Date: January 30, 2019
To: All Aunt Martha’s Employees & Community Members
From: Raul Garza, President & CEO
Re: Update – Employee Recognition & Thursday Schedule
I am pleased to announce that Aunt Martha’s health centers and other service locations will reopen for business as usual at Noon on Thursday, January 31.
And, while the coldest temperatures are forecast for the overnight hours still ahead, I would like to express my sincerest appreciation and admiration for the response of Aunt Martha’s staff despite the historically severe weather over the course of the last 24 hours. I would like to thank the members of our Senior Leadership Team, who developed a meticulous plan to preserve the safety of the young people in our care, and ensure that our employees had their complete focus, and complete and total support.
It is, however, one thing for an agency to put a plan in place. It is something different to see employees from across an organization, in communities across the state, come together to support one another, and most importantly, to support the children and youth in our care. And it is another, wholly gratifying experience, for a series of leadership calls at three-hour intervals to translate directly into both a safer client experience, and I believe a unifying, engaging experience for staff.
Earlier today, Allison Van Gerpen and I visited the Children’s Reception Center (CRC). It was a remarkable and, frankly, touching experience to see the staff interacting with the young people there. I would be remiss if I did not recognize all of our shelter specialists and staff, many of whom volunteered to stay on site for 36 hours or more. From the team that works with Jerry Slomka, Philoniese Moore and Clete Winkelmann at the CRC, to Kenny Martin-Ocasio’s teams at Independence Place and TIPS, you all do an incredible job.
I would be remiss if I failed to recognize our Maintenance Department, which has been on-site continuously at all three of our shelter locations, and Ed Vincent, Director of Facility Operations. Ed and his team dug a van out from under a snow-plowed drift. They’ve repaired four (4) tires, jump-started seven (7) employee cars, warmed cars ahead of shift changes, and prevented a frozen water pipe from causing significant damage in Carpentersville.
I would be remiss if I failed to recognize the dedicated team at our Hillside Office, which staffs the CARES Hotline, responding to mental health crisis calls from everywhere in Illinois 24/7/365; and I’d be remiss if I did not thank Rocco Biscaglio Jr. and Jimmy Caporusso for being on-site to support the hotline staff.
I would be remiss if I did not mention our IT Department, which kept the servers running at our Administrative office, while simultaneously fighting off a spam attack.
I must thank our Contact Center and Scheduling teams have worked diligently to reach patients and keep them connected with their providers; and I must thank our Comprehensive Community-based Youth Services team, which is always on call, and standing by ready to help a child or family in crisis.
The work that you do is never easy. That is why your selflessness, your compassion, and your performance have been so impressive and so appreciated. Please continue to support one another in the difficult hours ahead. And, of course, please keep yourselves safe.
Children’s Reception Center Shelter and Clinic Staff
Independence Place and TIPS Shelter
La Monte Eaves
Shalaya Lee Flowers
CARES Hotline (Hillside Office)
Lisa Samaniego Skylas
Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services
Contact Center and Scheduling Department
Information Technology Department