Providing an unparalleled experience of healthcare, safety, education, and support to its clients and staff is paramount to Woods Services. Rapidly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was no exception, forcing Woods, like so many organizations worldwide, to quickly pivot as the cases of COVID-19 began to climb. After more than a year filled with daily critical responses to new challenges and ever-changing guidelines and directives from local, state, and national health experts and agencies, followed by the hosting of vaccination clinics on the Woods campus for staff and eligible residents, as well as congregant care providers in Bucks County, Woods continues to rise to the occasion. Woods could only have arrived at this point with an outpouring of support from its residents’ families, its staff and their families, the local community, and other local organizations.
As a population health management organization, Woods provides comprehensive medical care, education, employment opportunities, and support services for more than 22,000 individuals who live with complex medical conditions as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. More than 550 of these individuals live on the Woods campus in Langhorne, Pa., or in nearby community homes. An additional 75 individuals participate in day schooling and daily supports provided at Woods. All clients receive the support of 1,600 Woods dedicated staff members – from direct care employees and recreational staff to the on-site medical team and administrators.
In 2020, Woods would have its services tested as COVID-19 made its way to the United States. Immediate steps in February 2020 included writing an addendum to Woods’ Emergency Preparedness Plan that covered procedures and policies in response to the pandemic. The formation of the Woods Incident Command Team and COVID-19 Task Force – composed of medical, operations, communications, financial, legal, and human resources professionals – carefully established a set of protocols for staff and clients in order to ensure safety, clients’ continued enrichment, as well as the ongoing function and sustainability of campus operations. Protocols adhered to the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) was also immediately ordered, including supplies detailed in the Exposure Control Plan required to care for residents with positive or suspected COVID-19 cases.
The following timeline provides a snapshot of Woods’ response to the COVID-19 crisis since February 2020 – a road that has included intense challenges, moments of fear and overwhelming gratitude, continuous improvement to stay ahead of whatever might come next, and mostly optimism.
February 2020: Preparing for COVID Spread
As Woods’ CEO, Tine Hansen-Turton learns that positive cases in the United States are increasing, she instructs the Purchasing Department to begin ordering PPE supplies and materials These include: N-95 respirator masks, surgical masks, cotton reusable/washable masks, gloves of varying sizes (to last 100 days), surgical and hazmat gowns, goggles and face shields, 24 oxygen tanks, two reusable respirators, bulk hand sanitizer, and cases of 8 oz. bottles, disinfectant wipes, Lysol spray bottles and cans, hand soap, medical waste bags for infective waste (“red bags”), water-soluble laundry bags, high-intensity infection control kits (Ebola Kits), additional trash cans with lids to store waste outside of doorways, and sanitizing bins for reusable PPE.
February 28, 2020: Informing Families of Woods’ Precautions
Woods sends its first communication to families informing them that Woods is closely monitoring CDC and Department of Health guidance and is following precautionary measures of frequent handwashing and covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. There are no reported cases in Pennsylvania at this time.
March 6, 2020: COVID Response Team Formed
Woods designates the Woods Incident Command Team and the COVID-19 Task Force (COVID-19 Task Force) to establish a response system to the growing crisis. Woods puts its first set of precautionary measures together in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. Posters advising healthy practices are placed on all outer doors of Woods’ buildings and the Woods website informs visitors that they are encouraged to reschedule visitation if not feeling well; wash and sanitize their hands frequently; and, when sneezing or coughing, cover their mouth and nose “with a flexed elbow or use a tissue and discard it immediately after use in the nearest trash can and then wash your hands immediately.”
A letter is sent to families informing them that in the event of positive cases, Woods is prepared to pivot to virtual teaching and alternate programming for adults. Woods is also preparing for temporary housing to isolate those who test positive.
March 9-13, 2020: Planning for a Shutdown
The COVID-19 Task Force meets formally for the first time on March 10. PPE inventory is being planned and monitored by the Task Force designees, with reorders occurring continuously. Woods’ nursing department, Purchasing Warehouse and executive offices house the inventory of supplies. Questions or concerns about short supplies are brought to the task force’s attention and addressed as they occur.
