News – In the Spotlight

COVID-19 Update 10.27.20

Dear Rimland Families,  

Illinois is confronting a second wave of rising COVID-19infection rates.  Illinois officials announced its time to revert to earlier lockdown levels in parts of the state.  For now, we are suspending the indoor visits at the main office.  We will continue to evaluate best practices and give you an update in the next few weeks.  We will remain vigilante and stay on guard to protect, to the best of our ability, the Rimland Family.

Due in large measure to our shared commitment to safety, we will continue the 14 day home visit schedule. However, we request that your loved one receive a COVID-19 test prior to returning.  This extra measure will prevent a more restrictive safety protocol.   Please contact our Health and Wellness Department (Samina Rahim and Barbara Cooper) for locations near you.

The tougher restrictions come as the state reported more than 32,000 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, the second highest number of infections in all U.S. states and territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 A project that Rimland is working on now is to become an accredited lab to administer COVID-19 tests. We just submitted an application to the Department of Health and Human Services. We are  working with two Rimland parents who are physicians to obtain the Abbott Binax rapid test (also looking at other options). We hope this will be able to ease home visit restrictions.  

 We are also in communication with Evanston Public Health Department and Omnicare regarding vaccination assistance once approved by the FDA.  Please let us know what you would like to do about having your loved one vaccinated.  We are working with our legal team on mandated vaccinations for all employees.   

Although this is a trying time, we are making this week fun for the individuals we support. We have a pumpkin patch that we have erected in the fenced in area of the main building. Each home is coming this week (no homes are co-mingling and the area is sanitized immediately following each group). Everyone is enjoying apple cider and donuts at the pumpkin patch. On Saturday, Halloween day, we are having pizza parties at each home. We will be sending pictures of the festivities and we will always make sure that your loved one will be aware and celebrate holidays as we get through this very stressful time. 

Be safe! 

Voting Update

In regards to the upcoming election, we would like to share a helpful document that explains how to assist cognitively impaired individuals exercise their right to vote. Please click the link below to access this quick guide

COVID-19 Update 10.15.20

Hello Parents & Guardians,


We hope you are well. You might have seen this article about Illinois hitting a record number of cases in a single day. Rimland continues to be very steadfast in our COVID-19 prevention procedures. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Thank you,

The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 10.14.20

Dear Rimland Families, 

Because of the vulnerable nature of our individuals, combined with the inherent risks of congregate living, we take aggressive efforts to limit COVID-19 exposure.  We must remain steadfast in our fight to shield Rimland individuals from this virus. We continue to encourage outside visits and 14 day offsite visits with family with appropriate social distancing and limited contact. Rimland will be reassessing visitations on November 5th.  The 14 day home visits cannot entirely prevent the risk of COVID-19 but it can mitigate the situation.  Currently, infection rates are holding steady in Illinois (click here for additional details)

In addition, Rimland is working with Abbott to get COVID-19 test kits. We hope this might be a way to ease the restrictions that we have put in place.  We intend to share more details soon. We also have a partnership with the Evanston Health Department, who has information and will be working with Rimland and the community when a vaccine is available. Please see their update below and know that we are in weekly communication with them.

We know the hardship and burden. Individuals at Rimland have the opportunity to celebrate birthdays and holidays with us (although we know families would like to get together). We started celebrating Halloween early October with home decorations and in home activities.  

We will be in touch soon!

The Rimland Team

______________________________________________________________________________

From the Director of Health & Human Services, City of Evanston:

Good day,

I hope this message finds you well. The COVID-19 vaccine is in development and may become available to priority groups as early as this November. Each priority group has yet to be finally determined and in an effort to ensure our most vulnerable are prioritized for vaccination when vaccines become available, the Department is attempting to identify Priority Providers within Evanston.

A Priority Provider serves members of the priority groups and has the ability to receive, store, and administer the COVID-19 vaccine at their facilities. Please provide an answer for the following questions by October 15, 2020.

