Employee News

Resource Information & Letters from Administration

This page is devoted to Thomas Allen  employees. It is intended to share key information and updates. It is here to support you. To begin, watch this video and know that you are valued! The work you do is essential, and we recognize that COVID-19 is creating added struggles & sacrifices. You have our gratitude for your efforts to adapt, be resourceful, creative and innovative. Thank you.

 Communication Updates

Company Information Updates for All Employees

August 23, 2021 - Human Resources

Dear Thomas Allen Colleague,

Super Referrals are back!

Refer someone (or multiple someones!) to work for Thomas Allen, and if they’re hired between September 1 and December 31, 2021, you will be eligible to receive double referral bonuses (up to $400 total per hire – regular bonuses are up to $200)!

You can easily share our jobs by sending a link to the Careers page on our website. Alternatively, you can share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Email by visiting the Careers page and clicking on the platform icons on the menu on the right side of the screen.

This flyer provides more details.

August 23, 2021 - Administrator

The 245D COVID-19 Policy has been updated. Please review policy and document as training on your training documentation record.

Policy revisions are summarized below, and where you can find the policy in your policy book. Please refer to your supervisor with any questions.  The policy is also available in our Bloodborne Pathogens – COVID-19 online course. You may access that on our Employee-Training page. 

Thank You.

RE:   245D POLICY BOOK

 DATE:        AUGUST 23, 2021

 POLICY REVISION/ADDITION

 The following changes have been made to your 245D Policy book. This policy should be posted and notification is required. Residential sites – please make 2 extra copies, one for Communication/Training book and one to post and one for the policy book.

 Section: 8 – Incident Response Procedures

Sub-section: U – COVID-19

Updates made due to changes in CDC and MDH guidelines for licensed facilities. The following policy changes are:

Masks are required for all staff, regardless of vaccination status.

Eyewear is required for all staff working direct care.

Requiring person to get tested immediately, and again at 3-5 days, upon exposure or development of COVID-related symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.

Visitors must mask regardless of vaccination status.

Exposure: Unvaccinated persons should quarantine in their rooms for 10 days after exposure, or until a negative COVID test is received (test taken at least 3-4 days following exposure). Vaccinated person do not need to quarantine or get tested following travel unless they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Getting tested 3-5 days post travel is recommended.

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2021 - Human Resources

 

This benefit is available to ALL Thomas Allen staff and their family members.

Support for you to achieve your goals

Your ambitions are important to us. Through the new educational partnership between Capella University & Thomas Allen, Inc. you are eligible for significant educational benefits each designed to help you reach your goals.

Scholarship Opportunities and More!

  • $5000 – $20,000 GuidedPath scholarships on eligbile bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, plus an additional 10% tuition discount.
  • Get a 50% tuition discount on your first 12-week sessino of FlexPath, plus save an additional 10% throughout your program.
  • Access to free professional development opportuntiies, including free on-demand webinars in leadership development, goal planning, well-being in the workplace and more.
  • Current Capella students are now eligible for 10% tuition discount on all future academic terms.
  • Immediate family members, consisting of spouse/domestic partner, and unmarried children up to age 30, are also eligible for Capella educational benefits.

Capella provides an online education that’s flexible and designed to fit the way you live today. We invite you to learn more about Capella’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Available areas of study include general psychology, mental health counseling, addictions studies, social work, marriage & family therapy, applied behavior analysis, human services, business, information technology, public administration, health sciences, education, and more. 

Capella University is an accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommision.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to the regional accreditation, Capella has earned specialized and program-specific accreditation recognizing the quality of our degree programs, including CACREP, COAMFTE, and CSWE. Please see all professional accreditations here.

You may explore our partnership page that includes access to the free webinars, and a more thorough explanation of the available benefits and program  on our Employee Training page. A direct link to the partnership page is available for your convenience.

August 4, 2021 - Human Resources

The Nice Healthcare Benefit has expanded services available to employees. Please read the explanation letter from Beckey Skouge, HR Director. Brochures from Nice are included as well.

Explanation Letter from  HR

Nice Mental Health Therapy Flyer

 Nice Getting Started Flyer

 

May 11, 2021 - Return to Office Plan

The attached documents include a letter from the Administrator discussing Thomas Allen’s Return to Office plan, addressing occupancy levels at the various Thomas Allen offices and the phased process of how this will continue to roll out through 2021.

