Welcome to Town Hall

Your place to stay-up-to-date on mission critical company information.

As an organization that believes greatly in the power of people, we strive to keep all our employees in-the-know about company related news. This is especially important now during this rapidly evolving period surrounding COVID-19. We’ve created a new, dedicated place we’re calling “Town Hall” where you can get regular updates on IOA related COVID-19 news, information, and policy.

IOA works to allow aging adults and adults living with disabilities remain living in the comfort of the place they call home as long as possible. We know that is why you are here –to serve those who need support. In this time of the COVID-19, it is natural to feel anxiety and fear for the health and safety of your clients and yourself. Please know that this is our topmost concern – the health and safety of you and our clients. We are consistently working to learn more and change protocols to protect all of you as much as possible.

We want to keep all IOA Employees informed of what’s happening during this rapidly evolving period. And to help keep everyone informed with what’s going on at IOA, this web-page will be updated regularly with company-wide updates.

What has IOA been doing to stay up to speed on this changing situation?

The Incident Command Team of the Institute has been monitoring the situation since the first case appeared in the US. This team meets daily in the morning and throughout the day as needed to assess changes and developments. In addition, there is a team who monitors changes throughout the day.

We rely on credible sources such as the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Public Health (DPH) in all operating counties, as well as partner organizations and funders.

Additionally, we have been consulting with Dr. Jay Luxenberg, Chief Medical Officer, of On Lok. He has been able to provide important medical information that pertains to the spread of the virus and appropriate ways to protect staff and clients.

As always, your supervisors are available to you for further questions; additionally we have set up a specific email address for you to send specific questions. Please send concerns or questions to: Covid19questions@ioaging.org

COVID-19 FAQ's
IOA Employee COVID-19 Resources
Black Lives Matter Resources

Tom’s Two Minutes
July 10, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
June 29, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
June 5, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
May 27, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
May 5, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
April 29, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Words of Encouragement from the Chaplain, Barney Brickner
April 28, 2020

Life Is Better When You’re Laughing

It’s becoming clear that social distancing and staying in place are going to be with us for a while. It’s also clear that people’s patience is wearing thin. The challenges we face each day to balance our responsibilities for work with our obligations to our colleagues, friends, children (homeschooling, for example), families, neighbors, and communities are hard.

And as we continue learning how to accept what appears, now, (and at least for the foreseeable future), to be our new normal, there is nothing more important than being able to step away and have a good laugh. Mark Twain, by no means known for his frequency to pray, believed that “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” And. E.E. Cumming maintained that “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” And the poet laureate, Maya Angelo, who could craft the most eloquent sentences, chose to simply say, “You need to laugh.”

Even now, perhaps even more so now, we need to laugh! And when you think about it, it’s not hard to find humor in our situations. All it takes is a different perspective. So, remember to step back on occasion, and instead of being frustrated or mad, look at what’s happening objectively. Step out of ourselves and see the silliness - in yourself, in others, or in your circumstance. See the humor in what’s being asked of you – by family or at work.

At the end of the day, when you allow yourself time to reflect and see the big picture, you’ll admit that what we’re living through is a bit absurd. And, my guess is that when you step back, you’ll see something funny about it all, and you’ll just have to laugh!

Tom’s Two Minutes
April 22, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Words of Encouragement from the Chaplain, Barney Brickner
April 20, 2020

Tomorrow will be different than today

This week I watched the flowers in my garden begin to bloom. I felt the warmth of the spring sun. I welcomed a warmer breeze blowing over my skin. And, in it all, I was uplifted. Again, nature reminded me that “all things pass,” and life always finds a way of renewing itself.

Ironically, the one thing that is constant in life is impermanence. We often think of impermanence in the context of loss. But, it can also imply renewal. A positive change, like the reawakening of nature in the spring, shows us that nothing stays the same. The Stay In Place order will not last forever. There is going to be a time when we will be able to go back to our offices, and we can look forward to resuming our relatively healthy lives. We just need to be patient.

