A letter from Art Kalenjian
I’m writing this letter to express my deepest, most heartfelt thanks to all the members of my staff – nurses, home health care aides, and management and training personnel in four offices – who’ve helped this company get through the toughest year in its 11-year history.
You’ll find some of them in the two collages in this post, but I can’t show them all. I wish I could.
When COVID-19 hit last spring, I was frightened. Afraid for myself and my family, of course, but also for my over 300 employees and over 1000 clients in the eastern, southern, and middle parts of Massachusetts. When Italy went into lockdown, I wondered if the United States would be next. And I wondered how I could help my company cope with a crisis I’d never faced before.
Our workers were deemed essential – and indeed they are. So we stayed in operation, and our nurses and home care aides continued to visit the elderly and infirm in their residences.
This caused anxiety, of course. In a way, our employees’ jobs are more dangerous than those of doctors and nurses in medical centers and hospitals, since they are venturing into fairly uncontrolled environments.
Like most companies around the world, we initially struggled to secure enough personal protection equipment (PPEs) for our staff. The month that followed seemed like an eternity. But eventually we found enough gloves, face masks, goggles, and face shields to go around. We also implemented strict procedures, stricter than those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help ensure the safety of our employees and our clients.
But the most important efforts came from the staff. They stepped up to their challenges and went beyond the call of duty. Aides visited our clients outside normal working hours. Case coordinators put in extra time to reschedule services for clients who had urgent needs. When a few of our employees contracted the virus, our Human Resources group worked tirelessly to get them the benefits and assistance they needed.
The entire team came together as never before. Hundreds of people made truly heroic efforts. But if I had to point to one of our staff members, I would give a well-earned high-five to our Clinical Director Nurgul Meimanalieva, who has played a crucial role throughout the emergency. Her in-depth clinical knowledge, understanding of the virus, and communication and leadership skills have helped the entire organization navigate through hard times.
We all know there are challenges ahead. The early part of 2021 does not look good, until effective and safe vaccines are approved and widely and equitably distributed. But having seen my team’s performance over the past nine months, I’m more encouraged than ever that we have the will, know-how, and sheer stubbornness to continue providing superior home care service in the midst of a global pandemic.
So here it is: a tip of the hat, big hugs, and profound thanks for the dedication, loyalty, and bravery of every single person who works at Advanced Home Care Services. You all deserve it and more.