Saint Simeon’s has been awarded Telligen’s Blue Ribbon in COVID-19 Vigilance Award. The award recognizes communities like ours that are committed to high vaccination and booster rates for both staff and residents, as well as having effective policies and procedures in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Telligen is a trusted partner for US government health agencies, state Medicaid agencies, and managed health care plans to improve health outcomes nationwide. Our regulatory oversight body, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), makes referrals to Telligen when COVID-19 cases are identified in a community. They then work with that community to create a quality assurance plan to identify the problem, complete a root-cause analysis, and collaborate on ways to minimize the spread of infection.
Earlier this summer, Saint Simeon’s was referred to Telligen due to an uptick in positive cases of COVID-19 in our community. Amanda Terrel, our Administrator, had the pleasure of collaborating with the Telligen representative. The representative told Amanda we were one of the last facilities Telligen had assisted with quality control in managing COVID-19. She was very complimentary of Saint Simeon’s and the processes we have put in place to keep our residents safe during the pandemic. In her words,
I have just as much to learn from you about stopping the spread of COVID-19, as you have to learn from me. Your records indicate that you have been successful where most facilities have not and I want to learn from you what you have done to contribute to your success so that I can share that information with my team and further assist other facilities in protecting the health and well-being of their residents.
Amanda walked her through the process of what we have done, within our ability, to control the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents safe. They identified that the recent outbreak was attributed to CMS’s change in regulations that prohibited facilities from restricting visitation and requiring resident visitors always wear a facemask while in the building. Telligen agreed that due to the required relaxation of COVID-19 measures, this would most likely be a continued challenge.
Because of our limited ability to control the greatest contributing factor, we agreed to focus on increasing surveillance of symptoms during screening, and education for our residents and resident visitors by continuing to provide the most up-to-date information and signage.
The positive feedback from Telligen was overwhelming. Throughout this pandemic, the entire team at Saint Simeon’s—especially Amanda and our President/CEO, Angela Green—has worked diligently to keep our residents safe, often sacrificing profit and embracing discomfort for the protection of our residents.
I hope if there is nothing else that can be taken away from this pandemic, it is that our residents and their families find comfort in knowing we are always going to do what is right for the health and well-being of our residents!
We would not have been this successful without the leadership of our President/CEO, Angela Green, and the support of our board of trustees and the Saint Simeon’s Foundation.
I am hopeful the new bivalent booster will further assist us in the protection of our residents. I encourage everyone reading this to be first in line when it is available. I know we all pray for the day this pandemic is over.
Until then, we continue to remain Saint Simeon’s strong.Amanda Terrel, Administrator