July & August 2020
In this Issue:
2ND QUARTER STATE OF THE COMPANY BY CHRIS GAUVIN, CCOR CEO
I think we can all agree that recent months have been nothing but challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented us with unprecedented obstacles. I’d like to say thank you to all of our employees for meeting these challenges and moving past them. You’ve shown just how strong of a company we are.
Back to Work:
As a part of the statewide reopening of businesses, the leadership team developed a plan to bring our employees back into the office safely. Here is a rundown of that plan: Before coming to work, all employees must answer questions regarding COVID-19 and any symptoms they might have. Upon arrival, all employees are temperature checked at the main door. We worked out A and B day schedules, so that only half our workforce is in the office at any one time. Employees who choose to may continue to work from home. The office looks a little different, too (“a little” being an understatement). Blue tape markers and one-way arrows are all over the office to help encourage social distancing. Signs indicating maximum capacity are posted for every room. Each employee has been given a cloth mask, which they are required to wear whenever they get up from their workstation. Employees have also been given hand sanitizer and a spray bottle and paper towels to keep their workstation disinfected every day. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in all offices, and employees are encouraged to use them as well as to wash their hands regularly.
EOS: Our Good Luck Charm
The good news is that EOS, our company operating system, is working in our favor. The fact that we implemented EOS prior to the pandemic was a stroke of good luck. This quarter we were able to process 135 separate issues, many of which were COVID-19-related but many weren’t. EOS provided us a platform to dive in to those COVID-19 issues while maintaining accountability for our other goals and issues so that they didn’t
slip through the cracks. During the first quarter, despite challenges, we accomplished all but two of our 25 company Rocks, which, in my opinion, is simply amazing.
The foundation that EOS laid out for us not only helped us deal with this pandemic but kept the company moving forward. We’ve been able to maintain nearly as many recruits coming in the door during the pandemic as we did before it. We are one of the few agencies that I know of (if not the only agency in this region) that continued to take on new cases. That is a huge accomplishment and testament to all of you who were able to make it happen. That was the reason my dad started this business—to be there when other companies couldn’t, to be able to say yes when others said no. We’ve been able to do that, and for that, I am extremely proud.
This was supposed to be a year of expansion for us and we set lofty goals. Meeting those goals is going to be very challenging, but I believe we can get there, especially if we continue to find new and inventive ways to bring on cases, to keep employees working, and to continue to expand our family. As we reevaluate our Rocks for the next couple quarters, we will choose goals that will push the company forward.
Thanks to the early work of my father, CCOR is a strong company today. He not only reinvested in the company but made sure that he was always looking for ways to strengthen our position. Though I don’t know what the future holds for Companion Care of Rochester or for the world in general, I do know that we are better equipped to handle it than many.
So while COVID-19 has changed us, it has not defeated us. While we continue to act in ways that are different and challenging to stay safe, it will not change who we are. It will only show the character of the people in this organization and because of that, we will succeed.
Welcome to CCOR!
Jennifer Boronkay, HCSS Supervisor
Marisa Montante, HR Assistant
Sabrina Wilferth, Health Homes Care Manager
CCOR Offices will be closed
Friday, July 3 for Independence Day.
Enjoy your holiday!
Summer Picnic Update
In order to maintain the health and safety of our CCOR family and friends, sadly we must cancel the Summer Picnic this year. In its place, however, we will be planning a fun giveaway. Details will be mailed to all clients and staff.
Coming in November 2020! Check your upcoming newsletters for more information.
Note from the Marketing Department
Do you have a great idea for an informative article for the CCOR blog? Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generosity. It's what's in your wallet. Now that our internal staff are back in the office on A- and B-day schedules, our dress code is back in effect. That means those who want to show off their best blue jeans on Thursdays need to donate $10. But there’s a better reason to give... It’s for that good feeling of being generous to people who need help. So, pull that $10 out of your wallet. It’s got “Generosity” written all over it.
