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Rise Staffing works hard at providing you with the latest news , that involves the developmental disabled communities here in Tulsa and throughout Oklahoma.

Rise Staffing-Tulsa's Home and Community Waiver Based Provider Agency
COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

03/25/2020

Hello Team Rise,

As we monitor the situation and follow the guidance of local authorities and the World Health Organization around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rise Staffing will take all the precautionary measures to avoid any risks to our employees and individuals.

Rise Staffing’s vocational POD’s have been closed. We had the initial desire to stay in operation and continue supporting our community. It was with heavy hearts to make the closure decision but protecting the health and safety of our staff and individuals is top priority. The proposed date to re-open the Rise vocational programs is April 6, 2020.

Most of you already work from home with your individual. We ask that you consider staying home and eliminating extracurricular activities. See your health care provider if you experience any of the common COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing and fever.

Rise’s Program Coordinators will implement remote site visits and IP meetings via phone and video through the month of April per DHS’s guidelines.

The Rise office is closed to visitors. Lisa, Chris and Brenda are working remotely and available to offer assistance or answer questions. I know us Oklahomans have many concerns during these unprecedent times. We are diligently attending webcast meetings with DHS and following recommendations.

We’re already cautious when it comes to office and POD hygiene, but in times like these, we ask you to ensure you follow these official guidelines:

· Wash your hands regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds at a time.

· Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol – we’ve equipped the office and POD’s

· Avoid touching your face – especially eyes, nose, and mouth – with your hands

· Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze

· Open the windows regularly to ensure regular fresh air flow

Your health is our top priority, so we will keep an eye on any new developments around the coronavirus outbreak and will let you know if there are any extra precautionary measures we all need to apply.

Appreciate each and every one of you!

Thank you,

Chris Miller, VP, Ops

chris@risestaffing.net

 

COVID-19

  

Hello Team Rise, 03/17/2020

I hope you and your loved ones are all healthy.

As we monitor the situation and follow the guidance of local authorities and the World Health Organization around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rise Staffing will take all the precautionary measures to avoid any risks to our employees and individuals.

Rise Staffing’s vocational POD’s will remain open at this time.  We have canceled all community activities, public outing and are restricting visitors. Our staff is diligent with infection control and sanitation procedures.

Most of you already work from home with your individual.  We ask that you consider staying home and eliminating extracurricular activities.  See your health care provider if you experience any of the common COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing and fever.

Rise’s Program Coordinators will implement remote site visits via phone and video.

We’re already cautious when it comes to office and POD hygiene, but in times like these, we ask you to ensure you follow these official guidelines:

  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol – we’ve equipped the office and POD’s
  • Avoid touching your face – especially eyes, nose, and mouth – with your hands
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • Open the windows regularly to ensure regular fresh air flow

Your health is our top priority, so we will keep an eye on any new developments around the coronavirus outbreak and will let you know if there are any extra precautionary measures we all need to apply.

Chris Miller

Vice President, Operations

chris@risestaffing.net

OKDHS DDS Provider COVID-19 Guidance and Recommendations 

In response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the delivery of services to individuals with an intellectual disability, the OKDHS, Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS), has developed the following operational guidance and recommendations for providers of services to persons with intellectual disabilities. 

We continue to monitor information from the Oklahoma Health Department and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As additional guidance becomes available, we will update our operational guidance and recommendations. 

Additionally, OKDHS, DDS is collaborating with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make emergency amendments to our Home and Community-Based Waivers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.  The amendments under consideration provide for flexibility that may be necessary to continue ensuring the health and safety of waiver participants.  The types of modifications and flexibility we are seeking include but are not limited to the following areas:  suspension of requirements related to community integration, staffing requirements, staff training requirements, service location size limitations, remote/telephone monitoring  for Program Coordinators and Case Managers, and where certain services can be provided.  Additional information about the amendments will be provided when we have additional information. 

OKDHS, DDS is providing the following guidance to Residential Providers regarding Program Coordination.  Effective immediately and until further notice, residential providers are permitted to conduct monitoring visits remotely; using phone or video conferencing solutions.  When this responsibility is completed in place of a required face to face meeting, the Program Coordinator should document the occurrence in a corresponding case note. 

