Friends, Families and Supporters,

I hope you’ll join me next week, Thursday, July 23, at 11am EST, for our next Facebook Live community update. This is a nice way to answer your questions in real time, to say hello and to connect. I look forward to seeing you on our Facebook page !
 
It’s hard to imagine, but this is our 19th week since COVID-19 impacted JFGH directly with a person JFGH supports being potentially exposed to the virus. From those uncertain days in early March to now, we have endured much and learned a lot. As we all watch the pandemic unfold in our country, we are shocked, even a bit incredulous. Fortunately for JFGH, it’s been more than two months since we’ve faced an infection—long may it last. And yet, the novel coronavirus is every bit as real and dangerous today, four months later, as it was those first days of March.
 
I have referred to JFGH’s Safe Return to Work and Risk Mitigation (SWARM) plan , and as promised, albeit later than I preferred, it is posted on our website. Go to www.jfgh.org/covid/swarm to check it out. I should note that the SWARM plan is not a static document or set of guidelines. As we implement protocols, learn the outcomes they produce, re-calibrate wherever necessary, and react to circumstances in our community, we recognize this is a very fluid, evolving and dynamic set of protocols. We will make changes to them in real time, and we’ll do our best to post the revised iteration of the SWARM weekly.
 
Lastly, I have some good (perhaps more precisely, cautiously good) news. As you know or might guess, local and state governments are struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on their economies. The impact of this reality has tended to be, in the worst cases, cuts to funding for services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in some states, and at best, funding for the new fiscal year remaining flat. We were notified last week that Maryland funding, which had been scheduled to be increased by 4% for the State’s fiscal year (beginning 1 July through 30 June), has confirmed that the 4% increase will be provided, as promised! The caveat is it’ll be provided, but there may well be a re-evaluation at some point during the year, and there is no guarantee that there won’t be reductions at some point during the year. But, glass half-full here—the 4% is huge, and we are so grateful to the General Assembly and Governor Hogan for this suppo rt.
 
For all of you who took time to reach out to legislators, the Governor’s office and other members of the Administration to urge their commitment to the 4% increase, we thank you so much for your advocacy. And, for anyone who might take a few minutes to send off a quick thank you note to members of the General Assembly and/or the Governor’s office, check here to find your elected officials and their contact information.
 
Thanks so much for all YOU do for our community.

Stay healthy.
 
 
David
David Ervin, JFGH CEO, dervin@jfgh.org