April 1, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

Today we began using telehealth for our weekly physician visits.  The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has asked facilities to transition to using telehealth during the pandemic.  Long-term Care Facilities often visit multiple facilities.  Telehealth helps to protect our residents from germs that could be transmitted from another environment.  Our residents responded well to the telehealth visit from Dr. Hurley.  We used Facetime.  Zelma and I went room to room with the Ipad.  I am grateful for the many ways that we can use technology to connect during this pandemic.

This week we also began having exercise through our in-house tv station.  Residents in both Residential and Health Care have been tuning into channel 41 to participate.  We also pray the rosary on channel 41 at 11:00 am.  We continue to have daily video chats and hallway activities.  Our Certified Nursing Assistants have requested supplies form the beauty shop and we have begun fixing hair as best we can in the residents’ rooms.  I proud of our staff for the ways that the continue to find creative and meaningful activities for our residents while they are social distancing.  

Indiana’s stay at home order has been extended through April 30.  We are mindful that this means that we will still be under visitation restriction on Easter Sunday.  Each year we purchase beautiful Easter Flowers from Heidenreich Greenhouse for our chapel.  This year I am planning on increasing our order so that we can give each resident an Easter flower for their room or apartment.  I will deliver them on Easter morning.  Please let me know if your loved one has any floral allergies and I will arrange for a different treat.  We are planning to order Azaleas.  I think this will bring great joy to our residents. I have had many of you ask if you can do anything to help.  If anyone can donate to our Easter Flower Fund, we would appreciate it. 

 I pray for each of you and count on your prayers for us.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 2, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Our residents continue to remain healthy.  I am truly grateful for that blessing.  We continue to prepare in case we do have someone who becomes ill with COVID 19.  I will continue to keep you posted on both our residents health and our planning progress in future letters.  We have had a few of staff members out sick this week.  We are as a precautionary measure having two more staff members tested tomorrow by the ISDH testing team.  I also received word today that one of our weekend option Certified Nursing Assistants was in the Emergency Room today.  She was tested as well.  It seems to take the department of health longer to set up testing for staff and to receive results back for a variety of reasons.  My intention in informing you is not to frighten anyone, but to really be open about the health status of our community.  Please keep our employees who aren’t feeling well in your prayers.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Today was a good day.  Our Activity Directors have been busy creating new ideas for quarantine activities.  Sr. Susan Marie made our Residential Residents “stimulus packages” of activities to complete during quarantine. The residents really seem to be enjoying the puzzles and games.  Misti played hall flip it and trivia with our Health Center Residents.  Our residents also participate in exercise and rosary through our in-house television network.  We continue to seek out new ideas to keep our residents engaged during this time. 

 

I am looking forward to our employee appreciation Donut Party tomorrow.  We received so many lovely letters from many of you.  I am grateful to be able to share your gratitude with our staff.  I will post pictures to our Facebook page tomorrow.  Please know that I hold each of you in my daily prayers.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 3, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends

 

Today we had a wonderful celebration for our staff.  They really appreciated your words of gratitude.  We are going to leave our gratitude wall up as a reminder of your appreciation.  The employees have named it the wall of love.  I will continue to add messages as we receive them.  It is great reminder that we are in this together.  Thank you for helping to make today special for our wonderful employees.  

Our residents enjoyed exercise, rosary and the Stations of the Cross.  Sr. Susan Marie did a great job of leading the Stations.  Our residents continue to enjoy daily virtual chats and window visits.  Blessings on your weekend.  I look forward to sharing our adventures with you.

 

Blessings, 

Sr. Heather Jean

April 4, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Community Members,

 

Today, a case of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus, has been diagnosed in an employee of our community. The other two employees who were tested came back negative.  We have no residents showing symptoms currently. The employee is quarantine at home. We are thankful that the employee notified in a timely manner.  We have notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to contain any spread. We want to make residents, their families, and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of it.

 

Developments are changing day by day, minute by minute. Our focus remains on the health and well-being of our community. We must also recognize our team for the concern and commitment they have shown to our residents during this challenging time. Our mission has never been more meaningful.

 

We ask that our residents and staff do all that they can to support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC:

• Social Distancing/staying home when at all possible

• Washing Hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as often as possible

• Immediately contacting the Health Facility Administrator if showing any symptoms of COVID-19

 

Thank you all for your support. We will provide updates regularly. If you have any questions, please let me know. You can reach me by e-mail at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430. 

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, HFA

Administrator 

April 5, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

Tomorrow we have seven staff members participating in the State of Indiana’s new Personal Care Attendant Course.  This is a new initiative that allows Long-term Care Facilities to utilize Care Attendants to assist our CNA’s during this time of the pandemic.  The PCA’s will be able to provide assistance to residents who need stand by or limited assistance with their activities of daily living.  They can also assist our CNA’s with residents who need extensive or total care.  I am really excited about this program.  It will help us to have additional caregivers to assist should we have staff on leave or ill.  We continue to prepare for the possibility of illness in our facility.  

