Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize

Oklahomans are doing a great job implementing social distancing recommendations and observing guidance from state and local authorities, and while that means we are staying home and limiting our exposure to others, we still have essential needs that must be met. To meet those needs, Oklahomans still need to go to the grocery store to pick up bread and milk and eggs. We still have to put gas in the car. For others, delivery services have been critical – bringing food, toilet paper, and other items straight to our doors.

But wait. All those items that are coming into our homes, have been touched by multiple hands, traveled by plane, truck and car to reach you. But what can you do about that? You have to have these items, so how will you maintain your individual and household needs and also protect yourself from potential spread of COVID-19. Should we be worried?

Good news folks – the risk of COVID-19 spreading through your delivered groceries and bars of soap are pretty low. In fact, the CDC doesn’t recommend anything special for how you handle packages received in the mail, or that you pick up at the grocery store. The CDC does recommend you continue to observe social distance practices and remain vigilant in your personal hygiene. There are a few extra precautionary measures you can take to reduce risk even more when you are bringing goods into your home.

•If you are having food delivered, avoid direct contact with the food courier by leaving payment (if needed) outside the door and instructions on where to leave your food package. 

•When returning from a trip to the grocery store, gas station or food pick up, be sure to immediately wash your hands and any re-useable bags you may shop with. 

•Don’t leave empty take out boxes on your counters or other hard surfaces, make sure they land in your sink or your trash bin. 

•Continue to regularly disinfect high touch areas in your home – doorknobs, faucet handles, and light switches are examples. 

As long as we all keep doing our part, we can continue to slow the spread and flatten the curve here in Oklahoma. Let’s do this!

This article courtesy of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

You Want Me to Stay Home for How Long?

As businesses, places of worship and schools continue to close, the reality of our new world is settling in, and we’re not sure entirely what to think of it. For many of us – this presents a minor inconvenience. Perhaps we have paid sick leave we can access, or a job that allows for remote work. However, for our friends, neighbors and family who work hourly jobs, asking them to self-quarantine is likely causing a lot of anxiety. How will I pay my bills? How will we cover our mortgage or rent? What happens when I miss my first paycheck?

We want to make sure you are taking the steps, and have access to resources to keep your spiritual, emotional and physical health up during these times. Here are some tips and resources to help you through it.

•Have a routine for you and other members of your household. You don’t have to get all dressed up like your leaving the house, but set alarms, have meals at a certain time and “schedule” the day as much as you can.  

•Keep up with your social engagements – virtually. Do you have coffee every Wednesday morning with the moms from the bus stop? Is there a regular happy hour you and your co-workers go to? Great! Pour your beverage of choice and set up a video chat with your service of choice.

•Find ways to keep exercising. Many gyms are now offering streaming workout classes to help people stay busy and active during times of self-quarantine.  Check out a list of options here. 

•Ask for help. If you’re feeling like it’s all too much, that’s ok. We understand that self-quarantine is a disruption in all of our lives, and depending on each of our unique situations, the stress, concern and anxiety may be different. If you need someone to talk to, call the disaster distress helpline at 1-800-985-5990 and talk to someone about how your feeling, and what you need.

Our community is so resilient. We have been through devastating natural disasters and acts of domestic terrorism. If you’re new to our state – know that while COVID-19 may be new to us, we are not new to responding and helping our fellow Oklahomans.

Article courtesy of the Oklahoma State Health Department.

Is Anybody Out There?

If you’ve been out and about in the community, traffic probably seems a lot lighter. Kids are not waiting at bus stops, the line at your favorite coffee spot is much shorter. This week Governor Stitt ordered all non-essential businesses be closed in Oklahoma counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases for the next 21 days.

You may be asking yourself, what now? How do I manage my day-to-day with these types of closures? What exactly can I expect?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate these changes: 

  • Non-essential businesses are those providing items or services that are socially driven. Think gyms, bars and other similar businesses and services.
  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other services Oklahomans depend on to care for themselves and others are open, and you can find a full list of essential services here.
  • Check your favorite grocery store’s website before you head out for a gallon of milk or a couple rolls of toilet paper; many have reduced hours or are offering specific hours for members of our communities who are at higher risk.
  • If your ability to work will be impacted by these new restrictions, there are resources to help you. Check out Oklahoma Works for additional information on how to file an unemployment claim or access resources for alternate employment during this time.

We know it’s a lot to ask, especially if you are feeling well. Maybe, it’s starting to feel like you’re listening to a broken record, and well, you are. Just know these restrictions are being implemented after careful consideration, informed by science and facts. 

