Post date: 5/19/2020

New Developments as Sun Health Works to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

As you know, Sun Health has taken proactive steps to mitigate risk and exposure to the Coronavirus throughout our communities, which consist of three Life Plan campuses (Grandview Terrace in Sun City West, La Loma Village in Litchfield Park and The Colonnade in Surprise) that offer independent living, skilled care, assisted living and memory support. However, as we have all read and heard, the virus exists everywhere in our community.

Our positive thoughts and prayers for recovery are with a resident from The Colonnade who has tested positive for COVID-19. To the best of our knowledge, the person contracted the virus at a non-Sun Health location. This resident is hospitalized and receiving the care they need. Because this resident was newly returning from an outside facility, the resident was in isolation and all who had contact with them wore the necessary personal protection equipment or “PPE.” Out of an abundance of caution, we will be testing all Memory Care and Assisted Living team members and residents.

Immediately upon learning of the positive results, Sun Health took decisive action by activating our Incident Response Team as well as notified the Maricopa County Health Department and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Our Environmental Services team has completed deep cleaning according to state and federal guidelines to disinfect all potentially impacted areas at The Colonnade.

The health and safety of our residents and their families, as well as our team members, remains our top priority.

We are in the process of contacting every resident and team member whom we believe was in contact with this individual and taking appropriate action to keep them and others at our community safe.

Last week, state officials released new guidance that aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and aims to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 resurgence, protect vulnerable populations, and guide the reopening of businesses with enhanced physical distancing and safety measures in place. The new guidelines are called “Stay Healthy. Return Smarter. Return Stronger.”

To “Return Smarter” we continue to evaluate and discuss our policies and procedures daily. To that end, the Sun Health COVID-19 Task Force will err on the side of being over-cautious and safe (with the understanding that the immediate health and safety of our community will take priority over financial impact).

Information and how we operate will continue to change, based on what is happening with our current environment and most importantly, what is best to keep all involved safe and healthy.

Please continue to check back for updates on this and the information below.

Thank you.

Sun Health Communities

Sun Health At Home

Sun Health At home is postponing all discovery seminars, group gatherings and educational sessions. Our Wellness Coordinators are available 24/7 to meet our Members’ needs.

Independent Living Communities: Grandview Terrace, La Loma Village and The Colonnade

All events at our communities until further notice have been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date. Additionally, in order to practice social distancing, we have added restrictions to minimize the number visitors to our communities at this time. The safety of those that call our communities home is of the utmost importance.

Our staff are trained on infection protocols and we continue to reinforce that training as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

We will remain vigilant in keeping high-traffic areas disinfected.

All outside visitors must visit the reception desk at all Sun Health Communities locations for a brief screening to determine if they may be at risk for being a carrier of the Coronavirus. If someone is identified as potentially high-risk of being a carrier of the Coronavirus, they will be asked to leave the property. Residents and staff who travel to other campuses will undergo the same brief screening process.

Dining venues are now closed until further notice. Dining operations will be restricted for the next few weeks to in-home delivery only. Please note that the grab and go items sold in the dining venues will not be available during the closure.

We are limiting internal meetings with staff and residents. We are moving to teleconference and videoconference meetings as appropriate. Our Life Enrichment teams are also working on modified event planning.

We are rebooking all visitors of our guest rooms to outside properties (for example, the Hampton Inn).

For the safety of our residents we are canceling or postponing all events with outside organizations on our campuses.

Residents who travel to these same areas will also be asked to self-isolate in their residences for 14-days. Our staff will support those residents with any services they may need, including meal delivery, during this time.

Communities Health and Rehabilitation Centers

Sun Health will restrict visitors to our skilled nursing facilities to those deemed essential to the well-being of the resident or guest.

We have ceased most in-person meetings unless we can insure adequate social distancing protocols. Our Life Enrichment teams are also working on modified event planning.

For the safety of our residents we are canceling or postponing all events with outside organizations on our campuses.

Residents who travel to areas outside Arizona deemed high-risk by the CDC and the WHO, as well as international destinations, will be asked to self-isolate in their residences for 14-days. Our staff will support those residents with any services they may need, including meal delivery, during this time.

For Sun Health Team Members

The Human Resources Team has developed a special page on the Sun Health Employee Portal to provide up-to-date information about this situation.

To ensure there is no business disruption while many of our Administrative team-members work remotely, we have outfitted them with appropriate remote technology support, consistent with Sun Health’s privacy and security policies. We expect to remain fully operational and accessible for all resident, member and community matters, and will continue to respond quickly and efficiently. Sun Health and our communities will maintain limited, on-site staff to administer mail, overnight delivery services, phone calls, etc. to ensure uninterrupted client service.

All Sun Health staff who travel by commercial airplane, or travel outside of Arizona to areas deemed high-risk by the CDC and the WHO, as well as to any international destinations, will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days following their return.

Human Resources has suspended the attendance policy at this time and will be reviewing employee circumstances on an individual basis.

Moving forward, we will operate on these assumptions:

Our top priority is the health and safety of our community: our residents, members, board members, donors, volunteers and team.

We will think globally but act locally in a way that is best suited to our community to continue to deliver effective care and services, to the best standards possible.

The situation is rapidly evolving and we must anticipate and act quickly – we will not have the luxury of designing perfect solutions that address all circumstances for the care and services we provide. We will need to assess and adjust our operations and work flows on very quick timetables.

The Sun Health COVID-19 Task Force will err on the side of being over-cautious and safe (with the understanding that the immediate health and safety of our community will take priority over financial impact). We will remain calm, collected, organized, and communicate with composure, compassion and clarity with each other and our community.

The Sun Health team will remain positive and flexible to overcome barriers with a spirited, vibrant attitude.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation throughout these extraordinary circumstances. Be informed, be vigilant and be well.