Phase 1 begins with administrative planning for educational instruction, including planning for a transition to remote learning via Microsoft Teams; preparation and inventory of iPads, laptops, and other electronic devices; and contacting day students’ parents/guardians for updated contact information.
March 11-12, 2020: Precautions and Communications Increase
Woods communicates with its families and staff that it is expanding precautionary measures to help keep clients, staff, and the facility safe, including but not limited to: asking staff to stay away from large group activities/events; suspending all resident home visits and non-emergency out-of-state visits/appointments; canceling off-campus residential, educational and vocational activities held in enclosed public spaces; holding group therapies for residents to help educate them on masks and why people may be wearing them. Staff continue to monitor residents for symptoms.
“We are continually monitoring the CDC recommendations, as well as those of our local health department. Please know that information is changing rapidly, therefore our plans are updating frequently. Our Coronavirus Task Force continues to meet daily and are preparing in the event someone at Woods contracts the virus.”
-Tine Hansen-Turton, president and CEO
Although masks are not yet required, surgical masks are now available for staff pick-up at key locations around Woods’ facilities.
March 13, 2020: COVID Becomes a National Emergency
President Trump declares the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, prompting Woods to activate its Woods Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP).
Governor Wolf announces that all schools are to close. Woods finalizes testing of the remote learning systems.
Communication to families strongly discourages visitations.
March 16, 2020: Work from Home, Temperature Checks, Remote Learning Begin
Woods’ administrative employees (non-direct care) begin working from home to better protect themselves, their peers, and their families from contracting COVID-19. Leadership cancels all work travel, and all in-person group meetings are replaced with virtual meetings, if possible. There is also the cancellation of most in-house trainings. However, in-person orientations are still to be held with social distancing and for a maximum of 50 people.
Staff and visitors also begin receiving temperature checks upon arrival at Woods’ attended entrances. Those with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit must report to the Medical Center at Woods for a second check. Woods sends home employees and visitors when a second check registers above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Phase 2 begins for Woods’ educational instruction plan in response to COVID-19. Woods officially implements distance learning with teachers and administration via Microsoft Teams. Implementation includes: teachers continuing to prepare lesson plans and identifying enrichment activities for students; enrichment packets mailed to day students; teachers creating a Microsoft Teams classroom with their students and therapists; and teachers connecting with students remotely to check-in and troubleshoot issues. The Woods Schools teachers and therapists log specific learning opportunities (independent or small group activities reinforcing concepts learned). Students receive five hours of instruction and learning opportunities between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with teachers and therapists.
March 17, 2020: Family Visitations Paused
Woods temporarily suspends all on-campus and off-campus visits with residents to comply with guidelines from state and local officials and the CDC.
“We will continually re-evaluate this policy and governmental guidelines and will modify, extend or terminate it as the situation warrants.
“…We are grateful for your support and understanding as we navigate uncharted territory during this very challenging and unprecedented time.”
Woods begins mass distribution of masks to all employees and requires them to wear masks while at work. Woods reminds staff to provide extra support to families to enable regular virtual communication with their loved ones.
March 20, 2020: Run for Woods Postponed
The communications and development team opts to postpone the 6th Annual Run for Woods originally scheduled for May 2.
March 23, 2020: COVID Causes Bucks County to Shelter in Place
Bucks County is included in the order by Governor Tom Wolf to shelter in place for the next two weeks. Essential staff are permitted, however, to continue travel to and from work, which includes Woods employees. Visitation is still not permitted, and now, families are not allowed to drop off care packages throughout the shelter-in-place duration. Instead, they can mail them.
March 28, 2020: Mollie Woods Recreation Goes Virtual
The Mollie Woods Recreation department releases its first episode of “Woods World News,” offering viewers information and entertainment and a chance to see residents’ social lives during quarantine.
April 1, 2020: COVID Reaches Woods
Woods’ reports its first COVID-19 cases – four residents and three staff members. Woods implements its comprehensive response plan for what to do if a resident or staff member contracts the virus, including moving those infected to an isolation residence(s). Nurses administer an antibody test to residents in impacted buildings and any staff there who want a test. Those with antibodies receive the COVID-19 nasal swab. They are then moved to isolation or, in the case of staff, self-quarantined until the test results come back negative. The Medical Center at Woods establishes its “swab squad” and begins COVID-19 testing under a tent in its parking lot.
