Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Dear staff,

It’s been awhile since I’ve provided an update on COVID-19 and how it impacts our agency.

On October 2, the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) ruled that Governor Whitmer had no authority to issue or renew executive orders relating to COVID-19 beyond April 30, 2020. Those executive orders included EO 2020 – 153 re: the wearing of face coverings, EO 2020-176, which set forth certain requirements for opening or operating businesses, and EO 2020-184 re: worker protection. The Court held that these executive orders were not enforceable.

Shortly after the Court’s decision, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an executive order under MCL 333.2253 restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and childcare facilities, and placed limitations on bars and other venues. Under MCL 333.2253, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.  This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Friday, October 30.

STVCC’s safety procedures and protocols remain in place and comply with MDHHS’ new executive order, mainly mirroring Governor Whitmer’s previous orders. As a reminder, I’ve outlined our current mandated safety protocols, high-levelly, below.

  • Remote work should continue to the maximum extent possible.
  • All non-union employees are required to conduct and maintain a daily health-screening record, even if you’re working remotely.
  • For union employees at the Children’s Home, the current protocol in place with the health screening questionnaire upon entry/re-entry is in compliance and will remain in place.
  • All employees are required to wear a mask or other face covering in either building.
  • Please review our updated COVID-19 preparedness and response on our website for further clarification.

 

Just days ago, Michigan reported the highest count of new COVID-19 cases since April. State totals for COVID-19 cases now climb to 134,656 and 6,891 deaths. I will continue to say this again and again – your safety, our children’s safety and our clients’ safety remains my top priority!  It is critical we all do our part and follow these important safety measures – frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing and daily health screening.

As cases continue to rise, and with flu season around the corner, I anticipate our current agency safety protocols (including remote work, daily health-screening, mask-wearing) will continue at least through December 31, 2020. I plan to keep you updated as we move into the holiday season.

Thank you and God Bless.

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer

Monday, October 5, 2020

All Non-Union Staff:

Effective today, we have a change to our procedures for all non-union staff regarding COVID-19.    We have found over the past few weeks that a few individuals have forgotten to log their responses to the health questionnaire.  As an employer, STVCC must continue to adhere to compliance standards in Executive Order 2020-97 by conducting and maintaining daily records of staff working onsite.

For EVERY DAY worked (does not include SICK/VACTION/PTO days) and every time entry into your ADP timesheet, even if you’re working remotely; you MUST conduct a daily health self-screening (See below), including responses to the questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected (or confirmed) exposure to people with possible COVID-19. See each building’s protocol below:

  • CHILDREN’S HOME:  The current protocol in place with the health screening questionnaire upon entry/re-entry is in compliance and will remain in practice.   But if working remotely, you must still enter into your ADP timesheet the results of the questionnaire.
  • SERVICE CENTER:  MUST make a daily entry in their ADP timesheet – and should continue until further notice.  ADP is a secure environment encrypted environment.

Your responses to the health screening should be recorded in a post-it note on the far right of every day’s time entry.

HEALTH SCREENING –EMPLOYEES

Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients and staff. For precautionary measures, we are asking that everyone complete the following questionnaire. On behalf of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation to guard the safety and well-being of our entire community.

Working :  Onsite or Remote

Temperature:_______________ (100 degrees or more may NOT enter STVCC bldgs. or see clients)

  • Have you traveled to Michigan from an affected country or region? (YES / NO)
  • Have you been in contact with a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infected person? (YES / NO)
  • Have you had the following symptoms in the last few days? (Felt unwell, especially with respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat.) (YES / NO)

This new protocol will aid supervisors when signing off on an employee’s timesheet to ensure compliance.

For details on mask wearing, please follow this link.  As a reminder, face masks are still required via the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-147.

It is important that compliance with the Executive Orders are met.  Any non-compliance should immediately be reported directly to HR, so that we can ensure everyone’s safety and have a safe working environment for all.  Any employee reporting for work that refuses to wear a mask (and doesn’t have appropriate medical documentation on file in HR) will be denied entry to the building and issued a discipline for insubordination (which includes a 3-day suspension). If you’re seen not wearing a mask, a co-worker may ask you to either return to your work station and put on a mask – or request you to exit the building.  While not everyone is comfortable speaking up in these situations, at a minimum, we are strongly encouraging employees to report any situations of non-compliance to HR.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Thursday, September 10, 2020

All Staff,

With Labor Day in our rear-view, I wanted to take this time to provide an update on COVID-19 & STVCC operations.

As an employer, STVCC must continue to adhere to compliance standards in Executive Order 2020-97 by conducting and maintaining daily records of staff working onsite. Additionally, face masks are still required via the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-147. For details on mask wearing, please follow this link.

