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  • Writer's pictureOrange Chamber of Commerc

October Honoring Our Heroes, Dogwood Village

Sent in from Pamela E. Doshier, NHA, MBA, CDP

Executive Director, Dogwood Village, 120 Dogwood Lane, Orange, VA 22960


We would like to take this opportunity to laud our Heroes here at Dogwood Village. During these 18 months of the pandemic, we have been so fortunate not to have an outbreak at Dogwood until August of this year, i.e., we went 17 months without an outbreak. Unfortunately, in August we had an outbreak in our Senior Living facility. This brought forth reality specific to the pandemic. We were able to contain the outbreak to one floor (5 residents) thanks to the diligent work of our Senior Living Heroes.

Then, in September, we had an outbreak start in Health & Rehab. We have had a total of 30 residents get COVID. This has been an experience like no other; some describe it as a “war zone”. The stress and increased job duties has put a lot of strain on our team members.

We cannot express enough gratitude to the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that our team members and their families have exhibited. Without the commitment of our team members, we would be in much worse shape. We would like to share some of the stories about our heroes.

Our Senior Living team acted as a true team pulling together more than ever to ensure the well-being of all of their residents. Examples are:

· Our Director of Resident Care Services, Loretta Holt, worked many days straight into the evening without taking time off

· Worked 14 days straight

· Worked double shifts several days in a row

· Worked a double shift then went home to get a few hours of sleep then returned to work another shift

· Worked a day (7-3) and evening (3-11) shift, went home, and slept then came back for a night shift (11p-7a)

Our Health & Rehab team have and still are doing the same types of things as our Senior Living team. Here are some examples:

· April McDowell-Ryder volunteered to work the red zone with the COVID patients. She worked and lived on the unit for 14 days. During this 2-week time period, she would work, then take a short respite to sleep/rest before she went back at it. Many days she was unable to sleep/rest more than an hour or two. Her dedication set the footprint for those that came to the unit behind her.

· Our Director of Nursing, Tabitha Payne, has worked consistently over 80 hours per week since the outbreak started. Because of her hard work and leadership, we were deficiency-free when the State Surveyor came to perform a focused-infection control survey.

· Jennifer Harper, Director of Infection Control/Education has worked diligently to ensure that we are following the requirements and guidelines of CMS/CDC/VDH.

· Other team members have volunteered to work the red zone, which is exceptional.

· Some team members work throughout the day and then, return if a resident needs someone to sit with them.

· Our Staffing Team, Cindy Scott and John Mason, have worked extensive hours to ensure that there are staff to care for residents in the red zone and the rest of the building. They have worked many evenings into the night only to be back to work early the next morning.

· The Maintenance team has worked tirelessly to ensure the red zone has the proper protectional barriers as needed.

· The Environmental Services team has been putting in significant hours on the red zone to minimize contamination.

· The Dining Services team has worked closely with those in the red zone to ensure the meals are hot and served timely.

· Our Activities team has volunteered to help with moves, ensure that the residents in the red zone have activities, driven our tests to the lab numerous times, and gone above and beyond in many other ways.

These are just a few of the examples of what a great team of Heroes we have at Dogwood Village. We currently must test twice a week. This process is very extensive and involved. Many of our other Heroes that do not provide patient care support this process extensively. It takes a “village” to make this process come off efficiently.

The value of the team of Heroes here at Dogwood Village cannot be put into words because they are beyond belief. Everyone in this community deserves recognition for their commitment, dedication, hard work, and heroic efforts to keep your/our loved ones safe.


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