 

At this time, we only have one staff member who has become ill with COVID 19.  I have had many questions regarding what department or area the staff member worked in.  I am not able to give out that information due to the individual’s privacy rights.  I can share that the staff member with COVID 19 was not a direct care giver and has not worked since March 27,2020.  Let us continue to pray for healing for our staff member and for the safety of our St. Paul Hermitage Community.

 

Today we began Holy Week.  Many of our residents watched Palm Sunday Mass on EWTN.  Sr. Susan Marie and I passed out palms to our residents.  It was strange not to celebrate as a community.  We are trying to find ways to help our residents celebrate Holy Week during this time of quarantine.  As I spent time reflecting this afternoon and reading today’s Passion account, I realized that we are living the Paschal Mystery as we live through this time.  We are in the process of moving through fear, isolation, loneliness and suffering to unity, healing, recovery and a renewal of life.  Out of this trial will come new life.  We are all being transformed during this time of quarantine.  May we continue to walk with God and each other as we journey the way of the cross this Holy Week.  Know that I long for the day when we can open our doors and receive you into our community once again.  It will be a true Easter celebration!

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 6, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

We now officially have seven trained personal care attendants to help support our CNA’s in a variety of ways.  I am proud of all our team who completed the class.  We look forward to having them help in a variety of ways in the weeks ahead.  

 

We continue to have many requests for virtual chatting.  We have an additional staff member here Mondays-Fridays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm to assist.  Due to the high number of calls we are receiving for virtual chats, we would like you to contact our Activity Directors through e-mail to set up a time.  In your e-mail, please a couple of times that you can chat and the type of virtual chat you will be using.  They will e-mail you back to confirm a time, phone number or e-mail address and the type of virtual chat you will be using (skype, Facetime or Duo).  Please contact the Activity Director on the side that you loved one lives on to schedule your virtual chat.  Please e-mail regarding weekend chatting by noon on Friday.  This allows our staff to work out a schedule and also plan for who will assist on our end.  We are grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected. 

 

Residential (Sr. Susan Marie)- Residential.Activities@stpaulhermitage.org

Health Care (Misti)- healthcare.activities@stpaulhermitage.org

 

Know of my prayers for you each day.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 7, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services has asked all Long-term care facilities to create a special unit for COVID 19 positive residents.  Our Infection Prevention Committee has chosen to make the north part of first floor of Residential our COVID 19 unit.  We have had to relocate four residents to other apartments.  Tomorrow we will move our final resident from that area.  We will begin setting up those apartments as isolation rooms.  We hope that we will never need to use this area, but it is prudent to have things set up and ready to go if we need it.  Once the rooms are set up, we will create a plastic barrier with a zipper to create a barrier wall from the rest of first floor residential.  We will only use this area if we have a resident test positive for COVID 19.  Currently our residents remain in good health.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Our residents continue to participate in daily exercise, rosary and hallway activities.  Tomorrow Sr. Susan is leading a hymn sing through our in-house television station.  We continue to have virtual chats with families through out the day.  We had our second week of Telehealth with Doctor Hurley’s group and all went well.  Our residents have been great about talking to our Health providers through virtual chat.  I am proud of our residents for the way they continue to embrace this difficult time.  They are amazing.  Let us continue to hold one another in prayer.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 8, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today we received another recommendation from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.  Beginning on 04/10/2020, we will provide all residents with cloth masks to wear when staff are in their rooms.  We will continue to wear our masks, but having the residents wear one too adds another layer of precaution. If anyone is sewing homemade masks and wants to donate some, we would appreciate it.  Our Benedictine Sisters are making some, but we could use some extra help to get enough for all our residents. 

 

I spoke with the Indiana State Board of Health today, I asked them for approval to begin to utilize Nurse and CNA volunteers.  Our staff has been wonderful, but we want to find ways to have additional help especially during meals times.  We also want to minimize the risk of exposure.  ISDH has approved the use of Nurse and CNA volunteers.  If you know of anyone who is a licensed Nurse or CNA, who would be willing to volunteer a few hours a week, please have them contact me at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430.  I will help them through the process of becoming a volunteer.  

 

We have decided to offer a window Easter Egg hunt for our window visitor on Sunday.  Our residents will be coloring Easter eggs and hanging them in their windows.  We will keep them up until Pentecost Sunday.  Please come and enjoy our artwork as you walk around the building.  It is a way that we can share our Easter celebration with you.  Our residents are excited about this project.  Know of my daily prayers for each of you.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 9, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today begins our Easter Triduum.  This year things are different.  Many of us are experiencing our beautiful Holy Day Liturgies through virtual platforms and television.  Our residents watched Holy Thursday Mass on EWTN.  I was blessed to be able to FaceTime into our monastic community’s celebration of Holy Thursday.  It was different, but it was blessed.  

