Wayne Woodlands Manor – No Covid Here!

(Honesdale, July 3, 2020)…Wayne Woodlands Manor in Waymart, Wayne County, is one of a handful of skilled nursing facilities not to report a single COVID-19 case among its staff or residents, as of July 3, 2020—more than five months into the pandemic here in northeast Pennsylvania. Part of Wayne Memorial Health System, the 121-bed facility, which features a picket fence and cultivated flower gardens, strives to offer a safe and truly home-like setting. As administrator Mike Freund puts it, “This is home to our residents and our staff are like family to them, especially now,” he says, “when relatives cannot visit in person.”

Freund credits the staff and the many measures they’ve taken for the success to date in keeping the virus out of Wayne Woodlands.

“We educate and re-educate almost daily,” says Freund, “right down to wiping doorknobs and wheelchair handles.”

Like many nursing homes, Wayne Woodlands has also been creative about keeping its residents stimulated and upbeat. “We’ve had all sorts of ‘events’ like ‘BBQ-in Day’ and ‘Popcorn & Margarita Day,’” explains Marcy Podunajec, Activities director.  The latter was held in early June. “The day was warm and sunny, so we shared delicious popcorn, along with refreshing non-alcoholic Strawberry and Pina Colada Margaritas to celebrate.”

Podunajec and Heidi Rowe, director of Admissions, say residents have enjoyed “Country Western Day” when the staff donned cowboy boots and hats as well as drive-by visits from family and friends.

“It’s only through the windows,” says Marcy, “but residents tell us they really appreciate everything we’re doing at this time.”

Safety protocols also include separating new residents from current ones until the new residents pass all COVID testing and assuring proper containment steps for those who might test positive. So far, no one has.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health mandated COVID-19 testing for all staff and residents of nursing homes in June, a reaction to an overwhelming number of deaths in personal care and nursing homes. As of July 3rd, the state reported 17,888 cases among residents, 3,323 among employees and 4,591 deaths statewide.

Residents and their “real” families have noticed the “special” place Wayne Woodlands offers. “Special thanks to the whole staff at Wayne Woodlands Manor,” wrote Sharon Mikowich in a letter to the nursing home, “for going beyond the call of duty at this time of comforting all residents and their loved ones, due to COVID-19 restrictions not being able to visit loved ones.”

Families are thankful.  Kathy Wilson recently wrote to Wayne Woodlands, “”Words cannot describe how appreciative my family and I are with the care, compassion, empathy and dignity given to my mother during her stay there for the past several years. The wonderful staff became like family to all of us, and my mother loved them dearly! We could not have asked for a better place for my mom than Wayne Woodlands Manor. Thank you all. You are true heroes!”

For more information about Wayne Woodlands, visit wwmanor.org or wmh.org/wayne-memorial-long-term-care or visit the facility on Facebook.

Photo: Ann Turano, a resident of Wayne Woodlands Manor, enjoys “Popcorn & Non-alcohol-Margherita Day” at the facility with Activities Aide Debbie Bishop.

Photo: Wayne Woodlands Manor, Waymart