​In April’s three-part cover story, Contributing Editor Joanne Kaldy reports on what has helped long term and post-acute care providers get through the first year of the hard-hitting pandemic, and what they can do to bolster their efforts in the days and months ahead.

Teamwork, when everyone jumped in to help wherever they were needed, was probably the theme most cited by care workers Kaldy interviewed, and many made personal sacrifices on a daily basis to be there for the residents and their co-workers. In response, leadership went out of their way to make sure staff members felt needed and appreciated, such as covering their wages when they were out sick and sending
messages, food, and flowers.

Another strong theme was what an advantage it was for any centers that had a person-centered culture in place when the pandemic hit. “You need a system that shows you value employees, that they can bring up questions, fears, and concerns and be respected,” Associate Professor of Medicine Dallas Nelson, MD, told Kaldy.

The third feature explains the “Start, Stop, Continue” technique that can help leaders and their teams easily assess their programs for effi­ciency and share and implement suggestions for improvement.

In this month’s Management column, Amy Stewart, RN, says the relationship between the director of nursing services and the administrator is critical to the culture of the facility. She offers five recommendations for building and keeping good relationships between these two facility leaders, using cases in point to illustrate them.

In Focus on Caregiving, Ben Nelson of Aria Care Partners says the postponement of all but emergency dental health care during the first week of the pandemic may have been necessary, but further delay is not only unnecessary but puts people’s health at risk.