The second document provides a visual reference to her letter of explanation.

Letter of Explanation – Return to Office Plan

Return to Office Plan – Visual Reference of the Phases

April 21, 2021 - Message from Owners/Administration/HR

Thomas Allen Staff,

 The verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial was reached today, and while that was the end of the trial – that does not mark the end of all of the work that still remains to be done. Thomas Allen is dedicated to doing whatever we can to providing a safe, positive and inclusive environment for all staff and persons served that are a part of the Thomas Allen community in addition to all people in external communities. This past year has been extremely painful for many people, and while the trial is over we all need to continue to come together moving forward to stop the unjust violence.

 If talking to one of our Employee Assistance Plans would be helpful, please use the following information:

           If you are on our Healthcare Plan – call 1-800-626-7944 (it’s confidential and staffed by top professionals)

           If you are not on our plan, or want an additional resource, Call 1-888-628-4824 or go online to www.GuidanceResources.com .  User name = LFGsupport and the Password = LFGsupport1.  This EAP is also staffed by top trained professionals and is confidential.

 We are here for you.  We care.  If we are able to help, we will.

 Thank you,

Sandy Quinn, Jesse Perron, David Peterman, Jim Perron

____    ____

Additional information on resources and an attachment is provided below for additional support.  –  Beckey Skouge, Director of HR

Last September, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) compiled an impressive list of resources that discuss the “impacts of trauma and racism on African Americans and people of color.”  They also added resources meant to evoke thoughtful discussion on confronting bias and helping initiate conversations on addressing racism.  Also included are resources for Local Mental Health Agencies and Providers.  This information was shared with members of our Case Management team who thought all Thomas Allen staff would benefit from additional sources of information and assistance.  We hope that some of these resources are helpful to you as we continue our work on addressing racism, equity, and inclusion.

Culturally Responsive Resources

May 3, 2021 - Administrator Retirement Letter

The attached document is a letter from the Administrator, SandyQuinn, announcing her retirement and her successor, Kari Schuster. Please read.  Thank You.

Announcement of Retirement

November 20, 2020 - Owners

A letter from the owners is available to all personnel by following this link:

Letter from the Owners – November 20, 2020

March 25, 2021 - Human Resources and DEI Committee

The trial of Officer Derek Chauvin has been a cause for anxiety, fear, anger and trauma for a great many people in our state – and nation. We have put together Informational resources that may be beneficial during this very stressful time. We hope that this information will be helpful if/when you need further clarification, support, trial updates, help with coping mechanisms, etc.

Below is a list of local resources related to the Derek Chauvin trial.

It includes:

• A video put on by Hamline University on what to expect, including explaining the process of trials in general and answering frequently asked questions

• Educational Web Resources: Lots of places are providing straightforward lists of what to expect, court schedules, and trial updates. This also includes:

o Info on Metro Transit

o What to expect from the Operation Safety Net (which encompasses how police and the National Guard, etc. are working together for security at this time.)

• Support Resources: Includes how to talk to kids about traumatic things, how to deal with trauma anniversaries, the TAI EAP, and some crisis hotlines.

Beckey Skouge, Director of Human Resources and DEI Committee 

Trial Resources and Support

Anti-Asian American Violence Resources and Support

DEI Committee Letter & Survey

The newly reformed DEI committee has a letter of introduction for all employees.  They also invite all employees to complete a survey.

Letter to all Employees

Survey – Please complete by January 21, 2021

January 27, 2021 - Letter from Administration - COVID-19 Vaccinations

Please read this letter from our Administrative Team discussing the COVID-19 vaccinations.

You can access the letter HERE.

September 30, 2020 - Owners

A letter from the owners discussing plans addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Thomas Allen.  Click Here to Read.

Updates have been made to our Employee Training portal to incorporate access to the Convene trainings (Live and the Recordings), and also includes links to access the Courageous Conversations Sessions. You may see these changes and register for training here:  (This is a password protected page – if you do not have the password, please obtain from your supervisor.)  https://Learn.ThomasAllenInc.com/Employee-Training

September 23, 2020 - Human Resources

Hello everyone!

This is a difficult email to write as I need to do so because there seems to be a prevalence of people not following our protocols on temperature screening when they come into a work site.

Please know that it is mandatory that all staff follow these protocols each and every time they enter any office or residential site. If an individual chooses not to, this will result in corrective action.

We are seeing more and more employees with symptoms and/or positive COVID results. Every one of us needs to do what we can to prevent the spread of this disease.

I seek your help, support and commitment to ensuring that we keep ourselves and each other safe.

For your information, here are the protocols:

1) Put on a paper mask (cloth if paper is not available)

2) Use hand sanitizer to clean your hands.

· Put on gloves

3) Clean the temporal thermometer with an alcohol swab.

4) Take your temperature.

· Press button and release, wait 2 seconds

· Hold to temple, wait for beep and read result

· Wait one minute for reuse

5) Clean entire thermometer with alcohol wipe.

6) Complete the information on the form.

Please remember to make sure you mark yourself out when you leave the building!!!!!

Thank you everyone! Your help with this is greatly appreciated.

Beckey Skouge, SPHR, SHRM-SCP         Director of Human Resources

November 20, 2020 - Administrator

Letters from the Administrator are available below, addressing the most recent Governor’s Executive Order, and offering Webex meeting opportunities to answer questions from employees.  Please select the letter below that pertains to your division.

Minutes from each meeting are included under the letters, labeled “Q & A Session Minutes.”

One is addressed to 245D direct service personnel, and the other pertains to all other personnel.

Letter to 245D Residential/Direct Service Personnel

Letter to Office Personnel

Office Q & A Session Minutes – November 23, 2020

Residential Q & A Session Minutes – November 24, 2020

Video Recording of Q & A Session – Residential – November 24, 2020

June 15, 2020 - Owners

A letter of apology from the owners to all employees addressing the community unrest/protests and their commitment to equality and anti-racism.

Resources for Continued Learning & Implementation

June 11, 2020 - Owners
September 22, 2020 - Human Resources

Hello fellow team members!

I hope this finds you and yours well.

These really are extraordinary times! All of us are impacted in some way by the ongoing barrage of challenges that are coming our way. This is especially true when it comes to our kids. As parents, we have been taught that we should have all the answers. Ha! It turns out that this is a myth. It does not reflect reality and it sets us up for feelings of failure, anxiety and distress.

If ever there was a time for us to reach out and support one another, it is NOW. I challenge you to identify a team member who needs your support. Reach out to that person and let them know you are here for them. You will both feel better!

I have attached a message for you from Jonathan Bundt. His wisdom and guidance are especially needed and appreciated right now. The most important thing to remember is that you have a strong support system here at Thomas Allen. We are here for you!

Take a deep breath. Believe that we will get through these challenges and be stronger for it. Give yourself and others the gift of grace. Know that we are here for you and your family. 

Regards,

Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR

Note: Handouts from prior emails are also inserted below on resilience and gratitude.

Navigating Parenting

Building Long-Term Resilience

Embracing Gratitude

May 15, 2020 - Administrator

Letter from the Administrator addressing protocol changes for visiting with friends and family.  

April 29, 2020 - Human Resources

Hello fellow Thomas Allen employees!

I am feeling like we are now fully “in it”. Enough time has passed that I am learning to accept that some very significant changes and impacts are going to be prolonged.

During this time, your needs for resources are evolving. The support you and your families need falls into a couple of categories. The most common categories are physical, emotional and financial support. To that end, I have attached a very comprehensive guide that offers many resources across a wide spectrum of topics. I hope you find it helpful.

These are tough times but we are tough people. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Accept the scary emotions and embrace the positive ones.

Enjoy this day!

Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR

Employee Resources

June 10, 2020 - Human Resources

Greetings fellow Thomas Allen Team members!

Over the past few months, I have addressed several types of wellness. In this email, I would like to address financial wellness.

Everyone has financial realities. For some, this has really hit home recently if a family member has been furloughed or laid off from their job.

The CARES Act has influenced some changes in 401 (k) distributions, loan payment suspensions, hardship withdrawals and other aspects of 401 (k) plans.

The use of HSA funds has been revised by the government to assist with some of the restrictive burdens to participants. You should stay current with these revisions so that you best leverage their benefits to you.