Stay home, slow the spread, and protect our Oklahoma communities.

Article Courtesy of the Oklahoma State Department of Health

Update on COVID-19 Precautions for the OMM Campus – March 25, 2020

To All OMM Community Members, Families, and Visitors:
I know you share my concern in how the Coronavirus is impacting our city, nation, and world, especially older adults. The health and wellbeing of our community members, employees, and their families are the of the utmost importance and priority to all of us. Oklahoma Methodist Manor (OMM) continues to implement ALL guidelines recommended by the CDC and Oklahoma State Department of Health regarding the COVID-19 public health crisis.

To that end, OMM began implementing protection measures as early as March 2. On March 13, we closed the Health Care Households and the Holliman Living Center to all visitors. Four days later, we closed our entire campus to visitors and began a self-imposed quarantine of the nearly 400 members who live here. These actions were all taken prior to government mandates and illustrate our deep commitment to the health and safety of our members and employees.

Additionally, on March 24, Governor Stitt signed the “Safer at Home” Executive Order (2020-06). “To protect our elderly, we are suspending all visitation to nursing homes and long-term care facilities effective immediately and until further notice,” Stitt announced. This order fortified the steps that OMM had already taken to protect older individuals who have increased susceptibility to this virus and a heightened risk of developing serious illness.

Access to the campus is currently closed at ALL entrances except for the gated entrance on 31st Place, east of New Haven Avenue. Access at that gate is managed by OMM staff. At this same location, all employees are receiving a health screening before entering campus to ensure they are healthy to work. Our goal is to reduce the chance of the virus spreading to our campus.

We understand that connecting with family members is extremely important and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding. We encourage you to use other avenues to connect with your loved ones – phone calls, Facetime or Skype. As we continue to monitor the latest news and guidance, we will keep you informed of any additional changes. Feel free to check our website (Blog page) and social media channels for information.

Rest assured that we consider our residents to be part of our extended family. We are here to answer any question or concerns you may have, please do not hesitate to contact any of the staff members or me personally. Thank you for your continued support and prayers as we navigate through these unusual circumstances together.

Steve Dickie, CEO
Oklahoma Methodist Manor

Is Going for a Walk Essential?

So, you made the decision to follow guidance and voluntarily self-quarantine or minimize your movements for the next 14 days.

First, thank you for making that choice to help protect our most vulnerable neighbors, family and friends. We fully recognize the inconvenience this will pose, and the impact it may have on you financially. We understand it is a sacrifice for the greater good, and we truly appreciate you for doing the right thing for our community as a whole.

So, now you need to figure out what your days look like in this quarantined lifestyle. You have probably seen lots of articles and information around what’s essential and what’s not.

Can you still run to the grocery store if you run out of toilet paper or milk?

Is it okay to take a walk around the block to get some fresh air or just quiet time away from the kids, partners or other housemates?

What about your dog? Is it okay to take Fido to the nearby dog park for some exercise and relief?

The short answer is, yes. You can still do all of those things. Your physical health and well-being are critical to our recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

The long answer goes something like this: If you need to run to the grocery store, be mindful of those around you. If you observe congestion in an aisle, keep moving and wait for it to break apart. Pay attention to where you are in the checkout line and observe social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart. Try to make a list and get what you may need to get you through the length of your voluntary quarantine. Wash your hands before and after any trips and grab a little bit of hand sanitizer for yourself (and to share with your cashier!).

Please, take that walk around the block and get fresh air. Let Fido run around the dog park. But just like at the grocery store, be mindful of your surroundings. Maintain that social distance of 6 feet to protect yourself and others from potential exposures. If you are approaching others during your walk, cross the street or simply stop and move an appropriate distance away to ensure safe distance when you pass one another. Your health and well-being is essential, and undertaking activities to ensure that you and your loved ones can maintain good health is essential. Just use common sense when you do.

This article and information provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Oklahoma Methodist Manor Statement on Employee Diagnosed with COVID-19

Tulsa, Okla. – Oklahoma Methodist Manor (OMM) has learned a supervisory employee has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The employee has been off work, and not present on our campus, since March 5, 2020. The employee had a scheduled day off on March 6 and did not start feeling symptoms of illness until March 7.

