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April 2, 2020


As we go into week three of our “lockdown” I wanted to let you know that it appears to be working as we have not had any cases of COVID-19 on our campus, nor have we had anyone with the symptoms that warranted us to test them.  We are very grateful to each of you who continue to bathe us with your prayers; who are reaching out to their families with face time options and bringing in supplies almost daily; and the continued outpouring of support with goodies for the residents and staff.  The staff of Thurston Woods are grateful to the Board of Directors who are willing to help in any way possible, including providing our staff with weekly treats.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?  As we continue to have a statewide shortage of supplies, and it is important to save those supplies for the residents and staff should be need them to care for a COVID-19 resident.  To date we do not have clear guidance from the CDC as when it is appropriate to wear masks for everyday use.  However we want to be prepared for when that recommendation does take place.  We are now looking for the community to help in making cloth masks for our staff.   We currently have about 210 staff working, some full time and we are very thankful for those part time staff willing to continue to come to work when called or scheduled.  Right now there is not any discussion about having our residents wear masks at the state or federal level.  Time will tell if that changes.

I know it is a lot to ask, but those gifted with sewing talents (leaves me completely helpless) we would like to give our staff at least two masks—one they can wear and one they can wash.  We do have some fabric available here, we will just need to get it out of storage.  Consequently please call either Theo Omo or Brenda Blucker if you would like some supplies.


Theo Omo

Chief Executive Officer

March 30, 2020


In the midst of all the uncertainty and frustration of life changes—we are blessed.  We have families who trust us, staff working tirelessly to ensure the residents are not just being cared for but making sure they are loved and comforted as they struggle with understanding why the visits have stopped, and a community that has not forgotten the needs of the residents.  Our staff continues to “shine” as beacons of hope for each resident and fellow staff member , and hopefully to the families as well.

A special thank you to those in the community who continue to think of our staff from homemade cookies, to the TWV Board of Directors for the continual weekly goodies and from Christine Eckleberry (resident family) for pizza.  Your thoughtfulness during this difficult times are encouraging and very much appreciated.

Additional  community thank you acknowledgements are:

Julie Kennard—disinfecting wipes

Tracy Pittenger–disinfecting wipes

Kendra Lipscomb—disinfecting wipes

Dianne Warnement—disinfecting wipes

Dr. Fernando Castro—disinfecting wipes

Brittany Gold, her mom and nephew–colored cards encouragement

Pastor Sue Babb—colored Easter pictures

Cindy Bradshaw and Courtney Mercer—snacks pop, and candy—YES we are still doing BINGO—just creatively!

Riverside Church, Three Rivers—50 Activity Bags—assorted games, puzzles and coloring pages for the residents

Cathie Thomasma—craft kits for the residents

Anyone else I might have missed—thank you!

Also, THANK YOU, for you many thoughts and prayers.  Please continue as we are now told it may be another month before we can open our doors again.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS:   If you would like to sign up for a face to face time with your family or friend please contact Sue Gray, Activity Director for the Nursing Center or Virginia Jordan in the Villa.  They are taking the lead on this project.   Contact Sue at and provide the CODE WORD, or Virginia at and provide the CODE WORD.  If you do not know what the code word is for the resident, please contact the family member in charge as we cannot give it to you.    This protects the residents and families from outside influencers having access to the resident without family knowledge.

Again, thank you for all you do.  You are making a difference.


Theo Omo

Chief Executive Officer



March 25, 2020

Dear Families and Friends of our Residents:

I cannot count the number of times I have heard the phrase “we are in unprecedented times”.  We are.  Things are changing so fast that just about the time we think we are well versed, something else happens.  What hasn’t changed is there are still no COVID-19 at Thurston Woods Village.

The most recent information we have is we have not reached the tipping point yet.  There appears to be a gradual movement of the virus from the Detroit and thumb area into the lower counties.  St. Joseph County still is COVID-19 free.  There are not timelines in place in which we can tell you when our Visitor Restrictions will be lifted.

Consequently, I wanted to remind you of how you can continue to communicate with your family member or friend.

  • First, by phone, many of the residents have personal phones, but should they not, we have a designated room in which we can transfer the call to allow for private conversations—just call the main number at 269-651-7841 and we will get you to the right wing of the nursing center or to the Villa.
  • Second, by the old fashion way of written letters—some of the residents are sharing with staff the importance of waiting for those letters to arrive.
  • Third, we have several iPads and other devices in which we can schedule “face time” with your family.  Contact the desk where your family member is located and we should be able to set that up.  (Kudos to Sturgis Schools who has graciously allowed us to use some of their Ipads)  Some staff has also expressed their willingness to have the residents use their personal phones to communicate with you.
  • Fourth, continue to check out the different posts on the Thurston Woods Village Facebook page.  Resident activities are continuing and we are attempting to capture as many events as possible.
  • Fifth, call US.  We will make every effort to keep you informed on what is happening.

