By Barbara Conn, CEO

Now and always, we are focused on the safety and wellbeing of our residents, associates, and community. Our commitment is to be the best part of someone’s day—especially when those days may be marked by uncertainty. We understand that we are in a rapidly changing situation; our hearts go out to all those that have been and will be impacted by COVID-19.

In an effort to stay ahead of this dynamic situation, we have established a Coronavirus Response Team comprised of senior leadership representing food safety/quality assurance, workplace safety, human resources, supply chain, legal and communications that continue to monitor developments and follow guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other health authorities. This response team is working tirelessly to provide regular updates on operational efficiencies that include information to reinforce our stringent health and hygiene standards. In addition, we have updated our comprehensive Pandemic Management Policy that has been successfully used in previous health threat situations to ensure we are prepared to effectively manage the potential escalation of COVID-19.

With assistance from our parent company Compass Group, we are able to support the community-at-large. Foodbuy continues to ensure the integrity of our supply chain, while leaders across our company are offering resources and personnel to back up our response to the special needs of our senior living communities and residents. We have been able to reallocate inventory and preserve goods from other Compass sectors who are currently closed in the same markets.

We’re finding innovative and creative solutions to adhere to new dining restrictions and policies.

Expanded food solutions

Compass Provisions is a central service offering expanded food solutions across the country that includes our Jack & Olive brand, additional “grab & go” packaged meals and shelf-stable meals. Morrison’s culinary team has launched new 14 day modified menu templates to better align with room service delivery, meal pick-ups and staffing changes.

mobile hiring

To support our clients as well as our Compass brothers and sisters, we’re addressing senior living staffing shortages by matching displaced Compass Group associates to help fill critical roles during this time. Through a mobile Compass application, ESS Mobility, Morrison Living unit managers can post open shifts so that local Compass associates can choose to work them. A Talent Share team has also been created by Compass for a second level of support that works to place affected managers in open positions across Morrison Living and other healthcare sectors. 

Amidst all the challenges we are all facing, we’re continuing to make connection and compassion a priority. We recognize that resident brain health is extremely important during a time of distancing and isolation. Anxiety and depression can result in a lack of social connection, physical activity, and cognitive engagement. We’ve found innovative solutions to trigger activity in each of these areas to keep the environment upbeat and maintain morale of both residents and associates.

We’ve implemented several programs including smile cards for delivery trays, brain teasers and virtual activity tips, grocery ordering with room delivery, “10 and 2 Time To Groove” rolling snack and exercise breaks, virtual Teaching Kitchens, and Farmer’s Carts with fresh produce to name a few.

To help our own people stay connected, we have been focused on constant communication to arm our culinary, wellness and environments teams with the most recent information available. We continue to reinforce the urgency of implementing updated procedures system-wide and introduce them to new resources available to help manage through this crisis. To help spread information, we’ve used the following communication tools:

  • Daily leadership calls
  • Manager “all call” sessions
  • Workplace by Facebook
  • Email communications
  • One-stop-shop resource guide
  • Internal COVID-19 webpage
  • Dedicated crisis hotline
  • Posters and flyers
  • Talking points and training materials
  • And more

As we continue to navigate this situation, the Morrison family will continue to stay true to our values of service. Through the power of food and a clean environment, we’re playing a critical role in keeping our beloved residents safe and healthy. Our commitment, now and always, will be to use every resource and avenue at our disposal to provide the best possible resident experience.

We are here for you. Do you need support to navigate this unprecedented situation? Reach out to MLCommunications@morrisonliving.com and we’ll do our very best to help.