  • Briefly describe the demographics of your residents
  • Do you have the capacity to vaccinate your residents?
  • Do you or have you had a seasonal flu vaccine program at your facility before?
  • Do you have a medical director on staff?

The Evanston mass vaccination plan requires flexibility as new information comes in and our goal is to make sure Evanston is as prepared as possible. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you and continue to have a pleasant day.


Ike C. Ogbo

COVID-19 Update 9.24.20

Disability Scoop, an online source for disability news, recently published an article about how a potential COVID-19 vaccine rollout could leave out individuals with disabilities. We encourage you to read the article and remain informed of how COVID-19 impacts the individuals & employees at Rimland. Please click here to read the article

COVID-19 Update 9.4.20

Hello Parents and Guardians,  

We have been keeping an eye on the Illinois COVID-19 cases and see that the numbers in Illinois are holding steady. We would like to open the option for home visits with a 14 day minimum. If you would like to schedule a visit, please reach out to Barb or Samina in our Health and Wellness Department. There are a few guidelines that we will be following for home visits.  

Please take a daily temperature log for the duration of the visit. If someone becomes ill on their home visit, please contact our Health and Wellness Department right away. Please schedule the pick up and drop off for the visit at 1265 Hartrey in Evanston, Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.  

During the home visit, please limit outside activities and follow social distancing. This link (click here) rates the risk of COVID-19 by activity. When going out, please wear face masks and following hand washing recommendations.  

Take care and thank you for your partnership during this time.  

Best,

The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 9.2.2020

Dear Parents & Guardians,

We really appreciate your support during this life changing time. I’m sure you’re following the Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC statistics. Illinois is reporting an uptick in COVID-19 confirmed cases.  

For this reason, we are enhancing our mitigation protocols, delaying our CDS (DT) reopening plans until further notice, and performing mandatory bi-weekly COVID-19 testing of certain key staff.  All environmental adaptions have been made, including the advanced fan system for enhanced ventilation and air circulation at all of our sites. Health & Wellness is sourcing vendors to assure we have a sufficient stock pile of PPE for Fall, as we project to see a surge in cases according to CDC reports.  

I know that many families are burdened by the visitation policy we have in place. That policy will remain in place for the immediate future. In that regard, I’d like to ask each parent/guardian to be on time, respect the number of visitors, remain in the visiting area during the visit (our building is not open to outside visitors at this time), and to book appointments one week in advance.  Some parents/guardians request weekend visits due to work schedules. Unfortunately, our licensed Health & Wellness staff conduct more in-depth health checks of clients during those times and are unable to be in the office. 

In the meantime, please let us know how you feel about your loved one receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, if and when an FDA approved vaccination becomes available. Please speak directly with your loved one’s primary care physician for more information on vaccination developments.  

We wish we had better news to share about relaxing our visitation policy. To the best of our ability, we hope to keep everyone in the Rimland family safe.  Thank you for your cooperation; we are calling on you for your understanding and support. This is a challenging time for all. 

Be well,

Pamela Y Watson 
Chief Executive Officer 

COVID-19 Update 5.29.20

Dear Rimland Community, 

As the weather gets warmer and restrictions begin to ease in Illinois, we at Rimland are grateful for everyone’s hard work that has kept us healthy so far. Now, individuals get to enjoy spending time in their backyards and taking car rides around town. Adapting to wearing masks has not been easy, but individuals are becoming much more comfortable with it. While life at Rimland certainly looks different these days, we have not stopped taking time to celebrate several birthdays and Memorial Day, quarantine style. 

