Last Updated on May 25, 2021

THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
(web version)

May 4, 2021
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org

DRAFT

President Walt Howe called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:01 pm on May 4, 2021. The April 6, 2021 minutes were approved as distributed. 63 association members attended. Clara Parker, Executive Director, was present.

The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away. Walt called on the following officers and committee chairs for reports; the text of those reports appears following the formal minutes:
Hope Tillman, Secretary
Ron DeAbreu, Treasurer
Dick Crebs, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
Bob Caulfield, Co-Chair of the Dining Committee
Gordon Piche, Chair of the Finance Committee
Mike Rose, Chair of the Grounds Committee
Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair of the Health Services Committee
Betty Elder, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
Pat Payne, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
Hope Tillman, Secretary, for Jackie Graham, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
Ed Wallace, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee
Patricia Payne, Chair of the Nominating & Elections Committee

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS: None

Clara Parker then presented “Words from Management” which appear below for those residents interested in reading the full text of the message.

President Howe adjourned the formal meeting at 8:03 pm.

Submitted by Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary

ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe):
Mission Moments: Leading, Giving, and Being Good Neighbors
All the members of the Tuesday evening Bible Class that meets in Brookside Classroom 1 recommend Martha Canner as a Mission Moment recipient for her willingness and expertise in leading the group. It takes Martha more than a moment as she prepares the lessons and leads the discussions. She even gave us copies of the new Bible study book. We were planning to buy the books ourselves, so instead, we have donated that money to the Benevolent Care Fund in her honor. The group recommends Martha for caring and respect, friendliness, and integrity. The donation to Benevolent Care from the group is an example of harmonious community living.

Pat Kasuda says, “LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR……. ”When you have lost your spouse and have some special needs, having caring neighbors is so important. The saying “LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR” describes my neighbors, Ralph and Rose Ann Wade. These two folks share their time and skills to keep me going. For example, every Wednesday, I can count on Rose Ann to assist me with tasks in my apartment, take me to the grocery store, drive to the post office, or give me a fun afternoon like a date out to lunch. Ralph, on the other hand, extends his talents to keep my walker in top condition, helps with household repairs such as realigning my living room end table drawers, and assisting me with redesigning my front bedroom into a craft room. Not to be forgotten, they surprise me periodically with special treats like muffins and scones. Both of these folks live the Erickson values.”
If you have someone you would like to recognize for a Mission Moment, send information to Phyl Lansing.

President’s Announcements
Walt Howe opened by saying he was glad to see us cautiously opening up in Charlestown. The country as a whole is still far from herd immunity, but as long as we stay cautious, we are in good shape here in Charlestown. We are beginning to hold more in-person and hybrid meetings among ourselves, such as this meeting this evening. We are eating safely together. The Harmonizers are considering opening up again in the Fall. While we want to celebrate all we were able to accomplish using Zoom in the past year, we are very happy to see people who were unable to meet by Zoom now able to participate again. This is very important. Our Residents’ Council hybrid and in-person meetings are bringing back committee members, who have been shut out for the past year, and this is good for them and very good for us! Stay cautious, and please wear your masks indoors in public places. Be extra cautious outside our campus, and we should stay in good shape.

Walt thanked all of the committees for the work they have done and thanked all residents who have volunteered to work on the committees. These efforts greatly enhance the effectiveness of the committees.

Vice President’s Report (Pat Rudolph): No report

Secretary’s Report (Hope Tillman, Secretary and Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary):
The Council discussed masks and what role Council members can have in encouraging residents to wear masks properly. The Council will sponsor a new public service announcement.

The furniture in the Residents’ Council room 142 has been replaced. There now is a smaller table with smaller chairs, and thus smaller committees or groups could attend meetings while maintaining social distancing.

Bylaws and Policies and Procedures documents: The Committee prepared updates to the Policies and Procedures manual. A motion was made, seconded, and passed for the updated document to replace the version currently in the white binder. Regarding the Bylaws, a motion was made, seconded, and passed by the Council to approve the proposed changes to the Bylaws. This step clears the way for the document to be presented to the Residents’ Association for approval at the Annual Meeting in August. The Committee will have copies of the revised bylaws document showing changes and a summary document explaining them for distribution at least a month before the Association Annual Meeting.

TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu):
The Council’s Account balance at the end of March was $5,554.50. The Council received $4.00 in dues in April; there were no expenditures. Thus, the account balance at the end of April was $5,558.50. The motion to accept the report was made and seconded. The vote to accept was unanimous.
Committee Reports

REPORTS—COMMITTEES

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub and Eugenia High, Co-Chairs):
The Committee did not meet. The next meeting will be on May 26 in Charlestown Square 116.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):
There were 12 members with Mary Evans and Gregory Johnson attending.
Dick Crebs opened the meeting. The minutes from the March meeting were approved.
Charlie Eichenlaub provided an update on Evergreen topics. These are things that go on all the time.

The Data Project Task Force will meet next on June 29.

We’re excited for the Wi-Fi upgrade to happen. There is a caution, residents still using the Windows 7 / Windows 8 operating systems on their computers may find that these devices will NOT connect with the NEW Network Security Protocol. If you have this situation, contact a member of the Communications committee for assistance.

David Elder shared a few words regarding the Computer Literacy Project. It meets on Saturdays at 10:00 am. You need to contact David and give him your email address, and he then sends a Zoom link. There will be an additional meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Kudos to Mary Evans and her team for prompt posting on the scroll and Channel 972 announcements.

The Council election is on track. The Nominating phase will run until May. The candidate information will be shared with residents in July. There will be both information packets and the interviews on channel 972. The election is scheduled for the 1st Wednesday in August.

Next Month’s meeting is May 24 at 2 pm in Charlestown Square 116 and via Zoom, preceded at 1 pm by the Website committee.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The Committee met via Zoom on April 20th with the Housekeeping supervisor, three members of the council, and three members of the committee present. The minutes of the March 16, 2021 meeting were approved.

Michele Fenn, the Housekeeping supervisor, stated that we could resume the collection of plastic bags in the laundry rooms. However, after learning from the previous collector of plastic for grocery store recycling that residents are mixing garbage in with the plastic bags, a hold was placed on this project until more education of the community can take place. If this project moves forward, the committee will solicit volunteers to cover the various laundry rooms.

Ms. Fenn also reported that during the first three months, Charlestown had recycled 49.13 tons of paper/plastic and 13.60 tons of scrap. In addition, 174.62 tons of residents’ trash and 38.35 tons of construction/furniture trash were collected.

Posters on recycling are traveling around the dining rooms and will be retired for a few weeks and then brought back.

Tall cups and cardboard soup contains marked ‘industrially compostable’ go in the trash. We do not have the ability to recycle items marked ‘industrially compostable’.

All lightbulbs are recyclable. Residents can place them on their package shelf and call housekeeping to pick them up.

Batteries are recyclable and can be placed in containers in the laundry rooms.
Recycling information on CCICharlestown.org and My Erickson has been updated.

On Earth Day, April 22, Donna Martin will review the book “The Uninhabitable Earth” at 7:00 pm in the auditorium. Channel 972 will also show a “YouTube” video on the origins of earth day.

Mimi O’Donnell has developed a public service announcement on the Conservation Committee to be shown on Channel 972.

In response to the concern about how to help new residents with recycling, it was noted that Mary Evans’ committee includes materials in the welcome packet. Friendly visitors include recycling in the material they bring to new residents. All residents should know that they can request a blue container for recycling and a beige container for trash from housekeeping.

The committee decided to have all future meetings on Zoom until we no longer need to wear masks because of the difficulty hearing.

The next meeting will be held on May 18th at 1 pm via Zoom.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield and Ronald MacNab, Co-Chairs):
The Dining Committee met on April 19th in a hybrid meeting with 18 people attending by Zoom and 7 in person.

Bob Caulfield opened the meeting, welcoming members and guests. He reviewed our regular April 13th meeting with Ken Zahn. Ken provides us with updates on policies, changes, and procedures concerning dining services. Our role is to listen, question, on occasion argue, and learn what is coming and how it might affect Charlestown residents. We also share with Ken comments heard from our Committee members and other residents. Concerns, some recurrent, included Refectory closing, future of buffet service, corkage fees, special dietary needs, over-salting, fresh fruit delivery, coffee machine elimination, and many more.