It is important that compliance with the Executive Orders are met.  Any non-compliance should immediately be reported directly to HR, so that we can ensure everyone’s safety and have a safe working environment for all.  Any employee reporting for work that refuses to wear a mask (and doesn’t have appropriate medical documentation on file in HR) will be denied entry to the building and issued a discipline for insubordination (which includes a 3-day suspension). If you’re seen not wearing a mask, a co-worker may ask you to either return to your work station and put on a mask – or request you to exit the building.  While not everyone is comfortable speaking up in these situations, at a minimum, we are strongly encouraging employees to report any situations of non-compliance to HR.

If you report to work on STVCC’s campus or are having direct client contact, you MUST conduct a daily health self-screening before entering the workplace (or meeting with clients), including, at a minimum, a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19. See each building’s protocol below:

  • CHILDREN’S HOME:  The current protocol in place with the health screening questionnaire upon entry/re-entry is in compliance and will remain in practice.
  • SERVICE CENTER:  MUST make an entry in their ADP timesheet – and should continue until further notice.  ADP is a secure environment and rather than asking employees to learn another log-on or application, we thought this would be the easiest way for each employee to enter their information privately. However, if you’re working from home remotely and are NOT having direct contact with clients, you do NOT need to make an entry in the post-it when recording your time worked for that day.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

All,

Earlier today, Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-151, extending the emergency and disaster declaration until August 11, 2020.

The original state of emergency was set to expire on July 16, 2020. The extension comes amid a steady increase of COVID-19 cases across the state.

In the past few weeks, Governor Whitmer has tightened restrictions in hopes of bringing back down the spread of COVID.

Just three days ago, she signed executive order 2020-147, requiring face mask requirements in the state. Face coverings have and are still required in indoor public spaces and are now required in crowded outdoor spaces as well. Businesses open to the public are now required to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a facial covering, with limited exceptions. A willful violation of the order is now considered a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty.

As an essential agency, we need to be reminded of the following:

  • Our preparedness plan is posted on our website – and I encourage you to review.
  • Remote work should continue to the maximum extent possible.
  • It is required to conduct and maintain a health self-screening record for all employees or contractors entering either building.
    • For the Children’s Home, the current protocol in place upon entry/re-entry is in compliance and will remain in practice.
    • For the Service Center, employee’s that are going into the office occasionally OR employee’s that may have to visit clients, MUST make a health-screening entry by form of a questionnaire in their ADP timesheet. 
  • ALL EMPLOYEES NEED TO WEAR A MASK or other face covering when entering, exiting, walking around and certainly when in the presence of others – in either building.  The only time you’re able to take off your mask or face covering is while you’re at your desk – not moving around. Should you need to walk to the printer or the restroom, you need to wear your mask.
    • If you have a medical condition that prohibits you from wearing a mask, you must have support documentation on file from your healthcare provider submitted to HR in advance of working on-site.
  • Any non-compliance should be reported directly and immediately to HR, so that we can ensure everyone’s safety and have a safe working environment for all.

As always, if you are sick, stay home. Please do your part and continue to be safe. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

All staff,

As you’re aware, our employee appreciation event, previously scheduled for March 17, was canceled due to COVID-19. While we’re sad we can’t come together in-person to celebrate the event, we wanted to still be able to express our “gratitude” to each of you for your dedication and service to STVCC!

Please take a few minutes to watch this short, important message from your Leadership Team.  Additionally, we hope you notice the yard signs are scattered throughout our campus, as another way of (socially distant) thanking you!!

I hope and pray you and your families continue to stay safe and well during this challenging and unique time. I am so proud that our agency has adjusted and continues to remain focused on balancing two imperatives: ensuring that we take prudent cautions to protect each other, our children, and clients, while continuing our daily, life-changing work to serve the most vulnerable in our community.

We know the situation is fluid and will continue to impact our community in evolving ways. However, as we continue to experience this ever-changing situation together, we remember HOPE. The one thing that is sure and solid is God’s hope. With this guiding us, we can look into the future with confidence.

I thank God that He has touched the heart of so many of you who give of your time, passion and dedication to STVCC. Thank you for your continued, faithful support and service.

On behalf of the entire Leadership Team, thank you and God bless!

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Dear staff,

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new phase, STVCC Leadership has developed a coordinated plan to safely guide our employees back to the workplace.  This plan is now posted on our website. As we prepare to welcome more staff and clients back to our STVCC campus in the coming weeks, the health and wellness of our campus community remains our highest priority.

When we are ready to begin re-opening our Service Center lobby to the general public and accepting more visitors to our campus, our return will be a process – not an event.

As the “stay at home” restrictions are continually lifted, we will be prepared to proceed in a phased-in fashion. Until further notice, remote work should continue to the maximum extent possible.

Of course, not knowing exactly what the future holds, we must consider, plan and prepare for different scenarios. During this process, we are focusing specifically on how STVCC can be agile.

We have navigated through this COVID-19 pandemic together. During times of adversity, values are tested. As you continue to demonstrate support for one another, the clients and the community we serve, you have shown up and stayed true to our STVCC mission and for that, I am so grateful. Please be mindful and acknowledge commonalities in this crisis – we need to stand together in solidarity in times like this. We need to listen and respect different perspectives. Ask for support from your program director if a situation is causing fear or anxiety. We are here for you!

