The Resource Center’s employees always do a tremendous job, and they have really stepped up during the confusion and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The Resource Center is proud that we have not had a case of COVID-19 infection at any of our facilities. We are doing our best to keep the virus out of our homes by following guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities; the New York State Department of Health; and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services. Precautions include:
- Closing our Day Programs
- Suspending our Community Pre-Vocational Services
- Keeping our residents at home
- Restricting visitors to our homes
- Checking the temperature of staff when they arrive to work
- Having staff wear personal protective equipment
- Maintaining proper social distancing when possible
- Training staff on how to prevent the spread of the disease
- Encouraging staff to stay home when they’re not at work
We know the changes in our operations, brought on by a fierce commitment to prevent COVID-19 from making its way into The Resource Center, have been hard on the people we support and their families, as well as on our own staff. Many of the people who live in our homes are used to visiting regularly with their families. Being unable to visit with one another is confusing for the people we support and heart-wrenching for their families. That’s why we’ve been supporting residents in using technology to remain in contact with their families.
Here are some updates of what has been going on at The Resource Center:
Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services
For more than 60 years, The Resource Center’s core mission has been to support people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. With the virus pandemic upon us, we have taken extraordinary steps to protect the people we support — and our staff who support them — from being exposed to the virus.
Many of the people we support have compromised immune systems or other health conditions that make them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. To minimize their possible exposure, we closed our Day Habilitation Programs and suspended many of our community-based supports. People living in our residences are being kept home, and visitation by family and friends has been restricted. Staff are being monitored for signs of the virus and are being checked for fever when they arrive for work, and they are wearing masks while on the job.
Staff and residents have been great in adapting to the changes forced upon them by the pandemic. Staff have come up with interesting projects for people to do in the homes, and we’ve been meeting the clinical and therapeutic needs of the residents.
While we hope to keep the virus out of our homes, COVID-19 has made its way into residences at other agencies in New York State, so we know it’s possible the coronavirus eventually will appear at one of our homes. In preparation for this occurrence, we have arranged for our Day Program facility on Eighth Street in Jamestown to be used to quarantine residents while they recover.
TRC Community Health Center remains open to serve people with disabilities and the general public. Each of TRC Community Health Center’s clinical service areas is operating. We are trying to conduct most appointments by telephone or videoconference, but the offices remain open to handle emergencies.
All clinical service areas are accepting new patients. Phone 661-1447 for an appointment. In many cases, there is no copay.
“We’re open, we’re safe, we’re here for you,” said Heather C. Brown, Assistant Executive Director for Program Operations.
Dr. Adnan Munir and the nursing staff are seeing patients Monday through Friday at the 890 East Second Street location, or via a telehealth appointment.
In accordance with federal and state guidelines, we have suspended all non-emergency procedures. Dr. Jeanne Yang and her staff are available two days a week at the Jamestown location to handle emergency situations. They also offer telehealth — send a photo of your problem, and they will try to assist you.
For people who are feeling overwhelmed by the virus crisis, as well as anyone else coping with a mental health challenge, TRC’s Behavioral Health and Care Coordination Services are there for you. Counselors are working from home, and some are available at our Jamestown and Dunkirk locations to meet face to face with people experiencing emergencies or needing medication. Our Health Home services are operating remotely.
OT, PT, Speech
Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy services are being offered on a limited basis at our Diagnostic and Treatment Center on Jones & Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. All equipment is sanitized between sessions. Telehealth sessions also are available.
With health care providers and other businesses experiencing shortages of masks and gowns, The Resource Center has stepped up to assist.
TRC and its manufacturing division, called Allied Industries, have been sewing items for the federal government for some 30 years. With the COVID-19 response requiring enormous amounts of personal protective equipment, TRC was well positioned to help fill that need.
Workers at our Jamestown facility began making reusable cloth masks and gowns in early April. While the first items produced were distributed for use by our own staff, we are now making masks and gowns for customers located in Chautauqua County, across New York State and elsewhere.
Interest in our PPE has been enormous. When Support Enterprises, Inc., one of our manufacturing partners located next to Allied Industries on Jones & Gifford Avenue, posted about the availability of its masks, the response was immediate — within a day, they received 60 orders from across the country.
The Resource Center expects to be able to produce up to 15,000 gowns and 95,000 masks per month. Support Enterprises can manufacture 500 to 1,200 masks per day.
The masks and gowns are not for use in surgical settings. The masks are made from a polyester-cotton blend, while the gowns are made with a waterproof, thermoplastic polyurethane fabric.
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Any gesture of gratitude to our employees for their efforts during the crisis can never adequately express our appreciation for the job they are doing. But we have tried to show employees how much they are valued. Last week, we held “car parades” in which lines of vehicles drove past every one of our 30 homes located throughout Chautauqua County. At each stop, administrative staff parked their vehicles and got out to shout words of praise and encouragement to residents and home staff.
Our clinical services employees have been on the front lines of heath care during the crisis. To demonstrate the entire agency’s appreciation for the efforts of clinical staff, Executive Director Denise Jones and Heather C. Brown, Assistant Executive Director for Program Operations, bought breakfast one day last week and delivered it to TRC Community Health Center on Second Street in Jamestown.
The employees who have been doing such a great job providing direct support to people with disabilities, meeting the health care needs of the community and making personal protective equipment are backed by hundreds of people working behind the scenes. We thank all of TRC’s Unsung Heroes whose efforts have enabled us to continue operating at a high level.
Click here to show your support for The Resource Center by making a donation to our “TRC Fights COVID-19 Fund.”
We are TRC strong!