Ken Zahn’s updates to the Committee:
Seating has expanded in the dining rooms but cannot go to full capacity, as long as Baltimore county requires six feet between tables.
Residents can now make reservations daily (except Sunday) rather than just Sunday and Wednesday. The three-day limit on reservations has been extended to seven days. Ken cautioned; most people tend to call in reservations on Mondays, overwhelming the system. He suggested calling later in the week for the days ahead, even days into the upcoming week.
Menus have further expanded, providing more choices.
Menu focus group meetings will resume at the various dining rooms during the last week of April. There is a need to limit attendance so only Dining Committee members and a small group of selected residents will be invited.
On Sundays, all restaurants will be open from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for brunch service. The menus will be the same in all locations, but there will be two different specials available at each restaurant.
Questions and Concerns:
Question: Can changes to the menu offered at brunch be made? No, at this point, the kitchens are not able to offer substitutes to the menu.
There was discontent on the menu selections at the Chesapeake. It was felt that there were too many cream sauces, and generally, the meals were not nutritious and often too salty. It was suggested nutritionists be involved in the menu planning. Ken noted that they have started discussing menus with dietitians.
Complaint: The restaurants do not offer decaffeinated sodas or tea. Ken replied the iced tea is decaffeinated. The resident responded she was told by restaurant staff the tea was not decaffeinated. Ken responded that it was a training issue he would look into it.
Question: Is there still a one-hour limit to dining? Yes, whenever a party goes beyond an hour, those with reservations following will be affected proportionally. Outside guests are still restricted from the dining rooms and cannot be served on the patios.
Question; What is the status of the Refectory? Ken said he did not know what the future of the Refectory is, but he was quite sure it would not reopen as a restaurant in 2021.
It was suggested Dining Services develop an annual survey for residents. Ken was open to the suggestion post-Covid. However, the currently used Halloran survey does include an evaluation of dining services.

The next meeting of the Dining Services Committee will be held May 17 at 2:00 pm in the Auditorium.

FINANCE (Gordon Piche, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on April 27 in Brookside Classroom 1 and by Zoom with Finance Director Pam Stiner, Assistant Finance Director Eric Schwab, Council President Walt Howe, Council VP Pat Rudolph, Council Secretary Hope Tillman, Council Treasurer Ron DeAbreu, and nine committee members.
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am.
The Occupancy Data and Financial Package reports for March were presented by Eric Schwab:
Independent Living 92.4%
Assisted Living 65.7%
Memory Care 50.0%
Skilled Nursing 112.3%
Overall CC 89.0%
Due to the opening of the second phase of Wilton Overlook, the Continuing Care occupancy is skewed by level of care and should be viewed as total occupancy of 89% vs. a budget of 90.4%. Settlements for Q1 were above target (37 actual vs. 30 budget), indicating continued positive momentum.
March Operating Revenue of $7,320,000 was $300,000 above budget and included $208,000 for Care’s Act Federal relief funds which will continue each month through June. Operating Income was $592,000, which is $80,000 above budget. Operating Expenses were $220,000 above budget, much attributed to continued COVID expenses.
Nonoperating Income for March was $2,047,000 increasing Net Assets of $2,639,000. There were changes in cash flows which increased by $262,000 to $6,424,000 at the end of the Period. The balance sheet continues to be good.
Regarding Restricted Funds:
Benevolent Care Fund distributed $112,657 for the month of March to 17 residents. It is expected that the number of residents receiving care will continue to increase in the coming months.
The Scholars Fund Balance is $1,380,403 after an inflow of $119,712 and making Scholarship Payments of $1,695.
The Staff Appreciation Fund balance is $13,299.

Discussion items: Pat Kasuda reported that residents should contact state representatives to lobby for Medicaid to cover Memory Care. This could help offset the cost of Benevolent Care for Memory Care residents who need financial support.

The committee will meet next on May 25 at 9 am in Brookside Classroom 1.

GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
The Grounds Committee met via Zoom on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, with Mike Rose presiding and Staff members Ryan Truitt and Kevin Crawford, and seven committee members participating.
Since four years of reseeding the grass areas outside of Brookside have been unsuccessful (due to heavy shade), the areas will be planted (in stages as funds permit) with liriope and black mondo grass. Signs will be posted asking resident dog owners not to allow their dogs on these areas so that the plants can propagate.
The downed tree has been removed from the rock garden. Replacement of 4 x 4’s on the Nature Trail has begun and will be followed by re-mulching.
Four lampposts have been repaired/repainted, and others will follow.
The St. Charles landscaping has begun, and the replacement of the dead bushes outside a resident’s apartment to the right of the entrance will be evaluated so that their privacy will be maintained.
The 5-year plan should be available soon, and the Grounds Committee will have an opportunity to comment on it.
There was a discussion on the need to make the large grassy area adjacent to the ball field more handicap accessible. The benches for team seating need to be sanded, repaired, etc., in advance of the next game.
The clogged drain at the adjacent Yale Heights area has been cleared, and steps taken to prevent a re-occurrence.
Volunteers will be asked to notify Grounds Staff for trash pickup. Bags will be placed near the port-a-potty at the lake.
It was suggested that the downed trees could be repurposed along the trail to divert rainwater and decrease trail erosion. Staff will ask the roofing company to check on discharge from buildings that may contribute to the runoff.
The next meeting will be on May 18th by Zoom at 10 am.