April 4, 2020: Woods Shuttle Offers SEPTA Alternative
As SEPTA reduced its services, Woods creates a shuttle service that offers those who use public transportation an alternative.
April 6, 2020: Woods Staff Stay with Residents 24/7
Small cohorts of employees begin to reside at Woods 24/7 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure appropriate staffing ratios.
As applicable, certain forms of PPE (e.g., hazmat suits, goggles) are cleaned and disinfected for reuse (due to nationwide shortages) for continued employee protection. Woods evaluates supplies and orders as needed.
Beechwood NeuroRehab InSpire staff hold a car parade in front of the homes of their outpatients to let them know they care.
April 7, 2020: Woods Celebrates Its Healthcare Heroes
The recreation and administrative staff cheer employees arriving and leaving on every shift in order to thank them for being Healthcare Heroes.
Woods wants to provide cloth masks for its clients and asks for volunteers to sew masks. Woods will ultimately receive more than 2,000 masks donated from the community and several hundred computer-generated face shields. Woods distributes these as needed to residents and employees.
The Yellow Daffodil Flower and Gift Shop on Woods’ campus makes 400 masks.
April 10, 2020: Easter During COVID
Woods holds a socially-distanced Easter Car Parade for its residents to lift their spirits.
April 15, 2020: Woods Families Praise Efforts of Staff during Pandemic
Family letters and emails arrive, boosting spirits and our collective resolve.
“I am always impressed with the superior care, concern and devotion that the Woods Services employees provide [family member]. It is because of them that he is alive and thriving today.”
“…Whenever my [family member] needs to go to an off-site medical facility he has a Woods staff person with him to speak for him and comfort him at all times. It’s incredible treatment that goes above and beyond any other facility I’m familiar with. As I have said before, my family and I could not be more pleased to have Woods Services in our lives. It’s a privilege. Thank you!”
–Letter from a family member of a Woods client
April 17, 2020: Advocating for Human Services Relief
Woods continues to communicate with families to encourage virtual visits with loved ones.
“If there is anything we can do to assist you with your virtual visits, please reach out to us. You can contact your loved one’s clinical team, care coordinator, or residential manager.”
“…If helpful to you, we encourage you to reach out to us to help facilitate video and voice chats. We know some of you may not be comfortable with technology, so please let us help you if we can.”
-Note to family members on Woods website
The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes an opinion piece written by Woods’ CEO expressing dismay that human services providers have been shut out of COVID-19 assistance funding because they do not fit into any categories of support.
April 22, 2020: First COVID Quarantines Conclude
Initial residents who tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering from mild symptoms and moved out of isolation, having completed their two-week quarantine periods.
April 24, 2020: Pandemic Communication with Woods Staff
A “Heroes Work Here” employee update letter is sent out from Tine Hansen-Turton to employees. The letter encourages employees to donate blood if able, as the pandemic has caused shortages.
April 26, 2020: COVID Takes Hold in Pennsylvania
COVID-19 protocols continue to be enforced and practiced, including social distancing and wearing masks and other PPE. Woods continues to implement the no-visitor policy, as well as the temperature-taking of staff. Woods’ PPE supply is still sufficient as of this date. Additional extended size (3x to 5x) hazmat suits are obtained to meet requests for larger sizes. As of this day, Pennsylvania is currently ranked fifth in the nation regarding the number of reported COVID-19 cases.
April 29, 2020: Admissions Addresses COVID Protocols
A plan to accept new admissions into the facility is discussed, written, and sent for legal review. The plan includes a letter sent to agencies and involved families informing them that Woods will be accepting new admissions with new guidelines specific for COVID- 19, along with (in the following order): swab testing for COVID-19 before entering the Woods campus; a second completed swab test at Woods; a seven-day quarantine including continued monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms; and finally, release to activities as usual.