In May, we came to the aid of Dimitri House. Serving Rochester’s disadvantaged during the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on their emergency food cupboard. We answered their appeal and raised $110 to help them restock.
In June, we raised $150 for the National Alliance for Mental illness (NAMI), a grassroots organization building a better future for people with mental illness.
What's YOUR favorite charity?
If you know of a charitable organization that resonates with the CCOR mission, then we want to know about it! Email your suggestion to email@example.com.
In July, we’ll be helping the disadvantaged of Geneva, NY by donating to the Geneva Center of Concern. Those facing hardship are sure to receive food, clothing, and assistance at the Center. Their Operation Merry Christmas program provides underprivileged families with gifts and a holiday meal, and their scholarship program helps deserving local high school students.
In August, we’ll be serving those who live near our Batavia office by giving to the Community Action of Orleans and Genesee. This organization is dedicated to helping people across two counties become self-sufficient. Their numerous programs are designed to assist, educate and empower.
EXTENDING THE FAMILY
GET IT DONE
LEADING WITH HEART
SOLVE THE PROBLEM
LITTLE FUNNIES :)
GET CCOR APPAREL, ACCESSORIES, AND MORE AT OUR NEW ONLINE STORE!
Darker Skin Tones
Skin cancer and UV damage can happen to all skin colors. No one is exempt. While darker skin tones are less likely to develop sun-related skin cancer, it is more serious when they do. This is because skin cancer in dark skin tones is harder to detect and usually is not diagnosed until it is in a more advanced stage.
Additionally, people of color are prone to skin cancer in areas that are less exposed to the sun such as palms of the hands, soles of the feet, groin, mouth, and under the nails. Wearing sunscreen and regular skin checks, therefore, are important for everyone. The same prevention rules apply to every skin color.
During the summer, we love to soak up the sun! The problem is we may be soaking up a lot of skin damage as well. Harmful rays pose a real threat to every skin tone under the sun. And so, CCOR sat down with URMC dermatologist Dr. Mara Weinstein Velez to get the skinny on summer skin safety.
The Down Side of the Sun
The sun gives off two types of skin-damaging rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause sunburns, which, in turn, can cause DNA damage to skin cells. Every sunburn, therefore, places you at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
UVA rays cause premature aging, wrinkles, and sun spots. Unlike UVB, UVA rays can penetrate through clouds and glass. So driving in your car, sitting by a sunny window, or spending time outside on a cloudy day can still cause UVA damage.
Unfortunately, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over their lifetime. Most skin cancers start in the top layer of skin and can be detected through regular self-skin checks. The good news is that most skin cancers are curable through surgery when they’re detected early.
Knowing Your Skin
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to check your skin regularly. Dermatologists recommend that everyone do their own self-skin checks once a month. Use a mirror and take pictures of your spots to keep track of them. See a dermatologist if anything looks suspicious, and keep in mind the ABCDEs of skin cancer:
Asymmetry: Does one side of the spot look different from the other?
Border: Does the spot have an irregular border?
Color: Has the color changed or is the spot multi-colored?
Diameter: Is the diameter of the spot bigger than a pencil eraser?
Evolving: Has the spot changed in any way?
Additionally, as adults in their 40s or 50s start getting regular preventative health screenings, it is recommended they add a yearly dermatology visit to the mix.
Protecting Your Skin
Prevention is key, so here are Dr. Weinstein Velez’s summer skin tips:
Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen (one that covers both UVA and UVB) of 30 or higher anytime you’re in the sun.
Make sure your sunscreen is mineral-based. Mineral sunscreens are those that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These minerals are physical blockers and are more effective than chemical sunscreens. Read the label to check if your sunscreen is mineral-based.
Try to avoid being outdoors when the sun is strongest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wear a wide brimmed hat. Dermatologists detect many skin cancers or pre-cancers on the top of the ears and the back of the neck, places a baseball cap fails to cover. So, opt for a hat with a brim at least 2-3 inches wide.
