A message from Vinfen President and CEO Bruce Bird to the people, families, and communities we serve:
On behalf of everyone at Vinfen, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.
As we are all living through such extraordinary and challenging times, we want you to know that Vinfen remains committed to caring for your loved ones, friends, and community members. Our mission of transforming lives together continues to guide our work as we diligently strive to ensure the safety and well-being of people receiving our services and the dedicated staff who serve them. And that commitment to helping people remains strong.
Vinfen leadership, in conjunction with our medical staff, are continuously monitoring the status and impact of the pandemic and have been adjusting services and practices for the safety and health of people we serve and our staff. We continue to follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Massachusetts and Connecticut Departments of Public Health. Because so many of our programs take place in a community setting, we are also following public health guidance and government directives for the general public. We are in regular contact with our state regulatory and funding partners to identify potential issues and concerns, respond to challenges, and update our approach for managing this fast-moving issue.
Vinfen has also developed a multidisciplinary COVID-19 Task force and regional response teams with the goal of effective and timely coordination of services, responses to needs, and troubleshooting problems wherever needed.
At this point, we have been able to supply our congregate homes with personal protective equipment (PPE), and we continue to seek out additional resources to ensure we can continue to protect our staff and the people we serve. We have developed, implemented, monitored, and worked to improve training for staff programs on safety practices and use of PPE. There is no doubt that it has been challenging to obtain and distribute all types of PPE to all providers. Vinfen has shared this challenge with hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences, and other human services providers, but over the past month we have all made great progress in this area.
Vinfen has also launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund and continues to receive remarkable support from the community. All donations go directly toward continuing to secure PPE, cleaning supplies, nourishing meals, digital supports, and other items necessary to manage the pandemic and prepare our closed day programs as infirmaries to care for the people we serve who are ill.
If you are able to help in these trying times, please visit https://vinfen.org/covid19-donations/.
We are extremely proud of the Vinfen staff who are, without exaggeration, real heroes. We recognize that the public health nature of this pandemic has required our direct service staff to tackle new and stressful tasks and our administrative and support staff have been working hard to support them in this effort. Thanks to the successful advocacy of many including responsive State Governments in Massachusetts and Connecticut, we have been able to increase compensation to our direct care staff in residential programs in recognition of the additional challenges and responsibilities our staff are managing. We continue to advocate for more compensation for all of our staff.
What’s been more apparent than ever during this time is the teamwork and unity of purpose all Vinfen staff share to do everything possible to help those we serve and to support each other.
On behalf of our Board and Executive Team, thank you for your continuing support of Vinfen and our staff. We know we will get through this and come out stronger than ever.
We are brave. We are resilient. We are #VinfenStrong.
Bruce L. Bird, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer