State, local partnership for COVID-19 at Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee

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Chicago/Springfield – A partnership between state and local agencies and hospitals in Kankakee County is helping staff at the Shapiro Developmental Center best meet the needs of residents diagnosed with COVID-19. Shapiro, which is operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), provides 24 hour-a-day, seven days-a-week residential support and services for 477 adults with intellectual disabilities. The facility has a staff of nearly 1,200, including medical personnel.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our residents at Shapiro and our other facilities is always a top priority,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “The COVID-19 pandemic presents extraordinary challenges for residential facilities like Shapiro. Thanks to this outstanding, innovative partnership in Kankakee County, our staff can best ensure residents receive the care they need during this outbreak.”

Representatives from IDHS, Riverside Healthcare, AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital, the Kankakee County Health Department and Shapiro leadership are working together on plans to best meet the needs of Shapiro’s residents and employees related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has been meeting regularly to develop protocols to support Shapiro’s on-site clinical staff to provide care for residents as their symptoms require, up to the level requiring hospitalization. 

The two hospitals have provided equipment, supplies, and services, such as IV poles and pumps, portable x-ray machine services, and fast-tracking laboratory results, to Shapiro to enhance the care the facility can provide to residents. In addition, the hospitals currently are providing training for Shapiro clinical staff to ensure continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. All additional activities are consistent with the training and responsibilities of the staff’s doctors and nurses and licensure of the center.

The working group also established protocols and real-time consultations consistent with CDC guidelines for transferring residents or staff to the hospital.

Hou said these actions will enable Shapiro medical staff to provide necessary care for residents with COVID-19 at the facility, reducing stress on residents by treating them in familiar surroundings while avoiding further COVID-19 exposure, both internally and externally.

“Coming together for the benefit of all is something this community has already prided itself on,” said Phil Kambic, president and CEO of Riverside Healthcare. “Through our combined efforts we know we will be able to meet the challenges we now face and come through them stronger, together.”

“AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital is committed to caring for all patients in need. We are working collaboratively with state and local entities, as well as other health systems, to ensure we are doing what is best for our patients, our staff and the community,” said Chris Shride, president, AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital.

“We are very thankful for the well-established partnerships that we have with community organizations like AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital, Riverside Healthcare, Shapiro and the Kankakee County Emergency Management Agency. These partnerships are essential in filling our duties of providing guidance and protecting the health of the citizens of Kankakee, especially during times like these,” said John Bevis, public health administrator, Kankakee County Health Department.

“This collaboration creates an exciting foundation for an on-going productive relationship with the health community in Kankakee County,” Hou added.

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