 

As I was reflecting on Jesus’ example to us of how to love and serve, symbolized through the washing of his disciple’s feet, I began to reflect on the many ways that we have been washing one another’s feet during this time of quarantine.  Each of you have washed your loved one’s feet through window visits, virtual chats, cards, care packages and phone calls.  You have washed our staff’s feet through your thank you notes, desserts, pizzas delivered and most importantly through entrusting the care of your loved to us.  Your loves ones are washing your feet in the ways that they have embraced this quarantine with strength, resilience and love.  They have washed your feet in their openness to trying to connect with you through electronic video chatting, that many them hadn’t even tried before this last month.  They are washing your feet in the loving care that they are taking in creating beautiful Easter Eggs to hang in their windows to remind you that we are all on this journey together.  My feet have been washed repeatedly through your kind words and the way many of you have expressed concern over my late nights.  You have also washed my feet through the way that each of you have contributed to my quarantine ideas of spreading joy through notes, masks and contributions to our Easter flowers.  We are a blessed community.  I am grateful for each of you who are an important part of our community.  As we enter these Holy Days, may we continue to give thanks to God for the opportunities we are given each day to love and serve those around us.  Know of my prayers and love.

 

With a Grateful Heart,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 10, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Community Members,

 

Today, a second case of COVID-19, the illness resulting from the novel coronavirus, has been diagnosed in an employee of our community. Currently we have no residents showing symptoms. We monitor residents for symptoms of COVID 19 each shift.  Staff are screened at the beginning of their shift.  The employee is quarantined at home. We have notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.  We are working closely with our Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Hurley.  We are taking every step as recommended by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services to contain any spread. We want to make residents, their families, and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we continue to work hard to limit the spread of the virus in our community.  We will be testing other employees who have had close contact with the employee who tested positive.  They will remain off our schedule until we know that they are not positive for COVID 19. This is a precautionary measure.  We will share any necessary updates as they become available. 

 

We ask that our residents and staff do all that they can to support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC:

• Social Distancing/staying home when at all possible

• Washing Hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as often as possible

• Immediately contacting the Health Facility Administrator if showing any symptoms of COVID-19

 

Thank you all for your support. We will provide updates regularly. If you have any questions, please let me know. You can reach me by e-mail at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430. 

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, HFA

Administrator 

April 11, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today is Holy Saturday.  In the Catholic tradition, it is the night that we receive new members into our church.  It is the night that we hear many scripture passages that remind of God’s faithfulness to us.  God led our ancestors through famine, flood, fires, plagues, political unrest and wars.   Today God is leading us through this health crisis.  God is here.  God is a light in this dark time.  My favorite part of the Easter Vigil service is when the Easter Candle is lit and the celebrant says, “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”  This is a prayer for all of us.  We all have many worries, fears and burdens on our hearts and minds.  My prayer for our community is that we will be surrounded by grace and know that the light of Christ rising in glory is here to dispel our darkness so that we may share the light of Christ with others.

 

Our residents have been busy decorating their windows with Easter messages.   I hope that you will come by and walk around our building during this Easter Season.  Come and see our residents’ words of hope and love for you this Easter season.  Blessings to each of you this Easter Vigil night.  Know of my love and prayers for our St. Paul Hermitage Community.

 

Easter Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 12, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Happy Easter!!!  Today Easter felt different.  It was blessed, but it was different to not have a full chapel and dining room.  We missed your presence among us.  Our residents enjoyed visiting with you through phone calls, deliveries, window visits and virtual chats.  We were grateful for your presence in a variety of ways.  We look forward to a time when we can welcome you in with a warm embrace. 

 

Today I listened to Pope Francis’ Easter homily.   I was struck by how he talked about Christ’s resurrection in the light of our current worldwide health crisis.  He said that the resurrection is not a “magic formula that makes problems vanish; it is the victory of love over the root of evil. This victory does not by-pass suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good.”  It made me think about the many ways that I have seen love’s victory over our current situation in the past month.  I have seen love occur in our employees who are willing to help in any way needed at this time to serve our residents.  I see love occur in our residents’ patience and in the way that they have embraced alternative ways of dining, visiting and hallway activities.  I have seen it in each of you as you find alternative ways to show your love to your family member when you can’t physically touch them.  It has been a beautiful witness to me of love’s victory over suffering.  May we continue to find ways for love to occur in this Easter Season.  May we continue to pray for the health of our world and each other.