For people spending a long time outside or who work outdoors, Dr. Weinstein Velez recommends UPF 50+ clothing. This type of clothing is designed to better protect the skin from harmful rays and can be found at any athletic store. Look for “UPF” on the label.
If, for some reason, you do get a burn, the skin needs to be hydrated in order to heal. Good hydration means drinking plenty of water and applying emollients to the skin, such as ceramide-based moisturizers and aloe vera.
If the sunburn is particularly painful or peeling, remember that you have a powerful ally in your dermatologist. “A lot of people, when they get sunburns, are afraid to go to the dermatologist, because they’re a little embarrassed,” says Dr. Weinstein Velez. “But we are there to help. It’s better to come in to get appropriate treatment and evaluation.”
What About Vitamin D?
Vitamin D deficiency is less dangerous and easier to correct than skin cancer, so avoid extra time in the sun. Your body can still get vitamin D from the sun even through your sunscreen, and those in need of a vitamin D boost should not get it from the sun. Instead, consult your doctor if you are concerned about a vitamin D deficiency.
Follow these tips and your skin will thank you by staying healthy and beautiful for years to come. So, put on a wide-brimmed hat, grab the sunscreen, and enjoy the summer!
“This is my dream come true,” says May Aide of the Month Kwabena Appiah. Kwabena emigrated from Ghana to the U.S. in September of 2019 and has only been working for CCOR for three months. In that short time, however, he has found a true home in CCOR, doing the work he feels he was meant to do.
Kwabena is from Accra, the capitol of Ghana, where he had been working in the health care industry for 14 years. He also cared for his father until his death five years ago on Valentine’s Day. Caring for his father helped him to know that this was what he was meant to do. “This is the work that God had planned for me, the health care work.”
Kwabena was drawn to the United States because many of his family members live here, most of them in Rochester. His brothers and sisters who still live in Ghana are planning to come to the U.S. in the future. His strongest reason for coming to America was his mother. She came to the United States in 2004 and worked as a certified nursing assistant in Chicago, moving to Rochester two years ago.
Although Kwabena applied for desk jobs and factory jobs, his heart was in home care. “This is the work I promised myself when I come to the States I would do it. I promised myself to do the health care work.” Working for CCOR became his first job in the U.S., and he has found CCOR to be a caring, open company. “I like CCOR because they are friendly, and I like the way they give you information. The way they talk to the employees, the way they communicate with them…I like it.” And when Kwabena’s mother suggested working for more than one company, Kwabena’s reply was, “I’m working with this nice company. I don’t feel like adding any company to what I am doing now. Any hours I want to work, they give me."
Kwabena feels lucky to have found CCOR, but we are even more lucky to have a capable, compassionate worker like him. “When you’re doing [home care] work for somebody,” he says, “you got to do it from your heart. I do it from my heart. I try to know the client’s needs, so that when I’m with them, I know what to do. I don’t find the work hard.”
Kwabena’s strong faith is what inspires and motivates him to do his best. “I believe in God. I always pray before coming to work. I don’t remember a day I didn’t pray before coming to work.” When he’s not working, Kwabena enjoys a simple life, listening to gospel music and attending church.
It is truly heartwarming to see that CCOR can help a dream like Kwabena’s to come true. And it is people like Kwabena who make CCOR the warm and caring company it is. “If you say you want to do health care,” he advises, “you got to do it from your heart.”
What inspires our June Aide of the Month, Ginger Rushing, to keep doing her best? “The smiles,” she says. “It’s all about the smiles.”
Ginger was influenced early in life by loved ones in need of care. Growing up with a brother with epilepsy, she often assisted in her mother’s effort to help him return to normal in the difficult days after a seizure. When two beloved aunts, Aunt Cookie and Aunt Susie, both got uterine cancer, Ginger became their cheerleader—lifting their spirits and helping these strong women stay motivated.
These early experiences of compassion led Ginger to start her career as a certified nursing assistant, working at a nursing home. The work, however, was far from what she had hoped for. With several residents to care for and a tight schedule to keep, there wasn’t time to get to know them. “You take care of them physically,” she explains, “but you can’t mentally."