Tom’s Two Minutes
April 15, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Town Hall Updates
April 13, 2020

Check out the brand new IOA Employee COVID-19 Resources page! As a valued employee of Institute on Aging, we know how hard it can be to stay on top of COVID-19 information and times like these create more than a little anxiety for everyone. So, we’ve created a brand-new place you can quickly access to find vetted knowledge, tips, and up-to-date information about lots of things we think you’ll find helpful while we shelter-in-place. If you have an idea for a resource, that you would like to share with your fellow employees please email covoid19questions@ioaging.org.

Words of Encouragement from the Chaplain, Barney Brickner
April 10, 2020

Here's something a bit lighter.

Larry David jokingly reminded us a few weeks ago about the power of positive thinking. During his recent public service announcement encouraging everyone to stay home, he suggested that rather than see it as a burden, we should recognize it as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay in the house, sit on the couch, and watch TV." (That is, of course, after work.)

It has been a time to watch the movies on your watch list, or revisit old favorites like I did last weekend. Last weekend I watched, again, Robert Zemeckis' "Cast Away." This time when, Tom Hanks' character, Chuck Noland, said to his friend, "I know what I have to do now, I've got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?" it resonated with an awareness of our reality. It's the same for our clients. They, too, "need to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise." And, we will continue to provide, and to do, the best we can to keep them breathing.

Barnett Brickner
Director of Wellness Way
Institute On Aging
3575 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Remember, if you feel the need for some personal help or assistance, don't hesitate to use our EAP (Employee Assistance Program) services by calling 800-964-3577. It's a great resource.

Tom’s Two Minutes
April 8, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Tom’s Two Minutes
March 30, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully an inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Town Hall Updates
March 23, 2020

New CDC Guidelines

The CDC released new precautionary guidelines for caregivers to help prevent the spread of the virus, as well as how to care for someone with the virus at home. See below for links to these resources, and if providing direct care utilize these guidelines.

IOA Operational Updates

  • PACE services continue to operate. The day center at Geary remains open, although we are now serving a much smaller group of individuals on site; attendance has dropped to single digits. In some cases in-home visits have increased to ensure the safety of all of our clients. While all employees who can provide services telephonically are working from home, some employees continue to work onsite in Geary. Check with your supervisor if you are unsure as to whether you should be going into the Geary building.
  • Homecare services continue, and we anticipate expanding services here as more home bound seniors need support. While homecare workers continue to be in their clients’ homes, support staff who can provide services telephonically are working from home.
  • Friendship line services will continue, and we anticipate expanding services here as well as the need for combatting loneliness in our seniors grows. Most of our Friendship line counselors and staff are now able to manage calls from home and working from home.
  • Care management service continue. Occasional in-home visits will be needed but the majority of work is now happening at home.
  • The Enrichment Center at the Presidio is currently closed. Staff are migrating to other departments to help where there is more demand and need.
  • Certain business functions are essential (like Finance, HR, IT and the Incident Command Team). Key functions will still operate out of Geary as needed. This is to ensure that essential functions (like processing payroll!) don’t miss a beat. Again, if you are unsure as to whether you should be going into the Geary building, please check with your supervisor.
  • All regional offices are working remotely at this time.
  • Please note, proper PPE procedures are being used when home visits are necessary.

Shelter in Place / Work from Home Impacted Areas

ONLINE CONFERENCING

It is clear all companies providing online conferencing services are having a few issues while trying to scale up for volume. This is pretty much true across the industry (Zoom, Webex, GTM, and others.) Users may see lag in connection; please know this is happening everywhere and not an issue with our account or internet.

SUPPLY CHAIN

The other known issue is high demand with inadequate supply and back-orders on technology. We already switched iPhone models and laptop models to reduce wait times and non-availability. We will continue to watch, but we are okay right now.

VENDOR AVAILABILITY

Vendors from sales to implementation to support is slightly impacted while people are scrambling on work from home in all companies, however most of them still trying to maintain business as usual. Intivix is still providing IT support, you can contact them at support@intivix.com.

