News

COVID-19 Update 5.20.22

 Hello,


The COVID-19 numbers are going up, especially in Evanston. We are going to pull back on indoor visitors. To visit your loved ones, you are free to pick up your loved ones from the home or day program. Please continue to inform our Health and Wellness Department. We will continue to monitor the numbers and keep you updated.


Again, you are welcome to take your loved ones out or home but at this time, we are not having indoor visits. 


The Rimland Team

Easter Celebrations

Dear Rimland Families, 

We would like to share with you how your loved ones will be celebrating the upcoming Easter holiday. This Friday, April 15th at our Community Day Services Program, we will hold an Easter celebration. There will be a catered lunch from Corky’s Catering that will including turkey, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and mac & cheese. There will be dessert of course, festive Easter cakes from Williams Sonoma! Everyone will also receive an Easter basket with chocolate goodies. On Sunday, each Rimland home will have a pizza party for dinner. 

Enjoy the holiday! 

The Rimland Team 

COVID-19 Update 4.12.22

Hello Friends,


We are happy to see the positivity rate for COVID-19 “low” in Illinois! We are excited to be able to open in home visits once again (one ​visitor at a time). Please abide by the following guidelines prior to going to one of the Rimland homes to visit with your loved ones. To avoid overcrowding in the homes, visits need to be scheduled in advance. 
Please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org. Please also email a copy of your vaccine card and declare you have no COVID-19 symptoms. 


A visit should be one person at a time. If other family members want to visit, they must book a separate visit. Thank you for understanding. 


Welcome back!

COVID-19 Update 2.25.22

Dear Rimland Families,  

As you many know, the State of Illinois and the City of Evanston are lifting some of the mask requirements in relations to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the vulnerable population that we support and Rimland’s success in preventing COVID-19 outbreaks within our agency, we will keep the following practices in place:  

  • Masks: We will continue to mandate masks for staff at all Rimland sites for an indefinite period of time. 
  • Vaccination: Full vaccination mandate for all staff and clients (a two dose minimum).  If the CDC recommends annual boosters we will make that a requirement for employment. 
  • Visitation Policy: This will remain the same and will be re-evaluated at the end of March. Here is a recap of our current visitation policy: We CANNOT have any guardians, visitors, etc. in the homes. Guardians cannot go in the homes when they drop off their loved ones. Additionally, no visits can take place in the homes. You can pick up your loved ones from the group home (or main office/CDS) for a home visit or take them out for a walk, ride, etc. If your loved one is going on a home visit, please schedule this visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org.  We are doing visits at the main office. The visits are 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday for an hour. Please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org. Visitors are subject to be tested for COVID-19 and must show proof of being fully vaccinated.   

Thank you again for your support and continued partnership.

Sincerely, 

The Rimland Team

Program Updates

Dear Rimland Families, 

We hope 2022 is off to a good start! This year, Rimland would like to provide more consistent updates as to what is going on in our programs, to give you a bigger picture into your loved ones day.  

In our Community Day Services Program we are launching our Technology Room and our Smart Board Program. The Smart Boards offers individuals many ways to learn information, express ideas, and demonstrate understanding.  It will address different learning styles such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic.  It will help improve communication skills and provide ease in creating and altering activities.  Visually engaging, individualized daily/weekly calendars will be created based on preferred activities and choices.  The calendars will interface with individual iPads and will work seamlessly in their home and CDS Program. Ariel James was promoted from a Direct Support Professional in our Residential Program to design and facilitate the Smart Board Program. Ariel graduated from Northwestern University. She taught English abroad.  She has a long history of work in management and administration. She has facilitated Diversity and Inclusion trainings for teachers and practitioners in the health and wellness industry and is passionate about community care.  

Longtime Registered Nurse, Carrie Johnson joined our Health and Wellness Team. Carrie received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from DePaul University. Carrie is providing additional training to Rimland’s Direct Support Professionals in the Residential setting on basic health and medication administration, along with direct observation of the individuals in their home.  We believe that a coordinated health and wellness program is essential for improving health outcomes.  

Rimland is also proud to offer our Direct Support Professionals with a pay scale that demonstrates an appreciation for their hard work.  We have increased our pay scale to recruit highly qualified individuals and also to increase retention. Our entry level positions pay from $15-$16 an hour. Our top level DSP rate is $24 an hour. We will be reinstating our merit based pay program that was put on hold during COVID-19. We want more people to make the topline rate. The most important criteria to meet topline rate is observable client interaction, implementation of personal care plan and maintaining a high standard of environmental comfort.  Currently a majority of our Direct Support Professionals are earning our mid to top line rates with 38.7% making $18-20 an hour and 46.6% making over $20 an hour.  