Our proactive COVID-19 testing strategy has mitigated risk very successfully. All Rimland homes received electrostatic disinfecting; this is an effective method to evenly and safely coat all surfaces of a home with disinfectant in order to provide a more thorough cleaning. We still maintain rigorous standards for daily professional cleanings and sanitizations. While routine dental services are still closed (though emergency dental work is accessible), psychiatric telehealth has been effective and annual medical appointments are beginning to open up. Our Health & Wellness Department and our Compliance Department have been working together to create protocols for easing visitation restrictions and guidelines, which will take effect shortly. These protocols are intended to facilitate enjoyable visits between loved ones while ensuring that we can keep everyone at Rimland protected from COVID-19 threats. 

Looking forward, we will continue to proactively test clients and staff and are procuring in-home saliva and swab testing kits that will be accessible on an ongoing basis. We are also implementing a hierarchy of controls designed to mitigate risk, these include: social distancing, engineering controls (installing barriers, redesigning classrooms/washrooms and other high touch areas, etc.), installing ventilation systems in homes to increase air exchange, and increasing our stockpile of PPE. Though our Developmental Training Center will remain closed until further notice and guidance from the Department of Human Services, we are using this time to redesign the space so that we can reopen safely when we receive approval to do so. 

We are also expanding our Health & Wellness Department to ensure there is one assigned Registered Nurse per home. It is one thing to design safety protocols that keep our community safe, but another thing entirely to have the right employees embracing and enforcing these safety measures. We have a major effort in place that focuses on staff hiring & retention, including an increased hourly rate. At a time when unemployment is skyrocketing, we are pleased to not only avoid layoffs, but actively hire and retain Registered Nurses and Direct Support Professionals.  

Though restrictions are easing across Illinois and the rest of the country, we must remain vigilant with our safety processes to ensure our progress is not lost. This vigilance takes a serious toll on Rimland’s budget and we could not operate safely without the financial and in-kind support we receive from our greater community. We are so grateful to everyone who has donated thus far and hope we can count on your support going forward – we truly could not do this without you. We are looking forward to the day when we can all get together and celebrate again, but in the meantime, we wish you a healthy and safe summer. If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly. 

Kind regards, 

Pamela Y. Watson 

COVID-19 Update 5.19.20

Dear Rimland Community,  

As hospitals adapt to the influx of COVID-19 patients and associated health risks, they have developed policies intended to protect patients and care providers. One of the main policies hospitals have implemented is a “No Visitors” policy, in order to reduce the number of people entering/exiting a hospital, and therefore curb transmission of COVID-19. While this policy is well intentioned, and highly effective in many cases, it poses a unique challenge to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). People with IDD rely on their families and caretakers to communicate with hospital staff about topics such as consent, healthcare, treatment options, and more. The “No Visitor” policy prevents individuals with IDD from receiving the same level of care as an individual without IDD, and can result in dangerous outcomes for the patients. For this reason, Rimland signed the American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) petition that recommends hospitals provide reasonable accommodations, aligned with the Americans with Disabilities Act, for individuals who require support from their caretakers (family members, DSPs, etc.) to receive equitable care. More details on the petition can be found here, and we encourage the Rimland community to sign the petition which can be found here.  

As for updates within the Rimland community, we have been working with the Smart911 program to better secure the safety of our individuals. The Smart911 program partners with local 911 centers to provide additional information on the individual in need. For example, if a DSP calls 911 for a medical emergency at one of our homes, a pre-filled profile on the individual in need is automatically provided to the 911 dispatcher. This enables them to coordinate with the emergency response provider for a better outcome because they have more detailed information on the individual in need. This program is currently available at many of our location and expanding. If you would like to learn more about how this program works, please click here.  

Rimland’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been highly effective so far and we could not do it without the dedication of our employees and greater community. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this difficult time. 

COVID-19 Update 4.28.20

Dear Rimland Family,  

As you may know by now, Governor Pritzker has extended the shelter-in-place order through May 30th. To date, we have not received an update from the Department of Human Services on when we are permitted to reopen our Day Programs, therefore we will continue to shelter in place until we receive further direction.  