What you CANNOT do is ask your loved one to open the window to talk to you!  This defeats the purpose of attempting to prevent the virus from entering into the building.  While some of you want a face to face meeting and that is understandable, please do NOT ask the resident to open the window and remind the resident should they open it to close it immediately.  If your family member does not have a phone and you want to communicate with them via phone at the window, please call and we will make the arrangements for that request to happen.

We are all in this together and together we will survive with God’s grace and adhering to the restrictions put into place by the state and federal governments.

With great regard,

Theo Omo

Chief Executive Officer


Thank you!

A special thank you to those of you in the community who are thinking of our residents:

Ron Sprowl from Burr Oak Tool—for masks and sanitizers

Michael Slone from Infinity Ink—for gloves, sanitizers, masks and wipes

Hollywood Nails –for several cases of gloves

Dianne Warnement—Disinfecting Wipes

Kendra Lipscomb–Disinfecting Wipes

Jessica Rutenbar from Wall School—Disinfecting Wipes

Kim Hamlin from Wenzel School—Disinfecting Wipes

Julie Kennard—Disinfecting Wipes

Christina Persing—Disinfecting Wipes


God bless your thoughtfulness!



March 20, 2020


Please be assured there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 anywhere on the Thurston Woods Village campus.  In fact no one has been tested for the virus.  There has been confusion with some staff misinterpreting the Influenza virus for the COVID-19 virus.  They are two very different strains of infection, have different symptoms and treatments.  We currently have two cases of Influenza A on our campus.  Both are being treated with antiviral medication.  Additional precautions have been put into place including asking the residents to remain in their rooms and staff are adhering to the CDC guidelines.  Activities and meal options are being provided.

Our staff continues to carry out our mission—living it every day in every way possible.   “Teaming together—residents, families, associates and community, Working to provide responsible healthcare and services, Valuing every individual in the spirit of Christian love.”  The staff are committed to our residents and our families.  They are amazing.

Should you have any concern please contact Virginia Jordan,  Residential Services Director,  Joella Martin, Nursing Center Director of Nursing and head of the Infection Control-COVID-19 response team, or Theo Omo, Chief Executive Officer.

March 19, 2020


Due to the federal mandate limiting group meetings to 10, we are postponing our Annual Employee Meeting scheduled for March 26th.  We will post the meeting date once we have confirmation of the lifting of those restrictions.

The highlight event of our annual meeting for the past several years has been the recognition of employees and the distribution of our “Stay-On” Bonuses.  Those employees who have reached specific milestone anniversaries will be given their check (or check stub if you have direct deposit) by their department head after 2 pm on March 26th.   We will also recognize these milestones when we actually have the Annual Meeting.  We just didn’t want you to wait for your bonus!  A list of the eligible employees will be available at the time clock by March 20th.

Please keep checking  for the posting of the Annual Employee Meeting, we will have all the longevity, Employee Focus Group, the Employee of the Year, and Suggestion of the Year awards at that meeting.

Please know every employee is making a difference in the lives of our residents and we appreciate your efforts.  Thank you for all you do!

Theo Omo
Chief Executive Officer


March 16, 2020

A letter from our CEO:

**Homes and Gables Residents:  Effective Wednesday, March 18th, we will no longer have dining room services.  Please call by 10 am each day you would like to pick up a “to-go” meal.  IF you have questions, please call Jessie Leathers, Independent Living Director.   We will notify you when regular dining room services will resume.  ALL activities have been cancelled until further notice.


**EASTER EGG HUNT CANCELLED.  Due to the new mandate of no more than 50 person group contact, we have decided to cancel this year’s Easter Egg Hunt.  Please look for information of other events when the COVID-19 crisis is over.  Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to seeing you next year.



March 12, 2020

To Our Residents and Family Members:

We know many of you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) and how it may impact us here at Thurston Woods Village. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority. At this time, we do NOT have any cases in our center. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. Below are some examples of how you can help protect the residents, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community.

At this time, we request that family and friends do not visit the center. Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting all visitors to our facility unless absolutely necessary. According to the CDC, older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease are at a higher risk of serious illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus. This means that most people in our center are at a higher risk. We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building.

We understand that connecting with your loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them. These may include telephone, email, text, video chat or social media. If you believe a visit to the center is necessary, we request that you contact us by phone prior to your arrival.

Please make sure we have your most current, emergency contact information. We want to make sure we efficiently communicate with you should there be any new developments. Please reach out to us with your updated contact information. Additionally, we will be updating our Facebook page and digital newsletters. You can sign up to receive these on our website.

Residents, please help prevent the spread of infection by exercising proper hand washing hygiene as well as coughing and sneezing etiquette. We offer hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the building, which you are welcome to use. Please also avoid shaking hands and hugs with any individual. If you are experiencing a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath, please let a staff member know immediately.

Our center is following the recommendations of the CDC on prevention steps, including following strict handwashing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who present symptoms. We also are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they may continue to change. In addition, our center is in close contact with the local and state health department, and we are following their guidance.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our center at: 269-651-7841

For the latest developments, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease:

Thurston Woods Village