Throughout this process, our Leadership Team continues to share best practices and key learnings, while adhering to the standards outlined in the “return to workplace“ guide. I ask you to please be patient with us, as we continue to roll-out protocols, and make adjustments as appropriate. This is all a part of the cautionary measures we need to be taking.

Please continue to do your part to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

All Staff,

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer issued executive order 2020-110, lifting Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, effectively immediately.

Governor Whitmer is allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at 50% capacity to dine-in customers and easing limits on groups of gatherings of up to 100 – although she is still quick to remind us all that certain restrictions continue to stay in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Michiganders must continue to wear face coverings and should continue to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their co-workers, their loved ones, and their communities,” said Governor Whitmer.

In addition to mask-wearing, continuing to practice social distancing of at least six feet of separation and frequently washing hands are still in place for the foreseeable future.

Lastly, Governor Whitmer strongly recommended residents should continue to work from home “to the maximum extent possible.”

STVCC is considered an agency that provides crucial and necessary services to the community – and we will continue our essential services with the following modifications to operations:

Service Center

  • The Service Center will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Programs will continue to operate remotely as much as possible to provide essential needs.
  • Clients only with appointments and properly wearing face coverings will be allowed to enter the Service Center building. Disposable masks will be provided to Service Center clients in the event they do not have their own.  Any employee meeting with a client must bring a mask to the door for the client and ensure a mask is applied before the client enters the building.
    • In my last update on Saturday, I mentioned STVCC will be starting to reengage more clients through child welfare visits, by appointment only, wearing masks and monitored.
  • Employees must wear a mask or other face covering for their safety and the safety of others when entering and exiting the building, any time they are in a public area, walking around the building, or are in close proximity with colleagues or clients.
  • Reusable masks will be available for distribution to employees that are physically present at work. If you’re in need of a mask, please contact your supervisor directly.
  • Continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. Keep six feet of space between you and other people.

Children’s Home

  • The Children’s Home will remain open with adjusted operations.
  • Governor Whitmer mandates all staff members and visitors of a residential care facility, congregate care facility, or juvenile justice facility must wear a covering over their nose and mouth when indoors or within six feet of another person.  

The safety of our staff, kids and clients is my top priority. If you are sick, stay home. Contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department and contact HR.

Team, we must all do our part to reengage our communities in a safe and responsible manner to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Please do your part and continue to stay safe. Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and patience.

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Saturday, May 30, 2020

All staff –

Beginning Monday, STVCC’s campus will be starting to re-engage more clients through child welfare visits. Although by appointment only and monitored, this means more visitors will be coming in and out of our STVCC buildings.

While I am certainly looking forward to limited activity on campus, I want to take a few minutes to remind staff about mask-wearing.

On May 7, Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-72 mandated all staff members and visitors of a residential care facility to wear a face covering or mask. My CEO updates, for reference, can be found here, on our website.

Specifically, this means all STVCC employees need to wear a mask or other face covering when entering, exiting, walking around and certainly when in the presence of others – in either building.  The only time you’re able to take off your mask or face covering is while you’re at your desk – not moving around. Should you need to walk to the printer or the restroom, you should wear your face mask.

If you have a medical condition that prohibits you from wearing a mask, you must have support documentation on file from your healthcare provider submitted to HR in advance of working on-site.

Additionally, we received many donations of face masks from our generous community. Should you – or a client – not have a face mask, please contact your supervisor and we will gladly provide you with one!

Team, your safety is my top priority and it always will be. The CDC continues to remind us all that wearing masks is not just a good thing for those who are actively sick. It saves lives, as any one of us might be harboring COVID asymptomatically and could transmit it to others, cascading into new infections.

Any non-compliance should be reported directly to HR, so that we can ensure everyone’s safety and have a safe working environment for all.

Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and patience during this time.

Gratefully,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Saturday, May 23, 2020

All Staff,

Effective yesterday, May 22, 2020 at 4:52 pm, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order (EO) 2020-100, extending her Stay Home, Stay Safe order though June 12, 2020.

Additionally, Governor Whitmer extended the State of Emergency through June 19, 2020. This past Tuesday, she signed an EO to reopen retail businesses and auto dealerships, by appointment only, statewide. The Governor has also authorized small gatherings of 10 people or less – as long as participants continue to practice social distancing. She is still requiring workers to wear masks/face coverings in public spaces.

Because STVCC is considered an agency that provides crucial and necessary services to the community, we will continue our essential services with the following modifications to operations:

 Service Center:

  • The Service Center will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Programs will continue to operate remotely as much as possible to provide essential needs.
  • Clients only with appointments and properly wearing face coverings will be allowed to enter the Service Center building. Disposable masks will be provided to Service Center clients in the event they do not have their own. The employee meeting with the client must bring a mask to the door for the client and ensure a mask is applied before the client enters the building.
  • Employees must wear a mask or other face covering for their safety and the safety of others when entering and exiting the building, any time they are in a public area, walking around the building, or are in close proximity with colleagues or clients. The only time an employee is able to take off their mask is when they’re in their own cube – talking on the phone, processing paperwork at their desk, or on their computer  – and not walking around.
  • Reusable masks will be available for distribution to employees that are physically present at work. If you’re in need of a mask, please contact your supervisor directly.
    • Employees are able to wear their own masks. Masks cannot have any graphics, logos, or writing on them that could be deemed inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Please continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. Keep about six feet of space between you and other people.