 

Easter Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 13, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

We continue to have many requests for virtual chatting.    I wanted to remind everyone tonight about our new procedure for setting up a time for virtual chat that we put in place last week.  We have an additional staff member here Mondays-Fridays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm to assist.  We are requesting that you e-mail our Activity Directors instead of calling.  Our call volume is much higher than normal with people calling to check in on their loved ones.  In your e-mail, please indicate a couple of times that you can chat and the type of virtual chat you will be using.  They will e-mail you back to confirm a time, phone number or e-mail address and the type of virtual chat you will be using (skype, Facetime or Duo).  Please contact the Activity Director on the side that you loved one lives on to schedule your virtual chat.  Please e-mail regarding weekend chatting by noon on Friday.  This allows our staff to work out a schedule and plan for who will assist on our end.  We are grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected. 

 

Residential (Sr. Susan Marie)- Residential.Activities@stpaulhermitage.org

Health Care (Misti)- healthcare.activities@stpaulhermitage.org

 

I would also like to remind you that we are not able to open windows during window visits.  If you would like you can call 317-786-2261 ex. 248.  We will take the portable phone to your loved one.  That way you can have a conversation without the risk of bringing infection into our community. 

 

Know of my prayers for you each day.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430. 

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 14, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

As the novel coronavirus situation in Indiana continues to evolve, we must adapt and prepare for the reality that we may start having confirmed cases of COVID-19 in not only our employee population, but also among our residents. As you know, in compliance with CDC and CMS guidelines, we have been actively screening all residents and employees for symptoms of COVID 19. Additionally, for a little over a month we have already been following all CDC and CMS guidelines for infection control and prevention, including enhanced sanitization of community spaces, modification of services to promote social distancing, and the provision of personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel.

As you know, we had two employees test positive for COVID 19, one on April 4 and the other on April 10. We chose to have some additional staff members tested as a precautionary measure because of their proximity to the last staff member who tested positive for COVID 19.  As a preventive measure, we already have asked staff with pending tests to self-quarantine at home.  We are working closely with the Indiana State Department of Health and Eli Lilly to track any results and to get employees back to work as quickly as possible if the test negative.  We received one of the test results back today and it was negative for COVID 19.  That employee is already back at work.  We are not taking symptoms lightly and are requesting testing sooner rather than later as part of our infection control plan.

We continue to monitor our residents for symptoms each shift.  We have one resident that has had a change in condition.  Dr. Hurley, our Medical Director has ordered several tests including the COVID19 test.  That person is in isolation as results are pending. I will continue to update you as I know more. 

Our staff is working very hard and pitching in a variety of areas.  I am proud of our teamwork and commitment to providing our residents quality care.  Let us continue to pray for the health of our world and our St. Paul Hermitage Community.

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me at 317-213-8430 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 15, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

I wanted to begin by reassuring you that if your loved one has a change in condition, you will be notified of that change by our staff.  I will contact you personally if a COVID 19 test is ordered.  I have had many e-mail’s today from family members who wanted to know if they would be notified about a change in their loved one’s condition.  It is our normal practice to notify the family Health Care representative regarding a change in condition and it will continue through this pandemic.  The resident that has had a change in condition is a healthcare resident who already resides in a private room.  The resident is isolating in place while we await test results.  All of this done in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Hurley, our Medical Director.  I have had a daily meeting with Dr. Hurley since the beginning of this pandemic.  

 

Today our residents enjoyed exercise and rosary with Sr. Susan.  For lunch we had a Chinese themed meal.  The residents really enjoyed the Chicken Stir Fry.  We had several residents call for another helping of stir fry.  On Health Care, our residents joined in exercise through the in-house TV channel.  One of our new PCA’s helped paint nails and do hair.  We also had many 1:1 visits by staff and virtual chats.  Tomorrow our men’s group will get to have a Zoom meeting with Rich who normally runs their group.  We will also have a Zoom meeting with our Kindermusik kids.  I am looking forward to these opportunities to have our residents connect virtually with some of their normal activities.  

 

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me at 317-213-8430 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 16, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today our residents enjoyed exercise, rosary, and virtual chats. Some of our residents are working puzzles in their room. Many of our residents are enjoying watching the signs of spring from their windows. Our trees are blooming and painting a beautiful picture for all of us during quarantine. We also have birds feeding on our feeders and two nests. Spring helps us to remain hopeful during this difficult time. On Sunday afternoon we will be making snow cones for our residents for a springtime treat.

 

I have good news to share with you. The resident we tested for COVID 19, does not have it. We thank God for this wonderful news. I am grateful for our residents continued good health. Let us continue to pray for all those who have COVID 19, those waiting for testing results and for end to our current Pandemic. My Benedictine Sisters are praying each day at 3:00 pm for and end of the Coronavirus. I invite you to join us if you can at 3:00 pm to pause and pray for this intention. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts we can offer the world at this time. 