Things keep changing quickly as the financial impacts to workers and employers are taking a bigger toll. Remember that you have a very comprehensive Employee Assistance Program, access to excellent resources at American Funds for your 401 (k) and a very knowledgeable and caring Human Resources department available to answer your questions and assist with your concerns.

Stay well. Take care of yourselves, your family and your co-workers.

Regards,

Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR

April 22, 2020 - Letter of Appreciation from the Owners and Staying Healthy Resource

A letter of appreciation from the owners.

Our values get tested in the midst of a crisis. This is our opportunity, individually and collectively, to recommit and live out our priorities. One of our priorities must be taking care of ourselves physically to help reduce our stress. It is easier to BE strong when you FEEL strong! Attached is a resource to assist you in taking good care of yourselves. – Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR, Human Resources Manager

A Staying Healthy at Home Resource from Human Resources.

April 7, 2020 - Letter from the Administrator
April 8, 2020 - Human Resources

How are you doing? Are you beginning to figure out how to adjust to this very challenging and stressful “new world”?

Attached is a COVID-19 resources document distributed by the Minnesota School Social Workers Association. The document has links to community resources, activities for family and students, supporting students mental health needs, serving students with special education plans, and healthy habits and self-care.

Be safe. Keep looking forward. Remain cautiously calm. Together, we will make it through this!

COVID19 Resources

March 30, 2020 - Human Resources

The attached document created by the Health Management team at Associated Bank Risk Consulting includes a number of resources for fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, children activities and more. 

Remember to take care of yourself!! 

Healthy at Home

March 25, 2020 - Human Resources

This link is a 15 minute video from the MN Department of Health that provides prevention strategies, self-awareness & mindfulness, how we manage interactions with those we serve, and how we manage our lives overall.

Self-Care and applying Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 Responders

March 25, 2020 - Owners
March 20, 2020 - Administrator

A letter from the Administrator with essential information for all employees.

March 23, 2020 - Human Resources

An update offering clarification on protocols for people who have reduced hours or no hours due to the COVID-19 situation.  The links below include the letter, a corresponding “cheat sheet” defining furlough, unemployment, & use of FMLA benefits, and the leave of absence request form.

Additionally, our Employee Assistance Program is available for employees. All employees have access to the EAP from Lincoln Financial (guidance resources) and employees who are enrolled in one of our Medica health plans also have access to the EAP offered through Medica. Both flyers are attached for your use.

Letter from Human Resources Director

Cheat Sheet on Furlough | Unemployment

Leave of Absence Request Form

Medica Employee Assistance Program

Lincoln Financial Employee Assistance Program

 

March 17, 2020 - Administrator

A letter from the Administrator sharing information about Thomas Allen communication and support plan to address the COVID-19 crisis.

It includes attachments to our Disaster Preparedness and Attendance policies.

March 17 Letter from the Administrator

Disaster Preparedness Policy

Attendance Policy

Questions, Answers & Community Awareness:

Petition for DSPs Inclusion in Frontline Worker's Wage Enhancement

ARRM has launched a petition you can access here.

ARRM is launching a statewide petition drive to ensure DSPs are included in the pool of compensated frontline workers. Please share on social media too. Thank You!

June 2021 - Direct Support Professionals Survey

DSP Workforce COVID-19 Survey Follow-Up

The Institute on Community Integration and NADSP are conducting a 12-month follow up survey for their national DSP Workforce COVID-19 Study. If they can get 200 responses in Minnesota, they will create a two page state specific report, in addition to our national report.

 

Here is a link to the results of our first two DSP COVID-19 surveys. They are trying to gather information in this follow up that will be useful to providers in their advocacy. The results of this survey will be published no later than September 2021 and shared widely. We will also be putting together a Policy Research Brief and Forum on this topic.

