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Connections - 05.29.20

Forging Ahead Through the Storm

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by Robert Budd, ANCOR President

First, I hope that you and yours (both personally and professionally) are all coping well during these unprecedented times. During these unique times, we have extra appreciation for the talent, dedication and passion that each team member brings. The attention and traction in the fight for our vital resources has been exemplary, and thought we are not yet where we want to be, I am thankful for the progress ANCOR has made, and is striving to continue to make.

More locally, at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises on Long Island and in Queens, New York, we are keenly aware of the necessity of having our heroes acknowledged, and valued, by being concretely rewarded as the true essential professionals they are.

We have seen amazing acts of selflessness where team members volunteer to live in the homes of the people we support for the period of the quarantine. We have been inspired by creativity and passion, from the making of masks and hand sanitizer to operating as food delivery services. But we have also toiled as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) dipped uncomfortably low, and as our 2,000+ employees counted on us to get them needed protection while we awaited deliveries. We breathed huge sighs of relief as we celebrated 25 residences coming through quarantine without severe illness. Yet we have still also grieved, as best as we can in these times, the team members we lost who were our family — both at work and at home.

In short, we can give poignant testimony to the fact that our field is full of heroes every bit as inspiring as the stories that we see in the media nightly. We can give many examples of the need for current legislation to include the essential worker pay, bonus pay, PPE prioritization and the absolute necessity to be acknowledged NOW!

We continue to ask that our leaders at every level of government finally understand that we are vital members, not only of the fabric of our local community, but of our health systems. We are necessary to prevent hospitalizations, minimize hospital stays and ensure hospital beds are available to all. We are part of a comprehensive health care solution.

There has never been a more important time for our field to be understood, and for our DSPs and clinical teams to be acknowledged as the vital professionals they are. The funding and PPE prioritization that our amazing ANCOR team continues to fight for remains our primary need. As a field, we are collectively honored to serve and support to ensure people with disabilities are Included. Supported. Empowered.!