A Message From Focused Care's Founder

Mark McKenzie, CEO

A Month of Commemoration

Life as we knew it a month ago has dramatically changed. We are all rising in the morning with an acute awareness that things are different. We take our mask when we leave the house. We have hand sanitizer with us or maybe have Clorox wipes in the car. We only see the eyes and ears of faces we pass. Taking a daily walk for many has become a necessity.

The loss of life due to COVID saddens us all, but we have also collectively albeit temporarily lost many of the meaningful traditions in our society. We cannot experience together as families unless limited in number, the births of babies, weddings, funerals, graduations, birthdays – celebrations acknowledging some milestone or a life well lived. We may feel robbed of the common commemorations that unite us in joy or grief and allow us to share a moment together.

Every year, Focused Post Acute Care Partners recognizes National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12 and National Skilled Nursing Care Week, May 10-16. We always take this time to express our gratitude to the incredibly hard working, dedicated nurses caring for our residents as well as to draw attention to skilled nursing care, which is a practice of health care that is as challenging as it is rewarding. I don’t think there is an American alive today that doesn’t feel the significance of these commemorations this year.

May’s better known commemorative day is Memorial Day, when we remember the fallen heroes of all wars and ponder their bravery and sacrifice. Those soldiers fought for our freedom and gave their lives so we could live the rest of ours in a free society.

The latest preliminary data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 9300 US health care workers have contracted the virus and 27 have died from it. The majority of those who tested positive believe they were infected while exposed at work. I’m not comparing numbers of health care worker deaths to the soldiers in trenches, the paratroopers, the sailors or pilots during war time. But I am mindful, that those who fought in our wars knew the possibility existed that they would not return home. Those who went to nursing school with the dream of helping to restore the health of patients or make their last moments peaceful, did not consider being on the frontlines of a pandemic and risking their health to deliver care to patients.

Yet on the frontlines they remain – risking their health and hoping they will return home every night still healthy after their shift.

This May we remember our veterans with great awe and pride. We also recognize our nurses and those committed direct care providers in our long term care communities –with great awe and pride. I salute our Focused Care team members and thank you all for your tireless commitment.

Mark McKenzie