Innovation in Times of Crisis

The new coronavirus has forced us to become innovative as we strive to find some normalcy. Innovation is a long held value of Westminster Canterbury Richmond – the creative pursuit of excellence. We are finding new ways to bring our residents the services they need to live life well. We hope a few of our successes will spur you to find your own innovative approach to enjoying your life and helping other to enjoy theirs.

Performing Arts
Our on-campus Sara Belle November Theater typically hosts audiences of more than 20,000 people at 50+ performances annually. When we had to cancel much of our spring season due to COVID-19, we began an outdoor series of concerts, featuring VCU Jazz students for Tunes on Tuesday in June. A new Summer Nights series highlighting local musicians in our gardens. Partnerships with local arts organizations, the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and Richmond Symphony, bring prerecorded performances to residents via our in-house television station.

Wellness offerings shifted from 38 in-person fitness classes weekly to filmed exercise classes that could be done at home while our residents self-quarantined. These videos air twice daily on our in-house television station and are available on demand through our Touchtown Community Apps program used by residents and family members. Many residents love staying fit from the comfort of home! As we slowly reopen our campus, residents make appointments to exercise in our Fitness and Aquatics Centers and sign up for small group, socially distanced in-person fitness classes.

Almost overnight, Westminster Canterbury closed all dining venues and began delivering meals door to door, a huge shift in how we provide nutrition to around 850 residents! An additional Pantry service provided delivery of key grocery staples and wine. As our campus carefully reopens, residents now make reservations for socially distanced meals in our Promenade dining room.

Employee Education and Support
Within a week of COVID-19 reaching the Richmond region, our School of Learning implemented an online coronavirus training that was quickly completed by all of our 650 employees. It taught our staff what they needed to know about this new disease and how to protect themselves and our residents. Our Clinical Educator offered training on proper personal protective equipment use, especially masking, for residents and staff. As tensions around the world became heightened due to the pandemic and racial justice, our Human Resources and Pastoral Care teams hosted Listening Sessions with staff to discover what life is like both on our campus and in the greater community. These conversations are helping us shape current and future plans for supporting diversity in our organization.

2020 has brought about endless opportunity for change, improvement and innovation as we strive to serve our residents and employees in the best possible ways under these new circumstances.

To learn more about our coronavirus response, visit our blog.

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