We are pleased to report that there are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Rimland community. Around two weeks ago, we began COVID-19 testing for our employees and took on the financial responsibility for these tests. Since then, more testing options have become available; this has reduced the cost of the COVID-19 tests and allowed us to put more of those financial resources to other critical areas of our organization. Samina Rahim, Associate Executive Director, is in contact with the Evanston Department of Public Health and they have provided us with additional PPE equipment. She also discussed Rimland’s protocols and mitigation efforts with them, and received feedback that our policies are exactly what we should be doing to keep everyone safe. Please feel free to reach out to Samina if you have any additional questions at (708)912-3420. 

Rimland recently purchased personal thermometers for each Direct Support Professional so that they can monitor their temperatures throughout their shift and document it in Therap, our secure electronic health records system. This provides us with real time data to monitor DSPs and support them. Rimland individuals continue to be monitored by licensed healthcare professionals. We are also in the process of teaching them to wear facial coverings and maintain physical distancing so they can be prepared when the shelter-in-place order is lifted. While this is inherently challenging to teach, our AEDS, DSPs, and program staff are seeing positive results and providing specialized attention to individuals who are struggling to adapt.  

While it can be easier to want to stay inside when the weather is gloomy, we recognize that some individuals are getting frustrated being indoors. We are all hoping for warmer weather around the corner, so that we can spend more time in our backyards exercising and enjoying the sun. This will be beneficial for the physical and mental health of our clients and employees. We remain committed to providing a safe environment for everyone at Rimland and are doing our best to uplift everyone’s spirits. One way we are doing this is by providing pay and meal enhancements to employees while we have the financial means to do so. Please consider donating to Rimland so we can continue to provide these benefits during the pandemic.  

Finally, we want to thank you for your patience during these extraordinarily difficult times. We understand how challenging it is to not be able to see your loved ones, and thank you for supporting our policies. Our thoughts are with you and we hope that the families of our extended Rimland community are in good health.  

Sincerely, 

The Rimland Team 

COVID-19 Update 4.20.20

Dear Rimland Community, 

As part of our commitment to transparency, we must inform you that one client and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19.  These individuals were, and are currently, asymptomatic, and in isolation. They have our full support and we are providing them with resources to ensure a safe recovery. We understand that this news can cause panic, but we are here to tell you that we remain focused and calm. Our screening procedures caught this quickly and we have responded with swift action to reduce risk to the larger community. We stand behind our dedicated employees and are looking forward to the day they are cleared to return to work.  

It seems like every day we receive new guidance from the CDC, federal government, state government, and local government on what we must do to stay safe during the pandemic. For example, only a few weeks ago we were told that wearing masks was unnecessary, but now we are required to wear them in public. Despite changing recommendations, we believe that the protocols we implemented early on have helped us to reduce the risk to our Rimland community, and we will continue these protocols for as long as necessary. These include twice daily temperature checks, oximeter checks (which monitor oxygen levels and heart rate), daily deep cleans, wearing masks, and increased personal hygiene practices.  

We would also like to inform you of new measures we are taking. We have hired a laundry & linen service so that we can increase cleanings at each Rimland location. We have also begun paying for COVID-19 rapid testing of all Direct Support Professionals, Nurses, Associate Executive Directors, and anyone else within our community who needs it. To date, we have been able to test 25% of our employees. Unfortunately, access to testing is challenging due to limited test kit availability and increased demand. That said, this is a top priority for us and we continue to test as much as possible. Costs for this service will exceed $15,000; any contributions you can provide are tremendously helpful.  

Although we are experiencing a global traumatic event, there is so much good work being done around the world and at Rimland. In particular, we would like to highlight the truly selfless work that our Direct Support Professionals, Health & Wellness Team Members, and Associate Executive Directors are doing. Their commitment to our clients is truly non-stop, whether it is round the clock onsite wellness checks or ensuring that homes are comfortable and sanitized. Our hard work is paying off, and we will soon be able to enjoy backyard exercise as the weather warms. Additionally, we are extending enhanced pay rates for our Direct Support Professionals and providing personalized meal services for them and their families to help ease their burdens while they work with our clients. It is important now more than ever to prioritize the physical and emotional wellbeing of our employees in order to provide long term support to our organization.  

