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.