May 1, 2020: Woods Family Member Creates Her Own Run
“I wanted to come up with something we could do as families to let our loved ones and the staff at Woods know we were still out there – that we are sending our love to them and blessings from a distance. When I saw that the Run for Woods was postponed, I asked if I could do the 2020 Virtual Run for Woods, and Woods immediately created the 2020 Virtual Run for Woods Facebook Group, which has been a platform of love and good wishes for the past few weeks.
“This Saturday, May 2 at 9 a.m., I will be going on FB Live to run for Val, his peers, and the staff at Woods. I will be raising money for Woods to hopefully defray some of the unimaginable costs they are experiencing. I am asking that you gather your family and do the same.”
– Jani Sblendorio, a Woods resident’s family member, in a letter sent to other families and friends of Woods
May 4, 2020: Community Contributes to Woods PPE Supply
“Please distribute the 75 included face shields to Woods staff wherever you determine they will have the greatest impact at flattening the COVID-19 curve. We’ve also included some 3D printed “Ear Saver” clips for those of your staff who need to wear a face mask over their ears all day every day. Your tireless work is always appreciated, but especially right now. Thank you!”
-Michael and Natalie Sullivan of the Union Fire Company and Rescue Squad, in a letter sent to Woods
May 5, 2020: Giving Tuesday Now Successful at Woods
Giving Tuesday Now takes place. It’s a global initiative to encourage donations as a response to the needs caused by COVID-19. The newly created “Better Days Ahead” Fund serves as the primary avenue for fundraising at Woods for needs created during the pandemic. Woods ultimately raises more than $143,000.
May 7, 2020: Woods Receives PHL COVID-19 Fund Grant
Woods is honored to receive a PHL COVID-19 Fund grant. The grant, made possible by United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Foundation, helps offset the early costs associated with the pandemic.
May 13, 2020: Woods Nursing Addresses MIS-C
Darlene Barnes, Woods’ Infection Prevention Nurse, and Tiffany Adams, Director of Nursing, send out a communication to nursing/Medication Trained Staff regarding Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. The alert educates the nursing/MTS staff of the condition, as signs and symptoms have developed in a few individuals 21 or younger who tested positive for COVID-19 at Woods.
May 18, 2020: Woods Prepares Resuming Family Visitations
Woods’ COVID-19 Task Force begins discussing plans for family visitation once Bucks County is out of the “red zone.”
May 29, 2020: Pool Reopens at Woods
Woods’ COVID-19 Task Force meets to discuss plans to re-open Woods’ pool. The Bucks County Health Department provides approval for submitted plans. The discussion continues regarding the rollout of this plan to safely allow specific residents – ones not in need of one-on-one assistance – to resume visiting and swimming in the pool with smaller groups.
June 1, 2020: New COVID Case at Woods
After 14 days of no new cases, an Elmwood resident tests positive for COVID-19.
The Brain Injury Clubhouse at Beechwood NeuroRehab begins filming and releasing a series of craft tutorials with Jen Love, an outpatient in the Community Resources Unit, to keep members of the Clubhouse connected. At the same time, the Clubhouse’s physical location is closed due to the pandemic.
June 3, 2020: Beechwood #AdamReads Video Series Commences on Facebook
Adam Greene, a resident of the Beechwood NeuroRehab program, begins reading books virtually from his home to online audiences. Prior to the pandemic, he read to Woods students at Woods’ Gardner Education Center each week, and to children at the nearby Barnes & Noble bookstore on scheduled weekends. Archway Programs, Beechwood Clubhouse, Beechwood NeuroRehab, and the Langhorne Borough government Facebook pages all share Greene’s readings.
June 5, 2020: Woods Constructs Nature Trail
Wood’s Recreation and Maintenance teams begin construction of a nature trail, a miniature golf course, outdoor movie theatres, and a pen to house farm animals to provide new opportunities for engagement for Woods residents since they cannot take advantage of community activities.
June 25-27, 2020: Family Visitations Resume at Woods
Family visitations are scheduled with protocols in place, incorporating guidance from Governor Wolf, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF). Woods asks visitors to record their temperature at least once per day and symptoms three days before visitation. Visitors must also complete a COVID-19 questionnaire before visitation. Visits take place under tents in the E. Sherman Chase Employee Training Center parking lot.
