Talking Home Care: Serving Clients & Protecting Staff During the Pandemic

Cheryl Rumley—founder and president of Apex Homecare—offers a powerful, first-person account of her experience running an agency during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For the 16th episode of Talking Home Care, Pat talks with Cheryl Rumley, founder and president of Apex Homecare in Springfield, Massachusetts. Cheryl offers a powerful, first-person account of her experience running an agency during the pandemic. Like many owners, Cheryl had to figure out how to care for her clients while also looking out for her employees’ safety and need to care for their own families.

They also discuss Cheryl’s connection to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and Governor Charlie Baker’s leadership during the last 18 months.

You may listen to the podcast by clicking any of the platform images above, clicking “play,” or downloading it directly (Length: 21 minutes; Size: 15 MB).

Cheryl Rumley and Pat Kelleher
Cheryl Rumley and Pat Kelleher

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and give us a five-star review so others can find it.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

2021 Private Care Guides Connect Families & Home Care Agencies

The 2021 Private Care Directories will connect thousands of Massachusetts residents with the home care agencies they need.

For 15 years, the Guides to Private Home Care Services have connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that best meet their needs. While our Resource Directory is intended for professionals who make regular referrals, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge, with free shipping on most orders. Choose from among three regional editions:

2021 Private Care Guide - Boston North
2021 Private Care Guide - Central/West
2021 Private Care Guide - South of Boston

(Click one of the thumbnails to place your free order).

Each Guide contains a county-by-county cross-reference, as well as short essays about:

  • What home care is;
  • How to pay for it;
  • How to choose an agency, and;
  • The advantages of working with a home care agency.

This year, the Guides feature Francisca Depina & Maritza DelRosario of Upham’s Corner Health Center/Upham’s Home Health Care, who are among
the #HomeCareHeroes who have given so much to serve their clients
during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Re-Launched & Improved Online Agency Search

Redesigned from scratch, the Alliance’s new Find an Agency Search is designed to connect families and referral sources with home care agencies quickly and easily.

Redesigned from scratch, the Alliance’s new Find an Agency Search is designed to connect families and referral sources with home care agencies quickly and easily.

The new search is fast and intuitive, allowing users to quickly filter agencies by geography, services offered, agency type, and accreditation status (or any combination of those factors). Alternatively, users looking for a specific agency may search for it by name.

Results update immediately, as users select criteria, and the search counts the number of agencies shown at any given time. Though designed for desktop use, it also works on mobile platforms.

This is a massive improvement over the old search in both design and function, particularly in terms of how it displays search results.

Old Search

New Search

To test the search for yourself, visit www.thinkhomecare.org/agencies. Questions? Contact me at tmeyer@thinkhomcare.org.

Black History Month Interviews: Felicia Moore of Neighborhood Home Care

During Black History Month, we’re honored to share stories from members of color. That is why it was my privilege to talk with Felicia Moore of Neighborhood Home Care.

Moving from Mississippi to Massachusetts would be a culture shock for anyone. However, Felicia Moore of Neighborhood Home Care has used that experience to educate and serve communities in which healthcare can be hard to find and is often misunderstood.

During Black History Month, the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts is honored to share stories from members of color who own and operate home care agencies in Massachusetts. That is why it was my privilege to talk with Felicia. She is passionate about providing healthcare and education, especially to those in underserved communities. You can see it through the way she speaks and reminisces about her experiences.

The Alliance’s Michelle Burton and Neighborhood Home Care’s Felicia Moore (Full Interview)

Felicia shares what drew her to home care, how it has shaped her journey, and what differentiates her agency from others. In the clips below, she shares with us a client story that has stuck with her, as well as on the importance of trust in forming connections with clients in their homes.

Stay tuned for more interviews this week.


Moore: “I did not get here by myself.”
Moore on Inspiring Others
Moore on the Real Standard of Success

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Talking Home Care: Employment Law During a Pandemic with Angelo Spinola

Veteran litigator Angelo Spinola answers questions about how agencies are rising to meet the biggest employment law challenges they face, including those posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Angelo Spinola and Pat Kelleher

Even in the best of times, human resource issues pose an enormous challenge to home care agencies. But when responding to a global pandemic, many agencies found themselves scrambling to address new questions. How do you help employees with childcare challenges? How do you handle on-boarding (and firing) when everyone is working off-site? Who pays for COVID tests, and how should time spent getting the test be compensated? Can employers require vaccinations?

For the 15th episode of Talking Home Care, Pat speaks with Angelo Spinola of Littler Mendelson, a leading employment law litigator about these and other issues. They also discuss the subscription-based, on-line Home Care Toolkit Littler developed and constantly updates. The Toolkit gives agencies access to a world-class HR resource, policy manual, and document library that’s like adding an expert to your staff.

The Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts has negotiated a special agreement with Littler to give our members access to the Toolkit at a great price, with a portion of all sales supporting the Alliance! To learn more or to order your subscription, contact Melissa Mann at MMann@littler.com or (404)760-3928.

You may listen to the podcast by clicking any of the platform images above, clicking “play,” or downloading it directly (Length: 40 minutes; Size: 29 MB).

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and give us a five-star review so others can find it.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Talking Home Care: Home Care Heroes During a Pandemic

Front-line heroes share their stories about overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created huge challenges to healthcare systems across the globe, including here in Massachusetts. As part of National Home Care and Hospice Month, we collected first-hand stories from our members about the front-line challenges they faced, and how they overcame them.

