To our valued friends and partners,
As many of you know, I began my new role as Chief Executive Officer at GLSS on Monday, March 16. I am very, very happy to be leading such an amazing team of people, who continue to diligently carry out GLSS’ important mission of serving adults age 60 and older and people living with disabilities, even at this unusual time.
Obviously, I wish that my first communication with you in my new role was under different circumstances; however, I believe it is important that we all work together and communicate with each other as much as possible during this current public health crisis. We are critically aware of the extra difficulties many of our most vulnerable consumers are facing right now and are doing our very best to balance the delivery of services with the safety of both staff and consumers.
Let me start by updating you on what we are getting done either onsite or remotely: the short answer is just about everything! Below is an update on our current operations:
GLSS is following all state and federal guidelines regarding the safety and well-being of both staff and consumers.
Several staff members are dedicated to monitoring the ongoing situation and providing daily updates to the senior leadership team. Things have been changing on a daily basis, and we are doing our very best to respond as rapidly as possible. This sometimes means changing the ways services are delivered.
Meals on Wheels will continue to operate, with GLSS staff delivering hot and frozen meals several times per week instead of each day.
Currently, congregate meals—or those normally served in places like senior centers—are being provided as pre-packaged “grab and go” lunches and can be picked up at the Lynn Senior Center (8 Silsbee Street) on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon.
Area senior centers will remain closed until further notice from local public health departments.
As many GLSS staff as possible are working remotely, and office hours have been significantly reduced for just a small number of essential workers.
Home care staff, protective services case workers, and clinical counselors will be connecting with consumers by telephone and only visiting when absolutely necessary.
Our answering service is forwarding all calls to designated staff.
Friendly “check in” calls to consumers will begin this week.
GLSS will be disseminating information to both staff and the community on an ongoing basis. Here is a link to a video regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19, which was developed by GLSS’ Media Team and has been shared internally among staff, on our website, and through social media platforms. We will continue to find innovative ways to help people stay safe and connected to one another as best they can.
I wanted to give a special shout out to our Transportation Department and acknowledge the huge challenges the staff there face every day in ensuring that many seniors and people with disabilities get to the places they need to go during this difficult time. Drivers, supervisors, safety teams, mechanics, and administrative staff have all come together to deliver an incredibly critical service within a context of great uncertainty. Many of our transportation staff are truly on the front-lines in the community, making sure that many folks who would otherwise remain isolated and without supports can access the people and places that, in some cases, are actually life-saving.
Please stay safe and healthy.
Kathryn C. Burns, MHA