June 26, 2020: The Woods Schools Host Virtual Graduation
Bucks County moves into the “green zone.” Slow reopening plans are in place and evaluated weekly. Dependent upon any new case(s), Woods may need to reinstate restrictions. All procedures and guidelines of the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other governing agencies, such as the Department of Human Services, are adhered to by Woods.
The Woods Schools hosts its first-ever virtual graduation. Guests streamed a YouTube Live video featuring 27 graduates and congratulatory videos from each of their staff.
July 2, 2020: Family Visitations Continue at Woods
Scheduled family visitations continue with the protocols mentioned above. Woods’ care coordinators take responsibility for communicating with families to schedule visits.
July 7, 2020: Pennsylvania Inter-state Travel Restrictions Put in Place
Travel restrictions are put into place by Governor Wolf. Woods families learn they cannot visit if they’ve traveled to one of 14 states in the two weeks prior to the visit. This list of restricted states changes from week to week throughout the summer.
July 20, 2020: Woods Recreation Expands On-campus Activities
Woods announces additions to its recreation program to allow residents to enjoy the summer on campus. Thanks to its recreation department and maintenance team’s collaboration, Woods provides: a nature trail; a large fenced-in barnyard with three alpacas, three baby goats, horses and chicks; a 9-hole miniature golf course; and two outdoor movie theaters that can accommodate groups of 10 while keeping the residents socially distant.
“We were given the opportunity to step back, take a look at things, and ask ourselves, ‘How can we be as accommodating as possible to our residents? How can we make this the best summer ever?’”
-Beth O’Toole, assistant vice president of recreation and aquatics
July 21, 2020: CDC and Woods Revise COVID Isolation Protocols
Woods releases adjusted isolation protocols to staff and clients due to the adjusted CDC guidelines. Any COVID-19 positive or presumed positive individual remains in isolation until they meet the CDC release-from-isolation requirements via time-based or test-based strategy or if they become unstable.
August 1, 2020: Visitations Paused Due to Asymptomatic Cases
New COVID-19 cases arise within the Pinewood residence. The home adds a wing that will strictly isolate those who test positive, although most patients are asymptomatic. Visitation on campus is put on hold and expected to resume two weeks from the latest positive case.
August 10, 2020: Woods’ Medical Center Acquires Rapid COVID Tests
Woods receives seven Abbott rapid testing units. Rapid testing begins at The Medical Center this week.
September 12, 2020: The 2020 Run for Woods is Held Virtually
The sixth annual Run for Woods fundraiser kicks off for clients, staff, families and friends of Woods, and the entire Bucks County community. This is the first time the event is held virtually for runners, walkers and rollers of all abilities. The Run for Woods raises funds for Woods programs and services, including virtual learning and therapeutics programs, and outdoor recreational programs that allow clients to keep active while adhering to pandemic safety protocols.
September 13-19, 2020: Special Recognition for Direct Support Professionals
For National Direct Support Professionals Week, families write letters to Woods’ team of direct support professionals to express their gratitude for the care provided to their loved ones throughout the pandemic.
“I would like to commend the staff at 166, as well as all of the therapists who stepped up and went over and above during this trying time. They put in those extra miles to ensure the clients were provided with safe activities that kept them occupied and engaged. I know this could not have been an easy task. I appreciate all of you and thank you for your dedication and caring.”
Stay safe and healthy!
September 14, 2020: Heatherwood Staff Recognized for Moving in During Pandemic
Woods blogs about how staff members of the Heatherwood residence moved in with those they care for to help keep all members of the highly vulnerable group of residents safe from contracting COVID-19 for more than three months. Staff moved onto the campus to provide 24/7 care for the residents – including feeding them, bathing them, dressing them, and facilitating recreational activities. Woods’ management team also checked in with the staff’s family members at home to help fill in where needed.
“I have a mother who’s medically fragile and I was able to ensure she was safe. I can’t express the gratitude I have for upper management checking on my family.”
-Rashida Clegg, residential director at Woodlands (formerly Heatherwood’s residential manager)
October 5, 2020: The Woods Schools Re-open
The Woods Schools reopen for in-person classes while an option for virtual learning remains.