 

Please share this survey link directly with DSPs and encourage them to participate: z.umn.edu/dsp-covid19-survey

 

The survey closes on July 23, 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine - Questions and Answers Webinar

UPCOMING NADSP WEBINAR

Your Questions and Our Answers About The COVID-19 Vaccine For Direct Support Professionals

1/21/21 • 11:00am – 12:00pm CST  (Webinar Recording is Available Below)

Please join our Medical Advisor, Rick Rader, MD and Biochemist, Mark Macbeth, PhD to learn more about the newly released COVID-19 Vaccines.  Dr. Rader and Dr. Macbeth will teach us about several aspects of the vaccines and will answer your questions about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. Our presenters have distinguished expertise in developmental medicine and the study of mRNA technology which is the make-up of the COVID-19 Vaccine.   This interactive webinar which is geared toward direct support professionals and management personnel who support people with disabilities.

Key Takeaways:

  1.  What is a mRNA Vaccine (which is the type of vaccine that is now being distributed)?
  2.  How does the COVID-19 Vaccine actually work and dispel the many myths and misinformation that abounds in and around the vaccine roll out? 
  3.  Why is it important that direct support professionals get this vaccine?
  4.  Address many of the safety questions that direct support professionals have about receiving the vaccine.
  5.  Address the professional and personal responsibility  that direct support professionals have in their roles supporting people with disabilities.
Recording is Available Here
Direct Support Professionals Survey: Providing Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, in partnership with the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals, is conducting a survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals. After more than eight months since a national emergency was declared, we want to know how DSPs are doing and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support. 
 
Answers will be anonymous. National and state-specific results from the survey will be shared widely in March 2021.
 
A  similar survey of DSPs was conducted by ICI and NADSP in the spring of 2020 and completed by more than 9,000 DSPs. Those results are available here. The new survey is for both DSPs who completed the earlier survey and those who did not. 

The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota is a designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, part of a national network of similar programs in major universities and teaching hospitals across the country. ICI’s collaborative research, training, and information-sharing ensure that people with disabilities are valued by, included in, and contribute to their communities of choice throughout their lifetime.

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals is a national non-profit whose mission is to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards; promoting system reform; and advancing their knowledge, skills, and values. Our vision is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.

Click  “Survey Link”  below to complete the survey. 

Survey Link

COVID-19 Vaccination - Q and A Webinar - NADSP with Dr. Rick Rader, MD

Direct support professionals have been on the frontlines of supporting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines are now here and becoming widely available. As this is good news, we also know there is some confusion and worry among people about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. In this webinar, NADSP in partnership with the American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) will address vaccine concerns. Please join Rick Rader, MD as he shares up to date and research-based information on the COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch Video Here

Employee Benefits Presentation

This is an on online presentation that is specifically designed to highlight our employee benefit options for the upcoming plan year which runs from December 1st, 2020-November 30th, 2021.  This presentation covers our group benefits including medical, HRA, HSA, dental, vision, life, voluntary life, disability, Nice Healthcare, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, IDSheild, LegalSheild, and more.  

Online Training

Employee Orientation and Ongoing Training is now available online. The 2021 Calendar, Registration links for the courses, handouts and course recordings are all accessible through our Employee Training page.

Course access is available via a password protected page at https://learn.thomasalleninc.com/employee-training    You may obtain the password from your supervisor.

COVID-19 Policies

Thomas Allen has two policies relating to COVID-19. 

a.  Personnel Policy, Section 8 – Safety, K. COVID-19.

b.  Standard Rule 245D Policy, Section 8 – Incident Response Procedures, U – COVID-19.  

 

These policies may be accessed in three possible ways:

1.  At your division work site; if you are currently assigned to work from a site, versus working remotely.

2.  On our company network:  

a.  J:\POLICIES AND JOB DESCRIP\STANDARD PERSONNEL\SECTION 8

b. J:\POLICIES AND JOB DESCRIP\STANDARD 245D\SECTION 8 

3.  On our online Training Center, within the COVID-19 training curriculum.  If you are unsure of how to access this course, please consult with your supervisor to obtain the password.

Resources

Mn Governor’s COVID-19 Resource Page

Centers for Disease Control

MN Department of Health  MDH Hotline: 651-201-3920 (M-F, 8am – 4:30 pm)

MDH Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth & Child Care Centers

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

State Health Advisory Network

Carver County COVID-19 Resource Page

Ramsey County COVID-19 Resource Page

Scott County COVID-19 Resource Page

Dakota County COVID-19 Hotline: 952-891-7834. It is open Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m

Do you have specific questions or concerns to bring to the attention of the administrator? You may comment below.

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