Rimland is excited to announce that we have purchased our 20th home for our Residential Program! The home is located in Morton Grove and will be home to six females. 

We hope you enjoyed the Superbowl this Sunday; the homes at Rimland celebrated with a pizza party!

We are excited about the new year and new initiatives! If you have any questions, please reach out!  

Thank you, 

The Rimland Team 

COVID-19 Update 1.27.22

Hello Rimland Families, 

As you can see from the Illinois Department of Public Health link posted below, the positivity rate in our area is almost below 8 percent. Once we reach below the 8 percent positivity rate in our area, we can begin to relax visitation guidelines. Please review the following guidelines.

We CANNOT have any guardians, visitors, etc. in the homes. Guardians cannot go in the homes when they drop off their loved ones. Additionally, no visits can take place in the homes. You can pick up your loved ones from the group home (or main office/CDS) for a home visit or take them out for a walk, ride, etc. If your loved one is going on a home visit, please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org.  

We will also start doing visits at the main office. Those visits can be held as we did a few months ago. They can be 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday for an hour. Please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org. Visitors are subject to be tested for COVID-19 and must show proof of being fully vaccinated.  

We look forward to seeing you, ​

The Rimland Team  

https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html
COVID-19 Home*Total molecular and antigens tests performed and reported electronically for testing of COVID-19 at IDPH, commercial or hospital laboratories. All numbers displayed are provisional and will change.dph.illinois.gov
COVID-19 Update 1.20.22

Hello Rimland Families, 

We are writing with a pandemic update as it relates to Rimland. The good news is that the individuals we support are back at the Community Day Services Program.  

We know one of the big questions is, “when will visit restrictions be lifted?” With today’s update, we are not able to lift restrictions yet. The number of cases/positivity rate is still too high. We need to keep the individuals we support safe, as well as our staff members. We want to share the site that we are using as a resource. It is the Illinois Department of Public Health.  At the following link you can see that COVID-19 cases are still highly transmittable at over a 12 percent positivity rate in our area. Once the positivity rate is below 8 percent in our area, we can lift some of the restrictions.  

Here is the link https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html

COVID-19 Home – Illinois*Total molecular and antigens tests performed and reported electronically for testing of COVID-19 at IDPH, commercial or hospital laboratories. All numbers displayed are provisional and will change.dph.illinois.gov

We hope everyone is safe and well! 

The Rimland Team  

COVID-19 Update 1.13.22

Dear Rimland Families,  

We would like to share some updates that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

We are planning on having the Rimland program participants return to the Community Day Services Program (CDS) on Monday, January 17th.  Each group will be socially distanced with their cohort group (the residents of their home). We have started to resume yoga. Yesterday, our yoga teacher (who is vaccinated and receives a COVID-19 test each time she comes to the building) resumed classes house by house coming to our CDS Program. We are also taking the individuals we support on van rides with their cohorts as much as possible.  

Regarding family visits. At this time, we unfortunately can not provide information on allowing visits or relaxing the visit restrictions. We are monitoring the Illinois COVID-19 cases day by day. We feel that we are still in the “surge”. We know for most; this is not welcomed news. However, we promise to provide consistent updates and when we feel the surge is over, we can relax some of the restrictions. These restrictions are in place to help keep the individuals and our staff safe. Also, to keep our workforce as strong as possible. If COVID-19 spreads through our agency, our workforce could be depleted for that period of time. 

In other good news, we have a new mandate of no vaccine exemptions. All Rimland employees and contractors must be fully vaccinated. We also now have the capability to provide on-site PCR testing for the individuals we support and staff. 

We hope everyone is doing well! 

Thank you, 

The Rimland Team  

COVID-19 Update 1.7.22

Dear Rimland Community,

The Evanston Department of Health and Human Services recently published a letter in regard to the surge of COVID-19 cases and the necessary steps we as a community must take to protect our loved ones. Please read the letter below and help us stop the spread of COVID-19!

Thank you

-The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 8.24.21

Dear Families,


As a follow up to last week’s email, with the numbers of COVID-19 cases going back up, we will make the following changes. Please note, we will re-evaluate in 30 days and make modifications (hopefully the number of cases will have gone down).