October 8, 2020: Pfizer COVID Vaccines Requested
Woods submits paperwork to be a vaccine provider for long-term residents. The PA Department of Health accepts the request, and Woods’ Infection Prevention Nurse and legal department begin preparing consents for vaccination. Woods then requests the Pfizer vaccine.
November 2020: Woods Agrees to Host Bucks County Department of Health Vaccinations
Woods meets with the Bucks County Department of Health and offers to be a site to immunize the county’s first responders.
In anticipation of the emergency use approval of the Pfizer vaccine, Woods purchases an “ultra-cold” freezer.
November 2, 2020: New Guidelines as COVID Cases Increase in Bucks County
Woods announces the postponement of family visitations on campus for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 cases increasing by 46% in Bucks County in early November. Woods also advises against families picking up residents for home visits. However, Woods establishes a Leave of Absence (LOA) protocol for those residents who go home. Guidelines include (but aren’t limited to): pre-arranging visits through the care coordinator; arranging a specified time for entrance pick-up; wearing a mask when arriving at Woods and through pick-up duration; and clients having to quarantine for 14 days from the point of return to campus.
November 3, 2020: Beechwood Residents Casts Their Ballots
This Election Day, 66 clients served in the Beechwood Neurorehab program have a say in who they believe should be the next U.S. president, thanks to educational services provided by the program’s staff. Forty-nine of 66 clients vote through mail-in ballots, while 17 head to the polls to vote in-person following pandemic safety protocols. Leading up to this day, therapists of the program created educational resources, provided through social distancing-friendly group and individual therapies, to facilitate those with language/cognitive needs. Resources provided to the clients included unbiased YouTube videos, printed materials, and ISideWith.com (completed individually with undecided clients).
Speech therapists also created custom communication boards with the candidates’ pictures to put on the clients’ augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.
December 1, 2020: Virtual Tree Lighting and Giving Tuesday Held
Woods kicks off a reimagined, month-long holiday celebration for its clients, promoting social distancing and safety. The festivities entail: Santa and his elves visiting with a tree-lighting ceremony and delivery of plush animals to each resident; the annual visit and toy delivery from Brian’s Harley-Davidson and the Northeast Riders Motorcycle Club; two reindeer visiting the campus; and a delivery of 1,150 Secret Santa gifts from the Bucks County community.
This day also marks the launch of Woods’ Giving Tuesday campaign, with proceeds going toward constructing an accessible on-campus boardwalk and treehouse for residents along the nature trail. An anonymous donors pledges $75,000 to match donations.
December 22, 2020: Vaccines Administered to Staff
Woods commences its first vaccine clinic for staff. In the first two days, Woods vaccinates 200 staff.
January 11-15, 2021: Bucks County Health Department Begins Vaccinations at Woods
This week, the Bucks County Health Department opens a vaccination clinic in Woods Services’ Employee Training Center as the county’s first vaccine clinic for first responders and healthcare workers, and all others who are eligible for the vaccine. According to county officials, 422 doses of the vaccine were administered on the first day.
January 21, 2021: Staff Recognized for Innovations
Several Woods staff members are honored at the 2021 Greater Philadelphia Innovations Awards, hosted virtually by the Social Innovations Journal. Recognized for leadership and impact in bringing innovation and opportunity to the Greater Philadelphia region during the pandemic, the honored members include Dawn Diamond and the COVID-19 Task Force members.
January 22, 2021: Woods Experts Detail Vaccines
A note from Dr. Stephen Kolesk, Woods’ Chief Medical Officer, and Tine Hansen-Turton is sent to Woods’ staff and clients with resources to help them understand the vaccine and address myths and disinformation. Resources include a Survey Monkey link allowing staff to anonymously ask any questions they have, which medical professionals and article links would then address.
January 26, 2021: Woods Experts Address Vaccine Concerns
Dr. Kolesk and Tine Hansen-Turton send a note to Woods’ staff and clients to answer vaccine questions submitted through Survey Monkey. Questions answered range from whether the vaccine is required to travel and whether vaccinated people need masks, to how the vaccine affects someone pregnant and whether it affects people of different races in different ways.
