Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Update  – 1/13/2021

Dear Families & Friends,

Today, a news report was released by the media rightfully finding fault with a decision I made to include Webster at Rye’s Board of Trustees in the employee vaccination clinic held on December 30th. The article, which was initiated by a complaint from an employee, unfortunately has some inaccuracies including stating that Trustees cut the line and that employees were prevented from receiving the vaccine.

Neither of these is accurate.

Neither the employee nor anyone else was denied or unable to receive a vaccine during the vaccination clinic. CVS showed up short-staffed which led to a long wait and two or three staff members opted to not wait for the vaccine. The Board was vaccinated after all employees had received their vaccination. That does not mean it was good judgement on my part, it wasn’t; but the Board did not ‘cut the line’ and no staff was denied the vaccine. We have worked so hard to keep all of our Residents and staff safe throughout this pandemic. It’s very sad to see all that work overlooked because of this and I apologize to all of you.

Following is a summary of the vaccine clinic and an explanation of the decision I made:

Webster at Rye partnered with CVS Pharmacy to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for all of our Residents and staff. CVS informed Webster at Rye that all staff, both paid and unpaid, who were interested in receiving the vaccinations would receive their first dose at a clinic scheduled on December 30th. All staff were encouraged to participate in the vaccination clinic and educational information about the vaccine was made available to ensure maximum participation.

After employees signed up for the vaccinations, all data was uploaded to CVS so they could arrive with the correct number of doses. CVS scheduled the clinic between 11 am and 5 pm and staff were asked to report to the clinic based on their schedule and convenience that day. The first staff to receive the vaccine were nurses and nurse aides, although additional nurses and aides were mixed in with other employees throughout the afternoon as their schedule or preference allowed. Webster was also conducting its second weekly Covid-19 test for 100% of all staff at the same time as the vaccination clinic, which involved nurse and nurse aide assistance.

All staff who signed up were able to be vaccinated that day. The few individuals who were not vaccinated that day was as a result of their own choice in choosing to leave before the clinic was over due to a relatively long wait. Those individuals were automatically re-enrolled in the next staff clinic, scheduled for January 20th. Anyone else who declined to participate in the first clinic was encouraged to receive the vaccine at the next scheduled staff clinic. We are pleased that a significant number of employees who opted out of the first clinic have changed their mind and our employee participation will increase from 60% to 90% after the second clinic. All nursing home and assisted living Residents have received their first vaccine dose.

Based on information that CVS was vaccinating all staff who wanted to receive the vaccine regardless of their job description, and that the vaccine was available to “paid and unpaid” individuals, I made the decision to include our all-volunteer governing board in those receiving the vaccine based on their fiduciary responsibility to oversee the operation of Webster at Rye as directors. The directors were asked to arrive at the end of the day so every employee could receive their vaccine first. They received their vaccines after 5pm when the clinic was scheduled to end and after all staff had received their vaccine.

The decision to include Board members in the vaccination clinic was solely mine and I accept responsibility for the decision.

We are grateful that Webster at Rye has not had a single Covid-19 case in our Resident population and thank our employees, Residents and their families for working with us to ensure the safety of those in our care.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.

Sincerely,

Tom Argue, Administrator/CEO