As is our standard practice during flu season, all employees who report any respiratory illness symptoms are directed not to report to duty. No residents are showing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. The employee has not had any contact with any resident in the past 19 days, so the presumed risk of transmission is low. As early as March 2, OMM had already put several protective measures in place, including the screening of all employees for illness. The foresight of OMM leadership and early adoption of those protective measures are believed to have prevented the potential spread of this virus.

The employee remains quarantined at home with family and has been under the care of a physician since March 10 for flu-like symptoms. Testing for COVID-19 was performed on March 16, but results were not available until yesterday. During this extended absence, the employee has maintained their income through OMM’s sick leave benefit.

“We have notified the Oklahoma State Department of Health and are following procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,” said Steve Dickie, Chief Executive Officer. “The continued health and safety of our residents is our foremost priority.” Residents, their family members, and other employees were also notified of this discovery. OMM is working closely with state officials to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to continue to prevent the virus’ spread.

“We are taking every step as recommended by authorities to continue our work preventing the spread of this virus. We want to make residents, their families, our dedicated staff, and our community aware of this situation and reassure everyone that we are on top of the situation.”
Any media inquiries regarding this case should be directed to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

COVID-19 Fact or Fiction

As we all try to navigate these challenging times, it is hard to distinguish between what is fact or fiction. Here is a great guide that the Oklahoma Department of Health has put together.

We all have heard or maybe we are saying “But I’m Not Even Sick!”

If you’re experiencing mild symptoms that feel like a typical common cold, or you don’t even have symptoms at all, it’s probably hard to understand the importance of staying home. We understand and want to stress that this is not about YOU.

It is about your grandparents.

It is about your aunt with high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

It is about the volunteers in the nursery at your place of worship.

It is about the hourly workers still making your coffee.

It is about the healthcare workers who continue to put themselves in harm’s way.

Right now they are asking all Oklahomans to be good neighbors.

•Limit your time out and about in the community to just the essentials.

•Observe social distancing guidelines. If you are waiting in line to pick up necessities at the grocery store, or need to pay for gas at the gas station, keep your distance from the next person in line, or ask the person behind you to take a few steps back if you need to.

•Practice good personal hygiene. Any time you interact with members outside of your own household, remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you return home.

•Pay attention to your surroundings. Are you in a crowded room with elderly? Is it hard to walk in between people to get to the counter? If you or someone you love is at higher risk, remove yourself from that situation.

While data continues to become available to help medical experts understand how COVID-19 is being spread, we know the best weapon is personal responsibility. Let’s make future generations proud of how we worked together to mitigate a public health crisis. Let’s serve as leaders in responding with empathy, compassion and respect for our neighbors.

Update on COVID-19 Precautions for the OMM Campus – Effective March 17, 2020

Amid the fast-changing circumstances regarding COVID-19, OMM has decided to increase the infection control prevention and social distancing measures already in place. We understand that these limitations may be challenging and inconvenient, but please know the health and safety of our residents and staff is our main priority.

As such the following measures are effective beginning Tuesday, March 17, at 12:00 noon. All these restrictions will remain in place indefinitely. We plan to re-evaluate these actions on April 1, and pledge to provide periodic updates as new developments occur.

  • All residents are required to remain on campus and preventively self-quarantine. They may walk the campus grounds and other walking paths. There will be provisions for medical travel if necessary.
  • Residents may choose to leave the campus to stay with family or friends but will be asked not to return to OMM for the foreseeable future.
  • All vehicle traffic seeking to enter campus will be directed to the west gate on 31st Place. The main entrance will be closed to all traffic. Please see the map.
  • All employees entering the OMM campus will be screened. No visitors or guests will be permitted to enter.
  • The Spann Wellness Center will be closed effective immediately. All activities, including worship services are canceled.
  • Housekeeping and Maintenance services within individual residences will be suspended. Emergency or essential safety work orders will be addressed. Housekeeping services will be increased in common spaces to enhance the disinfection of those areas.
  • Routine Transportation services (shuttle and personal) are suspended.
  • OMM staff will contact residents via phone daily beginning Wednesday, March 18. We strongly encourage all Residents to monitor their own health and report any symptoms of respiratory illness to OMM staff.

Please know we are very mindful these new policies are inconvenient. We trust everyone understands these actions will help reduce the risk of exposure to this deadly virus. This disease’s progression in the Tulsa community, and our proactive responses to it, have been evolving very quickly. We will keep you informed and updated as swiftly as possible through our website, flyers, phone calls, or e-mail.

