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STAR Committee Meeting: New Year, Same Me (and Same Agency)

As we enter the third week of the year, many people will soon abandon their New Year’s Resolutions if they haven’t already. The STAR Committee gathered recently to talk about resolutions and to reflect on the last 12 months. 

The committee covered an array of topics ranging from goal setting to compartmentalizing stress in different areas of life. The group remains an open invite to employees and all are welcome to drop-in once a month at their leisure.

At the core of the conversation was the notion that sometimes New Years Resolutions can be rooted in shame. That sometimes we’re led to believe we’re not “good enough” as we are, so we need to lose weight, be more positive and strive to do better against all odds. Despite these annual pressures to “do better and be better”, maybe there’s no improvements to be made in the first place and that’s totally okay. Maybe we’re allowed to accept ourselves as we are, perfectly imperfect and striving for micro goals throughout the year without external expectations for improvements. Whether you decide to set goals or not is up to you, and committee members are here to support one another throughout remainder of this year.

As we usher in a new administration, we remain hopeful that the people and interests we lobby for are well attended to in moving forward. The End the Wait Initiative is a cause worth rooting for, and despite the recent budget cuts, we have a lot to look forward to this year. Our nonprofit arm, BACPAC, is seeing a resurgence. And our DEI Council and Committee has broken up into subcommittees, in an effort to tackle inequities across multiple fronts. Serving people with IDD is at the core of what we do, and we’re optimistic that by the end of this year, we will have seen major improvements across multiple teams to ultimately enhance the services we provide. On behalf of the STAR Committee, we wish everyone a Safe and Happy New Year. Our steadfast dedication to the people and families we serve remains unwavering. Please remember to take care of yourselves and each other.

The STAR Committee serves employees of Support with three objectives guiding the group: Fostering a positive work culture, promoting employee appreciation, and encouraging self-care. The Committee understands what a challenging year 2020 had been and will continue to promote internal opportunities for connection within the organization. In addition, further considerations to explore and strengthen relationships by facilitating one-time events online, mini-series for wellness and email campaigns will be explored, as well. For PRS to connect with their peers, please see our weekly LIFE Club updates on the blog for more information.

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Virtual Events This Week

We have a few cancelations this week-in the meantime, check out the groups that we continue to host online!

These groups are still happening!

Wednesday, January 20

MVP Club

When:  Wednesday, January 20 from 10:00 am-11:00 am

What: Be an MVP (Most Valuable Person) in your community!  In this new group, we will use arts and crafts, games, and engaging discussion to talk about safe relationships, combatting bullying, setting boundaries, and being the best, most valuable person we can be! This group is by reservation only, please contact Gwen if you would like to participate!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please email gwen.bonilla@supportinc.com

Friday, January 22

Pop Culture Club: What the Health!

When:  Friday, January 22 from 12:15 pm- 1:00 pm

What: Join us as we discuss nutrition and what’s good for our bodies.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please followhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/84620087562

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COVID-19 communication: Vaccine update #3

To all Support, Inc. Staff, Providers, and Families;

Colorado continues to work through Phase 1A of the State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and hopes to have the majority of Phase 1A health care workers vaccinated by January 15th. Over the last week, Colorado updated the states COVID-19 vaccine plan. The updated plan expands who is included in Phase 1B to include Coloradoan’s age 70 or older, first responders, front line essential workers and continuity of state government. This week, the State started administering vaccinations to individuals in Phase 1B. We have not received an update on which Phase constituents of Support, Inc. will be eligible for the vaccine however, individuals, providers or family members who are age 70 or older are eligible to get the vaccine at this time.

If someone you support is 70 years of age or over, they are eligible to get the vaccine now. The first step is to contact the individual’s primary care physician to discuss the vaccine and scheduling the two-step vaccine process. Attached is a plain language informational document about the COVID-19 vaccine that was developed by and for people with intellectual disabilities. Vaccine availability varies based on the federal supply and distribution throughout the state. Colorado expects to continue to get weekly shipments of the vaccine.

Vaccine FAQ’s:

Q: Will I be charged for the cost of the vaccine?

