teachers at our first COVID-19 Parade. Spectators from all 30 homes participated.

Outpatient Services: After a break, some services resumed via tele-health. They are now open for evaluations, diagnosis, therapy and counseling services. The Children’s Center has re-opened.

Adult Services: Our day programs for adults – most of whom live in homes we manage on campus or in the community – are not able to open yet, which means more staff and more creativity are needed in the homes. We have been able to allow some “fresh air” visits with precautions.

How Are We Doing? We’re proud of the way the direct support professionals have taken care of the individuals during these trying times. Everyone’s wellness has been a top priority, and the entire organization has worked together to do a great job in keeping everyone well.

Financial Impact: Expenses are up, and income is down. Time spent in the homes has increased which means increased staff time and additional supplies for physical AND mental health. The suspended programs and decrease in some services means a loss in revenue for us. The exact amount changes weekly, and it’s hard to predict where this will land because we’ve never been in a pandemic like COVID-19 before.

Future Events: Planning for events continues to present a challenge. The Ireland Legacy Golf Tournament was rescheduled from May to September 28. Teams are sold out, but hole sponsorships are still available. We’ve set the date for Big Top for February 19, 2021. We continue to monitor COVID and non-profit best practices as we decide how to proceed with in-person events, which are an important part of our fundraising efforts. We will look for creative ways to raise additional funds to support our mission.

Save the Date: One thing that we are certain about is our Pecan Sale! Mark your calendars for the end of October when the online pecan shop will open. They also make great corporate and personal gifts. Contact Shanda Daniel at 205-795-3353 to learn more.

Moving Forward! Glenwood is better and stronger, and we look forward to continuing to give loving and professional care to those with autism and other mental and emotional health concerns in our new normal. Thanks to a caring community, Glenwood continues to pivot to make the best of trying times.

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June COVID-19 Update for Glenwood

Family visits begin with social distancing in place

We are taking small steps toward returning to normal operating procedures while providing as much safety and security for our staff and individuals served as possible.

  • In Residential we continue to monitor when we might safely discontinue isolation. At this time, we plan to remain in isolation through July. We have begun controlled visits with residents and their family members. Visits to homes may take place outdoors with strict protocols. Visitors are screened – including temperatures taken, hands washed, and gloves and masks are worn. They are also asked to maintain 6’ distancing. Several visits have already taken place and all are loving it. There are smiles all around! The team – including the care staff and behavior therapists – are working to make it easier by adding activities at the homes such as art projects, puzzles, walks and using the lakes on campus. The pool is now open, along with paddle boats and canoes, offers lots of opportunities to enjoy water and sunshine. We’re thankful to many who have donated treats for residents and staff including: Capstone Collegiate Communities, Dreamcakes, Full Moon, Golden Flake, Mayfield, Church of the Highlands, Refresh Family Church and Shades Mountain Baptist Church’s Special Needs Ministry. We have moved toward a return to home visitation with family and eventually to community outings.
  • Several residents have begun home visits off-campus with their families. Families are asked to follow CDC guidelines. Upon return to campus, we monitor temperatures of individuals. The visits have helped residents who were missing family.
  • Allan Cott School for children with autism and Lakeview School for boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders are planning to reopen on August 6th.
    Sullivan Center and Journey Academy – day programs for adults with autism – are both getting visits from the adults for activities with great care on cleaning between visits.
  • Outpatient Services has resumed in full, with steady diagnosis, evaluation, therapy and counseling services on-site and in person.
  • Family and Community Services, which provides in-home treatment, is back in operation as well.
  • The Children’s Center’s services are currently suspended and we hope to open again soon.
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Glenwood Names Curtin Board Chair

Peter Curtin, who joined Glenwood’s Junior Board in 2005, has been named Chair of the Glenwood Board of Directors and Advisors. Curtin, vice president of CRC Group, has a long history with Glenwood, having served on the board since 2008.

Other officers appointed for fiscal year 2020-2021 are Edward Sledge of Bradley as Vice Chair; Jim Hill of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama as Secretary; and Andy Martin of Providence Benefits as Treasurer.  Members at Large are Carter Burwell, JLL; Leigh Anne Hodge, Bradley; Mallie Ireland Dansby, Community Volunteer; and Ryan Thomas, Parent and community representative. Newly appointed board members include Tommy Brown, the incoming chair of Glenwood’s Junior Board, Krystal Drummond of Drummond Company; Steven Mote, former Junior Board President, and division manager of Imperial Dade; Will Pearson, representing the Autism Society of Alabama and iHeartMedia; Donna Renfroe, Community Volunteer and Parent; Davis Stewart III with Bradley.