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at 317-213-8430 or administrator@stpaulhermitage.org.  I hope all of you are well. Please know that I hold each of you in my daily prayers.

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 17, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today was a more difficult day of quarantine. It has been gray and rainy outside. We have had cabin fever inside. We miss our visitors and the ability to have residents outside of their rooms. We have been working on some creative ways to help with the rainy-day blues. We had 1:1 visiting, hallway trivia/sing a long, and we had snacks in the afternoon. Tomorrow it is going to be a sunny day. I am sure this will lift everyone’s spirits. On Sunday we are going to have a snow cone hallway party. We continue to embrace how we are feeling and are finding creative ways to engage your loved ones. The beautiful thing is that God speaks to us each day. This evening I was praying with one of our sisters in Health Care. I sang the song “Be Still” one of the songs that Sr. Mary Sue from my community wrote.

 

The words of her song speak to that message that God speaks to us throughout all of life.

 

Be Still and know that I am your God.

Listen and I will sing to you, 

Will ease the sorrow that darkens your mind 

And I will love you, love you

All through your life.

 

My life’s been a journey that’s covered some miles 

Sometimes I’ve cried and sometimes I’ve smiled,

But at each tiny moment if I could but hear,

The Lord my God was speaking gently to me.

 

God is speaking to us during this time of COVID 19. What is God saying to you this day? Know of my prayers for you. Let us continue to pray for one another and the world.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 18, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

Today was a beautiful day outside and inside. We enjoyed the sunshine and opened the windows to enjoy some fresh air. Our residents enjoyed window visits, virtual chats, and hallway bingo. We are looking forward to our snow cone party tomorrow. Our Activity Directors have been working on setting up our patio areas so that we can have a space to get our residents outside as it gets warmer. We are working on a way to set things up so that they will be socially distanced, but able to enjoy the outdoors. We have been working hard to balance physical well-being along with social well-being. All is done in conversation with our friends at the Indiana State Department of Health. They have said that although we can not have large group activities, we can have residents participate in hallway and outdoor gatherings at a social distance wearing masks. They just need to be in small groups with other people who live on the same hall. We continue to work to find ways to engage our residents in their living areas while at the same time keeping social distance.

 

Blessings to you as we continue in this Easter Season. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 19, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Community Members and Friends,

 

Last week I shared with you that we had an employee test positive for COVID 19 and that as a precautionary measure we were having additional staff members tested. While most of the tests from last week came back negative, two additional staff members did receive a diagnosis of COVID 19. That means that we have a total of four employee cases. The two additional employees who have COVID 19 are not direct caregivers. They have not been at St. Paul Hermitage since Friday, April 10, 2020. Currently we have no residents showing symptoms. We monitor residents for symptoms of COVID 19 each shift.  Staff are screened at the beginning of their shift.  The employees are quarantined at home. We have notified public health officials as required and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.  We are working closely with our Medical Director, Dr. Daniel Hurley.  We are taking every step as recommended by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services to contain any spread. We want to make residents, their families, and our dedicated staff aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we continue to work hard to limit the spread of the virus in our community. Let us continue to pray for the health of our community and the world.

 

We ask that our residents and staff do all that they can to support our community by following the recommendations set forth by the CDC:

• Social Distancing/staying home when at all possible/Wearing masks when in public

• Washing Hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as often as possible

• Immediately contacting the Health Facility Administrator if showing any symptoms of COVID-19

 

Thank you all for your support. We will provide updates regularly. If you have any questions, please let me know. You can reach me by e-mail at administrator@stpaulhermitage.org or 317-213-8430. 

 

Blessings,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz, HFA

Administrator 

April 20, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today a resident was assessed using our change in condition assessment form from the Indiana State Department of Health. It was decided in consultation with that individual’s primary care physician and Dr. Daniel Hurley, our Medical Director, that a COVID 19 test should be ordered in addition to other tests. This resident was moved into an isolation room until testing is complete. This is a precautionary measure to make sure that we catch any case of COVID 19 early to prevent the spread of it in our community.

 

Please know that we have followed, and will continue to do so, all guidance set forth for privacy, patient care, employee safety, and efforts to stop the spread of COVID 19 as provided by the Indiana Department of Health and the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

 

Prior to each shift, staff are required to wash their hands, take their temperature, and answer a series of questions to ensure they are not exhibiting any known COVID 19 symptoms. Any employees who develop symptoms during a shift will be immediately sent home. They will be asked to quarantine at home until the can be screened by a medical professional. We also have asked our employees to notify us if anyone in their household is symptomatic for COVID 19.

