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Coronavirus Offers Significant Challenge to Grant Partners

Author: Nicholas Randell

We asked our current grant partners to tell us about the challenges to their organization stemming from the COVID-19 crisis.  Responses to the survey were timely, detailed, open, and sobering. Across the board, providers are working tirelessly to maintain as much continuity of care as they can. Some of the reported issues are captured here.

  • Rapid mobilization to telehealth approaches wherever possible. This requires training, equipment, and outreach to clients to establish service.
  • Staff anxiety is high and encompasses concern for clients, risk of exposure, child care, job security, remote commuting challenges.
  • For many, particularly agencies that work in the schools, this has meant suspending virtually all their programming.
  • Lost revenue is a big worry. Operate at a deficit? Get a line of credit or loan?
  • In-person staffing cannot be avoided in some settings (group homes, critical clinical care), with significant safety and logistical challenges.
  • Guidance and clarity from the state must include assurances around billing, help with personal protective equipment, prompt action on regulatory issues (e.g., essential healthcare worker designation).
  • Billable hours are way down, several agencies expect to furlough employees or already have.
  • Several agencies have canceled spring fundraising activities, which will add to the financial hits they are taking.
  • Clients with intellectual disabilities are staying at home with family, without enrichment during the day and without critical family supports.
  • Already stressed clients have to deal with job loss/uncertainty, children at home, social isolation, and general anxiety about the coronavirus.
  • Stresses on residential facilities are particularly acute: some staff and residents have had to be tested for the virus, there is a lack of personal protective equipment, staffing shortages.