April 3rd, 2020- Update to Family and Staff

Frequency of Communication
Kirkhaven, like many other Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) in the Rochester area, across NY State and throughout the United States has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus, COVID-19 with both staff and resident cases identified to date. The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our highest priority. When there is new information to share involving our services and/or organizational policy we will promptly post communications, resources and new or revised policies on our website.


We will, in every case of a new positive test result for COVID-19, contact by phone those responsible parties of residents directly affected and those responsible parties whose loved ones reside on the households impacted – when there is a change in how the individual’s care is provided. We will not be providing all residents and families with updates on every new positive case of COVID-19 as we must continue to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible while complying with all Federal and NY State Department of Health guidelines and regulations.


Current Visitation Restrictions
In accordance with Federal regulations, we have discontinued all non-essential visits until further notice. Visitors will only be allowed into the facility if deemed essential or for end-of-life situations. Visitors granted access will be required to go through health screening processes at the front entrance by a trained employee. This includes 1) taking their temperatures and 2) having them complete a questionnaire about COVID-19 risk factors, including showing signs of respiratory illness and potential exposure to anyone with COVID-19. In addition: all visitors are required to wear a surgical mask and additional PPE as appropriate. Resident visitors accessing the facility will be limited to visits in the resident’s room for brief time periods only. No one will be allowed to enter the building if they have a fever or other symptoms of respiratory illness. In lieu of visits, we continue to offer alternative means of communication for people who would otherwise visit, such as virtual communications (phone, video-communications). Please reach out to your primary Social Worker or Nurse Manager if you’re interested in scheduling a tele-visit.

Safety/Infection Precautions
Kirkhaven maintains a commitment to the highest level of disease prevention every day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have increased our vigilance by increasing the frequency of disinfecting high use areas and have placed alcohol-based hand sanitizer in all resident rooms and common areas for use by residents, staff and visitors.

We are screening every employee, every shift, every day as they arrive at work. This includes 1) taking their temperatures and 2) having them complete a questionnaire about COVID-19 risk factors, including showing signs of respiratory illness and potential exposure to anyone with COVID-19. No one will be allowed to enter the building if they have a fever or other symptoms of respiratory illness. Employees are constantly reminded that if they are not feeling well in any way, they should not come to work.

Universal masking policies are in place – ALL employees MUST wear masks in ALL areas of our building.

We continue to follow rigorous infection prevention and control procedures. These include handwashing and wearing gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE). As with proper wearing of masks, we are continuously reinforcing and monitoring these procedures with our staff.


Inventory & Supplies
Like every healthcare provider in the country the supply of PPE and cleaning and disinfecting supplies is a top priority. Currently, we have an adequate inventory on hand of PPE and cleaning and disinfecting supplies, with ordering and deliveries occurring on an as needed basis.


Commitment to Quality and Person Centered Care
We maintain a person-centered approach to assigning consistent staff to care for residents. Consistent assignment (sometimes called primary or permanent assignment) refers to the same caregivers (RNs, LPNs, C.N.As) consistently caring for the same residents almost every time they are on duty. We also maintain a person-centered approach to care and continue to monitor our entire resident population closely (health screens are done on all residents at least every 8 hours) for Vital Signs (VS) and any signs/ symptoms of respiratory illnesses that may arise.


Quality of Life/ Resident Engagement
Our Social Work and Life Enrichment team members provide daily 1-on-1 visits with residents. Residents are offered frequent refreshments and snacks in between meals. 1-on-1 activities are offered every day; such as cards, games, prayer, and reading stories. Residents enjoy listening to music and audio books in their rooms. Activities are person centered and carefully selected allowing for social distancing and sanitation of equipment and supplies. Also, Residents continue to enjoy video chats with their families and friends.


Karl Bawel, our chaplain is an accomplished violinist and can be found playing anything from Disney to Bach in the hallways and common areas. Karl continues to visit and offer spiritual support to those in need.


We wish to extend a very special Thank you to Lifespan. Lifespan volunteers recently sent several residents handmade, beautifully decorated cards with words of encouragement, comfort and support.


Closing Comments
We are aware and understand that families and friends of our residents want to be kept updated and we will do our very best to keep everyone informed.

We respectfully ask for your understanding and support of the priorities we’ve outlined. The entire Kirkhaven team remains committed to our mission and values as we care for your loved ones and each other during these unprecedented times.


Warmest Regards,
~Anne Gallese, CEO/Administrator