Tom’s Two Minutes
March 20, 2020

Every week you will find a new video from Tom, our President and CEO. He will give you a quick update on the state of the business and hopefully and inspiring message during these challenging times. Keep checking back for new videos – also, we didn’t actually time these so don’t hold us to the two minute mark.

Bay Area Wide
Shelter in Place

March 16, 2020

As you know, the Bay Area Health Officials announced new guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19, asking all residents to stay home except for essential activities. As a result, we have expanded our work from home policies for the time being. Not everyone can work from home of course – for example PACE still operates on site, albeit with a much-reduced attendance rate, and critical functions in accounting and finance continue at Geary. But for many employees, working from home is now an option. Please work with your VP on his/her team-by-team WFH plans for the week. This mandate is in effect until April 7, 2020 however London Breed did not the date to expand or contract depending on how things develop. Therefore, we will be monitoring the situation daily and be in touch as things change.

FAQs.

For program specific information please contact your supervisor.

Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
What we know now is that the virus is droplet based not airborne as originally believed. Which means, this illness is primarily transmitted via droplets from hand to surface, then contaminated surface to mouth/nose/eyes. The average incubation period is 5 days; typically, one day before individuals get sick, they present with cold-like symptoms prior to presenting with COVID-19.

Part of the reason this is spreading is because people contaminate others when presenting just cold like symptoms or showing no symptoms at all. The best way you can help protect others and yourself is with consistent and good hand washing and social distancing.

Dr. Luxenberg recommends a distance of 6 feet from others.

Q: What PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is advised for those with client contact?
Recommended PPE varies based on program. Please see program-by-program specifics below.

Q: What can I do to protect myself when visiting clients?
At this time to protect both you and your client we ask you do as much work with your clients remotely as possible - this means phone or video calls. We have expanded licenses to everyone in the company on Skype and GoToMeeting which will allow you to video call your clients and is HIPAA compliant. If you have questions about Skype or GoToMeeting please contact your supervisor.

However, we know video or phone call won’t always be enough with the population we serve as in-person visits may need to occur. If you find an in-person visit is necessary, first please prescreen your client for symptoms which include: fever, tiredness, dry cough, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and/or diarrhea.

If your client presents with any of these symptoms, please refrain from visiting them and ask they call their healthcare professional immediately. If they do not present any symptoms, please abide by the recommendations mentioned above: staying 6 feet away from your client, wash your hands well before and after, and do not touch your face. Please see below for more details.

Q: What type of masks are important?
The latest evidence indicates that surgical-style face masks are all that is necessary for staff interacting with healthy clients face to face. This is fine for the purposes of our field-based positions. Only if clients are confirmed of having COVID-19, should an N-95 mask should be worn.

Q: What is our PPE stock and when will we get more?
We have a limited equipment inventory and at this time we are assessing programs, risk, and exposure to ensure we are protecting the most high-risk situations. Your supervisor will be communicating PPE policy shortly.

How to prepare if you are asked to wear PPE:
Your clients are unaccustomed to seeing you wear PPE; to prevent undue concern on their behalf please let them know before you visit them you will be wearing PPE. Let them know this is just as much for your protection as it is for yours and our commitment is to protect their health and safety.

Q: What do I do if I think I’m sick or have been exposed?
If you show any symptoms of illness please self-isolate at home, call your healthcare professional (or RN advice line) and supervisor, and use your sick time or vacation time. No doctor notes are necessary to take time off or return to work. However, please do not return to work until you have been symptom free for 72 hours without medication. Be sure to put your sick or vacation time in ADP.

Q: What if I don’t have any sick or vacation time?
Please contact your supervisor and they will work with HR and with you. The most important thing is to protect yourself and those we serve, therefore do not let a lack of sick time prevent you from staying home if you feel unwell.

Q: What other IOA policies have changed?
Work travel out of state is cancelled. Please speak to your supervisor if you had an out of state trip planned. Inter-office travel is still permitted.

Q: What if I have other questions?
Please seek guidance from your supervisor or send a message to COVID-19 questions@ioaging.org. We truly want to help you feel as informed and empowered as possible during this challenging time.