One particularly challenging aspect of coping with this pandemic is not knowing when it will end. It’s hard to say when we can return to “normal” and what that will look like. To that extent, we will continue our protocols and best practices until we are confident COVID-19 no longer poses a threat to our community. This includes telemedicine appointments, redesigning our DT center to promote physical distancing, employee health screenings, and wearing masks in public.  

We are optimistic that one day there will be a vaccine, but until that time, we are adapting to the everchanging situation as a unified team. The best ways you can support our team is through moral and financial support to help us meet the needs of our clients and employees. We are grateful for anything you can provide and will continue to keep our heads up and focused on the future.  

COVID-19 Update 4.9.20

To Our Rimland Community – 

Governor Pritzker recently announced that the Stay at Home order will be extended through at least April 30th. While we had hoped to resume regular operations sooner, we understand that this extension is for the safety and wellbeing of all Illinoisans. We also acknowledge how difficult this is for Rimland parents and guardians who are unable to visit their loved ones during this time. Although we hope that our updates provide comfort, we know it cannot make up for being able to be near the ones you love. Thank you for your continued understanding and commitment to helping us be as safe as possible during the pandemic.

 Please be aware that we are in the process of developing a phased plan to resume standard operations once we are permitted to do so by the Department of Human Services. This includes setting up our Developmental Training Center in a way that promotes physical distancing, along with increased deep cleanings of the facility. As the new saying goes, “April Distance Brings May Existence” 

Warmest regards, 

Pam Watson

COVID-19 Update 3.31.20

Dear Rimland Family & Friends, 

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, we remain committed to the safety of our clients and staff through vigilant processes and communications. Our core focus is performing daily health screenings of individuals and employees; we are happy to report that at this time everyone is in good health and not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms. Deep-cleanings and sanitizations are conducted daily at all of our locations, per the Department of Human Services and CDC guidelines. In addition to this core focus, we are continuing in-home exercise programs to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of the individuals we support. 

Now that we have adjusted to our new routines, we begin to look forward and plan for the continued safety of everyone at Rimland once the significant danger has passed. We thoroughly participate in social distancing practices and are doing our part for the greater community by staying home and staying active. Our policies will adapt to the ever-changing situation, and we will keep you informed of updates as they occur. We welcome any support you are able to provide during this time, whether financially or in-kind. We will get through this as a united organization and are looking forward to the day when we can all come together again and celebrate.  

Sincerely,  

Pamela Watson 

COVID – 19 Update 3.24.20

Dear Rimland Parents & Guardians, 

We would like to provide you with an update regarding the steps we are taking to promote the emotional and physical well-being of Rimland individuals during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have scheduled daily exercise, to last at least 30 minutes per day, that includes activities such as: 

  • Walking 
  • Yoga 
  • Backyard games (weather permitting) 
  • Cookouts (weather permitting) 
  • Dancing to streamed music concerts on Fridays 

As Spring approaches and the weather gets warmer, we will work to include more outdoor types of activities such as gardening. We understand the importance of consistent exercise and have established this program to enable opportunities to get active while providing options to promote individual choice. 

We are continuing to perform daily health screenings that include temperature checks and monitoring for flu-like symptoms. Those with medically complex health concerns are being monitored more closely by our RNs and AEDs who know them best. As always, we are grateful for your continued trust in our leadership.  

Best, 

Pamela Watson 

COVID – 19 Update 3.18.20

A letter from the CEO:

Dear Rimland Friends, Family, and Stakeholders, 

With each passing day, we adapt to the impact COVID-19 is having on our Rimland community and the world at large. It seems at times as if there is no end in sight, yet we must commit to pushing forward and maintaining our character even when it is the most challenging.  