Children’s Home:

  • The Children’s Home will remain open with adjusted operations.
  • Governor Whitmer’s executive order 2020-72 mandates ALL staff members and visitors of a residential care facility, congregate care facility, or juvenile justice facility must wear a covering over their nose and mouth when indoors or within six feet of another person through May 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
    • We will continue to keep you updated if/when this changes.

The safety of our staff, kids and clients is my top priority. If you are sick, stay home. Contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department and contact HR.

Please continue to be safe and healthy – and have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Thursday, May 7, 2020

All Staff,

Effective today, May 7, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-77, extending her Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 28, 2020.

The updated order reiterates that no one is allowed to leave their home except “to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities or to go to specified jobs” – and is still requiring workers to wear masks/face coverings in public spaces.

Because STVCC is considered an agency that provides crucial and necessary services to the community, we will continue our essential services with the following modifications to operations:

Service Center:

  • The Service Center will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Programs will continue to operate remotely as much as possible to provide essential needs.
  • Clients only with appointments and properly wearing face coverings will be allowed to enter the Service Center building. Disposable masks will be provided to Service Center clients in the event they do not have their own. The employee meeting with the client must bring a mask to the door for the client and ensure a mask is applied before the client enters the building.
  • Employees must wear a mask or other face covering for their safety and the safety of others when entering and exiting the building, any time they are in a public area, walking around the building, or are in close proximity with colleagues or clients. The only time an employee is able to take off their mask is when they’re in their own cube – talking on the phone, processing paperwork at their desk, or on their computer  – and not walking around.
  • Reusable masks will be available for distribution to employees that are physically present at work. If you’re in need of a mask, please contact your supervisor directly.
    • Employees are able to wear their own masks. Masks cannot have any graphics, logos, or writing on them that could be deemed inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Please continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. Keep about six feet of space between you and other people.

Children’s Home:

  • The Children’s Home will remain open with adjusted operations.
  • Governor Whitmer’s executive order 2020-72 mandates ALL staff members and visitors of a residential care facility, congregate care facility, or juvenile justice facility must wear a covering over their nose and mouth when indoors or within six feet of another person through May 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

The safety of our staff, kids and clients is my top priority. If you are sick, stay home. Contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department and contact HR.

Please continue to be safe and healthy.

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Friday, April 24, 2020

All Staff,

Effective today, April 24, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-59, extending her Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 15, 2020.

While executive order 2020-59 relaxes restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in more outdoor activities, Governor Whitmer’s order now requires people to wear face coverings in public spaces.

Because STVCC is considered an agency that provides crucial and necessary services to the community, we will continue our essential services with the following modifications to operations:

Service Center:

  • The Service Center will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Programs will continue to operate remotely as much as possible to provide essential needs.
  • Clients only with appointments and properly wearing face coverings will be allowed to enter the Service Center building. Disposable masks will be provided to Service Center clients in the event they do not have their own. The employee meeting with the client must bring a mask to the door for the client and ensure a mask is applied before the client enters the building.
  • Employees must wear a mask or other face covering for their safety and the safety of others when entering and exiting the building, any time they are in a public area, walking around the building, or are in close proximity with colleagues or clients. The only time an employee is able to take off their mask is when they’re in their own cube – talking on the phone, processing paperwork at their desk, or on their computer  – and not walking around.
  • Reusable masks will be available for distribution to employees that are physically present at work. If you’re in need of a mask, please contact your supervisor directly.
    • Employees are able to wear their own masks. Masks cannot have any graphics, logos, or writing on them that could be deemed inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Please continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. Keep about six feet of space between you and other people.

Children’s Home:

  • The Children’s Home will remain open with adjusted operations.
  • Although not mandated at this time, employees are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or other face covering and to continue to practice social distancing as much as possible

And please, if you are sick, stay home. Contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department and contact HR.

Today’s executive order is a step forward toward reopening our economy. We have each done our part to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus. We must recognize that completely reopening the economy will take time – but please be encouraged to see the first steps being taken today by Governor Whitmer.

I’m looking forward to seeing you in the near future. Until then, please take care and stay safe. I am keeping you all in my prayers

God bless,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

All,

Effective immediately, I am mandating mask-wearing for all employees and clients in the Service Center through April 30, 2020. Additionally, I’m strongly urging employees at the Children’s Home to wear masks. The seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak is prompting me to make wearing masks a requirement for the safety of all.

