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What We Learned About COVID Safety

By July 9, 2021July 12th, 2021Atlanta Jewish Community, CARING

Making Jewish Atlanta Safe Again 
By Jeffrey A. Gopen, Chief Operating Officer Jewish HomeLife 

In May, the CDC reported 84% of US adults 65+ have gotten at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 71.9% have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Cases in nursing homes as of June have dropped to less than one per thousand from a high of 31 per thousand in December 2020. 

As much as this pandemic cost our organization financially, emotionally, and physically, Jewish HomeLife continues to support community-wide efforts to make Jewish Atlanta safe again. With over 85% of our staff and 95% of our residents vaccinated across all our residential communities, the vaccine, along with our other safety measures, has allowed us to achieve nearly full immunity. Consistent with our mission, we want to help Jewish Atlanta get there as well. 

Jewish HomeLife can now take our expertise and once again share it with you. We are the only senior care organization in Atlanta with the ability to self-vaccinate any new residents, staff, and families on demand. As a new vaccination site, we intend to assist our community partners. From preschools and camps to shuls and schools, Jewish HomeLife can help everyone in our community return to normalcy. This allows us to continue our mission of getting to 100% vaccination rates for our residents, clients, patients, and staff. 

Thanks to Federation and generous community support, Jewish HomeLife was able to spare no expense to protect our own residents and staff while offering access and expertise to Jewish organizations throughout Atlanta. When personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply, Jewish HomeLife provided access to our own strained supply chain so shuls and schools could safely set up their new virtual models.  

When access to testing was a challenge, our ability to move mountains with our local lab once again afforded access to synagogues, day schools, camps, and other Jewish organizations to provide fast and accurate testing so they could reopen safely. Most recently, after months of waiting for our application to be processed, Jewish HomeLife finally received federal approval to administer vaccines.  

I am in my third decade of serving the aging, first as a physical therapist, then as a nursing home administrator, operations director, and now in my fourth year as Chief Operating Officer of Jewish HomeLife. As a clinician and a business leader, the most important aspect of what we do is staying true to our mission – supporting all stages of The Aging Journey. Our community can be proud that its support of its own Jewish senior care organization makes us all safer. 

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