 

I will continue to provide you with daily updates. Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care to us. On behalf of the entire St. Paul Hermitage Community, I want to thank each of you for your continued patience and prayers for us as we journey through this pandemic together. It means a great deal to us.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz 

Administrator

April 21, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today our residents enjoyed exercise, rosary, and hallway bingo. Many of our female residents had their fingernails painted. The sun was shinning again today. We enjoyed watching the beauty of spring through our windows. Tomorrow it is predicted to be warmer outside. We are hoping to get some of residents outside tomorrow. Sr. Susan has done a great job of getting our patio on the residential set up so that all our chairs are spaced 6 feet apart. Our residents on residential will be able to spend some time outdoors each day that the weather permits. We have scheduled times for each of the floors. We do ask that you refrain from visiting your loved one during patio time. I know it may be tempting to sneak over and speak to your loved one even at a distance, but we are really trying to minimize the risk of COVID 19 getting into our facility. To do this we need to continue to follow the visitation guidelines. Thank you for supporting us by following these guidelines.

 

Our residents on Health Care will also have an opportunity to spend time on their patio. The Therapy Department will be utilizing the space on nice days to do some outdoor exercise and walking with residents. Misti will also have opportunities for residents from each hallway to spend time on the Health Care patio. Because the space is smaller, we will only be able to have two residents and a staff member out there at one time. I am excited that our residents will be able to get outside. The fresh air and sunshine will be good for their physical and emotional well-being.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Let us continue to hold one another in prayer.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 22, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Earlier this week I mentioned that we would be having a resident, who has been ill, tested for COVID 19. I requested the test on Monday, but ISDH was not able to come out until today. They tested our resident and two staff members. I hope to have the results back tomorrow. I asked them to test the staff members because they have been out this week due to sickness. We wanted to rule out the possibility that it could be COVID 19. Our resident, who has been ill, is doing better today. Let us continue to hold in prayer all in our community and world who are sick. I will let you know when the results come in.

 

Today was a beautiful day. Many of our residents enjoyed spending time outdoors on our patios. It was wonderful to see them out there enjoying spring. I am attaching some pictures from our residential patio time. They have given their consent to have their pictures shared. Next week Sr. Susan is planning some patio games. Several of our residents commented that they enjoyed their time outdoors. We look forward to more patio time in the days to come.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Know that my sisters and I hold you in prayer each day. You can also join our community at Evening Prayer at 5:15 pm through Facebook live on the monastery page.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 23, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today we give thanks for the continued good health of our community. We received word from ISDH that our resident, who was tested yesterday, does not have COVID 19. We also received word that one of the two staff test we were waiting on is negative for COVID 19. We still have one test pending. I thank God for this great news! Let us continue to pray for those in our community and world who are sick with COVID 19. We still have three staff members who are out sick with confirmed cases. They appreciate our prayers as they continue to heal.

 

Today our residents enjoyed exercise, rosary, and hallway Pokeno. We had multiple Facetime visits. In the Health Care Center, our residents zoomed with our Kindermusik group. It is a music class for elders and young children. Since they are no longer able to come to St. Paul Hermitage, they now have a Zoom class. Our residents really enjoyed interacting with the children. Sr. Susan made parfaits for our residential residents as a refreshing spring treat. She delivered them door to door. We also had several window visitors that came out even in the rain. We are always grateful for these visits. They add a lot of joy to your loved one’s day.

 

I also wanted to let you know that we have all our mangers working weekend hours to help with weekend staffing. Our Director of Nursing, Unit Manager, Dietary Manager, Residential Activity Director, Social Service Director and Director of Environmental Services work Tuesday through Saturday. Our MDS Coordinator, Health Care Activity Director, Assistant Director of Maintenance and Unit Secretary work Sunday through Thursday. My scheduled days are Sunday through Thursday, but as Administrator I am available 24/7 and also fill in as needed. We implemented this change two weeks ago to help support our weekend staff. We will continue with these hours until we are through this health crisis. I am grateful for our leadership team and their willingness to serve in any capacity. We are truly blessed with wonderful staff. 

 

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

 

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 24, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today I thank God for more great news! The final staff test we were waiting for came back negative. I also received word that one of our three employees who has been out sick with COVID 19 has been released by her doctor to return to work. Let us continue to pray for those in our community and world who are sick with COVID 19. 

 

Today our residents enjoyed exercise and rosary. It was another beautiful day outside. We were able to have some patio time again today. Our residents really enjoy being able to get some fresh air. I have had some residents express concerns about only being able to be out in their own hallways and with the patio times being hallway based. The reason that our infection control committee has decided these parameters is to limit the risk of spreading germs from floor to floor. Nursing homes and Assisted Living facilities are at high risk for COVID 19 spreading because of our communal setting. By putting parameters on small group gatherings and activities with social distance, we hope to limit the risk of exposure. If your loved one expresses concerns about only being able to be out with residents on their floor, please remind them that it is an important part of our efforts to limit their risk of getting COVID 19. I long for the day when we can socialize freely, but we are not there yet. Thank you for helping to support out efforts in this area.

