Letter to our Latham Community from President & CEO Anne McManus
Dear Latham Centers Community,
Next month, Latham Centers will be 50 years old. We won’t be celebrating this impressive milestone together any time soon, but it is so important that we pause – just for a moment – to appreciate our staff of more than 260 who are focused on one thing: the safety of our students and residents.
While school campuses and businesses are closed globally, our residential programs remain open, and our staff continues to work their shifts supporting the children and adults we serve. We know we will emerge even stronger after the threat of this global pandemic is over. That day cannot come soon enough.
We are all in this together — experiencing feelings of uncertainty, loss, and isolation. Together, we are committed to our students and residents and to our mission — creating opportunities for each of them to experience independence, self-worth, and happiness. I have separate messages for the children and adults who call Latham home, our staff, Latham families, and our community:
To our students and residents: Your staff is there for you, helping you achieve your goals even in difficult times. Your educational, clinical, and vocational services might not be conducted in the ways you’re accustomed to, but staff are working so hard to be creative in developing fun and meaningful activities for you. I know you’re working just as hard to keep yourselves, your home and housemates, your school and suitemates, and your staff healthy – washing your hands, giving one another space, and following all of the other safety and hygiene guidelines. It is so important and makes a difference for everyone.
To our staff: I thank you for continuing to be courageous, flexible, understanding, and empathetic in your work with students and residents – and in your interactions with colleagues. We have asked you to pivot and do more, and you have answered the call beyond our asks. We are all adjusting to a new reality in residential treatment – not only for our Program components (residential counselors/direct support professionals, nursing, clinical, and special education professionals), but also for every department working hard to support our Programs: Human Resources/Organizational Development, Business Office/Finance, Facilities, Housekeeping, IT, Administrative Staff… I thank you all for your perseverance during this acutely difficult time. I know that as much as you all care about our students and residents, you are also balancing the demands of your work at Latham and your families. I have witnessed your creativity and resourcefulness and your unparalleled generosity in stressful circumstances. You are the calming influence our program participants need; you are the heart and soul of Latham Centers. And as I have said many times, you are the best!
As you face new challenges in the days ahead, I urge you to reach out to Human Resources, to your supervisor or manager, or directly to me with questions, concerns, or suggestions.
To our families: I recognize that you are bearing the burden of not being able to visit your children here at Latham during this unprecedented global emergency. Still, you have tearfully asked what you can do to help, and you have called and sent emails to express your overwhelming gratitude for our staff members who continue to care for and support your loved ones. You are part of the Latham family, and we couldn’t do this life-changing work without you. We’ll find ways to ‘let you in’ without your physical presence. Thank you for your strength and partnership.
Finally, to our extended Latham Community: Throughout our 50 years of service, Latham Centers has overcome challenges – weathering hurricanes and blizzards, delays in funding, staffing shortages, and misinformation about our work and the populations we serve. We take great pride in our super-culture of teamwork that has enabled us to devise new ways to advance our mission while gratefully welcoming a vast network of friends and supporters who are now part of our Latham Family. Thank you all – we are buoyed by the support of our community partners and your continued offers to help. Together, we will continue to provide a rich and vibrant future for the children and adults who call Latham Centers home for decades to come.
For those who have asked how they can help us, we’ll share a ‘wish-list’ on our blog soon.
I pray that each of you and your loved ones remains safe and healthy. I leave you with this quote:
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
– John Quincy Adams
President & CEO
Latham Centers, Inc.