We are suspending home-visits that are less than two weeks. To schedule a two week home visit or longer, please contact our Health and Wellness Department. We ask that you do not take your loved one to restaurants, family gatherings, etc.

Of course, we still cannot have visitors in the Rimland homes, but if you want to take your loved one for a walk near their home, we very much encourage you to do so. In advance, please contact the Associate Executive Director of your home to schedule. Attached is their contact information per home.

We are not having visits at the CDS Program at this time. We will be using our resources to take homes on van rides throughout the day and do not have the resources for transportation.

Homes will be coming into our CDS Program with their cohort, for activities. We will not have anyone going to outside day programs at this time (Tina Jones will be contacting those families)

This information is effective immediately. Thank you for understanding. We welcome questions and this information will be re-evaluated in 30 days.

The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 8.21.21

Dear Rimland Families,

It is hard to believe that we are only a couple of weeks away from the end of summer and we are now being faced with another COVID-19 threat (the Delta variant). Rimland is very concerned and tracking breakthrough cases (none at Rimland) through the CDC and the Evanston Health Department. Also, Rimland is closely following the process of getting the vaccine boosters with our partners, the Evanston Health Department and CVS. In the event that the state of COVID-19 gets worse, we will be taking the following steps to mitigate a breakout/cases at Rimland:

A temporary shutdown of our CDS program and all outings held from Residential such as van rides and backyard activities. 

A temporary suspension of home visits and onsite visits at our CDS program 

This would be temporary until the COVID-19 booster is received and/or COVID-19 case numbers go back down.

We will keep you informed over the next few weeks. 

The Rimland Team 

Thank You, Niles Township!

We are thrilled to announce that Rimland received a $10,000 Niles Township Grant this year to fund activities that are safe to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Niles Township has been very generous over the years and has provided consistent funding to help us enrich our programming. This has been especially valuable to Rimland this year, as we have directed much of our funding to COVID-19 safety measures. Past grants have been awarded for physical and mental health initiatives, music and art lessons, nutritional programs, and more. This year’s funding will go towards purchasing educational, art, and outdoor activities. Our overall goal with these purchases is to provide wellness opportunities that are COVID-19 safe, provide mental and physical engagement, and can be done indoors and outdoors. These activities are also a long-term investment that can be used after the pandemic has passed.  We are extremely grateful for the support of the Niles Township government and look forward to many more years of continued partnership for the overall success of our residents!

COVID-19 Update 3.17.21

Hello All – 


Exciting news! Due to where we are with the COVID-19 vaccination, we are able to relax the visitation restrictions. However, we are still very concerned with the variant strains of COVID-19. As of March 31, we will not have restrictions on the time length of the visits. You can also pick up your loved one and/or drop them off at group home. However, we CANNOT have any guardians, visitors, etc. in the homes. Guardians cannot go in the homes when they drop off their loved ones. Additionally, no visits can take place in the homes. You can pick up your loved ones from the group home for a home visit or take them out for a walk, ride, etc. If your loved one is going on a home visit, please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org. 

We will also start doing visits at the main office, starting March 31. Those visits can be held as we did a few months ago. They can be 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday for an hour. Please schedule a visit with Barbara Cooper or Samina Rahim: bcooper@rimland.org or srahim@rimland.org. Visitors are subject to be tested for COVID-19.

Again, the restriction is that we cannot have any visits in the group homes. This restriction still applies to guardians who are vaccinated.  We are concerned about the new variants of COVID-19. We also have to look out for our staff members; we cannot deplete our workforce. We have a few individuals who’s family decided not to get their loved ones vaccinated; those individuals can go on home visits but it must be a two week minimum. Please still keep gatherings small (recommended by the CDC) when you take your loved one on a home visit. 


Thank you for everything and we are happy to answer any questions!!


The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 2.5.21

Dear Rimland Community,

President Biden recently rolled out his pandemic strategy, which emphasizes better support & vaccine access for individuals with disabilities. You can read all about it below!

-The Rimland Team

COVID-19 Update 1.29.21

To our Rimland community,

We want to let you know that since CVS has not provided our dates yet for the vaccine, we formed partnerships with the local health departments. Evanston Health Department will be vaccinating a majority of the individuals we support. They are looking at mid-February to begin vaccinating and we will share the dates as soon as we have them. Lake County Health Department was able to provide the vaccine for our two homes in Lake County yesterday (the Highland Park and Lake Zurich homes)! We are very excited!

