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Montgomery Place resolves to live life during this time of COVID-19

Good Morning to Residents, Family and Friends of Montgomery Place,

What started as nightly missives recapping the day have gradually turned into morning reflections. When I woke up on the couch at about midnight, with the TV, lights and computer all still on, I realized that it would be best to continue my sleep and finish my message to you this morning. So as I reflect on yesterday, and try to find the silver lining, the term “resolved” comes to mind.

You’ve seen it in legal documents….“Whereas…, Whereas…, Whereas…, now be it resolved.” Boards of Directors use them to adopt resolutions. “Whereas” is not a term I commonly see used in reference to daily life.

Resolve—being firmly determined to do something—taps an essential resource within. Yesterday, our management team certainly employed its resolve to get through the day. On Thursday and early Friday morning, we became aware of three more cases of COVID-19 among our staff, bringing to four our current active cases.

It takes resolve to work through all the hands-on, practical responsibilities—contact tracing; communication with phone calls, memos, letters, emails, meetings; testing; and more. Most importantly, it takes proven experience to guide the myriad decisions that come together to impact the lives of Montgomery Place’s staff and residents.

We have to consider and establish a path focused on containment of this virus which seems to be attacking us once again and yet still find ways for our residents to live. The impact of isolation is dramatic for many individuals. What is the balance between living life and protecting everyone from this virus?

I applaud my key team members for their resolve to stay strong and fight through these challenges, as well as to keep all other aspects of our life functioning.

  • Paul Zappoli, chief operations officer, is relentless about managing all the details of testing and all our community’s daily operational functions.
  • Stefanie Dziedzic, chief relationship officer, keeps communication flowing while struggling to build occupancy, to nurture staff relationships and to ensure customer service for residents.
  • Abel Juarez, environmental services manager, keeps our building sanitized and supplied to fight COVID-19 while also stepping in to help wherever needed.
  • Tyrin Whyte, construction project manager, serves as our utility player and supports every department along the way.

These are only a few of the many. Only with them can we achieve success. 

Now back to those four cases of COVID-19 among our employees. Two staff members had very minor interactions with fellow workers or with residents during the contact period we traced. There is a broader risk of exposure regarding the other two staff members.

By conducting weekly testing, we can determine the window of time for risk. Using payroll and work assignment documents, we can determine exposure risks. We have communicated with residents in our memory care community, their POAs and employees working in this area about their risk due to more prolonged exposure.We have communicated with all residents as well, asking everyone to be on heightened alert for their own health changes. 

We are not closing down, at least not yet. This decision-making process is very challenging. We remain vigilant to ascertain how any changes might influence our decision. 

For now, visitors for independent living residents still are welcome to visit in the gardens. I will send separate communications about plans for visits to families of skilled nursing care and assisted living residents who live on the second and third floors of our healthcare wing. 

For now, we encourage you to pursue current opportunities for community interactions so all of us can keep our daily life alive. Please understand, we might adjust these decisions if the number of cases increases. 

We are resolved to learn how to live successfully in a COVID-19 world. We just have to figure out how. 

Please reach out if I can answer any questions or be of further assistance. Call my mobile phone number, 773-617-1317, at any time. 

Resolving to find solutions fortifies our community.


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