Update from Administrator – May 7, 2020
You may have seen the coverage in the Cape Cod Times regarding the National Guard healthcare team providing supplemental direct care staff.
As you know, we currently have positive residents in the facility and staff who are out ill with COVID-19. We are working internally and with our Athena team to create a “pool” of available staff to supplement our team during this pandemic. This “pool” is being recruited through advertising to current licensed and certified caregivers on the Cape and beyond. Nearly 80% of Massachusetts nursing homes have cases of COVID-19, therefore staffing is an issue across the Commonwealth. We have been paying our employees a “hazard pay” bonus per shift and have offered those in the “pool” a significantly higher rate of pay to work temporarily until our staff is back to 100%.
The Guard, through the Department of Public Health, has generously offered to provide further assistance to nursing homes, in the form of temporary staffing. This is a voluntary program that Governor Baker and the Guard have worked out to help nursing homes complement their existing teams for a finite period of several days. Cape Regency is one of 17 centers to participate in this newly announced program
We welcomed the National Guard healthcare team on May 4 to begin their first shifts. Twenty members of the Guard have been on hand to provide direct resident care and supplement the Cape Regency Team. The team is led by a captain who has been nothing short of amazing and we cannot thank them enough for their assistance.
We are incredibly grateful for our dedicated team at Cape Regency and thank our community for including them as “Health Care Heroes” battling COVID-19. They are doing everything they possibly can to care for those afflicted and support them as they battle this disease.
Cape Regency escaped this insidious virus until very recently when we learned of our first diagnosis in our patient population. And as the article noted, we only admitted new patients to our quarantined COVID-19 unit AFTER several patients were already diagnosed as being positive. We would never have admitted anyone with a positive COVID-19 status into the center otherwise.
I know we have communicated many times about the steps we took over the past 10+ weeks to mitigate the entrance of COVID-19 to the Cape Regency. If you would like to see that again, please contact me.
Nearly 80% of Massachusetts nursing homes have cases of COVID-19, including several on the Cape. As our local health department and the state DPH will attest, we have followed all guidelines and recommendations of these agencies, as well as the CDC, and are proud of our staff for their professionalism and compassion during this pandemic.
Barnstable Health Director Thomas McKean said he was impressed by the control measures undertaken by Cape Regency, particularly its director of nursing services.
“She worked hard to make sure they met every protocol of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health,” McKean said. Cape Cod Times, 5/5/2020
We will continue to take all possible steps to protect the health and safety of our residents and encourage all our family members to reach out to us with any questions they may have.
Edith Mahoney, PT LNHA