President & Chairman Statement

March 15, 2020

Dear CENTRO clients and stake-holders:

While much is being reported about the current healthcare threat called coronavirus, or COVID–19, we wish to offer clear, timely and accurate information to our clients and stakeholders on the actions CENTRO is taking. We especially wish to convey to our clients that our services will continue, within the guidelines now permitted by officials. A number of our programs will be modified, with our employees delivering client services with selective visits, through phone and video calls to check in on our clients, provide support, counseling and other assistance. CENTRO will be continually providing updated information on our website and Facebook page regarding our hours of operation and service delivery methods during the next two (2) weeks as we operate in a modified fashion.

Additionally, CENTRO’s Chief Operating Officer is leading a COVID-19 Response Team that is actively responding to this evolving international challenge, and I will be sharing with you the actions taken by federal, state and municipal healthcare professionals and government officials, through social media. Further, by way of this message, we also wish to reassure our employees and our clients that we are working hard to do what is in the best interest of our community and the world-wide effort to combat this pandemic.

We thank you for your continued support, cooperation and understanding during these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Juan A. Gomez, MPA, CENTRO President & CEO

Richard J. Rafferty, Esq., CENTRO Chairman

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.

Current Services Offered

Food Pantry

The food pantry remains open with limited hours

  • Worcester, 11 Sycamore St – Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00am – 1:oopm
  • Great Brook, 176 Tacoma Street – Tuesdays from 8:30am – 1:00pm

Centro is committed to continuing to serve the community throughout this crisis 

During this time we are doing our best to continue services while having staff work remotely.

If you have an emergency and need to speak with centro, please call the ‘Centro on Call’ line between 9:00am & 9:00pm at (508) 736.7407.

**if you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911** 

Additional Resources

Resources in English

https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

http://www.worcesterma.gov/coronavirus

https://www.mass.gov/doc/stop-the-spread-of-germs-respiratory-diseases-like-flu-and-covid-19/download

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2

Recursos en español

https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

http://www.translatetheweb.com/?from=&to=es&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.worcesterma.gov/translation-disclaimer?page=/coronavirus

https://www.mass.gov/doc/detenga-la-propagacion-de-germenes/download

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet-sp.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet-sp.pdf