As I put on my homemade mask to keep myself, my family, and my neighbors safe, I am reminded of the discipline and vigilance that this caregiver (above) draws upon every day as she dons her mask at work. Her goal: to protect the safety of her patients and herself at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners HealthCare at Home. 

Called into demanding new roles and longer shifts, our entire network of doctors, nurses, therapists, care assistants, and staff are still as focused and positive as ever. At the end of a long weekend of preparations to open the first of two new 60-bed COVID-19 units at Spaulding, you could hear spontaneous exclamations in the staff meeting: “We’re good!” “We got this!” and “Spaulding Strong!” 

But make no mistake. The intense pressures of the pandemic on our rehabilitation network— from Charlestown, to Cambridge, to Cape Cod and Brighton, to the emergency outpatient and home visits—are relentless. 

Just as our Spaulding and Partners HealthCare at Home (PHH) caregivers are looking out for all our patients in recovery during this brutal pandemic, so must we must look out for them—our healthcare heroes. That is why we created the Emergency Response Fund —to ensure that our Spaulding/PHH leaders have flexible resources to tackle the increasingly complex medical needs of all our patients and the very real but less visible needs of our rehabilitation staff. 
Here are just three examples of the kinds of large and small measures that—with your generous support—can make a difference in the well-being of Spaulding/PHH staff:

  • The nutrition and food services teams in Charlestown and Cape Cod have set up a way for staff to skip the supermarket and visit our cafeterias’ “pop up grocery stores” for essentials. Staff can shop for eggs, deli meat, milk, orange juice, and bread. The food services team also makes a variety of homemade, ready-to-serve family-sized meals available Monday through Friday. 

  • Upholding the nutrition and hydration of our health workers on the job also means providing free healthy snacks and unlimited beverages during shifts—a supportive new staff service that will be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

  • Staff resilience, safety, and peace of mind come in all forms. From securing the best in personal protective equipment (PPE) to offering a place to shower before going home, these measures can ease concerns that clinical teams have for themselves and their families. A key new program is making it possible for interested staff to have free overnight lodging near our hospitals instead of going directly home. 

In this moment of crisis, our Spaulding/PHH motto— Find Your Strength —holds new meaning and urgency. With your support, we can show our staff how much we value their own strength as they serve others. Thank you for making a special gift today to our Emergency Response Fund .  

May this holiday week bring comfort and connection to you and your loved ones.

Ann Merrifield
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and Partners HealthCare at Home
© 2020 Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
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