I’ve outlined protocol for STVCC employees and clients:

  • Disposable masks will be provided to Service Center clients. Currently, clients must have appointments to enter the building. The employee meeting with the client will bring a mask to the door upon the client entering the building.
  • Reusable masks will be available for distribution to employees that are physically present in the Service Center. If you’re in need of a mask, please contact your supervisor directly – and preferably before coming in.  It may be possible upon your first entry to have a mask either placed at the employee entrance, at your desk, or in a common area within your department.
    • Employees are able to wear their own masks. Otherwise, we will provide one for your safety and the safety of others.  If you’re wearing a mask of your own, masks cannot have any graphics, logos, or writing on them that could be deemed inappropriate for the workplace.
  • Employees should wear masks when entering and exiting the building, any time they are in a public area, walking around the building, or are in close proximity with colleagues or clients. The only time an employee is able to take off their mask is when they’re in their own cube – talking on the phone, processing paperwork at their desk, or on their computer  – and not walking around.

Earlier this month, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) changed its guidance on masks, urging the general population to wear them as a health measure. Wearing a mask not only protect wearers, but perhaps most importantly, chiefly protects others at a higher-risk of contracting the virus; you could have the virus and be contagious without any symptoms.

Please continue to maintain at least six feet of distance from others and please – stay home if you are sick.

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and cooperation.

Gratefully,

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Tuesday, April 9, 2020

All Staff,

Effective today, April 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-42, extending the Stay Home, Stay Safe order through April 30, 2020.

As with the prior executive order, Governor Whitmer is limiting gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to protect or sustain life to stay home. Executive order 2020-42 also imposes more stringent limitations on stores to reduce foot traffic to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.

Because STVCC is considered an agency that provides crucial and necessary services to the community, we will continue our essential services with the following modifications to operations:

  • The Service Center will remain closed to the general public until further notice.
  • Clients only with appointments will be allowed to enter the Service Center building. All clients with appointments in the Service Center are subject to a health questionnaire (below, for reference) and a temperature screening.
  • The Children’s Home will remain open with adjusted operations.
  • All other programs will continue to operate remotely as much as possible to provide essential needs.
  • As future agency events get closer, we will need to re-assess using recommendations and/or mandates from the CDC and Governor Whitmer for guidance.
  • If your position requires you to come into work for critical operations/responsibilities, you must conduct your own health screening before entering the worksite (below, for reference).
  • Earlier this week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Michigan changed their recommendations for the use of face masks.
    • We are advising staff to wear cloth masks when they are working in either building. Masks cannot have any graphics, logos, or writing on them that could be deemed inappropriate.
  • For staff that are in the Service Center, please continue to practice “social distancing” as much as possible. Keep about six feet of space between you and other people.
  • If you are sick, please stay home. Contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department and contact HR.
    • Your two HR contacts are: Shawn Koster (cell: 517.214.5829) or Maria Zdybel (cell: 517.505.6050).

HEALTH SCREENING – CLIENTS & EMPLOYEES

Our top priority is the health and safety of our clients and staff. For precautionary measures, we are asking that everyone ask themselves the following questions at home before entering the work place. On behalf of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation to guard the safety and well-being of our entire community.

Temperature:_______________ (100 degrees or more may NOT enter) Date: _________________

In the past 14 days, have you:

  • Traveled to Michigan from an affected country or region?
  • Been in contact with a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infected person?
  • Have you had any of the following symptoms in the last few days?
    • Common symptoms include but are not limited to: fever, tiredness, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat.

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, please do not come into work and follow the directive from your healthcare provider.

Thank you for your continued understanding, patience and support. I wish you and your family a blessed Easter.

Andrea E. Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Monday, April 8, 2020
CEO Andrea Seyka’s Message to the Community

Friends,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. While we are living through an extraordinary period of human history, please know that I am praying for you and your families.

I encourage you to take a few moments to watch my full message to our supporters, below.

STVCC has an opportunity, unlike we’ve had in a lifetime, to show the world – when it desperately needs it – what “LIVING HOPE” (1 Peter 1:3) looks like. Our culture, values and mission that make STVCC special have shown through more brightly than ever before.

Many of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help. For that, I am truly grateful. Please visit our website for ways you can support STVCC during this time.

May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ in the days ahead. I wish you and your family a blessed Easter.

God bless,

Andrea Seyka
Chief Executive Officer


Monday, April 1, 2020

All,

As we continue to navigate our work world and the COVID-19 virus, we wanted to inform you on new laws that are effective today. It is important to remember, that if you’re working on-site (or remotely), that you continue to monitor your own health, as the safety and wellness of our campus is a top priority.

If you’re unable to work, continue to follow your department’s procedures for calling in AND notify HR (contact information below)The poster below will be posted today in common areas in the Service Center and the Children’s Home.