Soon, she transitioned to one-on-one home care work, where she noticed a major difference. The clients she worked with in their homes had support and a motivation that her nursing home clients did not have. “They try,” she explains. “They try so much harder. They want to go back to their life, to the way things were before they needed extra help, so they fight harder, they try harder, you know? And the harder they try, the more you want to help them, the more you want to do for them. You want to see them smile and say to them, ‘Wow, you did a really great job today!’ And that’s what it’s all about. If you can get the families to smile, and if you can get the client to smile, it’s what we call 'Million Dollar Smiles.' It just makes your day.”
To keep her clients smiling, Ginger does what she did for her aunts—she becomes their biggest cheerleader. “Some people I dance with. Some people we’ll go outside or we’ll go for a ride. I do whatever it takes to get a Million Dollar Smile.”
At CCOR, Ginger has a team of fellow caregivers who feel the way she does. She has also found a compassionate support staff who are always there to answer questions or listen to her concerns. “You’re never alone in this job,” she says. “Everyone is willing to work together and that’s what counts.”
For Ginger, the Million Dollar Smile is worth any amount of effort. It’s what lights her up and keeps her doing her best. “It’s all about the smiles. No matter what. Whether it’s the smiles from the family, whether it’s the smiles from the client, it’s just about that one brief smile. That’s what it’s all about.”
Yardwork Safety: Ten Tips for Outdoor Chores
By Sandy Lyons-Jackson
Have you looked out your window? Summer is here, and your yard is calling! But before you head outside, here are some simple precautions to ensure your yardwork is disaster-free.
Know your equipment. Before operating a new lawn mower or weed trimmer, read the owner’s manual and all of the safety information.
Practice ladder safety. Always make sure your ladder is firmly set on a level surface. Never set ladders on boxes or other objects to make the ladder reach higher areas. Lock or barricade any doors that may open toward ladders. Also, never stand on the top rung or step of a ladder–your balance could be jeopardized.
Watch your children. Every year, thousands of children nationwide are injured by lawn-care tools. That’s why we recommend keeping small children inside while you’re mowing or trimming. Do not allow children younger than 12 to operate a push lawn mower and anyone under the age of 16 to operate a driving lawn mower. Do not take children on rides with a riding mower.
Check your extension cords. Before use, check your extension cords. If you find cracked or frayed wires, replace the cord. And never run extension cords through puddles.
Protect your body. Wear protective gear. We all know that lawnmowers can turn rocks or sticks into flying projectiles. Wear long pants and non-slip, closed toe shoes. And don’t forget your eyes and ears! Sunglasses will protect your eyes, and earplugs can eliminate loud machinery noises that could cause hearing loss.
Store tools and materials in safe places. A range of injuries can be caused by stepping on or bumping into garden tools like shovels, rakes, and trowels. When not in use, store them in safe, enclosed areas. Also, weed killer and lawn fertilizer can be deadly to children or pets. Carefully seal potentially harmful materials and store them where small children cannot reach.
Don’t dig without approval. Check with your local utility companies before you dig trenches, holes, or any other cavity in your yard. You do not want to be responsible for accidentally hitting gas, electrical or sewer lines – the results of which can be extremely hazardous, not to mention expensive.
Be conscious of electricity. Don’t leave electrical tools plugged in while not in use. When ready to use a tool, make sure equipment is in the off position before you plug it in.
Get green smart. Before you or your children do any “hands on” weed removal, be sure you can identify poison ivy, sumac, oak, and similar toxic plants. Find out ahead of time how to treat the rashes they cause. To view WebMD's slideshow of poisonous plants, click here.
Be Smart. It’s obvious. Never operate lawn machinery or use heavy garden tools while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Interested in joining the Safety Committee to help with their initiatives? The committee meets about six times a year and has openings. Contact Sandy Lyons-Jackson at (585) 546-1600.