Episode 1 | The Facts About COVID-19 and BAYADA | Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Episode 1 | The Facts About COVID-19 and BAYADA | Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Good afternoon. I’m David Baiada, the CEO here
of BAYADA Home Health Care. And today is Tuesday, March 24th. This is our first daily
broadcast to all 30,000 field office and support staff at BAYADA, across 24 states and eight
international countries. I decided to address you directly today, and I’ll do it each day at
four p.m. until further notice. Because I feel that it’s
critical we all come together as a community to navigate
this crisis together. I know many of you are confused,
scared, anxious and tired. And I share all of those feelings. And I want to openly share
facts about this pandemic, about what we’re doing as
a community, as a company, to keep you safe, to
keep our clients safe. And to be a part of the
solution as a home care provider and as a community of
compassionate caregivers. Before I start, I want to
share that I care about you. I care deeply about each
and every one of you. I care about your safety,
I care about supporting you in a time of incredible stress. I care about what’s
happening with your families. And the stress that
you’re navigating at home, and its impact on your ability to focus on your work and taking care of others. And it’s that care and
compassion that I think characterizes who we are as a company, who I am as a person, and what we’re doing to ensure that we navigate all the choices necessary to keep you safe
and to keep our clients safe. So a few basic facts. The number of cases of
positive COVID-19 patients in the United States is growing. And it is escalating
every hour of every day. And we do have a small
group of both employees and patients who have tested
positive or are in quarantine waiting for test results
because of exposure. And when I lay awake at
night, there’s definitely some sleepless nights
over the past week or two, I think about how are we
gonna navigate this challenge. I keep coming back to The BAYADA Way. I look to The BAYADA Way to calm me, to give me a sense of clarity
about what’s important. And it really starts with our mission. BAYADA has a special purpose. We want to help people
have a safe home life with comfort, independence and dignity. And make no mistake, BAYADA will continue to answer the call of
duty, to show up everyday, take care of the most vulnerable at home. Because in our beliefs, the first belief is that our clients come first. We’re already taking care of
COVID-19 positive patients that are being discharged
from our hospital partners. And we’re doing everything
possible to have the supplies, the protocol, training
and everything necessary to take care of our existing
clients safely as well. We will not back down from this virus. And we’re gonna do
everything we possibly can because of our second belief, that our employees are
our greatest resource. To support you in answering the calling, rising to the occasion to
take care of our clients, help them continue to remain safe. Because we know that you’re
a home health professional. You chose this work because
you want to help others. And we want to help you. There are a few critical
issues that I know are on the minds of many of you that I want to address
in this first broadcast. First is related to personal protective equipment and supplies. Most of you that I talked to
are itching to get out there in the community to take
care of your clients, but you’re depending on equipment to keep you safe in
answering that calling. I can tell you, I and many, many others are working 24-7 to source equipment and supplies from all over the world. Masks, gowns, everything necessary to ensure your safety
and our clients’ safety. This is one of the hardest
problems I’ve ever experienced. It’s literally changing
every hour of every day. Talking to manufacturers
and factory owners and hospital CEOs, we’re
setting up distribution centers around the country of our
own so that we can pack our employees’ cars with
goggles and gloves and masks so they can deliver them to
you out in the community. This is really hard. And particularly for those
of you that need equipment in order to get out there
and take care of people. And so I’m asking a few things. Number one is to be patient. And be understanding we’re working so hard to get you what you need. Number two is to conserve. Be mindful of the protocol
and the guidelines that dictate which types of supplies are needed in which situation. Because there are patients around the country that need them most. And so we need to funnel the supplies to the right place at the right time. So talking to your clinical manager and your director about which
type of supplies are needed for your clients at any given
time is really important. And that’s changing everyday. We’re funneling supplies
from parts of the country that don’t need them as much to the places like New York that need them desperately to ensure the safety of
our clients and employees. Thank you for your
understanding, your patience. Please know that we’re
working so hard to ensure we have the equipment
necessary to keep people safe. Number two, I’m definitely
deeply concerned about those of you that have
been exposed to the virus, or potentially exposed to
the virus while at work, taking care of your clients. It’s really a scary time,
you’re facing lost income. And particularly in
the absence of testing, it’s even scarier and more frustrating. And so we’ve created a
compassionate leave program, and contributed a million
dollars of company funds, as well as over $300,000 of
employee donated vacation time to fund the relief and sick
pay for those employees that have been exposed
to the virus at work. We’re also doing our first
nationwide fundraising campaign to contribute to this
relief, as well as to fund potential opportunities like childcare and financial assistance for employees that have been exposed at work. And lastly, we are introducing, for those of you that are
spiritual, a daily prayer. It’ll be by phone, open to
all employees and clients, and led by one of our BAYADA chaplains. Please stay tuned for more
information about this, this important ritual. People often asked me
what can I do to help? How can I get into the mix? How can I be a part of the solution? How can I be a part of
a team and a community that’s rising to the occasion to ensure we keep our clients safe. Here’s a few things I think are really important for you to think about. Number one, be safe. It’s really critical
that you stay healthy. That your family stays healthy, so that you can stay healthy, so that you can keep your clients healthy. The risk of you getting
infected by the virus is probably greater at your kitchen table with your kids than it is in
the homes of your clients. So be mindful of that. You have to behave and ensure your family and those around you behave
as if you’re already infected. It’s critical to follow the basics. Because that’s how
you’re gonna stay healthy and be available to take
care of our clients. Number two, be trained. Understand the guidelines, our protocol. It’s changing a lot. Everyday we’re redesigning
policies and processes and reissuing new guidelines
based on our better understanding of what’s happening. A better understanding of the
way the virus is spreading, and how we can best
support you in the field. And it’s important that you stay tuned into those guidelines, and you work with your clinical manager to understand and make sure you’re up to speed. Number two, be patient,
number three, be patient. We’re doing our best to get
you the supplies you need. And we’re working really,
really hard to do it. So thanks for your patience. Be hopeful. I feel an incredible sense of hope. I see and feel hope in others. Every single day I talk to dozens if not hundreds of people
in all different forms. Video, phone, to figure
out how can we help you. And I feel this incredible optimism, this sense of teamwork and hope that we’re gonna navigate this together. Thank you for your hope and optimism. Lastly, be caring, care for yourself. Care for your personal health. Get rest, eat well. And focus on your personal,
mental and physical health, because you need to be at your best in order to be able to
take care of our clients. So in closing, I just want
to reiterate this deep sense of caring, compassion, and gratitude. I know that you are navigating an incredible amount of stress. You’re working really hard. There’s a lot of uncertainty,
ambiguity, tension, anxiety. And I feel a sense of gratitude. I feel a sense of connectedness, even through a camera, to
each and every one of you, because together, we’re putting our values at the center of our work. We’re recommitting to
purpose every single day, and helping each other
make sure that our clients can remain safe and independent at home. Be safe, and Godspeed.

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