Catalyst - Fall 2020 Vol 3 No 1 | Page 8

An Interview With EmpowerHealth Cohort Two Participant: Suzanne Shaffer, MS Ascensa Health at St. Jude’s Recovery Center How has COVID-19 affected your work at Ascensa Health at St. Jude Recovery Center? In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made many adjustments to our programs and services to continue serving clients and providing essential services. Many of our administrative and non-essential staff are working remotely, and all direct services staff remain onsite. The agency is currently operating residential treatment, the medication Assisted treatment (MAT) program, onsite healthcare services, recovery residences, and individual and family counseling services. Clients receive meals, shelter and other basic needs in addition to treatment services We have begun slowly admitting new clients to our residential programs. The agency is doing onsite testing for potential clients and implementing measures to minimize risk and prevent the spread of the virus. All precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of clients and staff, including increased sanitizing procedures and social distancing. All employees and clients are required to wear masks, and every employee must complete a health screening upon entering work to ensure that they have no symptoms of COVID-19. How have your day-to-day operations changed since the pandemic began? The agency has put measures in place to protect clients and staff during the pandemic. We have acquired sufficient PPE for all clients and staff. It is mandatory that all client's and staff wear masks at all times and practice social distancing. Staff are screened upon arrival each day for potential COVID-19 symptoms. The agency continues to be closed to visitors. We have purchased laptops and software to keep staff connected, whether they are onsite or offsite. Interviews as well as staff and Board meetings are conducted by teleconference. 8