As always, please reach out to OMM administration staff for questions and concerns that we may have not addressed yet. Perhaps most importantly, we urge you to pray that this pandemic will pass over us quickly. We are incredibly thankful for your continued understanding, patience, and grace as we navigate these challenging times together.

Sincerely, Steve Dickie, CEO

COVID-19 Update

Dear OMM Friends and Families,

To keep you informed of the measures we are taking as an organization to keep our residents and staff safe during this time of the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I write to you now. Under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), Oklahoma Methodist Manor is enacting these steps effective March 13, 2020:

  • Prohibiting all non-emergency guests to the Health Care Households and to the Holliman Center. Exterior doors to these buildings will be locked to entry.
  • The Holliman Center reception area will receive guests and address concerns; however, guests will not be permitted in the Health Care Households or Holliman Center.
  • Screening all employees for any symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, prior to starting work every day. Any staff member who feels unwell or displays symptoms, will be sent home.
  • Restricting the access of all third-party care providers such as Home Care or Hospice partners. For urgent services, access may be granted following a health screening of the caregiver.
  • Canceling or postponing all large group activities on campus.  
  • Canceling or postponing all non-urgent medical appointments and other outings.
  • Enhancing our cleaning and disinfection practices across campus, especially “high touch” areas.
  • Encouraging all employees and campus residents to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Screening all potential new residents into the Health Care Households.

We are implementing these measures at this time through March and meeting weekly, sometimes daily to adjust and restructure our plan if needed. We will reevaluate all organizational responses on April 1. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to protect our vulnerable and frail elders. Should you have any questions or concerns about Oklahoma Methodist Manor’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, please reach out to me at or 918-346-6613.

Steve Dickey
CEO, Oklahoma Methodist Manor

Message from Steve Dickie, CEO of Oklahoma Methodist Manor

Dear Friends,

With the announcement of the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Tulsa County, we want to assure everyone in our community that we are taking the risks and precautions necessary to protect our residents and staff during this outbreak.

Please know there is no higher priority to us than ensuring that Oklahoma Methodist Manor residents are well cared for and safe. We are monitoring this international situation closely and remain in close communication with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), government agencies, and internal teams to stay on top of this evolving situation.

According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. However, since we serve a population that has been deemed at a higher risk, we are taking precautionary measures.

  1. If you are sick, not feeling well, or have been around someone who is ill, please do not visit.
  2. If you have traveled to an area that has been identified with cases of COVID-19 we ask that you not visit until you are sure you have not been exposed to the virus.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  5. Stay home when you are sick.
  6. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

We always want our guests and families to feel welcome on campus, but we feel it is our responsibility to our residents to do everything in our power to protect them from this virus. As a result, we call special attention to the above limits placed upon visitors. Additionally, we have enhanced our cleaning procedures in the interest of our residents’ and employees’ health and safety.

Thank you for your cooperation and trust in Oklahoma Methodist Manor as we care for elders. We are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with health and safety at the forefront of everything we do.

Should you have any concerns about what we are doing to combat this medical issue, I encourage you reach out me.

Steven H. Dickie
CEO, Oklahoma Methodist Manor

March STARS Employee Of The Month – Lori Johnson, Wellness Coordinator

We are so lucky to have Lori Johnson, Wellness Coordinator for the Health Center, as the March STARS employee of the month. Lori Johnson will celebrate her ninth year with OMM in April. “Bringing joy, laughter and comfort to all who live and work at OMM” is what she loves about her job.

Lori was born and raised in rural Nebraska on a farm. Her caregiving nature started at an early age when she began sewing and cooking to help her mother and grandmother. After high school she went to Northeast Technical Community College and became an LPN. There is little she hasn’t done in the nursing fi eld and truly believes caring for people is her calling.

Lori is a strong supporter and volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association. In fact, she always wears purple “to remember all those we have loved and lost.” She collects teacups and Precious Moments figurines. She still enjoys cooking and sewing and even singing. One time in college when traveling across Europe she sang at Notre Dame Cathedral.

When she is not spending time with OMM elders she enjoys her family’s Wednesday Night Dinners. Lori and her husband, Bill, have been married 37 years next month. They have four grown children – twin boys, one daughter and a son. She is also the proud grandma of nine grandchildren.

What her supervisor says  “You can find Lori everywhere on campus. Her presence is really known at events. She sees an opportunity takes note and adjusts. She works out the logistics and solicits help from volunteers to make sure the Health Center elders have the opportunity to attend events. This is just one-way Lori’s passion shines through for the elders she serves.” Jennifer Rawlings, VP of Wellness.

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