Susan Cooper A Message from the President & CEO

Susan C. Drabic on COVID-19

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Susan Cooper

A Message from the President & CEO

In all that we've been through over these last months, March 2020 seems like a distant memory. It was at that time we introduced many restrictions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading within our communities. Over one weekend (I will never forget), we put together a COVID-19 Daily Crisis Management Team to deal with the myriad of changes and precautions that needed to happen immediately. We closed our communities to all visitors and halted the movement of residents and staff between our different styles of living. In short, we changed every aspect of the way we've worked so hard to perfect the delivery of services to the residents living in our communities. We closed dining venues and our hair salon, we canceled group events and activities, we discouraged travel for vacation and we re-directed our housekeeping and maintenance services to focus on frequent deep disinfecting and sanitizing of high touch surfaces.

Overnight we developed our own grocery shopping and delivery service for residents, we invested substantially in PPE and in the installation of isolation materials and equipment to construct isolation areas for safety precautions. We conducted exercise classes in hallways outside of resident apartments and we delivered happy hour fun, games and refreshments to our residents living in our cottage community. We also invested in a lot of new technology to bring employee team meetings online and allow those who could work remotely from home to do so. And we restricted access to our community to one designated area where screening of all employees for symptoms and possible COVID-19 exposure is completed before any team member can enter our buildings to work.

Thankfully, our vigilance and early implementation of restrictions at both of our communities paid off. While there has been a lot of negative national publicity about nursing homes throughout the country where COVID-19 has spread like wildfire, we've been doing everything possible to prevent the spread of this virus in our communities. We've had minimal cases of employees and residents in residential living and personal care test positive for the virus. And we are so grateful that we've had no cases of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable population of residents who live in our nursing home. And that isn't the result of good luck, good fortune or happenstance…it's the result of a dedicated team of professionals working together towards one common goal…to protect the health and safety of our residents who we care about deeply.

As we entered the month of May, we quickly realized this pandemic wasn't going to be resolved anytime soon. That meant we needed to begin planning for how we were going to create a "new normal" at Morningstar Living. To make that happen, the COVID-19 Daily Crisis Management Team evolved into what we call our "New Normal Transition Team" (NNTT). This team works together every week to develop, implement and communicate detailed plans to move our communities forward again, toward some semblance of a "new normal." One of the most beneficial aspects of living your life in a community is the ability to socialize, engage and be connected with others. And this virus was forcing us to keep residents from doing this. Additionally, residents could not see family members and friends for months, and this was really hard on them. And so, in May for Mother's Day, and then again in June, for Father's Day, we planned and orchestrated "drive-by" visitation parades of cars with family members and friends for our residents.

As we enter the final months of summer 2020, the NNTT is no longer thinking about "post-COVID-19." Instead, this team is now focused on developing ways to adapt our operations to living safely with the threat of COVID-19 until there is a vaccine or other treatment. We've already developed and implemented a phased strategy for re-starting services and re-opening various amenities at our communities. And as we continue to follow the recommendations and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the PA Department of Health (DOH), the NNTT has developed and communicated safe, limited and cautious in-person visitation policies and procedures for resident visitation. A strict masking policy is in place. We continue to screen visitors, staff and residents for symptoms and possible COVID-19 exposure. We've re-purposed some of our office space for designated visitation areas where physical distancing can be achieved. And we continue deep cleaning and sanitization of all touch spaces. And what a joy it has been seeing our residents reunited with their loved ones again!

In spite of all of the fear and negativity surrounding this pandemic, I've had the unexpected joy of witnessing the very best of humanity at work. Residents and their families have extended so much support and patience to us as we put some very restrictive plans into place. And employees have put their own fears aside and showed up for work, placing their concern for our residents ahead of their own families. We have a banner on the front of our administration building that reads: "Heroes Work Here." And that is truly an understatement. And it is truly evidence of the commitment and dedication to the mission and core purpose of Morningstar Living…

"Making a difference...by enriching life's journey for all we serve."

Event Photos. View photos from events at Moravian Hall Square.

Home Events & News Event Photos

Harvest of Friends 2016

This year our annual dinner gala exceeded expectations – guests enjoyed the playful atmosphere of tailgating during the reception cocktail hour, complete with college fight songs, Nazareth High cheerleaders, a stadium photo booth, auction gifts and delicious food and drinks!

Our spirits were high throughout the evening as all enjoyed good company, good food and supported a good cause.  Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, donors, guests and auction bidders, the event netted more than $30,000 for the Good Samaritan Fund!

275 Years of Fashion

As a conclusion to Nazareth’s anniversary year, a team of residents and staff presented a fabulous fashion show on April 30, 2016.  Models represented the 1700s with the Moravian colonial settlers and Leni Lenape; the 1800s showcased gowns from the Sigal museum collection; the 1900s offered a broad array of fashions and hemlines and the 2000s showed recent and current trends.

Harvest of Friends 2015

The annual Harvest of Friends event is a celebration of generosity, honoring people who care about Morningstar Senior Living and offer to extend a helping hand to those who need one.  This star-themed evening was a night to remember! Guests enjoyed a celestial inspired reception in Kortz Hall before rocketing to moon-themed dining stations in the Rose Inn Room.

CHOPPED! Competition at MHS

Our residents recently enjoyed seeing our Culinary Team engaged in competition. Our version of CHOPPED! involved two teams of two pitted against each other to create an entree dish from three surprise ingredients within a timespan of just 45 minutes. Teams were required to use fresh chicken, pretzels and nectarines. Just like the TV show, the teams also had access to a pantry containing a variety of other ingredients.

Rose Inn Chef Aidan Corkery and Rose Inn Line Cook Ashley Knopp made up one team and Sous Chef Francis Platt and Dietary Aide Cody Dally made up the second team. There were some anxious moments as the last few seconds ticked away. Each team presented an exceptional dish. A panel comprised of residents and our Executive Chef Matt Sweitzer, determined that Team Platt and Dally had the upper hand and won the competition, and Team Corkery and Knopp were “CHOPPED!”

Nazareth 275th Anniversary Celebration & Parade – September 12, 2015

Morningstar Senior Living was a proud sponsor of the yearlong celebration of Nazareth’s 275th Anniversary.  We were excited to debut our new mascot, SPARKLE, who led the way for our entourage of ALL STAR residents and staff at the recent parade.

Summer Concert – July 2015

Many people from the Lehigh Valley community joined our residents for a wonderful evening of big band sounds with the Rob Stoneback Big Band in our picturesque Pleasure Garden. Beautiful weather, fabulous music and a great crowd made for a fun night!

Employee Awards 2015

Moravian Hall Square held its annual Employee Awards Ceremony on April 22, 2015.  The event recognizes our fantastic employees and their many achievements throughout the year. Congratulations to all the award winners!

2013 Block Party

More than 1,200 people enjoyed a sunny day, great food, fun games and lively music at our special anniversary block party. Our campus was packed with laughter and good times!

MHS Night at the Iron Pigs

Thanks to all who came out (in spite of torrential rain) to MHS Iron Pigs Night!

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The best part of living here is that feeling of just coming home, being with family.