The Rimland Team

Giving Tuesday 2020

Dear Parents & Guardians

We are excited to announce that Rimland will be participating in the global initiative of #GivingTuesday2020. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

During this unprecedented time, Rimland continues to strive to expand its programs and services to our community of clients. In order to meet our mission and provide the highest level of service and programs for our clients, we rely heavily on the generosity of individuals and businesses for continued support. Without that assistance, Rimland would not be able to support your loved ones with the level of care that they need and deserve. You can help strengthen this mission on #GivingTuesday2020.

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with all of you, and your loved ones remain healthy, but spending more time at home, we find our needs and goals have shifted. Safe communication and healthy visitation with your loved one during this unprecedented time is critical. Rimland is doing everything possible to make this a priority. We have already undertaken environmental mitigation such as installation of ventilation equipment in all our residential homes and at our Community Day Services location. We have purchased electrostatic sprayers for sanitation and increased professional cleaning personnel to ensure our homes are continually being disinfected.

As COVID-19 numbers rise, limitations continue to be placed on family visitations within the Rimland community due to local ordinances. Our current needs include advanced technical video equipment to help facilitate communication between our clients and their families. We are also seeking supplemental funding enabling our Health and Wellness department to purchase advanced temperature measurement devices and scanner kiosks for staff and client safety. You can help Rimland with this initiative.

We hope that you will take part and join us in the global initiative of #GivingTuesday2020

We ask that you make a commitment to support our appeal by making a cash donation and, via social media (Facebook, Instagram, email), ask others to do the same. Your generosity will make a difference to our clients, your loved ones, by allowing us to continue our work within our Rimland Community Day Services program and residential homes.

Please follow this link on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1ST to make your contribution.

If you are donating for #GivingTuesday2020 via our website, please use the donate button on the top right corner of the homepage and include the purpose of the donation in the memo.

As always, we appreciate your time and consideration. Be well, stay healthy.

Warm wishes,

Pamela Y. Watson

Chief Executive Officer

Rimland Services NFP

A Holiday Message From The CEO

Dear Rimland Services Community,

As we enter the holiday season and approach a new year, I’m reminded about how grateful I am for the tireless efforts of our Direct Support Professionals, the backbone of our organization. This year has been anything but ordinary, and unfortunately this holiday season will be different from normal, too. While family traditions may not look the same, we can still share so much joy this holiday season as we remain healthy and safe.

Across Illinois and the rest of the country, we are seeing a surge in positive COVID-19 cases. We expect this to increase as the temperature drops and we spend more time inside. Social gatherings, whether at a house party, casual dinner, or restaurant, are places where people take their masks off to eat, drink, and chat; these are the primary situations in which COVID-19 is spread. It’s so important to follow the prevention methods that we know to be effective.

I know this is hard. And I know that this holiday season will be especially challenging for families separated from their loved ones. Taking precautions now will make future in-person celebrations even more joyous. We will feel good knowing that we did everything we could to protect our friends and family this winter.

On behalf of our Board of Directors and Leadership Team, allow me to extend our sincere desire that each of you will enjoy a peaceful and forward looking holiday season.

Kind regards,

Pamela Y. Watson, CEO

COVID-19 Vaccination Survey

Hello all – 


We want to follow up on our previous update by getting your feedback on the COVID-19 vaccination, when it becomes available. The goal of this survey is to collect preliminary information in order to plan for the future. At this time, Rimland does not know the exact time frame of when we will be given the opportunity to be involved in the vaccination process. We welcome any questions you may have. Please note that the results of this survey will only be seen by our Health and Wellness/Leadership. 

Here is a link to the survey.

COVID-19 Update 11.16.20

Hello Parents and Guardians, 

We hope everyone is well, despite the news that COVID-19 numbers are on the rise. We know the question of the holidays are on everyone’s mind. If anyone is going to go on a home visit, the 14 day minimum will remain in place. If the numbers of cases stay at this pace, we will also require a COVID-19 test before a Rimland resident returns. On-site visits (at the main office) are still on hold with the number of cases in Illinois. For Thanksgiving, we are having catered dinners for each home from Boston Market.  We welcome any questions you may have. If you would like to know more about COVID-19 testing, please reach out to our Health & Wellness Team.  

We hope to be able to share more soon, hopefully as the number of cases decrease.   

Thank you,  

The Rimland Team 

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!