 

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Know of my prayers for each of you. 

 

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 25, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today I wanted to share some ways you can support your loved ones with memory loss. This is a difficult time for everyone, but it can be particularly difficult for residents who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I have had families ask how they can help their loved ones during this time. One of the most important things is to listen and validate their feelings. Living through this is hard.  One way we can support them is to acknowledge that it is hard. Sometimes the natural response can be to argue or tell them how bad it is for everyone right now. Rather than doing this, it is better to validate their feelings and let them know that things will get better.  

 

Another thing that is important during this pandemic is that we keep them engaged and connected with family. No matter what stage in the dementia process your loved one is experiencing, connection with family and things they love most are vital to their well-being. There are many ways we can assist in this process, but we need your help. Send us pictures or picture slide shows. Our residents love to see both current and old pictures of those they love. I have had a couple of families do this already. Pictures bring so much joy. It is something we can show them repeatedly that will connect them to you. You can also send video messages. I have had a few families send video messages. The residents who received them loved it! We can also play videos again and again. This can help calm them when they are anxious or upset. Finally, music is a huge way to connect with your loved ones. It is a great in-room activity. We have had one family that has filled an ipod with their loved one’s favorite music and we help set it up each day so they can enjoy them. If you know favorite songs or artists that your loved one enjoys, let us know and we will help them listen to them. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, I have a challenge for you this week. Help us help your loved one by sending me pictures, videos and music.  We will share them with you loved one to help add some joy to their day. Thank you for all the window visits, virtual chats and phone calls these are vital.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Know of my prayers and love.  We miss all of you. You are a vital part of our St. Paul Hermitage Community.  Please reach out to me if you need anything during this time.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 26, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

One of our residents was assessed using our change in condition assessment form from the Indiana State Department of Health. It was decided in consultation Dr. Daniel Hurley, our Medical Director, that a COVID 19 test should be ordered in addition to other tests. Currently, this resident is in isolation. This is a precautionary measure to make sure that we catch any case of COVID 19 early to prevent the spread of it in our community. The Board of Health will be out tomorrow to conduct this test. We also have a direct care giver that began to feel ill following their shift yesterday. Tomorrow this person will also be tested as well as a precautionary measure.  I will update you once we receive the results back. It can take 24-48 hours to receive the results.

 

I want to remind you of some of the precautionary measures we take each day to try to minimize our risk for COVID 19. Prior to each shift, staff are required to wash their hands, take their temperature, and answer a series of questions to ensure they are not exhibiting any known COVID-19 symptoms. Any employee who develops symptoms during a shift will be sent home immediately. They will be asked to quarantine at home until the can be screened by a medical professional. We also have asked our employees to notify us if anyone in their household is symptomatic for COVID 19. Any employee who is sick prior to the beginning of a shift, are asked to remain at home and notify me immediately.

 

Thank you for entrusting your loved one’s care to us. On behalf of the entire St. Paul Hermitage Community, I want to thank each of you for your continued patience and prayers for us as we journey through this pandemic together. It means a great deal to us. 

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean Foltz 

Administrator

April 27, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today we received some new guidance from ISDH on communication with residents and families.  In addition to our community update, I will also give specific statistics daily regarding COVID 19 in our facility. 

 

I am the communications point of contact for our facility.  I am the one that you should reach out to if you have questions about the care of your loved one, staffing concerns, COVID 19 status questions, information about your loved one’s health status and any questions about visitation restrictions.  I can be reach in three ways: through email (administrator@stpaulhermitage.org), my cell phone (317-213-8430) or my office phone (317-786-2261 ex.224).  I will continue to be the one to provide the daily updates to you and your loved one.  I will be giving daily updates for our residents at 9:15 am on channel 41 starting Friday, May 1, 2020.  This will give us time to let staff and residents know about the daily update. I will continue to send you updates via email and our website www.stpaulhermitage.org. If you have any other family members that you would like us to include on these updates, please have them e-mail me their contact information.  This is the method we have chosen for family communication updates as it is quicker than mailed letters.

 

As you know, our current COVID 19 status is that we have had no COVID 19 positive residents.  We have one pending resident test.  We have had four COVID positive employees. Two have already recovered and have returned to work.  We have one employee test pending.  We have had no COVID 19 related hospitalizations or deaths for both employees and residents. 

 

I will also be sending weekly updates to our local ombudsman’s office.  I update our Medical Director daily as well as the Indiana State Board of Health.  I have and will continue to be transparent in how our community is affected by our current health crisis.  

