Letter from the Administrator

Dear Friends—

Ready or not, here come the holidays, just in time to wrap up the year that will not soon be forgotten! Looking back, I marvel at the triumphs and tragedies we’ve shared, life changing events that will forever mark this time in our personal histories. For me, 2020 has been remarkable for me in countless ways, but mostly for having the privilege of leading a team of dedicated, compassionate, and courageous health care providers through a minefield of a deadly public health crisis, impacting all of us, including our loved ones.

Our top priority continues to be keeping our residents, and ourselves healthy, both physically and mentally, which requires Herculean efforts from all of us. We’ve all learned an abundance of life lessons over these past several months. Among the things I learned was that our team was stronger than I could have imagined, and our community of residents and families are supportive beyond measure, which helped us get through this most challenging of times.

Above all, I am in awe at how adaptive our residents have been, considering the new constraints imposed upon them, such as: wearing masks, not being able to eat in the dining room or congregate with their friends and fellow residents.

I must express my heartfelt apologies and thanks to all of the families who were prevented from in person visits with their loved ones for all these many months. This restriction was extremely difficult to live with, but also critical to controlling the spread of the virus. One of the most important things I learned from this pandemic was that if the surrounding community had high COVID numbers, the virus would make its way into my building. And as we all know, Arizona and particularly the Phoenix area was a hot spot for several months. I thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement to my staff who spent many hours making phone calls to you with updates on your family members, often calls sharing sad news. Sometimes, those calls were made to share that despite our best efforts, your loved one had contracted COVID. In spite of what you were dealing with, most of you still thought of us, grateful for the care we were providing for your loved one. So, for all your help and support, on behalf of my staff, thank you for placing the care of your loved one in our hands.

I must recognize the superstars and heroes I feel privileged to work with day in and day out. I thank them for their boundless energy, endless support, and creative problem solving. Together, we continue to find the strength, tenacity and the courage to fight another day. They maintain positive attitudes despite the extra tasks and workload asked of them on a daily basis. They rarely tell me no, and I am continually humbled by their willingness to do whatever is asked of them as quickly as possible.

Over this past year, I’ve had the rare privilege of watching my team adapt to changes and demands while never missing a beat. Watching them grow professionally and personally has been an honor. I feel like we’ve been able to lift each other up whenever needed, find some humor in most of the hurdles we’ve had to overcome along the way, and find new ways to care for and support our residents. I feel truly fortunate to have become a part of this work family, and I count our shared accomplishments among my career highpoints. And in my heart I know that great things are in our future as we continue this journey.

So please take some time for yourselves during this holiday season, recharge your batteries, because we have a lot more great things to do in 2021!

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