Update from Administrator – 4/24/20

I hope this finds you all safe and healthy. First and foremost, thank you again for all the support you have shown the staff at Cherry Brook Health Care Center over the past several weeks. I know this is a very stressful time for everyone. The kind words of appreciation and show of support in many ways has been incredibly uplifting to our staff.

This pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time, and we are working every day to ensure that we provide the safest possible care for our residents. As you know by now, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we initiated a series of protections aimed at mitigating the threat of coronavirus at our center.  I have listed those in many past emails, family calls, and this information remains on our website. If you would like any details on them, please let me know.

As you know, this virus has impacted nursing homes at a disproportionately high rate. It doesn’t matter what our recent CMS rating was or what old surveys were, whether we are for profit or non-profit – whether we are a stand-alone center or part of a larger group, COVID-19 does not discriminate in who it effects.

Settings like nursing homes, where many people live in close quarters, are most vulnerable to spreading the virus. Despite the best efforts of nursing homes to not allow the entrance of COVID-19 into their buildings, it has happened and is continuing to happen.

In Connecticut, patients and staff have tested positive in more than half of the nursing homes in the state.

Sadly, Cherry Brook has had patients test positive for COVID-19. We are devastated that patients in our care have contracted this virus. We are doing all we can to treat them and our thoughts are with those patients afflicted with this virus and their loved ones.

We also continue to do all we can to protect our other residents. We are conducting cleanings and infection control measures multiple times per day, with extra care on high touch areas. We are limiting the number of staff going into resident rooms to only direct care staff. We are deeply committed to providing the personal protective equipment our staff needs and are in compliance with CDC and state guidelines regarding the appropriate use of PPE. We continue to follow every lead to secure PPE from existing and new vendors and request equipment from the state.

We are in touch daily with the Department of Public Health as well as our local Health Department. We also are following all CDC and state guidelines and receive regular updates on new guidelines that are offered. This information is shared with our staff and additional training is continually taking place.

And finally, we are incredibly grateful to our dedicated team; they are doing everything they possibly can to care for those suffering and support them as they battle this disease. We are fortunate for our staff and their commitment to providing the highest quality of care to our patients, even in the most challenging times. As you may know, we have increased compensation to staff in our center and continue to advertise and recruit for additional per diem staff to supplement our team. when needed.

We have heard from many of you about how you can recognize our staff – like what is happening all around our state with other “Health Care Heroes.” If you want to organize a Parade for our team, make them customized masks, deliver a meal, etc., they would appreciate the recognition as they are a huge part of the health care heroes doing their part in the battle against COVID-19.

We encourage the resident’s responsible party or designated family member to contact the department head that has been providing them with weekly updates, with any questions you have about the care we are offering. Please understand that we need to limit the number of individuals that we communicate with in a specific family, so please share your emails and communications from us to the rest of your family. Our commitment is to be as transparent as possible and work to address any issues that arise. This is an incredibly challenging time and we will continue to do all we can to get through this, together.

Thank you.

Don Davanzo



April 24, 2020 Athena News