COVID-19 Email Updates 3/16/2020 to 3/20/2020


Friday, March 20, 2020

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Wow. Over 70 employees joined in for our first COVID-19 conference call today. I have to admit, I was nervous no one would show and had a bit of stage fright. However, you wow’ed me, talk about togetherness!

Please Watch a beautiful video about DSPs from the Center for Disease Control. (click on the underlined to be taken to the link) And encourage everyone to watch this, listen and help us help others.  THIS is why we appreciate each and every one of you. Whether you do direct care or not, your work matters.

Very important: Check your mailbox (the one at home, you know, snail mail)
A Proof of Employment document has been mailed to every employee’s home address. Check your mailbox and put this in a safe place. Should you begin to need it during this COVID-19 crisis, all MORA employees are considered essential health workers and qualify for special support or privileges to travel to work.  Questions, please contact Human Resources 

There is a LOT of effort at both the state and federal level to make sure the work we do is included in any financial support and relief budgets.  Your voice matters. Please see below and participate. 

Next MORA Zoom Call  – Monday, March 23 at 10:00 am

Be good to yourself –


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Thursday, March 19, 2020

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I’m excited for our 1st all MORA conference call tomorrow …. Let’s talk: Tell us what you need to talk about!

First All-Employee Conference Call  TOMORROW, FRIDAY, MARCH 20 at 10:00 am
Click here to….  Send in questions and ideas. And bear with new technology, everyone’s going virtual these days and the bandwidth is stretched. Plus I am new to this so….be gracious if it takes me a few minutes to get it all figured out.

Also wanted to share some progress in helping solve near term issues…

Supporting Clients
Groceries & Supplies for Residential Homes:  We’ve hired two casual staff to buy and deliver necessities when orders are shorted or delayed.

Supporting Staff
Child Care: We have collected detailed metro-wide childcare information which staff can also find in Home Communication Books. Jessica Strayer will be our main point of contact for this and will be sending out more information in a separate email. Good news!! Currently all MORA employees qualify as essential health care workers. HR will be mailing you letters of proof of employment in case you want/need to take advantage of these benefits in your school district.

Food Insecurity: During this unstable time, we want to make sure staff and their households know they will not be hungry. Local food resources have been contacted and donations are fortified.

DECISION: As of March 16, 2020, a decision was made by MORA Human Resources to allow full-time employees to go into a negative PPL balance – and still be paid through generously donated PPL — should they be impacted by COVID-19. And with Emergency Relief funding from both the Federal and State levels, both full-time and part-time employees impacted directly by COVID-19 may qualify for temporary support options. Details are changing daily and we are doing our best to keep up.  Please contact if you have questions. The information from both the state and federal level IS confusing so please do use your HR resources.

We had a meeting with the Residential Supervisors and Directors today and they were RAVING about the work that each and everyone of you are doing both directly with our clients but also as support (Finance, HR, MCCP, Case Management, Maintenance, IT….). This team is amazing!

Thank you for all you do!!


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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Hi all

We did not send an update yesterday however were very busy pulling together support plans for each of our teams and staff. Continue to let us know what you need!

Also, yesterday brought announcements of day programs closing including our own Adult Day Services starting today, Wednesday 3/18. While is hard from an immediate staffing perspective, the silver lining is that other day providers are asking us to employee their staff so…HR is now busy figuring out how to best invite these people in to help in homes with clients they already work with and know from day program.  Relief will be on its way!

A lot will continue to change for the people we support (and you!) in the next few days as routines are disrupted. Residential, Adult Day Services and In-Home are collaborating tomorrow to coordinate staff, resources and energy by house and program including food, supplies, visitors, virtual and outdoor/gym recreation programs.

Industrious cleaning efforts are keeping the Victoria gym as a safe space for programming. We’d love to see more MORA folks enjoying it especially right now.  Please contact Stephanie Kohl for daily updates

We are also very fortunate to have use of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church – West’s building for meetings and upcoming trainings – New Hire, Medication Certification — observing social-distancing for healthy gatherings.

Our 1st All-Employee Conference Call will be set up for Friday March 20th at 10 am.  Please look for this on your Outlook calendar as an invite.  We will use this time to give a quick update, answer questions and generate ideas for how to best support each other during this time.

Grateful for each of you,


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Monday, March 16, 2020

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All –

Today we began to create an organization-wide plan to help MORA respond to daily needs and changes due to COVID-19 and for longer term changes to healthy and caring operations.

We have always been a strong organization, especially in times of crisis.

We have many smart and resourceful people moving mountains of good work every day.

And we talked a lot over the past year about how to improve communication and connection.

If there ever was a time to throw these goals into action, this is it!

Look for the following:

  1. All-Employee Conference Calls: I will lead a Monday, Wednesday and Friday conference calls that will be scheduled on Outlook Calendars (with phone number and details) to address questions, updates and pull our spirits together throughout each week.  This are not mandatory but good opportunities for you to call in, get real time information, have your questions answered and feel supported with a sense of community.
  2. E-mail Updates near daily and all will feature subject line: MORA Daily COVID-19 Update – Date/Time – read these 1st when you log in
  3. Plus mass text messages, social media, posters and other creative ways we discover as we learn and adjust.

All MORA employees will need to be leaders through this difficult time. Leading ourselves as well as the people we care for, our family and friends outside of work. And … this is totally possible if we open up, share and cooperate in new ways.

Let’s all begin asking each other:

  • to share a concern before it becomes a panic.
  • to share a need before it becomes a desperation.
  • to share an idea or an offer so it can become better and stronger.

Lastly, turn off the news for a just a bit, open a window or get outside and breathe some fresh air.  Your mental and physical health is paramount right now.

Thank you for ALL you do.


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