HEALTH SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair):
Our Committee met on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 11 am via Zoom.

A Health Committee member volunteered to assist with the Home Health Advisory Council of Charlestown Certified Home Health. This group assists with policy review, program evaluation and maintains relationships in the community. The ongoing Intermissions program, in addition to providing structured socialization for those with cognitive issues, also helps their caregivers respite support and counseling services to those that need it. Quarterly meetings in Continuing Care were suspended due to the four residents testing positive for Covid-19. Continuing Care passed inspection and has received licensure for Assisted Living. Senate Bill 204 is waiting for Governor Hogan’s signature.

A collection of unused medications is scheduled for Monday, May 10, from 1-3 pm at the Fireside Lounge and the Cross Creek lobby. This is open to residents and staff.

Low Vision Reading Brigade volunteer readers are meeting individually with those needing the service. In addition, anyone with low vision may contact their Resident Coordinator for information on resources that may be available to them. Please contact Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker if you or someone you know needs this service.

A discussion with General Services regarding a first notice fine of $25 for setting out trash/recycling too soon or on the wrong day focused on the undue hardship that this would cause those with cognitive issues and/or relying on Home Health care workers who provide this service on the wrong day or time. General Services reported that the fine came about because residents were leaving trash everywhere, which is a safety and health issue. The committee proposed that provisioning of a couple of strategically placed commercial totes would provide a facility for healthcare workers, aides, and other help to dispose of resident trash/recycling on a timely basis during their scheduled workday. In the meantime, the resident and/or health care aid can notify Housekeeping or General Services for special pick up of trash or recycling. The Committee also suggested that the assigned resident service coordinator visit the resident on first/repeat offense prior to General Services fining the resident. It is very important to put trash or recyclables out on the right day and not stuff bins on the loading docs. This is a safety and health issue.

The Committee reminds residents of the importance of properly wearing their masks whenever outside their apartments, which includes all inside public areas, and to limit the number of persons in the elevators to two whenever possible to maintain social distancing.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 11 am via Zoom. Please contact Merci if you would like to attend this meeting.

HOUSEKEEPING (Betty Elder, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee met on April 16, 2021, via ZOOM, with sixteen people in attendance. The Charlestown staff was represented by Aida Blanco and Michele Fenn.

The long-term storage of personal items, shoes, bikes, etc. in the hallways, stairwells, and outside of their assigned storage bins was again brought up. Ms. Fenn says to check with the facilities coordinator for the building. Residents can contact the person. They are Dave Vickers [Fountain Hill (1), Maple Terrace (2), Edgewood (3), New Carroll (4 & 5), Courtyard Crossing (7), Arborside (8)], Steve Hall [Parkview, Harborview, Caton Ridge, Chapel Court, & Greentree Court (9)] and Julie Colburn[Herbert’s Run, Brookside, & St. Charles]. An email was sent to them on April 21, but no reply as of this report.

Resident inspectors were concerned about plaster, oil, screws, nails, razor blades, and broken glass found outside of St. Charles from the workers. The oily footprints there, as well as trash and cigarette butts. This is a danger to residents as well as visitors. Ms. Blanco will check into it. Since the loading dock doors are locked, contactors use the front door. Also, the concern about the two handicapped parking spaces that may obstruct the delivery of items into the St. Charles. Ms. Blanco said that she is waiting for appropriate parking spaces to become available to make handicapped accessible; must leave the current ones in place for now as there are no handicapped places in front of the St. Charles. Current spaces may become 15-minute loading places. Mr. Krebs said the Security Committee knows about this issue.
The cleaning of hallways and walls is on a schedule. The cleaning staff will get back to the regular six-week schedule for carpet cleaning will resume very soon. However, emergencies can be brought to the attention of the CCI Housekeeping staff. If any resident notices items that need immediate or emergency cleaning, they should report it themselves and use the My Erickson portal (CCIWorkOrders@erickson.com).
The problem about early trash/recycling has lessened once reporting has been made of residents who fail to put out items in a timely manner has been reported to CCI Charlestown. Miss Fenn commented that trash collectors make a note of apartments that do not have trash outside of the residence for routine trash collection. Thus when a resident calls to say that trash was not collected, her staff can remind the resident to put the trash outside the residence in a timely manner. A checklist is being prepared for repeat offenders Also, if there is a health issue, please let Ms. Blanco know.
Maintenance items were shared with the Maintenance and Engineering Committee chairperson.
Our next meeting is on Friday, May 21, 2021, at 2:00 pm. at Charlestown Square 116 and it will be a hybrid meeting; in person and by Zoom.