A: No, the vaccine will not cost you anything. Medicare, Medicaid, CHP+ and private insurances are required to cover the cost of the vaccine. In addition, uninsured Coloradoan’s will also have access to a free vaccine.

Q: Do I still need to wear a mask and physically distance after receiving the vaccine?

A: Yes. It takes time after getting both steps of the vaccine for your body to respond and make enough antibodies to protect you. This could take up to one to two weeks after your last dose. Current data suggests that it is possible that someone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 may still have mild to asymptomatic infection or spread the virus to others. So, it is important to continue to take precautions by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

Q: Should I get a COVID-19 test to see if I am infected before getting the vaccine?

A: No. The CDC does not recommend getting tested to see if you are infected before getting the vaccine. If you do not have symptoms and have not been recently exposed to COVID-19, there is no need to get a test before deciding whether to get vaccinated.

Q: I already had COVID-19 and have recovered; do I still need to get the vaccine?

A: Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are likely safe and effective in people who have recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection. The Advisory Committee recommends waiting at least 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 before getting the vaccine. It is currently unknown how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19 and, early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long as cases of reinfection have been reported.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at Laura.Viers@supportinc.com. Be sure to never miss our correspondences; follow us on Facebook, be sure you are on email and newsletter distribution lists and continue to check out our website for on-going updated about COVID-19 and other happenings around the organization.

Thank you,

Laura Viers

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Host Home Provider of the Month

Please join us in congratulating our final Host Home Provider of the Month for 2020, Alice Bomboma!The following write-up was produced by RPC Shanita Lloyd:

I am nominating Alice B for HHP of the month. Alice has my PRS in her home and we know she can have high expectations at times. Alice welcomed this person in her home with open arms and a big heart. Alice has not once complained about the individual’s long list of expectations of her perfect host home, she does everything with a warm smile on her face. The PRS has had issues with dogs in the past but Alice has allowed her to have her service dog in the home and from this, I have seen great improvement in symptoms. Alice is a great asset to the team and we are happy to have her.

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Virtual Events

Join us for some upcoming virtual events!

Please follow the links imbedded in this message to participate.

Monday, January 4

LIFE Club: Ringing in the New Year

When:  Monday, January 4 from 12:15 pm- 1:00 pm

What: Join us as we set our intentions for 2021 and reflect back on 2020.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88541386228

Tuesday, January 5

Pop Culture Club: New Year New Ideas 

When:  Tuesday, January 5 from 10:00 am-11:00 am

What: Join us as we discuss our interests and come up with the next Pop Culture Club theme! 

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84620087562 

Chill Club: Come Chill with Us

When: Tuesday, January 5 from 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm

What: Learn how to stay chill when life gets tough.

Instructions: In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82353558685

Wednesday, January 6

MVP Club

When:  Wednesday, January 6 from 10:00 am-11:00 am

What: Be an MVP (Most Valuable Person) in your community!  In this new group, we will use arts and crafts, games, and engaging discussion to talk about safe relationships, combatting bullying, setting boundaries, and being the best, most valuable person we can be! This group is by reservation only, please contact Gwen if you would like to participate!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please email gwen.bonilla@supportinc.com

Moving and Grooving: 80’s Dance Party!

When:  Wednesday, January 6 from 12:15 pm-1:00 pm

What:  This week is all about the 80’s! Come in your most colorful outfits ready to dance!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85277454478  

Thursday, January 7

Touching Stories

When:  Thursday, January 7 from 11:30 am- 12:15 pm

What: Gwen and Meredith will first lead participants in a scavenger hunt for the sensory items needed for the stories (all items are common items found in every home) and then will tell the sensory-based stories to the group. Please see the attached list for scavenger hunt items.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86143640216

Friday, January 8

Pop Culture Club: Resolutions and Intentions

When:  Friday, January 8 from 12:15 pm- 1:00 pm

What: Join us as we discuss our New Year’s Resolutions and our intentions for 2021.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please followhttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/84620087562

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COVID-19 Updates

To All Support, Inc. staff, providers and families,

As we come to the end of 2020, we continue to see progress on the COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna vaccine received FDA approval for emergency use at the end of last week. The first Moderna vaccines arrived in Colorado on Monday and was distributed to 35 facilities. Colorado is working through Phase 1 of vaccine distribution plan. Phase 1 includes vaccinations for health-care workers and staff at long-term care facilities who have regular exposure to COVID-19. At this time, we have not received any additional guidance regarding when constituents of Support, Inc. may receive the vaccine however, we believe we may be eligible in Phase 2 of Colorado’s distribution plan below. As we receive additional guidance, we will pass this along through email, Facebook and will post the information on our website.