Additionally, for all Residential and Vocational/Adult Day Providers, the requirement for community integration is suspended until further notice.  Providers are not required to provide for opportunities in the community during this emergency and should evaluate potential risk and exposure by individual and community activity (i.e. walks in the park or neighborhood are likely to be low exposure).  

Providers should ensure staff adherence to already implemented infection control and sanitation procedures and implement additional infection control measures for all common areas, workstations, sensory areas, materials, equipment, furniture, DME, etc.  

The following guidance is provided regarding Limiting Visitors At a minimum, facilities/homes should screen visitors for the following: 

  1. International travel within the last 14 days. 
  1. Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, and sore throat. 
  1. Has had contact with someone with or suspected of having COVID-19. 

If visitors meet any of the above criteria, facilities/homes may restrict entry.  OKDHS, DDS understands it may become necessary to suspend visitation entirely to protect the  health and welfare of residents and staff.   In those instances, please document and report the restriction of visitors, to DDS, QA, Casey Browning. 

 The following guidance is provided for restrictions of staff.  The same screening performed for visitors should be performed for staff (Numbers 1, 2, and 3 above). 

  • Staff who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection should NOT report to work. 
  • Any staff who develop signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection while on the job should: 
  1. Immediately stop work, put on a facemask and self-isolate at home; 
  1. Inform the appropriate supervisor, and include information on individuals, equipment, and locations the person came in contact with; and 
  1. Contact and follow the State Department of Health recommendations for next steps. 

 

Recommendations for all Providers: 

  • Exercise and promote hygienic and infection control practice. Review and update infection control procedures. 
  • Review and update agency and individual back-up plans. 
  • Report all suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the State Department of Health and DDS, Quality Assurance, Casey Browning, Program Administrator. 
  • Contact DDS, Quality Assurance, Casey Browning, before making changes to your business practice whenever possible.  When unable to report before action is taken, please report to QA as soon as possible after the action is taken. 
  • Document what actions were taken and the reason for doing so (COVID-19 emergency). 
  • Stay informed. 

 

Vocational Equity in NE Oklahoma

Vocational Equity in NE Oklahoma

Liz Brolick

Liz Brolick

Chief Executive Officer at Switchgear Search and Recruiting

Did you know that 15.6% of Oklahoman’s—almost 1 in 6—have a disability (according to data from the American Community Survey/Census)? In 2015, only 24.5% of Oklahoman’s age 16 and over with disabilities were employed, compared to 66.9% of persons without disabilities. With the workforce shortage we are all currently facing, all companies should be looking at ways to change this statistic.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lisa Toth, Chris Miller and Brenda Lundy from RISE Staffing and I wanted to share their story. Yes, that’s right I’m sharing with you all a story about a staffing agency that I’m not associated with in any way. What they do to help provide vocational equity to Oklahoman’s is THAT important.

The folks at RISE Staffing have been helping Oklahoman’s with intellectual and developmental disabilities overcome barriers to employment for the past 15 years. They place highly motivated individuals in part-time and full-time positions around Tulsa. RISE teaches their clients everything from fine motor skill enhancement to interviewing tips to help them get ready for work. RISE also provides job coaches to help the job seeker identify personal interests to help create and then find a job tailor-made for them.

How can you help? RISE is looking for companies in the Tulsa area to partner with to make more placements.  RISE can help you reduce recruitment costs (their services are provided at no charge); diversify your workforce and help you receive tax credits. They even do much the leg work for you-they’ll request and arrange for job accommodations such as adaptive computers or augmentative communication devices.

Still not convinced? Take it from a happy customer. Steven has been volunteering at Hillcrest for the last 15 years. He serves as their “Chief Direction Giver”. Steven is responsible for helping people find their way throughout the hospital and one of the hospital vendors has this to say about Steven. “His knowledge of every square inch in that hospital is mind blowing impressive as is his willingness to help. My co-workers and I always say we wish we could clone Steven because every hospital needs him!”

Steven is hoping to be hired by an employer who appreciates his talent and value. He’s ready to take on a new challenge in Tulsa to earn wages and be more self-sufficient. 

Want to learn more? I’m happy to introduce you to Lisa, Chris & Brenda or you can reach them directly. 

Lack of vaccine

Lack of vaccine

Ginnie Graham: Lack of vaccine led to birth defects in pregnancy

Tulsa World

A pregnant Billie Clarke wasn’t able to escape the last rubella epidemic in the U.S.