 

I know there has been more information on the news and in the governor’s update about COVID 19 outbreaks in communities like ours.  We continue to do our very best to stop or limit the spread of COVID 19 in our community. Our staff’s efforts are heroic, and the teamwork here has truly been a blessing. Let us pray for our community and for all senior living communities.  The individuals who work in our industry love their residents and families very deeply.  We are facing difficult times, but are persevering with grace, love and hope.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 28, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Today I received word from ISDH that a direct caregiver tested positive for COVID 19.  This individual last worked on Saturday, April 24, 2020.  The employee was asymptomatic throughout the shift.  In consultation with Dr. Daniel Hurley and ISDH, we have placed A Hall in the Health Care Center under isolation and contact precautions.  We will have all residents who live on that hallway tested for COVID 19 as a precautionary measure.  We will also test all employees who worked in the Health Care Center on Saturday.  No residents on A Hall are symptomatic and no other staff members are symptomatic.  We will continue to take every precaution we can to protect our residents.  I will continue to keep you updated on our status daily.

 

Our current COVID 19 status is that we have had no COVID 19 positive residents.  We have one pending resident test.  We have had five COVID positive employees. Two have already recovered and have returned to work.  We have had no COVID 19 related hospitalizations or deaths for both employees and residents.

 

I know that this news can be frightening, but we continue to trust that our precautionary measures will help to stop or limit the spread of COVID 19 in our community. As we continue this journey together let us acknowledge our fear and remember that we do not journey this path alone.  We are community and God is leading us through this time. Let us continue to pray for one another. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 29, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families and Friends,

 

Last night I shared with you that we would be doing testing for residents on A hall and direct care staff who worked in the health care center on Saturday. Due to the number of tests that we were requesting, they were not able to get them to our facility until tomorrow.  They will be here at 9:00 tomorrow morning.  We are testing A hall residents and Health Center Direct Care staff that worked on Saturday.  I am grateful to Eli Lilly and Company who is working with ISDH to provide testing kits in a greater quantity to help us quickly identify possible exposures.  We will be testing from 9:30 am- 1:00 pm. Eli Lilly will process them at an accelerated rate.  We will receive results over the weekend. 

 

Our current COVID 19 status is that we have had no COVID 19 positive residents.  The test result that we were waiting on came back negative.  We give thanks to God for this great news. We have had five COVID positive employees. Three have are recovered and have returned to work.  We have had no COVID 19 related hospitalizations or deaths for both employees and residents. 

 

I realized that in yesterday’s e-mail there was some confusion regarding which hallway I was talking about.  When entering the Health Care Center, A Hall is to the right and B Hall is to the left.  Yesterday, I personally called the Health Care Representative of each resident who would be tested prior to sending out the group email. Please know this will always be the way that this type of information is shared.

 

Today was a rainy day, but it cleared up in the afternoon.  Many of our residents were able to get outside for some patio time in the afternoon.  We also had a birthday today in our community. We had a unique window visit to our celebrant on the third floor.  Friends and family visited this third-floor resident’s window with a cherry picker.   It brought all our residents’ great joy to see visitors in a cherry picker.  Our staff enjoyed it too.  Thank you for the many creative ways that you continue to reach out to your loved ones during this pandemic. It certainly adds joy to our day.  ​​​

Let us continue to pray for one another and the world. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean

April 30, 2020

Dear St. Paul Hermitage Families,

 

Today we completed our COVID 19 testing for our residents and staff who worked on Saturday.  We did the testing from 9:00 am -1:30 pm.  We hope to have the testing results back in the next few days.  It usually takes 24-48 hours to complete the testing.

 

Our current COVID 19 status is that we have had no COVID 19 positive residents.  We have had five COVID positive employees. Three have are recovered and have returned to work.  We have had no COVID 19 related hospitalizations or deaths for both employees and residents. 

 

We do need to make some changes to our Virtual Chats in the Health Care Center.  It is becoming very difficult to do morning chats.  7:00 am -1:00 pm is very busy because we have two meals during that time.   It takes longer to serve room to room.  It takes many hands to complete meal service.  We are asking that Virtual Chats in the Health Care Center be scheduled from 1:30 pm-5:00 pm.  We can do them everyday at this time, but we are no longer able to do any virtual chats prior to 1:30 pm.  Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

 

Our staff is VERY grateful for the love that we received today from our families.  It brought tears to our eyes and smiles to our faces!!! We are blessed by you and we miss you very much.​​​

I also wanted to let you know that I have worked a couple of night shifts this week. Because of this, I am a little behind in reading my emails.  I will respond over the weekend to any questions I may have missed.  I do apologize. I am trying to support our staff wherever it is needed most.  If it is something urgent, you call me at 317-213-8430 and I will return your call as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  

 

I will be working nightshift tonight.  I will begin my daily updates for residents on Monday instead of tomorrow morning.

 

Let us continue to pray for one another and the world. 

 

Peace,

Sr. Heather Jean​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​