Continuity of Operation Plan
ADMINISTRATIVE PLAN: COOP Plan
Effective: January 1, 2020
Last Revised: March 17, 2020
Functional Responsibility: Office of the President & CEO

In accordance with best practices and in light of the importance of the programs and services CENTRO operates, given the vulnerability of the population it serves, CENTRO has developed a Continuity of Operation Plan. Given the current state of the international pandemic, coronavirus or COVID–19, CENTRO has activated its COOP Plan.

First, since last week CENTRO leadership has been meeting to take the necessary measures to ensure continuity of operations, while protecting the health and safety of its clients and employees. During said meetings, CENTRO leadership has discussed, interpreted and acted upon current information regarding this crisis. CENTRO has identified two individuals within the organization and charged them with keeping the leadership team informed with the most current developments. These two individuals are CENTRO’s Health & Safety Officer and the CEO’s Executive Assistant.

Second, CENTRO’s facility is operating with a skeleton crew, and most administrative functions are being performed from each department employee’s home. We have appointed regularly scheduled team meetings, via a video platform. Each of CENTRO’s programmatic and operational or administrative teams, is holding these respective meetings, to share information, maintain quality of services and ensure effective and continued operation.

Third, following MassHealth, third party payers’, and state officials from the respective department or commission, CENTRO has implemented a work from home policy for most programs and departments. In cases where clients still need to be visited, each CENTRO employee is being provided PPEs, as available. A protocol for determining likelihood of exposure has been put in place, as developed by EOHHS and MA DPH. Each employee is being directed to carefully
screen prospective visitants, engage in substantive communication during these calls, share effective intervention strategies, and provide support on each call. Further, each employee is being asked to carefully document his/her interaction with the clients, as well as to carefully document the condition of the client/s, their state of mind, economic circumstances and any of their potential needs. An important element of these video and conference calls is to assess to the best of our ability, the level of safety of the children, seniors and other vulnerable members in our caseload. Where necessary, CENTRO staff will ensure it can provide emergency food provisions to any of its clients.

Fourth, both of CENTRO’s Emergency Food Pantries will continue to operate, with the necessary protections in place, both to reduce the likelihood of exposure to clients, and to staff, with a reduced schedule.

Fifth, CENTRO’s Latino Elder Program, and both its Family Support Centers are closed, and no visits are being made to these clients. However, each of the respective teams are making weekly wellness calls to every client. CENTRO’s Block Grant funded Community Support Program is suspended until further notice. Individuals with emergency needs are being assisted remotely, to the best of our ability.

Sixth, in order to support CENTRO’s staff and continued operations, most recently CENTRO’s MIS department concluded a cloud-based VPN conversion project, giving access to every CENTRO employee, to our portal, our system and the respective folders each department needs, in order to do their work off-site. This access, with minimal staff on-site presence can effectively support our operations for several weeks.

Seventh, the President & CEO will maintain close communication with the Chairman of the Board, the Executive Committee of the Board, and the remaining members, with state and local leaders, as well as with all of its partners and stake-holders.

Finally, while it is not certain how long the current public health emergency will last, CENTRO’s leadership and its employees are committed to continue to serve its clients. This will be done following the same commitment to excellence, professionalism and compassion as it always has. In the process, however, it will ensure the protection of its employees, their safety and their emotional health. CENTRO takes this opportunity to also thank its community partners, third
party payers, state and local officials, and other stake-holders, for their continued support and for the serious emphasis placed on the needy and the most vulnerable populations within the Commonwealth and the region.

For any questions, clarifications or suggestions regarding this plan; as well as for assistance, please feel free to contact Juan A. Gomez, MPA – President and CEO at: jgomez@centroinc.org; or at: 774-696-7123.