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Pat Payne, Chair):
The Legislative/Political Committee held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 2021, at 10:00 am, with 19 members in attendance. It was a hybrid meeting with five members in Brookside Classroom 1 and 14 members on Zoom. The meeting began with the approval of the minutes for the March 10, 2021 meeting. A major item of business included reflections on the 2021 Maryland General Assembly Session, which ended on April 12th. During the session, committee members tracked 52 bills in the areas of election law and voting, environment and conservation, health care, senior consumer issues, and equity issues. Of these, 16 bills were passed by both the Senate and the House and are now awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law. It was a remarkable session given its virtual nature and the amount of significant legislation that passed both chambers. The Committee voted to invite the District 12 Legislative Delegation to a Zoom debriefing on the 2021 General Assembly Session as soon as the Delegation members are available. This meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 7:00 pm on Zoom. It is an open meeting of the Legislative/Political committee. Please contact Pat Payne for the Zoom link for this meeting.

As its next major area of activity, the Committee will review the Guidelines for Political Activity at Charlestown. Bonnie Kawecki, Ron DeAbreu, Walt Howe, and Hope Tillman volunteered to assist with this effort. These Guidelines will be discussed at the Legislative/Political Committee to be held in June, and recommendations will be submitted to the Residents’ Council for approval.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):
Six members of the committee met with General Services Don Hoffman and Chris Caldwell on Tuesday, April 27th at 2:00 pm by Zoom.

General Services Update

The following projects are scheduled for this year
Elevator replacement bldg. 7
Roof replacements Chapel Court, Parkview, and bridges throughout the campus
Air conditioning Maple Terrace [bldg. 2]
Nature Trail Bridge
Replace generator at the St Charles

The following projects deferred to next year
Auditorium Stage Renovations
Brookside Renovations
Refectory Renovations
The Shuttle Trackers and replacing various elevators have been deferred. No date yet projected.

Item addressed or on schedule
Lighting on bridge Harborview to St Charles, lighting issues at Brookside, exterior lighting around the pool area, awnings at terrace level apartment, various automatic doors, entrance gate timing to be adjusted, and the elevator building 2 door.

Our next meeting will be held Tuesday, May 25th at 2:00 pm by Zoom.

RESIDENT LIFE (Ron Fayer and Cindy McManus, Co-Chairs):
The Resident Life Committee did not meet and will not meet in May.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Ed Wallace, Chair):
The meeting opened at 1 pm on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, with 8 committee members, 2 council members, and 2 representatives from Charlestown. The meeting was held in Brookside Classroom #1, using Zoom for non-attending members.

The Charlestown administration will no longer provide Fall statistics to the committee. Administration did state that the number of falls increased when services were reopened.
A short article was published in the Sunburst describing the activities of the committee.
Bill Miller will submit an article on fall prevention in the May Sunburst.
Ed Wallace is planning on submitting an article on safety for the June Sunburst. June is National Safety Month.
A check with Charlestown personnel determined that the EMV being stored in the Herbert’s Run storage room has permission to be stored there.
Information on a light pole with some damage was sent to the maintenance committee.
Medicine is still being left on shelves. We do not currently know if controlled substances are included, or if it is only for non-controlled medicines? The Health Committee is also looking into the problem.
A hose is lying across the sidewalk near the Chesapeake, which hinders persons with walkers from getting across. Aida stated that the problem should be fixed within one or two weeks.
The Herbert’s Run outside door is still coming off the track. Aida is looking into the problem.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 1 pm. The location is TBD.

