Los Angeles Jewish Home a ‘First Responder’ to COVID-19

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Western Alliance

December 04, 2020

With 1,200 senior residents and a wide range of integrated care services from home care to hospice programs that serve the wider community, the Los Angeles Jewish Home has forged a leadership reputation in senior care over more than 100 years. And in spring 2020, the rise of coronavirus put this dynamic organization to the test.

Inside its operations, the San Fernando Valley-based Jewish Home began a routine of daily conference calls among the organization’s leaders to facilitate decision-making, including the need to immediately close to visitors. Externally, the organization leapt into city, county and health department deliberations on how to quickly update guidelines for the region’s senior residences and nursing homes. 

“We have been hyper-focused on doing whatever we can to prevent the coronavirus among our residents, staff and patients,” said Dr. Noah Marco, Chief Medical Officer for the Jewish Home. “But we also felt a responsibility to get involved in creating best practices for the broader community. With early outbreaks in other parts of the country, this was a critical need.” 

Dr. Marco became an advocate for increased coronavirus testing at senior communities and the Jewish Home helped local officials assess early testing protocols. Now, many asymptomatic residents and staff of the Jewish Home are tested once per week. Symptomatic residents are tested with equipment that returns results in under 20 minutes. Combined with strong social distance, sanitizing and hand-washing protocols, their result has been exemplary – by early fall 2020, 96% of residents and 95% of staff had remained virus-free. 

At the same time, the Jewish Home has worked creatively to help residents adjust to living with more restrictions. Said Dr. Marco, “Our society has asked older adults in congregant settings to sacrifice socially in terms of exercise and in the ability to see their families. These are very important aspects of life.”  

From securing gifts of iPads so residents can have regular video visits with family, to introducing bingo via telephone (which is surprisingly popular), staff of the LA Jewish Home are making changes that matter. Right now, in-person, indoor visits are not allowed by the Department of Public Health. In anticipation of being allowed to open up to more visitors, the Los Angeles Jewish Home built its own “visitor center.” A separate structure with a Plexiglas divider, separate air conditioning for each side, and wheelchair ramps. When allowed, residents will be able to visit with friends and family members in a safe way. 

Clearly, the Los Angeles Jewish Home has been an innovator for many years, adding new clinics, residences and facilities to serve a growing community; including the recent addition of a residential campus in Playa Vista for LA’s Westside and more to come. Western Alliance Bank’s Public and Nonprofit Finance group is pleased to be a financial resource and partner for this outstanding community organization.

To learn more about the tailored solutions and exceptional service provided by Western Alliance Public & Nonprofit Finance, please contact one of our experienced bankers.

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