Our Direct Support Professionals have always been the heart of Rimland. Simply put, we cannot function without them. Due to the current circumstances, we have increased wages in order to provide round the clock care through April and beyond. In addition to requiring unique skillsets to support our individuals, this is a high-risk position that mandates the highest levels of professionalism and caution to keep us all safe. In addition to caring for Rimland individuals, many of our DSPs are also caring for their family members, including young children. This puts an additional burden on them, ranging from caring for grandparents to finding childcare while schools are closed. Though unexpected expenses can hit anyone hard, our DSPs are disproportionately impacted by COVID – 19.  

For this reason, we are reaching out to you and asking for your financial support. Even a little bit goes a long way during times of need. This is an unprecedented situation Rimland is facing and your support is needed now more than ever. Payments can be made securely through our website, or mailed in by check. If you are unable to support us financially, please consider donating supplies such as personal protective equipment, toilet paper, soap, paper towels, and other household items.  

On behalf of everyone at Rimland, thank you for your contributions and continued trust in us as we navigate this challenge. 

Sincerely, 

Pamela Watson 

COVID – 19 Update 3.17.20

Great news coming from Evanston Hospital! They have developed in-house testing for COVID – 19 that is able to test more people while providing same day results. This will help doctors make better decisions about which patients need to be isolated and which can be sent home. Read more about it here: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-test-developed-and-available-at-evanston-hospital-with-results-in-just-hours/

COVID – 19 Update 3.16.20

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Rimland Stakeholders,

As an additional precaution, we are currently in the process of purchasing “no touch” thermometers in order to safely check temperatures for all Rimland individuals and employees. These thermometers do not require physical touch from person to person, as an added level of precaution. This protocol not only includes our Direct Support Professionals, but our Administrative team as well. Our Health & Wellness team will be performing daily temperature checks for everyone at Rimland.  Anyone with a temperature above 100 degrees will be directed to the head of our Health & Wellness team for further evaluation. 

Thank you for your continued support and trust in our organization. 

COVID – 19 Update 3.13.20

Dear Parents, Guardians, and all Rimland Stakeholders, 

Yesterday, we provided you with information on how Rimland is actively addressing the COVID – 19 pandemic. In an effort to remain transparent, we are providing you with an update today. All is well at Rimland and we are continuing to monitor the situation as it unfolds. The processes we have put into place, and CDC guidelines, are helping us mitigate risk and stay safe. These include the following: 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue, then discard tissue in the trash 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

We also learned yesterday that a citizen who attended the Unitarian Church tested positive for COVID – 19. While this is an inherent threat to the community, we can confirm that no Rimland individuals or clients were at this location. Social Distancing practices will remain in effect for all non-essential outings. This is not just for the protection of everyone at Rimland, but an effort to do our part for the larger community. Video conferencing can be made available for families wanting to communicate with their loved ones, please contact us to schedule a time. As of today, in Illinois there are 46 positive cases, 316 negative cases, and 82 pending cases. Our social distancing policy will remain in effect until we see a significant downward trend in positive and pending cases.  

Rimland is supplied with household necessities at all of our locations. If you would like to contribute to helping us keep our locations stocked, you can donate items such as paper towels, toilet paper, soap, and personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.). If necessary, individuals will be quarantined based on a physician’s recommendation. This will be determined on a case by case basis, most likely in a hospital or medical facility. Our Health & Wellness Department will maintain communication with the parents & guardians of any affected individuals.  

We will continue to provide updates as the situation progresses, and thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID – 19. 