HR CONTACT INFO: For calling-in during this period, you may call either work or cell phone numbers. Your two contacts are:

  • Shawn Koster (HR Manager); cell phone: 517.214.5829
  • Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services); cell phone: 517.505.6050
  • Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.
  • Email: health@stvcc.org
  • Fax: 886.1191
  • Business Phone: 323.4734

In our aspirations to be faithful and welcoming, STVCC recognizes that this is a time to support one another with grace and compassion. As we experience this situation together, remember our HOPE. The one thing that is sure and solid is God’s hope. And with this guiding us, we can look to the future with confidence. Thank you for your dedication and resilience in the face of recent challenges.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Monday, March 23, 2020

All,

Just six days ago, STVCC’s leadership team made decisions we thought were best to keep our STVCC community healthy and safe. At that time, we were hopeful that we could resume our normal work routine on April 6, 2020.

However, over the last few days, the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have increased in Michigan and across the country. As the situation rapidly evolves, and after this morning’s executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which temporarily suspends activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, our leadership team wanted to assure you we share a continued commitment to making the best decisions we can, with the guidance and recommendations we have at the moment. We are grateful for your patience as we adjust our processes to align with the most up-to-date information.

STVCC is continuing to provide crucial, essential services to our community, while we continue to mainly operate remotely. While our STVCC campus is largely uninhabited and quiet, in many ways, our STVCC community has never been stronger or more active, even as staff are apart from each other. We have quickly begun to foster a new sense of togetherness. While we prefer in-person connections, these online/conference gatherings have demonstrated that we can overcome isolation and engage in meaningful ways.

Due to Governor Whitmer’s executive order, our front desk reception area is now closed to the general public until April 13, 2020. Clients ONLY with appointments will be allowed to enter the building, ONLY by the designated staff member. All clients with appointments entering the Service Center are subject to a temperature screening. If the client has a temperature of 100+ degrees, please politely send the client home, instruct the client to contact their health provider and ask the client to re-schedule their STVCC appointment at a later time.

We are encouraging employees to work remotely whenever possible, however, for those that need to come into work for critical operations/responsibilities, you must conduct your own health screen before entering the worksite; please use the questionnaire below. If you answer “YES” to any of the following, OR have a temperature of 100+ degrees, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department AND contact HR.

HR CONTACT INFO: For calling-in during this period, you may call either work or cell phone numbers. Your two contacts are:

  • Shawn Koster (HR Manager); cell phone: 517.214.5829
  • Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services); cell phone: 517.505.6050
  • Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.
  • Email: health@stvcc.org
  • Fax: 886.1191
  • Business Phone: 323.4734

In our aspirations to be faithful and welcoming, STVCC recognizes that this is a time to support one another with grace and compassion. As we experience this situation together, let’s remember our HOPE. The one thing that is sure and solid is God’s hope. And with this guiding us, we can look to the future with confidence.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

IMPORTANT! Please read the below message from our Immigration Law Clinic attorneys, Lesley Glennon and Melissa Indish:

Effectively immediately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in the interest of public health, is suspending all face-to-face services with applicants, including interviews and naturalization ceremonies. Until April 1, 2020, all USCIS field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services, unless an emergency service is needed. Please read more here regarding the USCIS closure.

In addition, effective March 17, 2020, the Immigration Law Clinic at St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) is temporarily closing our offices. The well-being and safety of our staff and clients is at the forefront of our thoughts and actions and, as a result, STVCC is working to mitigate the effects of the virus in our community.

Although we, too, are suspending face-to-face meeting with clients, we want to reassure our clients that we’re actively working and monitoring their case. In some instances, we may still take cases remotely and have clients pay by credit card over the phone. It is our desire to be both proactive in keeping everyone healthy and safe, and also continue the important work of Immigration Law. We are dedicated to providing outstanding service to our clients and appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through this rapidly evolving situation.

Please reach out to either Lesley (glennol@stvcc.org), Melissa (indishm@stvcc.org) or call 517-323-4734 ext. 1800 for further questions or concerns. We thank you for your patience and will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely,
Lesley Glennon and Melissa Indish
Immigration Law Clinic Attorneys


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

As we collectively continue to monitor the novel coronavirus, our leadership continues to touch base daily on this topic and make decisions we think are best to keep our STVCC community healthy and safe. Our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram) will be updated by our Director of Communications (Ali), making the community and our clients aware of the temporary changes, noted below.

SERVICE CENTER:
The front desk reception area is closed until April 6, 2020. The Service Center will remain open (with doors locked) during regular business hours (8:00am – 4:30pm).  Clients ONLY with appointments (or Refugee Service clients between the hours of 8:00am – 12:00pm) will be allowed to enter the building, ONLY by the designated staff member. We will be CLOSED to the general public. Doors may not be propped open for any reason.

CLIENTS:
All clients entering the SC, MUST be health screened; see below for health screening questions.  If the client answers “YES” to any of the following, OR has a temperature of 100+ degrees, the following needs to occur:

  • Politely send the client home
  • Instruct the client to contact their health provider
  • Ask the client to re-schedule their STVCC appointment at a later time

STAFF:
Take direction from your supervisor on whether your position is considered essential or non-essential.  We are expecting all staff to self-report from home before entering our work environment (using the health screening questionnaire, below). If you answer “YES” to any of the following, OR have a temperature of 100+ degrees, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for further direction. Follow the call-in procedure for your department AND contact HR.

