Dear Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) Clients and Planning Team Members,
At ACRC, one of our defining values is Health, Safety, and Well-Being. We are committed to advocating for the overall wellness of clients by promoting access to quality health care, safe and appropriate housing, safe environments, and healthy choices. In keeping with that value, we have come together as a community to fight the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We started with increasing in-home support hours automatically to aid clients facing closed day programs. We hosted numerous PPE distribution events in coordination with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. This year we established a relationship with Safeway pharmacy that resulted in dozens of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for clients and caregivers hosted by ACRC and a number of dedicated service providers. We saw what can be accomplished with our entire community pitching in.
ACRC is in receipt of the State of California September 28, 2021 Public Health Order (PHO). Contained within this order is a requirement for regional center employees and regional center service provider employees to be vaccinated by November 30, 2021. We are taking steps to implement the PHO at our regional center to promote a safe and healthy workplace, which in turn supports our clients, families and providers in sustaining a safe and healthy community. ACRC staff have embraced the opportunity to get vaccinated when their turn presented. Nearly 87% of our staff are vaccinated. As we move to implement this order, I am confident that we will be in compliance by November 30, 2021. Additionally, ACRC stands ready to support our provider community as they move to implement this order with their employees. The reality is that not every employee will choose to comply with the vaccination mandate and regional centers, as well as vendors, may experience a loss in staff which will directly impact services to clients and families. Balancing public safety with personal choice is a difficult task. We have been negotiating this task for the past 18 months and now there is a directive from California Department of Public Health, with a secondary directive from the Department of Developmental Services, that mandates vaccination by establishing a clear timeline.
This past year and a half has been difficult for all those we serve and going forward we are committed to creating a system of support that will be better than what we had previous to March 2020. Through this pandemic, innovative options have presented, with many continuing forward. Stay positive, stay healthy and stay in touch with your regional center. We are reliant on your input and perspectives to guide our regional center in the direction that supports you.