by Vodec CEO Steve Hodapp
The coronavirus or COVID-19 has created an environment very much like Midwestern weather: if you don’t like it today, just wait, it will be different tomorrow. We’re six months into this pandemic, and there surely have been almost as many changes because of it as there have been sunrises and sunsets. At least it seems that way to me. Maybe to you, too?
Through it all, I have to tip my hat to our direct service professionals and their supervisors and managers who continue to show up every day to take care of consumers. Can you say, “H-E-R-O-E-S“? Some consumers have not returned to their day programs by their own choice or the choice of others. Some consumers have said, “Enough home time” and have resumed their daytime participation.
As each week passes, the latter group grows in size. It’s important to know that we are following strict protocols toward keeping everyone healthy in our day program spaces as well as in our residential sites.
I cannot guarantee 100 percent safety because our folks don’t live in a bubble, but we’re doing the best we can to create a sense of well-being. There’s been some wonder about Vodec’s fiscal health through the pandemic. First, I have to say we entered the pandemic fiscally strong, stronger than many other similar organizations in the country who are not faring as well.
We’ve also accessed assistance through various federal and state COVID assistance programs. We’ve received or requested financial support through the federal Payroll Protection Program, Iowa’s and Nebraska’s CARES funds, and retention funds from Medicaid waiver amendments for partial loss of service fee revenue due to COVID-19 causing absences.
So, we ended FY20 on June 30 in good shape and started FY21 with a solid July. But without additional outside support from another federal stimulus bill and without a full return of consumers to day programs, hard choices will be upon us.
But Vodec has been through lean times before. What organization that has been around since 1968 has not? Key there is that we’re still around. Our intention is to stay around. So, we will do what we need to toward ensuring our future for tomorrow’s consumers. We will get creative. Maybe we won’t look quite like we do today. Increasing diverse revenue streams will be explored in earnest. Maintaining our fiscal responsibility will be critical.
No matter the implications, we will continue to support our mission of making sure our consumers have opportunity to reach their full potential.