August 23, 2020

Dear Fellow Staff—

Having finished Week 23 of this deadly pandemic, I am saddened to give you some troubling news. NCIA staff have previously been diligent about following our protocols, but in the last two weeks we have had five staff and two individuals with confirmed cases and three of our residential homes placed on “outbreak status”. We believe the virus was brought into the houses by our staff.

It is critical that employees in all NCIA programs continue to follow our COVID-19 emergency operations plan to prevent such outbreaks. These plans and protocols are in place for the safety of staff and individuals and remain in effect until further notice. They have been working to date, but we cannot slide backward. So please be extra diligent and do not be hesitant to speak out if you see any fellow staff not following our protocols. Our most up to date Emergency Operations Plan can be found here http://www.ncianet.org/wp-content/uploads/NCIA-EOP-Quarantine-Plan-supplement8.15.2020.pdf.

We will also be needing more HERO team members for our outbreak Houses. NCIA staff from any program looking for additional hours and extra pay are able to join our H.E.R.O Team. To become a H.E.R.O Team Member please contact Steve Cole in Human Resources at scole@ncianet.org  (443-780-1370). NCIA will provide all necessary PPE and excellent training. As a reminder, to date, we have had no COVID cases contracted by H.E.R.O Team Members. This shows that our protocols are working when we follow them!

On the administrative front, open enrollment begins this Monday. Stephen Cooke and Sandra Mock Myers have been sending out the necessary information to ensure all employees retain their benefits. All open enrollment information and recorded sessions are available on the Employee Benefits page on our website http://www.ncianet.org/employee-benefits/.

NCIA programs and leadership continue to excel. COVID-19 has turned our personal and professional lives upside down but our staff has excelled at adapting to the ever-changing circumstances. Our Business Services Department continues to serve multiple contracts and employ scores of our individuals. We have also used this time to develop and implement different and creative methods of teaching the students in our YIT School, training our Vocational Training Center participants and providing structured day programs for our home-bound adults. And the commitment by our DDA residential staff continues to be inspiring.

Finally, you will continue to receive reminders, but it is really important to exercise your right to vote this year. Given the pandemic, it is more important than ever that your voice is heard this November.

So let’s have a safe and productive week. With luck and prayers, the staff and individuals who recently tested positive will fully recover. In the meantime, consider it your most important priority to keep yourself, your families, fellow staff and our clients safe.

 

With continued gratitude—

 

Herb Hoelter, CEO