Vaccine FAQ’s:

Q: How does the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine work?

A: The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine gives instructions to cells to make what is called “spike protein”. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine is given in the muscle of the upper arm. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the immune cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece.

After the protein piece is made, the cells break down the instructions and get rid of them. Next, the cell displays the protein on its surface. Our bodies recognize that the protein does not belong there and builds an immune response and makes antibodies. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is that those who get the vaccine are protected without having to risk serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

Q: How long will the vaccine protect me?

A: The duration of protection is currently unknown. Continued research will be done to determine the frequency the vaccine may need to be readministered.

Q: Will either vaccine give me COVID-19?

A: No. Neither vaccine contain SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and the vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.

Q: What are the differences and similarities between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?

As we are coming to the end of 2020, we have hope for 2021 as Colorado begins the implementation of the long awaited COVID-19 vaccine plan. During this holiday season, it is important we all continue to follow infection control practices and limit our contact with people who do not live with us. Limiting our contact does not mean we have to forego seeing friends and family. Zoom is offering free video calls with no time limits. This is a great opportunity to connect with friends and family outside your home. Zoom has removed the 40-minute time limit from 8:00 AM MT on Wednesday December 30th through 4:00 AM MT on Saturday January 2nd.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Laura at Laura.Viers@supportinc.com. Be sure to never miss our correspondences, follow us on Facebook, be sure you are on email and newsletter distribution list and check out website for on-going updated about COVID-19 and other happenings around the organization. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season.-Laura

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Virtual Events This Week!

Join us for some upcoming virtual events!

Please follow the links imbedded in this message to participate.

Monday, December 28

Life Club has been cancelled this week. Join us next week, January 4th, from 12:15 pm- 1:00 pm!

Tuesday, December 29

Chill Club: Come Chill with Us

When: Tuesday, December 29 from 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm

What: Learn how to stay chill when life gets tough. This week we will be making SLIME!

Materials: Please see attached for the supplies list

Instructions: In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82353558685

Wednesday, December 30

MVP Club

When:  Wednesday, December 30 from 10:00 am-11:00 am

What: Be an MVP (Most Valuable Person) in your community!  In this new group, we will use arts and crafts, games, and engaging discussion to talk about safe relationships, combatting bullying, setting boundaries, and being the best, most valuable person we can be! This group is by reservation only, please contact Gwen if you would like to participate!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please email gwen.bonilla@supportinc.com

Moving and Grooving: Tai Chi

When:  Wednesday, December 30 from 12:15 pm-1:00 pm

What: This week will have a tai chi theme! There will be a tutorial and visuals for this fun and meditation based exercise.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85277454478  

Thursday, December 31

Touching Stories

When:  Thursday, December 31 from 11:30 am- 12:15 pm

What: Gwen and Meredith will first lead participants in a scavenger hunt for the sensory items needed for the stories (all items are common items found in every home) and then will tell the sensory-based stories to the group. Please see the attached list for scavenger hunt items.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86143640216

Friday, January 1

Pop Culture Club will be cancelled this Friday due to the holiday! Join us on January 8th from 12:15 pm – 1 pm!

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Virtual Events This Week!

*****Coming up!!

Don’t miss Support Inc.’s Christmas Celebration!           🎄                                       

The Party with be on December 22nd from 10 AM to 2:30 PM!

Come  for a day  filled with cookie decorating, gingerbread house making, hot cocoa and more!

Join us in person or online, check the attachment for the flyer with all of the details.

Join us for some upcoming virtual events!

Please follow the links imbedded in this message to participate.

Monday, December 21

LIFE Club: Holiday Game Day!