  • All non-essential staff should avoid entering the workplace if at all possible.  Working remotely is preferred, if possible with your position.  Your supervisor needs to approve.
  • All essential staff should limit hours in the workplace where possible.
  • All staff should limit movement between buildings and departments when possible.

HR CONTACT INFO: For calling-in during this period, you may call either work or cell phone numbers. Your two contacts are:

  • Shawn Koster (HR Manager); cell phone: 517.214.5829
  • Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services); cell phone: 517.505.6050
  • Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.
  • Email: health@stvcc.org
  • Fax: 517.886.1191
  • Business Phone: 517.323.4734

Along with many others, we are doing our best to mitigate the spread of the virus across our state and country. We know that these measures will not be effective in protecting every individual, but we can slow the extent and spread of the virus and potentially save many lives. We are making our operational decision based on healthcare practices that will keep us safer – and we need everyone’s cooperation.

Finally, I want to thank you for your understanding this past week. The coronavirus situation is evolving quickly, and we have had to adjust many elements of our lives. The dedication I have witnessed to support our kids, clients – and one another – is uplifting. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Monday, March 16, 2020

Service Center: Effective Tuesday, March 17, STVCC will be closing the Front Desk receptionist services at the Service Center building until April 6.  

Entry to Service Center:  Entry will be limited to the front door and the employee entrance will be disabled. The lobby will be unlocked for clients, employees, and other individuals that are able to contact workers, however, the entrance further into the building is contingent upon a negative health screening (including temperature reading; see form attached). We will have a supply in the front lobby. We have one thermometer for the whole building, and it will stay in the front lobby.  Note: you cannot authorize yourself, it must be done by another person. 

Refugee Services will have a desk to accommodate and serve clients in the front lobby. The individual sitting at the desk is NOT the ‘designee’ for health screening everyone from other areas. 

Mail Service:  Mail will continue to be sorted and placed in Program/Department bins in the mailroom.  Each area should assign a person to pick up the mail. 

I know it can be alarming to follow the news of COVID-19 spreading around the globe. While there is still much unknown about the virus, we are working with the best information available to guide our decision-making. As the situation evolves, we remain focused on balancing two imperatives: ensuring that we take prudent precautions to protect our staff, kids, clients and community, while continuing our daily, life-changing work to serve the most vulnerable children and families. Every action we have taken in recent days has been with this balance in mind.

The strength our of agency comes from embracing our diversity and working together to ensure we provide the important services to our clients. Please remember this: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:7).

Thank you for all the ways you have stepped up to support our clients and colleagues over the last few days, despite the circumstances. You have each shown grace and understanding – and have truly embodied hope in this unprecedented time. I am privileged to serve alongside of you.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Monday, March 16, 2020

HR Guidelines and FAQs
(effective through April 5, 2020)

Q1) Working from home: 

STVCC is encouraging flexible scheduling and working remotely through April 5, 2020, where applicable by position.  Unfortunately, not all positions have this flexibility.  Please work with your direct supervisor to see if this is an option for you. 

Q2) Missing work:

  1. No childcare due to school/daycare closures: STVCC asks that you make every effort to find alternative care. If you have no option and are unable to work, follow the call-in procedures for your department AND you must notify HR that you’ll be absent and why.
  2. If you’ve have been asked by your healthcare professional to self-quarantine, been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you’re caring for a family member that needs to be quarantined: Follow your department’s protocol for not coming to work (you only have to say you’re out sick), AND you must notify HR that you’ll be absent and why.
  3. If you have a medical condition where your immune system is compromised, you have a serious chronic medical condition, or you are pregnant: You are considered to be high-risk for contracting COVID-19.  STVCC advises and encourages you to work remotely if possible, for your position.

For any of the situations mentioned above, you will need to cover your absences with PTO, Sick or Vacation accruals.  Even if you are someone who does not has enough time to cover your absences, NO ONE will lose their position during this period when the circumstances are out of your control. However, those who do not have enough time to cover absences will go unpaid.

STVCC will not be requiring a ‘release to return to work’ if you are out for more than three days during this crisis.

Q3) Fear of working at STVCC during this period:

The health and safety of our staff and clients is our top priority.  However, we are the care providers for those that are most vulnerable and have been victims themselves.  If you can be at work, we need you!  Our clients need you! 

STVCC’s CH is fortunate because most employees and the children are in a very low-risk category.  The Leadership Team has taken many additional measures for operations to further limit your risk of exposure at work.   Missing work because of your fear will not exempt you from attendance disciplines, even if you have accruals to cover your time away.

Q4) What if STVCC closes?

Information is changing minute by minute, and there may come a time when STVCC closes due to COVID-19. The CH will never close, and that is not an option for that program.  If we close all other programs, employees would be eligible to file for unemployment, as long as you are well and could report to work.  If you could not report to work during this crisis due to a medical reason, you would not meet the eligibility criteria established by the State of Michigan.  

