Friday, March 20 9:50 AM EST
Dear Families and Friends of Sunrise:
These are unprecedented times, and what I’ve learned over the past few weeks, is that we all need to be proactive, responsive and flexible in a fluid situation such as this. I think it’s especially important that we are candid and transparent about how Sunrise is doing just that, to provide some additional peace of mind to you – the residents, families and partners we are honored to serve.
COVID-19 is going to affect all aspects of our personal and professional lives. That is a fact. And while I cannot tell you that Sunrise is invincible, I can tell you that we are taking our actions very seriously to make this as true as possible. We firmly believe one sick resident is one too many. That is why we are all committed to being responsive to the evolving health situation and going above and beyond our existing infection control programming to prevent the spread of this virus both within and outside our communities. Our teams are prepared, and we are focused on operating our communities with calm, steady leadership.
We know that some of the steps we are taking are disruptive and uncomfortable for our customers. The decision to limit visitation to those who are absolutely essential, for example, was an extremely difficult one to make – and you should know that we did not take it lightly. Each day you place an enormous amount of trust in us, and keeping that trust means making decisions that are unpopular, but necessary to protect our most vulnerable population.
There is no playbook for what we are facing. Still, one of the many benefits of choosing an experienced provider like Sunrise is that, when crisis hits, resources from across the organization are activated swiftly and effectively with the singular goal of keeping our residents safe. I am truly in awe of the efforts that have taken place in recent weeks, and honored to work alongside our dedicated teams as we navigate this situation. And, we continue to look for ways to recognize our team members’ efforts and ease the burden associated with this pandemic.
In these uncertain times, we draw strength, not only from each other, but also from you. We’ve received letters from families letting us know they wouldn’t want their loved one anyplace else. We’ve had families leave signs outside our community with words of encouragement for our team members. You might think that gestures like these will get lost in the shuffle. But, in fact, the opposite is true. Accounts of these small acts of kindness and appreciation make it to every level of our organization, and they truly mean the world to us.
We cannot thank you enough for your patience and cooperation as we prepare, respond, and help safeguard our residents, team members, and communities.
It is an honor to serve your family.
Chris Winkle, Chief Executive Officer
Sunrise Senior Living