Philip Young, the immediate past Chair of the Board, said, “A strong board is important in fulfilling the mission. This is an impressive group of leaders who will help us thrive in unprecedented times. Not only is the economy in flux, but the number of people needing services is at an all-time high with 1 in 54 children being diagnosed with autism and even more being diagnosed with other mental health concerns. Glenwood touched the lives of more than 18,000 families last year. Our professional managers and staff can help these families.”

“I’m so pleased to be able to work with this excellent board and leadership team. And it’s especially gratifying that we have a former Junior Board member leading our group,” said Ken Oliver, Glenwood President and Chief Executive Officer. “Peter brings a great business acumen and a huge heart for our community and our mission. And he will be surrounded by a talented and inspired group of leaders on our Executive Committee and Board. We can move into the future with great confidence as we continue the Glenwood legacy of excellent service and compassionate care for those families we serve.”

Click here to see the full board listing for 2020-21.

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Jugglers, Smiles and even Mickey Mouse

Glenwood staff put on our first social distance parade for residents living in isolation in Glenwood homes. Prior to COVID-19, residents used to socialize together through activities and school. We are now 78 days in to quarantine and residents miss their friends, teachers, staff members, and even families.

The parade provided an opportunity for staff to wave and cheer for residents, lifting spirits and helping them know they are missed. Spectators were treated to decorated vehicles, smiling faces, a juggler, and even a special appearance from Mickey and Minnie Mouse! Hopefully it gave the individuals we serve and staff a small break in the day for something encouraging and fun!

We are expecting residents to remain in quarantine through the end of June. But, residents are now able to have socially distant visits with family members. Strict protocols are in place to try to keep residents and families safe and healthy. Meetings are held outside, when possible, with a safe 6′ distance maintained. Temperatures are checked and everyone wears a mask.

A few visits have already taken place and they were a success for all involved. While it’s hard not to be able to hug or hold hands, just seeing one another has been an amazing experience. Staff have been so moved by being a part of these special family moments.

This bike from Regions Bank has been getting lots of extra love. We are so grateful for their bike donation which has provided fun for residents, students and staff, especially during quarantine. One staff member even rode it in our recent campus parade. Regions Bank has supported Glenwood for many years in so many ways. We are grateful to have them as a partner!



Are you looking for a meaningful career or do you know someone who is? Do you want to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world? While many companies have had to furlough workers, Glenwood has continued to hire staff. Glenwood is seeking Direct Support Professionals to help better the lives of those we serve. YOU can be a light to many in these times.

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THRIVE Lab Invites Parents to Participate in a Study

The THRIVE Lab at UC Irvine reached out to Glenwood for help finding participants in a study that includes an online program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 3 and 7 years old.The study aims to assess the efficacy of a short parenting program designed by Dr. Jessica Borelli, a licensed clinical psychologist.

During their involvement in the study, parents complete brief, online reflective activity on their own. Mothers of typically developing children have reported finding the activity to be helpful in thinking about positive, impactful moments in their everyday lives.

If you would like more information, contact Gerin at (858) 504-8443 or See below of FAQ. Click here for the approval letter from the University of California, Irvine Institutional Review Board.

FAQs for the Parenting the Spectrum (PTS) Study

What is the study about?

  • We are looking at the parent-child relationships in the ASD community.

How do I enroll in the study?

  • The PTS study includes two ways to participate:
  1. Complete the online study (Study 1) by opting out of additional home visits
  2. Complete the in-home study (Study 2) by opting in for additional home visits
  • Participants enroll and opt out or opt in using the following link: or use the QR code on our flier, which will take you to the consent page of the study.

What are the differences between the in-home study and the online-only study?

  • The online study (Study 1) is a brief, one-time questionnaire. The survey must be completed in less than two hours and takes about 1-hour to complete (typing answers in response to fill-in questions and completing survey questions).
  • The in-home study (Study 2) lasts about 5 weeks and includes two home visits, online activities, and opportunities for children and secondary caregivers to participate as well.

Who is eligible for the online study (Study 1)?

  • Mothers of a child with ASD between the ages of 3-7 who live outside a 30-mile radius of UC Irvine or who lack the time/desire to participate in-home study.

Who is eligible for the in-home study (Study 2)?

  • Mothers of a child with ASD between the ages of 3-7 who live within a 30-mile radius of UC Irvine (Greater Orange County Area).

What would I be doing during the study?

