COVID-19 Update

Covid-19 update from CEO, Doug Fresh.

A year in review, St. Mark Village CEO, Doug Fresh recaps the last 365 days of Covid-19. Doug reminds us of our long journey, illuminating our strength and how embracing one another has brought us through the past year. We will continue our safety precautions; screening, hand washing, and mask wearing until instructed otherwise. And, with 96% of Residents now vaccinated, we are getting back to normal as our community reaches herd immunity.

St. Mark Village is one of the safest places one can be, so join us. For more information about our safe and loving community, please contact our knowledgeable and friendly sales counselors at (727) 464-1750.

February 1, 2021

From the Frontline: The Vaccine and Renewed Hope for 2021

Happy New Year! We started 2021 with excitement about the Covid-19 vaccine, we also have a renewed hope that we can soon put the events of the past year behind us. 2020 is still fresh in our minds as we reflect on all we have been through as individuals, families, Residents, and Team Members this past year.

16x9-blog-image-012721

As the Covid-19 virus moved into our communities, there was fear of the unknown. On the frontline, concerns multiplied:

  • How will this affect us?
  • Will we be safe from this?
  • How do we protect ourselves, families, and Residents?
  • Will we get sick?
  • Will our Team Members want to take the risk to continue working?
  • Will everyone quit?
  • What is going to happen?

As a Life Care Community with over 600 Residents and more than 350 Team Members, we prepared the best we knew how; procuring masks, gowns, gloves, shields, and more to protect our Team Members and Residents. This was an all-hands-on deck effort, as getting PPE was difficult in the beginning, though our Team was able to make it happen. Team Members from all departments and Residents learned how to prevent from contracting the virus and stop its spread. Our Team Members responded immediately and appropriately. We learned all we could, asked excellent questions, and practiced consistent and effective infection control. As a Team, we also tolerated multiple re-educations due to frequent changes regarding the most recent information and guidelines. With all of this going on, our team continued to provide the great care St. Mark Village is known for.

One of the unanticipated consequences of the virus that our Residents began to experience was the isolation. For many months our Residents were encouraged to stay in their rooms due to visitation restrictions. In an effort to keep them safe, they were unable to see their families and friends. Again, our Team Members stepped up to the challenge to help connect Residents with their families. There were Zoom video calls scheduled, window visits facilitated, and many phone calls. Residents also enjoyed several socially distanced parades where they could sit and see their families as they drove by holding signs of love and appreciation. Our Team Members from the nursing department who had the closest contact with Residents during this time also stepped in to fill the void with conversation, compassion, and support.

And through all the trials of 2020, our Team Members continued to show up. Things were made more difficult due to the virus, donning and doffing PPE, as well as passing trays in rooms in place of communal dining. With of the these challenges, our Team was always there, at times literally risking their own lives to ensure our Residents were getting the care they deserve. We owe a debt of gratitude to each and every one of our Team Members, as we would have never made it this far without their help and commitment to our Residents. Their dedication and compassion for the Residents they love continues to be evident as we transition to the next phase of overcoming this virus, the vaccination.

We ended 2020 on a positive note and had our first COVID-19 Vaccination clinic on December 17th. We are thankful that the Centers for Disease Contact (CDC) as well as local and state officials have prioritized our community in getting our Residents the vaccine so quickly and efficiently. It was exciting to see Team Members and Residents who had been through so much get their first vaccine. It has given our Team a renewed sense of hope and excitement. We are doing the right thing, for ourselves, our community, and our country. By the beginning of March, we will have completed three vaccination clinics for both Team Members and Residents at all levels of care.

We start 2021 with continued excitement about the COVID-19 vaccine, which brings great promise that one day soon we can all put this pandemic behind us. The experiences of the last year are fresh in our hearts and minds, and we remain grateful for the resilience and positivity of our Residents and Team Members. Witnessing Residents and Team Members literally roll up their sleeves, knowing that they were taking a brave and proactive step toward protecting themselves and our St. Mark Village family has been incredible. I feel honored to be among so many dedicated frontline workers and I do believe we are stronger as a Team because of it.

As we move toward brighter days ahead, there is still so much to learn about Covid-19. As we learn, we will continue to modify our evidenced based infection control program, continuing to practice enhanced measures to stop the spread of the virus. Importantly, even after our Team Members and Residents are fully vaccinated; mask wearing, social distancing, and other enhanced protocols won’t be going anywhere. Our societymust first reach herd immunity. As a Team, we’ll continue to stay the course and take the steps necessary to limit virus transmission until health authorities advise these efforts are no longer needed.