For the 14th episode of Talking Home Care, we’ve collected these stories into a single podcast. They are introduced by Alliance Executive Director Pat Kelleher and are read by drama students at Winthrop Middle School.

You may listen to the podcast by clicking any of the platform images above, clicking “play,” or downloading it directly (Length: 41 minutes; Size: 29 MB).

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and give us a five-star review so others can find it.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

COVID-19: Where We Are and Where We Are Going

Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University sees a difficult winter ahead in terms of battling COVID-19, but reasons to hope in the spring.

Dr. Ashish Jha

In mid-November, I had the pleasure of listening to a virtual presentation from Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, as part of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans Health Policy Speaker Series. At the time, people were finalizing their Thanksgiving plans while the Coronavirus Pandemic began its fall resurgence.

Dr. Jha expressed deep concern about our present situation. “The virus is in a very bad place,” he said at the beginning of his remarks. In his assessment, there is no doubt that there is more virus in the community today than during the springtime peak, and the current count of 200,000 new cases each day is unacceptable. However, he believes there is a path forward that will bring us to something like pre-pandemic normalcy in the near future, especially with the promise of effective vaccines. As such, he said, our priority must be to save lives during the winter months.

Jha put a great deal of focus on what he called “priorities,” noting that COVID-19 does not care about our priorities are.  In other words, he said, that while he was personally emphatic to our individual needs, the virus does not care that I prioritize seeing some family, but not others.  The virus will spread wherever and whenever it sees fit.

Jha also discussed priorities in the context of the public policy response to the pandemic. He believes maintaining fully operating schools and hospitals should be our sole societal priorities.  Yet, he said, just days before his talk, New York City shut down in-person learning, while continuing to allow people still to dine together indoors. This is, he called “upside-down.“

Jha was, however, not naïve to the fact that shifting our priorities to focus on schools and hospitals is expensive. It means large-scale federal support for restaurants and their workers to survive the winter months.  He recognized this decision is “politically challenging,” as broad economic shutdowns have been unpopular and politicized. But, in his opinion, it is the best way for us to save lives as we await distribution of vaccines.

The more hopeful part of Jha’s presentation centered around the rapid development of vaccines. At the beginning of the pandemic, he admits he hoped for a 50-60% effective vaccine. Now that early data shows two vaccine candidates with 90%+ efficacy, he is extremely hopeful. He also noted that scientific integrity was not compromised through this process, it was just expedited by conducting the typical steps all at once (e.g., simultaneous human and animal studies).

While he said that we must not lose sight of the short-term task at hand (containing the virus during the winter), Jha is hopeful that we could achieve 30% immunity by the end of January, at which point virus-spread tends to naturally slow. By April or May, he hopes anybody who wants to be vaccinated will be. This may sound ambitious, he noted, and distribution nuances as well as vaccine education, will surely slow any rollout; but he saw it as feasible.

In the meantime, he said we must continue to wear masks, get tested, and only see people from our own household.

2020 Private Care Guides Connect Families & Home Care Agencies

For more than a decade, the Guides to Private Home Care Services have connected tens of thousands of families with the home care agencies that best meet their needs. While our Resource Directory is intended for professionals who make regular referrals, the Private Care Guides are designed for consumers and are always available at no charge, with free shipping on most orders. Choose from among three regional editions:

Guide to Private Care Services - South of Boston Edition
Guide to Private Care Services - Boston North Edition
Guide to Private Care Services - Central West Edition

(Click one of the thumbnails to place your free order).

The Guides contain county-by-county cross-references, as well as short essays about:

  • What home care is;
  • How to pay for it;
  • How to choose an agency, and;
  • The advantages of working with a home care agency.

This year, the Guides also honor three of our Home Care Star Awards winners: Me McBride of South Shore VNA, Vinette Tyme of HouseWorks, and Nicole Geddes of Aberdeen Home Care. Congratulations to these amazing care givers!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

COVID-19 Resources for Home Care & Hospice Agencies

To ensure members have access to information they can trust, the Alliance has put together a COVID-19 Resource Page, linking to federal, state, and other essential sources.

COVID-19

To ensure members have access to information they can trust, the Alliance has put together a COVID-19 Resource Page linking to federal, state, and other essential sources.

We’ll update it as new information becomes available.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

2020 NEHCC Program Released!

You have been waiting, and now it’s here, The 2020 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show Program has been released! Join colleagues from throughout the region from May 13-15 in Newport, RI for the best home health and hospice event of the year!

You have been waiting, and now it’s here, The 2020 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show Program has been released! Join colleagues from throughout the region from May 13-15 in Newport, RI for the best home health and hospice event of the year! This fabulous conference will feature renowned keynoters and informative workshops that will give you new ideas and insight to take back to your agency. Sessions include Pre-Conferences on PDGM: Lessons Learned, and Medicaid Healthcare Reform; Keynotes on Caregiver Trends, Navigating Change, The Future in Home Health Through Data, and Bridging the Gap Between Life and Death. With 25 additional break-out sessions, you are bound to find topics that appeal to you and your staff as there is something for everyone!

Looking to find new partners with your agency regarding things like software systems, consulting, staff benefits, etc? Our exhibit show is the largest home health gathering in the Northeast with close to 80 exhibitors! See who is currently exhibiting here.

Don’t miss this great event close to home. Check out the brochure here

Learn more about the conference at www.nehcc.com