  • For the online study (Study 1), mothers are invited to complete an online survey (in one sitting) that takes on average, about 1-hour to complete.
  • For the in-home study (Study 2), mothers are invited to complete two home visits that include play activities with their child (which we guide participants through), surveys, a reflective activity, and some online activities independently. The mother, child, and secondary caregiver are invited to complete a cheek swab for a DNA sample.

How much compensation can I receive? How do I get compensated?

  • For the online study (Study 1), mothers can receive $20 in an Amazon gift card.
  • For the in-home study (Study 2), families can receive up to $90 compensation; Participants will receive cash and children receive toys during each home visit.

Can my partner/husband participate in the study too?

  • Yes, the in-home study (Study 2) invites secondary caregivers to participate in an online survey and provide a check swab for a DNA sample.
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Glenwood’s Updated Response to COVID-19

May 14, 2020 

“We never imagined a time like this, and our unwavering priority during this time has been for the well-being of those we serve. What we are doing is working; everyone is well. We serve a vulnerable population, many of whom have compromised health. I hate to think of where we’d be if the virus had gotten to any of the individuals we serve or our residential care team,” says Ken Oliver, Glenwood President and CEO. “Our team members are doing amazing things every day.”

“In an organization with 37 programs, planning, flexibility and thinking through many situations is vital. The staff talks constantly about how to adjust to keep people healthy and to get back to providing services that families need. It hasn’t been easy, but we are grateful that all is well,” said Oliver.

Update on programs:

  • In Residential we continue to monitor when we might safely discontinue isolation. It’s hard on the residents, who often don’t understand. It’s hard on their families, and we appreciate their patience as we do what’s in everyone’s best interest. Even social distancing visits aren’t considered a good idea. Covid-19 has been difficult on everyone’s mental health, and that’s true with our residents as well. The team – including the care staff and behavior therapists – are working to make it easier by adding activities at the homes such as art projects, puzzles, walks and using the lakes on campus. We’re especially grateful for our direst support professionals who care for the individuals in the homes. We’re thankful to those who have donated money for Easter enjoyment and for weekly treats from Mayfield and Golden Flake. We’re thankful to DJ Mark AD for hosting Dance Parties via Zoom so that our students, residents, staff and families can enjoy virtual time together.
  • Allan Cott School for children with autism and Lakeview School for boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders continue to use distance learning and are evaluating when they may be able to open our classrooms again.
  • Sullivan Center and Journey Academy – day programs for adults with autism – are both getting visits from the adults for activities with great care on cleaning between visits.
  • Outpatient Services began doing evaluations and diagnosis again on May 4. Telehealth therapy continues as a way to serve some families who may prefer not to be involved in physical visits.
  • Children’s Center staff began seeing some children May 6 and are working to being fully functioning by June 1.
  • Family and Community Services, which provides in-home treatment, is back in operation as well.

What else have we learned?

There’s a saying that “we learn more in crisis than we learn in comfort.” Oliver says, “I’ve learned that our frontline staff and managers are more creative, determined, passionate and committed than ever. I’ve learned we have much to be thankful for – from what we are taught by the individuals we serve who are adjusting and coping – to families who are patient and supportive. I’ve learned that the community is here for us, both emotionally and financially.”

What’s Next?

“We love being able to serve the community who desperately needs us. From a financial standpoint, the pandemic is costing us a tremendous amount of extra money. We’ve lost revenue from the programs we had to suspend. Giving comfort and hope to families is what we do. We are confident that we will be able to continue to be there when people need us,” says Oliver.



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Glenwood Superheroes

We have seen so many acts of heroism, kindness, and compassion during this 7-week isolation. Through uncharted territory, our staff, donors, friends, families, volunteers, sponsors, and partners have all stepped in and stepped up. We want to honor some Autism Heroes that have shown great persistence, strength, and compassion during this time of uncertainty.

Mask Makers

Who is a superhero without a mask? Our staff has been outfitted in colorful masks courtesy of some amazing volunteers. With over 200 employees working directly with residents 24 hours a day, the need for masks was great. Volunteers from five different states sewed 250 masks to help outfit our heroes in their superhero gear. Thank you to our sewing warriors Jon’s Army, Nurse Amy, Ethelene Harbison, Ravenna Rice, Robin Wood and Staci Hawkins!


Our Mighty Team

The health and wellness of our residents is the direct result of our amazing staff doing outstanding work every day. There are not enough ways to thank them for their service. Hero signs were posted all over our campuses and on the lawns of 29 homes. It’s a small way to recognize the big job they are doing throughout quarantine to keep residents healthy and happy. We are honored to have them as team members and caregivers!