For questions about the Covid-19 vaccine as related to our Care Center Residents, families may call our Care Centers directly. For our Nebraska Avenue Care Centers, please contact Randall Rees, Care Centers Administrator at: (727) 785-2577 ext. 1744 or by email at: rrees@stmarkvillage.org. For Highland Lakes Assisted Living, please contact Sheila Kynion, Administrator at: (727) 785-2580 ext. 3003 or by email at: skynion@stmarkvillage.org. For all other questions please call (727) 785-2580. As always, families and friends may stay up-to-date with all things St. Mark Village with our in-house newsletter, the Lively Mark, which is available to view online at: www.stmarkvillage.org/lively-mark

January 8, 2021

Turning the Page to 2021

2020 has been a long difficult road. As we look back at the past year, we think about the special moments that brought us together (while safely distanced, of course), such as the many car parades that brought the Residents and families so much joy. Thanks to an updated technology infrastructure; birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries connected at high speeds and united families through telecommunications. And in case anyone missed it, St. Mark Village proudly celebrated 40 years of excellence. All of this was capped off with our biggest highlight of the year - the Covid-19 vaccine.

16x9-smv-coronavirus-update-010821 copy

Never did we think Covid-19 would overstay its welcome into 2021, yet here we are a week into January still talking about it. As the Florida Department of Health reports a record high in positive cases since July, we make note of the silver lining and are so very thankful that our community has been recognized as a priority in the Covid-19 vaccine distribution process.

On Tuesday, January 5th, the Department of Health, Army National Guard, and Sunstar EMTs were back onsite to administer the second shot or "booster" to those Skilled Nursing Residents and Team Members that received the first vaccine dose on December 18th. Completing our first vaccine clinic with much success, we have begun our second clinic and we are hoping to schedule a third clinic for our Residents and Team Members in the near future.

We have come together to do the next right thing and we are now one step closer to putting our Covid days behind us. We will continue to celebrate those who have worked so hard to ensure the safety of the ones we hold dear.

For questions about the Covid-19 vaccine as related to our Care Center Residents, families may call our Care Centers directly. For our Nebraska Avenue Care Centers, please contact Randall Rees, Care Centers Administrator at: (727) 785-2577 ext. 1744 or by email at: rrees@stmarkvillage.org. For Highland Lakes Assisted Living, please contact Sheila Kynion, Administrator at: (727) 785-2580 ext. 3003 or by email at: skynion@stmarkvillage.org. For all other questions please call (727) 785-2580. As always, families and friends may stay up-to-date with all things St. Mark Village with our in-house newsletter, the Lively Mark, which is available to view online at: www.stmarkvillage.org/lively-mark

December 18, 2020

V-Day at St. Mark Village

Today is the day we have long waited for as our fight against Covid-19 reaches the next phase. Our most vulnerable population as well as many of our frontline workers received their Covid-19 vaccinations yesterday, Thursday, December 17th.

16x9-smv-coronavirus-update-121720 (1)

The Department of Health along with the Army National Guard and Sunstar EMTs were onsite to administer the vaccine to our Skilled Nursing Residents and Team Members. Our own CEO, Doug Fresh, was in line to show his support and confidence in the process, hoping to set an example of what he calls, “the next right thing to do.” Doug strongly encouraged St. Mark Village Team Members to stand in line with him and get the vaccine. As Doug reminds the team, “we are not doing this for ourselves, we are truly doing it for others; other people we live with, other people we work with, people we come in contact with. We all need to do the next right thing.”

We are excited about this truly historic event in the history of St. Mark Village. It has been a long road to get here. Together we look forward to the day when we can all put Covid-19 in our rear-view mirror. We will honor the ones we lost and celebrate those who have worked so hard to ensure the safety of the ones we hold dear.

For questions about the Covid-19 vaccine and our Residents, families may call our Care Centers directly. For our Nebraska Avenue Care Centers, please contact Randall Rees, Care Centers Administrator at: (727) 785-2577 ext. 1744 or by email at: rrees@stmarkvillage.org. For Highland Lakes Assisted Living, please contact Sheila Kynion, Administrator at: (727) 785-2580 ext. 3003 or by email at: skynion@stmarkvillage.org. General questions may be directed to our operator at (727) 785-2580. As always, families and friends may stay up-to-date with all things St. Mark Village with our in-house newsletter, the Lively Mark, which is available to view online at: www.StMarkVillage.org/Lively-Mark.