COVID-19 Strategy Update (7/1/2021)
A Message from our CEO, Wendy Sullivan
As you may know, staff wages are determined primarily by the rates the state pays for our services - and those rates have been very low for too long. With our collective calls and messages to legislators these past few months, some 500+ contacts in total, we have successfully gained an increase in our reimbursement rates from the state of Missouri.
Our deepest thanks go out to all those who helped advocate for our work throughout the legislative session.
With that, and as a result of the efforts of the hundreds of people who called, wrote, and met with their legislators, we are thrilled to share that Easterseals has increased our starting wage to $15 an hour beginning today, July 1st.
Recently, we participated in our multi-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The international accreditor has surveyed hundreds of thousands of programs worldwide since 1966. The value of accreditation goes beyond a competitive distinction for service providers; it is also an excellent framework for continuous quality improvement.
We are pleased to share that, once again, we received their highest marks and three-year accreditation status. The process is no small effort and takes the whole Easterseals team living out our values every day to achieve this important recognition. The following are just of few of the quotes from the accreditation team I thought you might enjoy:
“Easterseals Midwest has a wonderful employee base who all exhibit care and concern for the individuals they work with - many employees are long-term and provide excellent continuity of care for those they support.”
“Easterseals staff works hard to learn the most intricate details of each individual's life to provide the best assistance and quality care.”
“The stories that staff share about those they support demonstrate their dedication to those they care for and their profession. Many individuals who have been with Easterseals Midwest since they were younger have long-term relationships with long-term employees - it’s pretty amazing.”
Looking ahead, we are excited to bring back our in-person events this fall. Special events raise more than $1 million each year for Easterseals, so the cancellations of 2020 hit hard. The 2021 fall event season will kick off with our 35th annual Par-Tee Dinner & Auction and Tee It Up Golf Tournament at Meadowbrook Country Club on September 19 and 20. We will also be bringing back our annual Easterseals Day at Busch Stadium, the Bowling for Autism Tournament in Columbia, and hosting a brand new event in Kansas City with Sporting KC Soccer Club.
Our work is only possible because of you, our partners, who show up and support Easterseals with the resources we need to deliver life-changing services. I am grateful for your trust and dedication. It means the world to me and our movement.
Until next time, thank you for all that you do.
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. The following link will direct you to our July 2021 e-newsletter featuring a handful of program highlights and other pieces of information you may find interesting: https://bit.ly/OnwardTogetherJuly.