Q5) What if I contract COVID-19 while working at STVCC?

You could be eligible for worker’s compensation.  If it can be substantiated, contact HR to file a claim.

HR CONTACT INFO:  For calling in during this period, you may call either work numbers or cell phones.  You have two contacts:  Shawn Koster (HR Manager) and Maria Zdybel (Director of Administrative Services).  Supporting documents may be scanned and emailed, texted, faxed, or mailed via USPS.

Email: health@stvcc.org
Fax: 517.886.1191             
Business Phone:  517.323.4734
Cell Phones:  Shawn Koster: 517.214.5829     Maria Zdybel: 517.505.6050

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Dear friends and supporters,

The health and safety of our clients, supporters, staff, and the community is STVCC’s top priority. We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking action where needed. At this time, we wanted to reach out to you and inform you of the precautions we are taking, and some of the temporary changes we are implementing at STVCC.

Visiting STVCC:
Our tours are a great opportunity for people to experience the transformation and healing being done in the Children’s Home every day. However, for the time being, we will not be conducting tours of our Children’s Home. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please feel free to reach out to our Development Team at donate@stvcc.org, and we will be happy to schedule a date in the spring or summer.
You can also experience the Children’s Home and one of the many success stories by watching this video.

If you have an appointment at STVCC but are not feeling well, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call 517.323.4734 to reschedule for a later date.

Communication:
As always, we are here to serve you and our community. Our highest priority with our donors is maintaining a quick turnaround for gift acknowledgements. At this time, we ask you to be patient with us as our communication may be slightly delayed.

STVCC Events and Fundraisers:
At this time, AFAR’s Refugee Benefit Concert on March 22 benefiting STVCC’s refugee services, is being postponed for the safety of our community. We hope you will support this program by making a donation online at bit.ly/refugeebenefit2020.

We will still be holding our March Dine & Donate at Buffalo Wild Wings on Wednesday, March 25. We hope you will still support STVCC by visiting Buffalo Wild Wings on Delta Commerce Dr. to dine in or for take out! You can find our flyer here

Staying Informed and Involved:
It is no surprise that our economy is certainly being impacted by COVID-19. That is the same for non-profit organizations like STVCC. We ask for your support now more than ever. We are continuing to provide high-quality, vital services to those who need them the most in our community, and the need is even greater today

Please consider making an online donation today at stvcc.org to ensure that we are able to not only continue to provide these services and programs, but also make adjustments to be sure that the changing needs of our community are met.

We encourage you to follow STVCC on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed on the situation as it changes, to find out about upcoming opportunities and events, and to learn about how you can help and make an impact in our community.

As always, we are appreciative of your generosity and support. We thank you for your understanding as we make these changes to protect everybody in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our Development Team via email at donate@stvcc.org.
 
Thank you,

Your STVCC Family


Friday, March 13, 2020

To all stakeholders,

The health and safety of our clients, employees, volunteers, interns, and independent contractors is St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ (STVCC) top priority. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving daily. Our leadership is closely monitoring the coronavirus and are taking action based on guidance from public health experts.  We have greatly enhanced our cleaning and sanitization processes, and continue to place an emphasis on personal hygiene, involving more frequent handwashing, the proper use of hand sanitizer and the practice of social distancing. Your cooperation helps to ensure an appropriate response across our agency to this rapidly changing situation. Remember, prevention is still the primary focus. 

Due to the increased concern over coronavirus, our Employee Appreciation Luncheon, scheduled on March 17, will be postponed until further notice.  

Preventing COVID-19:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • clean surfaces and disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • avoid handshakes
  • avoid contact with sick people
  • stay home when you are sick with a fever of 100 degrees or above

 Resources:

Employees have access to Relias Learning Management System and a specific training module called “Pandemic Preparedness”.  It includes the following modules:  Personal Protective Equipment (15 min), Infection Control (15 min), Hand Hygiene (15 min), Influenza Prevention (30 min), and Transmission-Based Precautions (30 min).  You may have already received similar training in your department based on your role at STVCC.  If you’re interested in enrolling, please talk to your supervisor.  We have the ability to run these trainings during team meetings, if requested. If you’d like to take it on your own, you can log into Relias from any internet connection. The link is located here. If this is your first time signing in, you may need STVCC’s ID: 12882.

External websites:

 If you’ve have been asked to self-quarantine (or have been diagnosed with COVID-19) by your healthcare professional:

Follow your department’s protocol for not coming to work (you only have to say you’re out sick), AND you must also report your absence to Human Resources. Your two contacts are:  Maria  (x1107 or cell#  517.505.6050) OR  Shawn (x1109 or cell# 517.214.5829).

We understand the vital role STVCC has in the community and the value of the employees who serve and aid our clients on a daily basis. Our priority remains the health and safety of our employees, children and clients. We are taking the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You will be receiving regular updates as this situation evolves and we appreciate your understanding and continued cooperation in the coming days as STVCC works through our preparedness plans.

Sincerely,

Maria A. Zdybel
Director of Administrative Services