Letter To Morgan County Residents

Letter from CEO

Eben Ezer to the People of Morgan County

October 23, 2020

To the citizens of Morgan County,

Many have heard about the visiting restrictions that have been in place since March on our Eben Ezer campus. Our community has been complying with the regulations put in place by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) since these mandates were issued in March. At the onset of these guidelines, much remained unknown about the COVID-19 virus. Nearly eight months out and the measures put into place by CDPHE remain stringent for the health and well-being of our most vulnerable population.

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As a part of these measures, the limitations around family visits are the most difficult to cope with during this time, when the support of family and friends is essential. These guidelines include several minimum requirements, but the most challenging is the guideline related to community spread. According to the CDPHE, the opportunity for family visitation is directly correlated to the number of new positive COVID cases within the county in which the facility resides.


The CDPHE’s guidance to long term care communities like Eben Ezer also requires COVID testing in varying frequencies due to the positivity rate coinciding with our county. At the time of this letter, Morgan County’s COVID positivity rate is at 6.3%. As a result, Eben Ezer must perform weekly testing of all campus team members and neighbors. Testing at this frequency equates to nearly 400 tests per week across our campus. If the community positivity rate exceeds 10% we will be forced to test two times per week. The Eben Ezer community is spending a great deal of time and resources to do all we can to provide indoor visitations, but as you can imagine, this weekly testing is putting an unnecessary strain on all care team members.


Our community is continuously advocating for policy change, these efforts take time and this is what is in place at this time. While our community continues to work through this advocacy, we are turning to you, as members of our community, to advocate instead through the wearing of masks and adherence to public health precautions. It is unfortunate that as matters of political and personal opinion have become a part of the conversation around COVID-19, people have lost sight of those most impacted by this virus. Residents of Morgan County have been resistant to complying with the required mask mandates issued for the State of Colorado. Positive cases of COVID-19 in this county are now among some of the highest throughout the State of Colorado. As these numbers continue to rise, our elders residing in long term care communities are being directly impacted.


Morgan County has long been a community known for its genuine concern and investment in the lives of its citizens. Simple acts of kindness and courtesy, such as a friendly wave and the holding of a door, are common in our part of the State. We now find ourselves in a time when kindness must extend beyond pleasantries for the health and safety of our aging population. The simple courtesy of wearing a mask and being mindful of social distancing recommendations are key to combating the rise of COVID cases we are experiencing.


We at Eben Ezer understand that for some, the wearing of masks is no easy task. No one understands the inconvenient and uncomfortable nature of long-term mask use like health care providers. It is also understandable that mandates such as mask use and limits to public gatherings can feel like an infringement on the personal right of choice. Please understand that it is with great humility and appreciation of these complex issues that we bring this plea to the people of Morgan County.


Eben Ezer has continued to provide care to Northeast Colorado for over 100 years and we believe the best of those years are still ahead. We have come to rely on the support of this community to help us carry out our mission to care for the aged and disabled of Morgan County. So we ask you, in the spirit of charity and friendship, join us in this effort to reduce the spread of COVID and help restore a sense of normalcy to our elders, reunite families and ease the burden of all who find shelter under our arch.

Sincerely,


Shelly M. Griffith, CPA, NHA
Chief Executive Officer
Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center

For more information regarding visitation proceedures

Please contact us via our contact form or by calling (970) 842-2861.

Newsletters - Letter To Morgan County Residents

Eben Ezer distributes information via newsletters on a regular basis.  One of these newletters, Phoebe, has been in circulation for over one hundred years.

Phoebe was begun in 1904 by Pastor Madsen and published as a quarterly magazine “in the interest of the Christian Diaconate, or Christianity work among sick and needy.” The first issue explained the purpose of the paper, pictured plans for the Sanatorium and appealed for helpers, young Christian women to be trained as deaconesses. Pastor Madsen named the magazine Phoebe because it was the name that European Motherhouses used for their publications. He wanted the Eben-Ezer Motherhouse to follow the same customs and layout as the European model. Phoebe is the name of the first Deaconess mentioned in the New Testament. Paul speaks about her in the book of Romans (16:1-2): “Now, I introduce and commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchrae . . . for she has been a helper of many including myself.” 


Phoebe was originally printed only in Danish and remained that way for many years. Over time, it grew from a quarterly to a monthly publication because of the interest that thousands of households and churches across the country had in the work being done at Eben-Ezer. Pastor Madsen used the platform to inform and instruct his readers. The publication contained news from Eben-Ezer, information on new treatment of tuberculosis, stories of work being done from the Diaconate world, historical developments or news items that affected the Church and biographical sketches of pioneers in mercy work. Because the needs were great in caring for patients, Pastor Madsen frequently appealed for Christian workers and money for building or equipment.

Following Pastor Madsen’s death, administrators continued to use the Phoebe for much of the same functions. No longer a monthly or quarterly magazine, it still provides information and stories about the people in Eben-Ezer’s care and remains an important connection to households today.

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