At age 86, Clarke wants young parents to know her story and learn from it. She has an understated manner but a deep and personal concern about immunizations.

Her son, Peter, was born with severe physical and cognitive disabilities in 1965 because no vaccine was available.

 

The resurgence of once-eliminated diseases like measles and rise of an anti-vaccine movement alarms her.

“I appreciate and respect mothers for the concern they have for their children, but their concern is false,” Clarke said. “This isn’t just about their child, but also any future grandchildren.

“If you don’t protect your children, then an unborn baby down the road becomes infected, that mother-grandmother will have to answer for that.”

Rubella, known as German measles, infected about 12.5 million people from 1964 to 1965.

Of those, 11,000 pregnant women lost their babies, 2,100 newborns died and 20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Mothers always said that if you have a daughter, try to get her exposed to German measles so it will protect her later,” Clarke said. “We never knew anyone with German measles.”

Clarke and her husband, Tom, had three sons, and she was in her first month of pregnancy when she contracted the virus.

“It wasn’t a bad measles. Just about three days long and a few bumps,” she said. “I didn’t have any serious symptoms, some swollen glands in the back. It really wasn’t a problem, unless you are pregnant.”

The risk of birth defects is higher at the earliest part of pregnancies. Like Clarke, women were given a dosage of gamma globulin in an attempt to stunt the virus.

There was no way to know for certain of any prenatal problems until a child was born. So, it was hope, pray and wait.

Clarke’s pregnancy went well and full term with Peter weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces at birth. Three days later, a heart defect was found.

After bringing Peter home at 10 days old, the family knew he faced more health obstacles.

A family physician quickly determined Peter could not see or hear, leading to a lifetime of medical specialists and surgeries. Cognitive and developmental disabilities also surfaced.

“There are also later manifestations. It’s not just at birth, but as they get older other things emerge,” Clarke said.

When attending a Cleveland, Ohio, elementary in 1970, enough children were diagnosed with congenital rubella syndrome that a program was developed.

Peter was featured in several news stories including one with a headline, “For Lack of Measles Vaccine …” Many of those children have died.

The family moved to Tulsa in 1983. Through special education programs, Peter graduated from Jenks High School at age 21 in 1986 and took some specialized coursework at Tulsa Junior College.

For example, he always asks people their birthdays. Within a minute, he can cite the day of the week. He told me I was born on a Thursday in January 1972. He’s right.

He lives with his parents and has a hard time finding meaningful work.

“He’s very smart, sometimes smarter than us. But most of what people have for him are repetitive things,” Clarke said.

Rubella is spread by an infected person coughing or sneezing. About 25% to 50% of infected people do not show symptoms.

After a rubella vaccine was made available in 1969, infections dropped dramatically. In 1971, the MRR vaccine was developed to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

 

This is the vaccine many in the anti-vax community want to unbundle, delay or avoid.

A now-debunked 1998 English study accused the vaccine of causing autism. The author was found to have taken money from an attorney suing the MMR manufacturer, created false data, used contaminated samples and included only 12 children.

It has been more than two decades of advocacy to overcome the report’s impact. It also diverted autism research away from routes that were possibly more beneficial.

All reputable autism and infectious disease specialists, researchers and advocacy organizations disavow any link.

The Pew Research Center found younger Americans are more skeptical of medical scientists and research about childhood vaccines. People with high science knowledge are more inclined to see consensus about MMR safety.

Clarke blames social media for giving undeserved power to anti-vaxers. Website designs and sophisticated connectivity have given anti-vax activists false credibility.

“Mothers are trusting Facebook more than the medical community,” she said. “It has done a lot of damage. People need to know the source of information.”

The MMR has been effective. By 2004, rubella was eliminated from the U.S., defined as not having a continuous disease transmission for at least a year in a specific area.

But diseases are never truly eliminated.

About 100,000 infants are born with congenital rubella syndrome worldwide. About 76% of countries have incorporated rubella vaccines into national immunization programs, according to the World Health Organization.

This means rubella remains a problem in other parts of the world and can be brought into the U.S. by travelers.

For Clarke, rubella has never truly been gone. She is proud of what Peter has accomplished but knows it could have been easier for him.

“Peter’s life is for a lack of a vaccine,” she said.

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