When:  Monday, December 21 from 12:15 pm- 1:00 pm

What: Today is holiday game day! Join us as we play Holiday bingo, charades, and minute-to-win it games!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88541386228

Tuesday, December 22

Support Christmas Party!!! ☃🎅

When:  Tuesday, December 22 from 10 am- 2:45 pm

What: Come celebrate Christmas with Support! Join us at any time during the event by clicking on the link below. Please see the attached flyer for the schedule and supplies list.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89347969955

Wednesday, December 23

MVP Club

When:  Wednesday, December 23 from 10:00 am-11:00 am

What: Be an MVP (Most Valuable Person) in your community!  In this new group, we will use arts and crafts, games, and engaging discussion to talk about safe relationships, combatting bullying, setting boundaries, and being the best, most valuable person we can be! This group is by reservation only, please contact Gwen if you would like to participate!

Instructions:  In order to participate, please email gwen.bonilla@supportinc.com

Moving and Grooving: Holiday Yoga!

When:  Wednesday, December 23 from 12:15 pm-1:00 pm

What: Let’s slow down and take a day to get back to the basics. We will stretch and focus on our inner strength by using adaptive yoga techniques.

Instructions:  In order to participate, please follow https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85277454478  

Thursday, December 24

Touching Stories is cancelled this week due to the holiday. Join us next week, December 31st, from 11:30 am- 12:15 pm!

Friday, December 25

Pop Culture Club will be cancelled for the next two Fridays due to the holidays! Join us on January 8th from 12:15 pm – 1 pm!

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COVID-19 Communication: Vaccine Updates

To all Support, Inc. staff, providers, and families;

As the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our lives over the last 9 months, there has been a lot of talk, questions and hopes for a COVID-19 vaccination. An FDA (Food and Drug Administration) advisory committee met on Thursday December 10th to review the Pfizer vaccine. The committee resulted in a 77% “yes” vote that based on the totality of evidence, the benefit of the Pfizer vaccine outweighs the risk for use in individuals age 16 and older. This was the last step in the process for Pfizer before the FDA approves emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine. Over the weekend, the FDA accepted the committee’s recommendation and approved the vaccine under the Emergency Use Authorization. His is a pivotal moment in the pandemic as the first vaccine being approved for use in the United States. While we do not have all the answers, we wanted to provide some information on what we do know at this point.

Q: What is an Emergency Use Authorization?

A: An EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) is a way to facilitate the availability and use of things like vaccines during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Under EUA the FDA may allow an unapproved medical product to prevent serious life-threatening diseases or conditions. Manufacturers submit an EUA request to the FDA to be evaluated and to determine if statutory criteria are met. You can read more about Emergency use Authorizations here.

Q: When can I get the vaccine?

A: This week, Colorado released a 3 phased roll out plan for the vaccine. Below is a description and timeline for each phase.

Q: Where can I get the vaccine?

A: Once a vaccine has been approved for use by the FDA, Phase 1 recipients will receive the vaccine through their employer (such as hospitals), local health agencies or through the Federal Government’s pharmacy partnership for long term care programs. The Pfizer vaccine requires ulta low temperature storage (-60 to -80 Celsius). Colorado has identified 24 locations with the ability to store the vaccine at this temperature and has purchased an additional 10 ulta low temperature freezers. The state will release information for phase 2 and phase 3 vaccination locations in the future.

Q: Will there only be one vaccine option?

A: At this time, the Pfizer vaccine has been approved.  Moderna has also applied to the FDA for authorization through the Emergency use Authorization. There are 3 additional companies working on clinical trials for a vaccination. It is likely individual states and counties will get different vaccines based on manufacturing and distribution from each company.

News of a vaccine is encouraging. At the moment constituents of Support, Inc. may be eligible to receive the vaccine during Phase 2.  This may change and as we learn more information, we will send additional updates. While we all anticipate the vaccine, it continues to be important we all take steps to keep ourselves, our families and individual we support safe. This includes, wearing a face covering/ mask when we are in public, washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer frequently, minimizing contact with people we don’t live with and when we do have to have contact with people who don’t live in our home, staying 6 feet apart.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Laura at Laura.Viers@supportinc.com