January 27, 2021: Woods Host Vaccine Clinics for Other Bucks County Human Service Agencies
Woods begins vaccinating 600 staff and consumers from 15 human service agencies in Bucks County in the gymnasium of the Gardner Education Center.
February 19, 2021: Bucks County Vaccine Clinics End
The Bucks County appointment-only vaccine clinic held at Woods for healthcare and EMS workers and people over the age of 75 closes, with a reported total of 9,936 doses administered.
February 25, 2021: Woods Staff Create Support Group for COVID victims’ Friends and Family
Two staff from Woods establish “Branches of Compassion,” a support group for staff who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. They hold their first virtual meeting on March 1.
March 2, 2021: The 2021 Virtual Run for Woods is Announced
Woods announces the 7th Annual Run for Woods to take place at 10 a.m. on May 1, 2021. The event will be held virtually, and feature a livestream of residents, staff, and some friends on the one-mile route.
Woods hosts its last open clinic for staff to receive their first vaccine. The shot will continue to be available to new and current staff by appointment at the Medical Center at Woods.
March 22, 2021: Adult Day Programming Resumes at Holland
Woods Adult Day programs reopen on a modified schedule that ensures everyone’s health and safety.
March 23, 2021: Woods Hosts Final Vaccine Clinic
Woods officially holds its last mass vaccination clinic for staff to administer second shots.
April 2, 2021: Cases Rise in Bucks County, Closing Adult Day Programs and Visitations
Bucks County’s positivity rate (PCR) jumps from 9.6% (Moderate range) to 11.2% (Substantial range) causing the Adult Day programs to close. Woods begins to plan for family visitations but cannot hold in-person visits until the PCR stays below 10% for two consecutive weeks.
May 1, 2021: The 2021 Virtual Run for Woods Broadcasts
Woods holds its annual Run for Woods fundraising event. Forty people participate in-person and hundreds of others participate virtually during an hour-long event. Woods streams a live virtual program from campus and raises $212,000 which is record-breaking support.
May 4, 2021: Woods Offers Vaccines to Friends and Family
Woods holds a vaccine clinic for family and friends of employees and clients. The nursing staff vaccinates more than 200 people.
May 11, 2021: Visitations Resume as Bucks County Cases Drop
Family visitations outside Woods’ Training Center begin again as the Bucks County positivity rate dips below 10%.
May 14, 2021: Woods Maintains Mask Mandate
Following CDC guidance that eliminated mask-wearing for fully vaccinated people, Woods communicates with its staff that mask-wearing at Woods continues to be mandatory.
June 1, 2021: Family Visitations Move Closer to Residences
The Bucks County positivity rate continues to decline significantly. Family visitations continue to take place outside, but are moved closer to residents’ homes.
June 30, 2021: The Woods Schools Hosts Virtual Graduation
Woods holds a virtual graduation ceremony for 28 students who attended Gardner, Crestwood, and Brookwood schools.
Dr. Stephen Kolesk, Woods Chief Medical Officer, and his team of nurse practitioners and nurses have been tireless in leading Woods’ pandemic response. They protected clients and staff and mitigated the effects of the pandemic from its inception through vaccine distribution efforts. Before there were vaccines, Woods’ frontline staff were true healthcare heroes providing extraordinary care to those at Woods who needed them through the height of the pandemic.
We also commend Woods’ recreation staff for developing unique ways to keep residents busy when they could not leave campus. With the help of Woods’ maintenance staff, they constructed a nature trail through the Woods campus, two outdoor movie theaters, a miniature golf course, and a barnyard housing mini alpacas, rabbits, pot-belly pigs, goats, rabbits, baby chicks and ducks.
And, finally, kudos to Woods social enterprises, which remained open to serve the Woods community throughout the pandemic. They effortlessly pivoted to ensure safety for their employees, as well as the Woods staff who continued to support each business.
The final recognition goes to Woods families and friends who supported the organization throughout the pandemic. From sewing thousands of masks, to providing special meals for staff, to supporting Woods fundraising in a significant way, these efforts strengthened staff and the organization when they most needed it.