Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services representatives Mr. Gidon Shalom, Senior Deputy Director and head of the Disabilities Committee, Dr. Michal Hafetz, director of Community Residence Services, Ms. Keren London, External Residence Supervisor, and Mr. Nihad Zarkawi, Regional Supervisor, made their way to ADI Jerusalem to personally express the Ministry’s awe and admiration for ADI Jerusalem’s exemplary conduct and management during COVID-19, and particularly during the most hazardous and uncertain initial months of the pandemic.
The Ministry’s high regard focused on ADI’s rapid internal response on all levels, including health, prevention, resident and staff morale and ongoing communication with residents’ families, well before similar centers or government offices managed to establish and implement their own guidelines and strategies.
ADI Jerusalem CEO Shlomit Grayevsky, Rikki Froilich, head nurse, Eppi Gutkivich, epidemiology nurse and head of infection prevention, took part in the meeting with Ministry officials and outlined the process which included ongoing updates to the Ministry regarding the dynamic situation at ADI Jerusalem.
From the very onset of the pandemic, ADI Jerusalem appointed a corona committee which met constantly, often all day long, to sharpen policy and refine decisions subject to daily, at times hourly, change. Residents were divided into capsules, strict procedures were established, full protection introduced and a zero-tolerance approach for non-adherence adopted.
In direct opposition to standard policy, the center was hermetically sealed to outsiders, including family, volunteers and visitors, with all focus directed towards one imperative: saving lives.
Understanding the cruciality of the situation, residents’ families placed full trust in the administration of ADI Jerusalem and cooperated with all regulations. Employees worked longer shifts during lockdowns to minimize outside contact. Work within the center maintained the same level of high quality and residents remained happy and active despite the capsules and changes in schedules.
Ministry officials lauded ADI’s extraordinary management and organization. Dr. Michal Hafetz praised the fact that ADI was able to vaccinate employees with alacrity, turning the entire vaccination process into a joyful and fun happening, as well as the way in which ADI administration responded to staff needs with ongoing support, team-building activities, expressions of gratitude and a no-holds-barred attitude to obtaining the latest and most effective personal protection equipment.
Upon conclusion of the meeting, after once again reiterating their respect and esteem for ADI Jerusalem’s swift organization and outstanding functioning while keeping to regulations and work schedules during the entire period, Ministry officials asked the ADI Jerusalem team to prepare a written protocol to be used as a model of action for similar organizations.
ADI Jerusalem administration thanked the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services for standing by the center, during regular times as well as emergencies, and for being attentive, active and responsive to the special needs that emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.