A Holiday Greeting from the President & CEO of the Los Angeles Jewish Home—Dale Surowitz
Over the years, while having the privilege of serving in several leadership roles, I have sent many holiday year-end messages. They always contain quite sincere, but also somewhat similar, messages of warm holiday greetings and cheer as we look forward to the New Year. This year there is a word that keeps coming to mind that I never expected to include in a holiday note: resilience.
Resilience exemplifies what I have experienced from the Los Angeles Jewish Home, even prior to my arrival earlier this year. Many of you know I came from Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, another highly respected healthcare organization. There, I had the opportunity to see first-hand the patients who came from the Jewish Home to Tarzana Medical Center for their medical healthcare needs. I witnessed the great care provided by the teams at the Jewish Home and recognized that the health of each and every patient is always the Home's highest priority. Therefore, when the opportunity arose, I was honored to join its talented leadership team and staff.
Then, the pandemic hit, and our world changed. We soon learned that, when it comes to COVID-19, seniors are among the most vulnerable. This development might cause some to question why I would take on leading one of the largest providers of comprehensive senior healthcare services in the country during such a tumultuous time. I was more enthusiastic than ever, because I deeply believe both in our mission and in the special people who carry it out each day. Yes, the past several months have been difficult and challenging for all. However, what has continued to impress me throughout is our team's compassion, endless spirit, and yes, resilience, as they know we are truly making a difference in the lives of the seniors in our care. Heartfelt thanks goes out to all of the staff, our CNA's, environmental services, maintenance, food services, finance, administration, care givers, etc.
The only thing that impresses me even more are the residents themselves. Due to public health mandates, we have required them to alter their routines. Things like what should be a fundamental right— to see their loved ones in person—has transformed into virtual visits. We had to cease most activities, even in-person services by our beloved rabbis. Nevertheless, the seniors in our care have never wavered in their ability to rise to these extraordinary circumstances and demonstrate understanding and …resilience.
When the pandemic started, I was confident the Jewish Home would be at the forefront of caring for seniors, ensuring their health and safety while charting a new course through unknown waters. That we would not only follow all national and local policies and guidelines, but also step up to offer our own expert counsel and support to regional authorities, making sure senior facilities countywide would receive essential support such as PPE including; medical gowns, gloves, and face masks. Thanks in great part to our chief medical officer, Dr. Noah Marco, that is exactly what happened.
No one could have anticipated the length of this challenging journey. While there is now at least one vaccine ready to help move us beyond COVID-19's threat, we know we still face many months before things in this country start to look like they once did. Fortunately, I know something else. This long and stressful endurance test has only served to highlight the heroics of our tireless frontline care staff and the ongoing resilience of our residents—resilience we would all be fortunate to emulate in our senior years.
Let me also take this opportunity to express that the outpouring of support the Jewish Home continues to receive during this time is a true testament to the love the community has for the Home and we are so very appreciative.
Happy Holidays from Our Home to Yours!