NOMINATING (Pat Payne, Chair)
The Nominating and Elections Committee held meetings on April 8 and April 22, 2021. Both meetings were held at 1:00 pm. As the first order of business, the Committee members reviewed their outreach efforts to recruit candidates to run for the Residents’ Council. Outreach efforts have been going on since February. On May third, a meeting with the candidates for Residents’ Council is scheduled for the Gallery at Charlestown Square. At this meeting, the candidates will meet with each other, the Nominating/Elections Committee members, and the Council President and Vice-President. There are several items of business on the agenda, including (1) review of the Residents’ Council Election Guidelines; (2) sign-up schedule for candidate video-recordings; (3) distribution of candidate ribbons to be worn after July 1st; (3) photographs of the candidates are taken; (4) contact information and committee preference forms are filled out. The candidates will be announced at the Council’s June 1st meeting. The official start date of the 2021 Residents’ Council election is July 1st. The candidates will be formally introduced to the Council at its July 6th and August 3rd meeting. The election is scheduled to take place on August 4th. Due to the lifting of restrictions, the Residents’ Council election 2021 will be in person. The procedures for the Residents’ Council election process for the years prior to COVID 19 (2020) will be followed.

WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Clara Parker):
Clara began her comments by saying that this is a great day and this is the first time she has been in a face-to-face meeting with more than 20 people and the first time to see so many residents in one place. She thanked residents for getting vaccinated and everything residents did during the COVID journey. She said that there will be many thanks and praise for the residents during the challenging year. There have been many new residents that she has yet to meet and that this makes her sad. It is time to take the journey to the new normal.

She recognizes that many attendees are here tonight to encourage changes quickly and she stated that this is a journey.

Clara announced the new Erickson logo. This initiative was cued up to roll out in the spring of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. The new Erickson Senior Living logo is branding around financial stability, health and well-being, and an active/engaged lifestyle. The previous logo was in use for ten years. With the pandemic, the senior care industry has been very much in the news and received a lot of bad press. Many organizations had some bad practices. The industry needs to reinvent itself. Charlestown, thankfully, didn’t have these problems. We had access to PPE and early vaccinations. Our statistical data is amazing compared to the rest of our industry and the rest of the world. As we come out of the pandemic, Erickson wanted to raise a different flag and ensure that the industry stays viable and inviting to seniors. That means financial health for Charlestown, and it means a better experience for all of you.

Clara reminded us that Erickson is the Management company and that Charlestown is still Charlestown Community, Inc. Charlestown will keep its name and Sunburst logo.

Thanks to all who took the COVID response. About 560 respondents, about 31% of the resident population This rate was higher than what she expected because the entire survey was completely electronic. When the Holleran satisfaction survey is conducted in the fall, residents will have an opportunity to use a more traditional written format. She received the consolidated data today from the COVID-19 survey, and the initial review indicates very positive responses. The area with the most problems was with the food. This was not a surprise.

The RG North building is gone. Charlestown is entering the last months of the 14-year strategic plan for repositioning this community. Wilton Overlook is up, and residents are moving in.

Charlestown occupancy numbers as a whole are low but very good compared to the rest of the industry. In March and April, there were over 125 resident moves. We will be stabilizing as the months go on.

She commented that we are moving into a time of fewer restrictions with new, relaxed mask protocols anticipated from the Erickson Living Medical Director. She was not prepared to announce specific changes. As of today, there are zero resident cases and five positive employee cases.

On May 12, we will start with in-person Town Hall meetings. Council members and council committee volunteers will be among the 100 residents invited. We are still limited in the number of residents allowed to participate in any space. The conference center is not available as it has been used as the furniture and PPE/supply storage/staging area. She wants to make sure that everyone feels included even if there are space limitations.

On May 25, the Charlestown Board of Directors will be here in person for the first time since March 2020 to conduct the annual, resident Town Hall meeting. The Board will come to talk about their role, the financial audit, accomplishments from last year, and the roadmap for 2021.

Clara concluded by thanking residents for their feedback and patience. She noted a number of leadership and staffing challenges. The healthcare industry is in a state of wrack and ruin. Finding talented and capable staff has never been more difficult especially after 15 grueling months of trying to keep patients alive during the pandemic. The average age of the workforce at Charlestown is higher than at any other Erickson Living property. As a consequence, Clara is seeing a lot of retirements. She has been anticipating staffing shortages for some time. The dining staff is important, but staffing health care clinicians, nurses, and aides are her priority. There is significant competition for staff. As of tonight, Charlestown is recruiting for about 100 positions in a workforce of about 900 people. Charlestown is operating safely, and she reports that we will get to higher staffing levels in the future. Clara pledged to keep us informed and the status of staffing transparent.

Our 92% occupancy is outstanding, compared to an 80% industry average, but it is not at the 98% pre-pandemic level. There is an impact on cash flow, and steps are being taken to get back to the higher occupancy level in the months ahead.