Home to several renowned medical and federal institutions, Maryland is a national leader of health care research and development. The Daily Record will be honoring those organizations and individuals who have made an impact on the quality of healthcare within our state. An outside panel of health care leaders selected the winners for a variety of categories, and they selected The Arc Baltimore as a COVID-19 Hero (Organization).
They featured winners in videos throughout June 2022, and The Arc was the only non-healthcare organization honored. In an interview, our CEO Kathleen Durkin not only accepted the award on behalf of The Arc but all of the disability organizations around the state.
In response to their question "What innovations have your organization spearheaded to lead it through the pandemic?", Kathleen said, "In March 2020, we moved quickly to follow the State/CDC guidelines to keep hundreds of people with developmental disabilities (DD) and their staff safe. We closed our day centers, impacting 400+ people. We then redeployed those staff to the homes of 174 people with DD who now needed additional daytime support.
We purchased $1.2M of PPE/medical supplies with acquired grants. We quarantined, worked remotely, checked in daily with people we support and their families, and offered resources whenever possible. We showed up at people’s homes for those who needed us the most.
We held nine vaccine clinics with CVS and provided nearly 1600 vaccinations to people from every program we operate and our staff.
We ramped up outreach and online support for people in our day programs, internship programs, and those laid off – offering up to 50 weekly online classes. Nearly 125 supported employees continued to work as essential employees and that number grew by nearly half during the pandemic."