This week, we lost a great American. Colin Powell passed away on Monday, October 18, 2021 at the age of 84. General Powell was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for multiple myeloma, early-stage Parkinson’s disease, and complications from COVID-19. He had been vaccinated, but his myeloma compromised his immune system, making his body unable to utilize the vaccine with efficiency.
General Powell will be greatly missed by this country. When he retired from the military in 1993, Powell was one of the most popular public figures in America, owing to his straightforward style and strong leadership qualities. His work in government helped shape American foreign policy for years to come. In 2001, Powell was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State, putting him fourth in the presidential line of succession, making him the highest-ranking person of color to date in the country. His accomplishments include serving as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as National Security Advisor. Powell also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom twice.
House passes bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday
A bill that would add Juneteenth as a federal holiday is now heading to President Biden’s desk for signature after the House approved the measure by a vote of 415-14. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent. Juneteenth, which has been celebrated since the late 1800s, commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and announced that the region’s 250,0000 enslaved African Americans had been emancipated, thus ending slavery in the last Confederate territory. Calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday, which has been in the works for years, gained momentum last year amid the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Juneteenth honors the end of the years of suffering and brutality that African Americans endured under slavery and celebrates the legacy of perseverance that has become the hallmark of the African American experience in the struggle for equality.
Governor Whitmer signs proclamation marking June 17 as Essential Worker Appreciation Day
On June 17, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation marking June 17 as Essential Worker Appreciation Day. “I am thankful for all of our essential workers for bravely stepping up throughout the pandemic to keep Michiganders safe and our economy running,” said Gov. Whitmer. “From staffing our hospitals to keeping our grocery store shelves stocked, essential workers selflessly served during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the well-being of their fellow Michiganders. We all owe them a debt of gratitude.”
To read the full Proclamation CLICK HERE
A Message to ROI/GLC employees, individuals, families, and other customers – updated 05/18/2021
The Governor’s recent update regarding the mask mandate does not alter any existing guidelines currently in place for all ROI Programs and Administration buildings. We continue to follow all MIOSHA regulations and epidemic orders. Until further notice, we will continue with masking, sanitizing, social distancing, and documenting screening for COVID symptoms. We will provide any updates as they become available.
Under the epidemic orders signed March 17, 2021, and as guided by https://www.cms.gov/files/document/qso-20-39-nh-revised.pdf , ROI adult specialized residential facilities and support independent living facilities are open to limited indoor visitation. Per the guidelines within the order, ROI will still encourage – and assist with- virtual visits and outdoor visits. Indoor visitation rules will require:
- An appointment will be made in advance of the visit. This is to ensure that the home is able to manage visits for all family members, arrange for space, and ensure sanitation.
- A limit on the number of visitors at the same time (2 total for the program).
- A health screening prior to visitation – which will require signing in with contact information.
- Visitors comply with social distance (six feet), no physical contact, mask wearing, sanitation, and movement limitations within the setting to avoid/limit contact with other consumers or staff.
- The program/home location has no positive case of Coronavirus in either staff or consumers within 14 days.
- The program will not be under quarantine orders from the public health entity.
- Vaccination status of residents is 70% or greater.
Indoor visits may not occur for anyone unable to – or unwilling to – comply with all the guidelines provided by MDHHS. You can review the full order here Coronavirus – Requirements for residential care facilities
For ROI/GLC Residential Programs:
Under Executive Order 2020-6, all healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities must continue to prohibit any visitors who are not necessary for medical care, support of activities of daily living like bathing or eating, or that are not visiting under emergency circumstances. ROI program supervisors continue to work with families to maintain contact with their loved ones via telephone and/or video conferencing where possible while the Executive Order remains in effect.
For GLC Autism Outpatient Programs:
GLC OP strives to keep all children safe at all times. We have implemented several strategies that will remain in place during the COVID pandemic while Michigan is in Phases 1-5 of the Safe Start Plan. Some of these strategies were already standard operating procedures, while some have been expanded or added. These procedures may change or remain in place when Michigan enters Phase 6 of the Safe Start Plan.
- All staff and visitors must wear a mask at all times (unless they are alone in a private office or bathroom) while in the buildings
- Visitors may be limited to only essential visits (e.g., assessment, caregiver training, interns)
- All staff and visitors must complete a health screening before entry to the building will be permitted, including temperature
For more information on the Outpatient procedures please refer to: Outpatient COVID-19 Procedures
For ROI Administrative Programs:
Consistent with the visitation rules for the adult services, the administrative buildings on Rose and Park will again be open for visitation. Persons needing to conduct business with the staff in either of these buildings are still asked to schedule appointments to ensure that the staff is able to provide the service within social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Routine ROI business may also continue to be conducted by phone, email, and/or video conferencing as applicable during normal business hours.
The individuals served by 16/17 of ROI’s adult group homes and all supported living programs have been offered and completed their two dose vaccination series (as approved by guardians). The 17th group home has begun the vaccination process and has received one dose. ROI staff have all been offered the opportunity for vaccination. ALL ROI programs continue to assess for COVID-19 symptoms (acute respiratory illness symptoms) and risk factors for all individuals not under our care who are seeking entry into our programs. All ROI programs must deny entry to any individual with these symptoms or risk factors. We understand this continues to be very stressful for everyone. We are making changes daily as we learn how to interpret directives from governmental entities and focus on protecting the health of everyone involved. Please continue to ask us questions. We will get answers as quickly as we can if we don’t know immediately.
In an effort to keep us all safe, throughout the organization we are practicing social distancing to the extent possible (while continuing to provide necessary personal care), wearing masks, increasing surface cleaning and keeping ourselves apprised of Federal and State orders and recommendations. We continue to be amazed and appreciative of the support from our community for ROI and those we support. Thank you.
Should you have any questions regarding COVID-19, I encourage you to visit the following websites:
State of Michigan: Michigan.gov/Coronavirus
Federal information: Coronavirus.gov
Chief Executive Officer
Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program offers weekly question and answer sessions. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Direct Care Worker Crisis: Your Action Needed! CLICK HERE to find out more.
mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines: Frequently Asked Questions: For more information CLICK HERE.
SAM Vaccination Letter CLICK HERE
We thank Governor Whitmer for her plan for a permanent pay increase for DSP’s. CLICK HERE to find out more.
Governor Whitmer signs temporary Direct Care Worker wage supplemental. CLICK HERE to find out more.