Support Network Rallies Around St. John’s

President and CEO Charlie Runyon spoke realistically about the threat of COVID-19 when he addressed the St. John’s community on March 17, 2020. “All of us here at St. John’s recognize that we are on the front line of the most difficult challenge we have ever faced in aging services.”

This challenge has indeed played out at St. John’s as well as many other skilled nursing homes and senior communities across the country and around the world. Unfortunately, the courageous work being carried out day after day by long-term care professionals has not been recognized as roundly as the work of other health care workers. While hospital and EMS workers deserve all the credit in the world for their efforts during this pandemic, so too does the work being done by senior living health care staff. As Eden Alternative President and CEO Jill Vitale-Aussem’s recent open letter so eloquently expressed, “nursing homes are full of incredibly talented, passionate and dedicated leaders and team members who are doing the very best they can during a devastating and unprecedented time.”

We believe that care and support team members at St. John’s have always been heroes, and these recent circumstances have only reinforced that opinion. As our industry received negative coverage over recent days, we were encouraged to see those have who personal experience at St. John’s share their unique perspective.  As one resident’s family member put it: “I have had multiple communications from the hard working MD, NPs, RNs and support staff that are caring for my mom. They are the lifeline between her and my family. I can’t thank them enough.”

Other comments reiterated the rich history of compassionate care provided by staff at St. John’s Home. “I’ve never been in a more caring place my entire life,” said one family member of a former rehabilitation guest. “The staff there was outstanding! From the doctors, to nurses, food service, custodians. It didn’t matter they were all amazing, extremely hard working.”

Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart also spoke about her family’s past experiences with St. John’s. “I have a special fondness for that place,” she said of St. John’s Home. “My grandmother lived there for several years. They took great care of her and staff attended her service we held there when she died in 2007.”

We have received dozens of encouraging messages and comments across multiple social media platforms as well as through email and written correspondence.

Please know that your kind words of support mean so much as we weather this storm together.


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