Aprons Are Superhero Capes

Food Services at Glenwood have pivoted to meet the needs of residents. Staff in our cafeteria have been preparing to-go meals for all residents. Workers from each of the 29 homes come to the cafeteria to pick up their meals. The men and women who work in food services miss seeing the cafeteria full of the residents they have gotten to know over the years. But, they are showing their love through carryout cooking!


Teaching Superpowers

We already know that teachers are superheroes. We’d like to add therapists to that category. Teachers and therapists from Glenwood schools have been working together to develop lesson plans to help residents and students at home. They are utilizing technology, computers, and some old-school hands on activities to make sure students continue to learn and develop new skills during quarantine. Students can now add video chats to their list of skills learned!

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CARES ACT offers incentives to support charitable giving

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was  signed into law  March 27, 2020. In addition to providing fast and direct economic assistance for Americans regarding jobs and business, it offers  incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to continue supporting their charitable interests.  

Some tax considerations include:

  • For non-itemizers, a $300 above-the-line deduction for cash gifts to qualified charitable organizations (no donor advised funds or supporting organizations).
  • For itemizers, an increase in the deduction limit for charitable gifts of cash from 60% to 100% of AGI with a five-year carryover.
  • Increased deduction limit on corporate giving from 10% to 25%.
  • Increased deduction limit on gifts of food inventory to 25%.
  • As always, check with your advisors for specifics regarding your situation.

What else is included in the new law?

  • A one-time tax rebate of up to $1,200 for adults and $500 per child. The full rebate will be available for individuals with income up to $75,000 and married couples up to $150,000. The benefit is phased out for higher income individuals and families.
  • Enhanced unemployment benefits of $600 a week for four months in addition to state benefits.
  • $350 billion in relief to small businesses (including nonprofits) to help them continue operating and maintain employees.
  • The CARES Act includes incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to continue supporting their charitable interests.
  • Increased limits on borrowing from retirement plans; waiver of the 10% penalty for coronavirus-related early withdrawals from 401(k)s and IRAs; all RMDs suspended for 2020 tax year.



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Donate $35+ and Get a T-shirt

During the COVID-19 response, we’ve all learned a lot. We know we’re better together, even if we can’t physically be together, or if we have to practice social distancing. Glenwood continues making the health and safety of those we serve a top priority. With 120 individuals isolated in 29 homes, our staff have been heroes in keeping everyone well and making it as comfortable as possible. Students have enjoyed walks, art, games and hunts for crawfish and frogs.

We can’t wait to be open again for important evaluations and diagnoses so parents can have a treatment plan. Our behavior, speech and occupational therapists miss working with the small children, and we know families need these services.

We must be here for many families as soon as we can be. We know some of you are hurting, too. But if you can, we ask for your support today. Your donations help fund the expense of extra care in the homes during isolation and financial losses we are experiencing in suspended programs. With every gift of $35 or more by April 30th, we will send you a Glenwood Better Together (6 feet apart) t-shirt shown above.

Make a gift online or mail it 150 Glenwood Lane, Birmingham, AL 35242. *Include your t-shirt size and shipping address with your donation. We’d love to see you in your shirt! Snap a photo and post it to our Facebook page. Thank you for any help you can do!

*Include your t-shirt size and shipping address in the comments section of the online donation form.



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Glenwood Names Director of Compliance and PI

April Richardson has been named Director of Compliance and Performance Improvement at Glenwood Inc. She comes to Glenwood with more than 13 years of health care experience.  She is a recent graduate of Cumberland School of Law and holds a master of science degree from Samford University with a focus in health law and policy. She also earned a master of science in management from Faulkner University and a bachelor of science in health care administration from Auburn University. Richardson is currently pursuing certification in health care compliance through the Certification Compliance Board.

As an advocate for both individuals served and staff, Richardson seeks to promote organizational culture that reflects the mission, vision and values set forth by Glenwood, which touched the lives of more than 18,000 families last year.

 “April’s expertise will be a tremendous asset in working with management across all divisions to guide Glenwood’s continuous quality improvement program. With 37 programs that serve people as young as 18 months through adulthood, it’s a big and important role. Ensuring that Glenwood continues to deliver the highest quality standards of care for those we serve is a top priority,” said Ken Oliver, Glenwood president and chief executive officer.

Apart from her career, April enjoys quality time with her husband Sam, and two children, Samuel and Savanna. One of her favorite things to do is encourage others through acts of kindness. She firmly believes in the golden rule, “ Treat others as you would want to be treated.”

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