Nestled on the far west end of Georgia Street, sits Oak Hills Care Center, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation home. Held in those walls are some of the most vulnerable citizens among our community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oak Hills is home to 77 residents and employs an almost equal number of staff within our town.
Kayla Cavner, the new Oak Hills Administrator, has experienced first-hand the nation-wide shortage of disinfectant and cleaning supplies. Many of her medical grade suppliers are limiting the number of products each facility can order, driving Mrs. Cavner to reach out to 3-party suppliers to fill in the gaps. However, delivery delays and product shortages have continued to strain the facility’s limited supply of resources needed to protect their residents and staff.
On Friday, April 10th, Jones Elementary Principal Brooke Guthery made a surprise delivery to their facility. A donation of cleaning/disinfecting products came just in time and included eight boxes of disinfectant wipes, two boxes of hand sanitizer, and two boxes of disinfecting spray. During a Zoom meeting earlier that week, over 30 Jones Elementary teachers and staff volunteered to donated extra cleaning and disinfecting products from their classrooms to the local nursing home.
Just a few weeks before the COVID-19 closures across our state, Jones Elementary School was dealing with their own local outbreak of flu/strep. Parents and members of the community donated an abundance of products to the school, leaving the teachers with a sufficient supply in their classrooms for the remainder of the school year. After the state-wide announcement was made that school buildings would stay closed for the remainder of the school year, teachers were quick to pay-it-forward.
When we were needing to disinfect our building during the flu/strep outbreak, like always, our community really stepped up and answered our request for help. As a staff, we felt like this was our way to share our blessings. We all know someone with a friend or relative that works or lives at Oak Hills and wanted to make sure we did what we could to help them. That’s what being part of the Longhorn Community is all about!Brooke Guthery, Jones Elementary School Principal
Residents and staff at Oak Hills were extremely grateful for this unexpected gift. Residents are unable to leave the facility to do their own regular shopping, and even relatives of those who live there have experienced difficulty in finding supplies for their family. This gift allows many of the residents to have their own personal supply of hand sanitizer, and gives staff extra supplies to keep the facility clean.
While following all of the CDC and State Health Department guidelines, Oak Hills has stepped up to ensure residents and staff stay safe during this pandemic. They have limited access to their building through only one entrance and ensure all employees are screened immediately upon entering the building. Residents are also checked three times a day, and Mrs. Cavner is glad to say they have had no positive cases of COVID-19 in their facility. This additional donation of supplies will allow them to continue protecting their residents.
If you are interested in other ways to encourage the residents of Oak Hills Care Center during the closures, here are a few ideas. If you have any artistic skills, you can paint exterior windows or make signs and posters to hang outside the residents rooms. Another option is to send cards and letters to the residents. Make sure you have clean hands when handling the mail, and remember not to lick the envelope to seal it. Letters can be mailed to 1100 W. Georgia St., Jones, OK 73049.