COVID – 19 Update 3.12.20

As news continues to spread regarding the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, please be assured that the health and well-being of your loved one and their staff is Rimland’s top priority.  The situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a rapidly emerging and fluid challenge.  We are closely monitoring the latest developments and following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Rimland would like to make you aware of several precautions and preventative measures we are undertaking to ensure the health and safety of your loved ones while under Rimland’s care.   We have added additional staff members to our cleaning team and have increased cleaning cycles of commonly touched surfaces (door handles, countertops, desks, etc.).   Our transition zones such as waiting areas, hallways, medication pass zones, and the Health & Wellness department have been assigned a designated staff member to provide additional and rigorous disinfecting and sanitizing support. Rimland continues to use hospital- grade disinfectant.    We have increased antibacterial hand sanitization stations and signage throughout the building.  Rimland staff members are cleaning and disinfecting all Rimland ride vehicles to and from our facility.  Visitors entering reception are screened for flu like symptoms and travel information before gaining access to our building or visiting with our clients. As an additional safeguard, Rimland has temporarily canceled all client outings, limiting your loved ones exposure to outside illnesses.  We have also canceled any non-emergency dental and medical appointments until further notice.  We will reschedule individual appointments as soon as it is advisable.

Our Health and Wellness department continues to monitor your loved ones health on a daily basis.  On- the -spot wellness assessments are conducted each morning by our Health and Wellness team, which is headed by Barbara Cooper, RN and fully staffed by licensed RN’s, CNA’s and LPN’s.  Any presentation of flu-like symptoms are immediately addressed, identified, and attended to.  Family members will be notified immediately if any of your loved ones present with any flu-like symptoms.  Symptomatic clients will be monitored at home under the direct care of their Direct Support Professional.  To mitigate the risk of spreading any illness, clients will not return to the Developmental Training Center until cleared by our Health and Wellness team or their personal physician. 

We are encouraging all staff to take common-sense health precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While we appreciate the incredible dedication of our Direct Support Professionals, we are reminding them to please stay home if they are sick.

Rimland has instructed our staff to follow the below practices as to minimize the spread of any respiratory virus including COVID-19:

·         Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue, then discard tissue in the trash

·         Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


Rimland will continue to closely monitor this situation in the days and weeks to come.  We will continue to take guidance and follow recommended protocol from the CDC and IDPH to make sure we maintain a safe and healthy environment for your loved ones. 

A Special Relationship
Equestrian Connection

Our very own client Sal has been working hard to support a program near and dear to him. In the summer of 2016, Sal spent an afternoon at Equestrian Connection in Lake Forest, Illinois, where he had the chance to ride horseback, help around the barn, and learn a little more about horses. This day had such an impact on him that Sal started taking riding lessons and helping to take care of the horses on a regular basis. Fast forward several years later and Sal has become an important member of the Equestrian Connection community. In 2019, Sal saved all of his money from working at the barn to purchase 25 hay nets and 150 bales of hay for all the horses at the barn! Thank you so much Sal! 

A New Year’s Message from CEO Pamela Watson

Dear Rimland Family and Friends,

I would like to kick off the new year by extending a heartfelt thank you to all of our stakeholders who have helped shape the support we provide to adults with classic autism. We remain committed to achieving ambitious goals in the year 2020. 

The majority of adults supported by Rimland Services experience a higher severity of autism characteristics and are particularly vulnerable to a defined Quality of Life ((QoL). Our overriding objectives this year will be focused on increasing access to community-based living options and providing support to improve QoL.

We will address the following urgent priorities: improving healthcare, increasing awareness of how sensory input and social challenges will impact support across the lifespan, and integrating technology-assisted support with personal direct supports. 

Even as we pursue these ambitious goals on behalf of the individuals we support, we are elevating the standard for evaluating successful outcomes. We will also partner with stakeholders to identify and develop long-term strategies for supporting the autism community in the future.

With intention and forethought, our team of professionals teach, advocate for, sustain, and are steadfast in their commitment to the individuals we support.

Once again, thank you for the vital role you play in our day-to-day services.

Best wishes for the New Year,

Pamela Y. Watson