Achieva – COVID-19 Update

Achieva – COVID-19 Update

Posted 3/20/2020 at 2:55pm

Achieva Qualifies as a Life-sustaining Business

Achieva is and will remain steadfastly committed to protecting the people it supports and its employees. Achieva is considered a life-sustaining business according to the list published by the Governor’s Office and according to a notice from the state Office of Developmental Programs. As such, Achieva will continue providing supports and services to people with disabilities and their families.  While some of the services we offer are not considered essential (and those have been suspended), much of our operation is continuing and we are committed to providing the best and safest services possible. Achieva’s executive team is meeting daily (some remotely and some in-person to honor social distancing recommendations) to assess the most up-to-date information from local, state and federal authorities and adapt accordingly. 

 

Posted 3/19/2020 at 5:45pm

Responding to COVID-19

By Steve Suroviec, President and CEO

With the around-the-clock news about COVID-19, we know there are questions about health and safety and what steps Achieva is taking to ensure the well-being of the people it supports and its employees. Achieva is not a “non-essential business” because we’re entrusted to support and care for people with disabilities.  While some of the services we offer are non-essential, much of our operation is continuing and we are committed to providing the best and safest services possible. Achieva’s executive team is meeting daily (some remotely and some in-person to honor social distancing recommendations) to assess the most up-to-date information from local, state and federal authorities and adapt accordingly. As of today, I can report the following:

Achieva has suspended the following services and programs through at least March 27 (we will evaluate whether to extend the suspension closer to that time):

  • Community Participation Supports (facility-based and community-based)

  • Early Intervention (Birth to age 3) - all face-to-face services (the duration of this suspension will be aligned with school district closures within each community)

  • Preschool Readiness Program (and Parent Group)

  • VaultArt Studio

  • Weekend camps & recreation nights

Achieva has also canceled or postponed at least through April 15 the following:

  • Empowered Voices

  • All large group meetings and trainings

  • All non-business essential meetings

  • Open interviews at both our Pittsburgh and Greensburg offices (interested applicants can still contact the Human Resources Hotline at 412-995-5000 ext. J-O-B for position information and possible video conferencing interviews)

In our community homes, we are discouraging the people we support from leaving their home or having unnecessary visitors. Before being allowed to enter, we screen for and restrict anyone with a respiratory illness, sore throat, cough, fever, who traveled in the last 14 days to restricted countries or domestic hot spots, or who had contact with someone with COVD-19 or is under investigation for having COVIS-19. Visitors who pass our screening process are required to wash their hands immediately and maintain 6-foot distancing if possible. 

Achieva relies heavily on its hard-working employees to perform our mission. We are working hard to make sure our employees are safe and that they’re able to continue to be paid. How? We’ve implemented a work-from-home arrangement for staff who are able to work from home. We’re also reassigning employees impacted by suspended programs to other services where their help is needed. In addition, Achieva’s Executive Committee approved new and expanded sick leave policies, including extending sick leave to provisional employees (a category not covered before COVID-19) and allowing employees to use up to 10 days of sick time in excess of the amount they’ve accrued (we simply don’t want employees who are sick to come to work just because they don’t have sick time to use). The new policy also permits employees to use sick time not only when they’re sick but also if they care for a person who’s at risk or reside in a household with someone who’s at risk. Achieva employees will also be able to use sick time to care for a child whose school or place of care has closed due to a public health emergency.  

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and consider additional operational changes as events develop. The people we support, their families, and members of the community can receive updates by visiting Achieva.info and Achieva’s Facebook page.

Achieva feels fortunate to be able to serve our fellow citizens who have disabilities. We value the dedication of our staff and appreciate the support from the community as we deal with the day-to-day challenges presented by the COVID-19 emergency declaration. Please feel free to contact me should you have comments or questions. 

 

Updated 3/18/2020 at 4:15pm

As events unfold surrounding the COVID-19 situation, Achieva’s top management and executive teams continue to adapt to new recommendations and directives from local, state and federal officials. Today, we have the following updates to report:

Achieva has suspended non-essential programs through at least March 27 including:

  • Community Participation Supports (facility-based and community-based)

  • The Early Intervention program is suspending all face-to-face services with children/families in their birth-to-3 program. The duration of the suspension will be aligned with the closure of the school districts within each community.

  • Preschool Readiness Program

  • VaultArt Studio

  • Weekend Camps

Meetings and trainings are cancelled until April 15 including:

  • All non-business essential meetings

  • Empowered Voices Self-Advocacy Group 

  • Monthly open interviews

  • Parent Groups

  • Recreation Nights

In addition, we're limiting guests and traffic coming into the office and encouraging all staff that can work from home to talk with their supervisor about doing so.

Achieva is working with employees who believe they are a member of an at-risk population, care for someone in an-at-risk population, or reside in the same household as someone in an at-risk population. Achieva’s Human Resources team will work with the employee on a case-by-case basis with the goal of avoiding unnecessary spread of COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, people considered at-risk are “older adults” or “people who have serious chronic medical conditions, like Heart Disease, Diabetes, or Lung Disease.”

Achieva will continue to review the ongoing public health situation and will consider operational changes as things develop. The people we support, their families, and members of the community can receive updates by visiting this page.

Achieva feels fortunate to be able to serve its fellow citizens with disabilities and we regret any inconvenience the steps we’re taking in response to the COVID-19 public health situation may be causing. Please feel free to contact me should you have comments or questions.

Steve Suroviec

President and CEO