Resident and Family Letter, from Danny Stricker, President, Ascension Living

Dear Ascension Living Residents, Participants and Family Members, 

Keeping our residents, participants, and associates safe and healthy – and keeping everyone  informed – continue to be our top priorities as we respond to COVID-19 and rely on state and  federal health experts for guidance. We’re pleased to share current information about COVID-19  vaccines. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring the safety, effectiveness  and availability of vaccines in the United States. The FDA requires extensive testing to protect  safety and identify any potential side effects.  

Many healthcare workers and first responders will receive the earliest wave of available COVID-19  vaccines, as these professions are exposed to the virus at higher rates than others. Under CDC  guidelines, older residents of nursing homes and those with high-risk health conditions also will be  eligible to receive vaccinations in the first phases. You can find more information at www.cdc.gov  and on the Ascension website at https://healthcare.ascension.org/covid-19/covid-vaccine.

As you may know, two drug manufacturers – Pfizer and Moderna – have requested Emergency Use  Authorization (EAU) for their COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer was granted EAU approval on Dec. 10. Each  of these vaccines has demonstrated safety and effectiveness, and the FDA is expected to authorize  both of them for emergency use this month. We believe the vaccines are both safe and effective  and the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any identified risks or side effects. 

I am happy to report that Ascension Living communities will soon be able to make a COVID-19  vaccine available to residents, participants, and associates who wish to receive the immunization.  Vaccine availability will vary by state and community. The earliest some communities will receive  the vaccine is in late-December.  

We strongly encourage all Ascension Living residents, participants and associates to receive the  COVID-19 vaccine. Residents will not be given the vaccine without the permission of the resident or  resident representative/medical proxy and documentation in resident charts, as is standard practice  for other vaccines. If you want to receive the vaccine, you will need to complete the Walgreens Community Off-Site Vaccine Administration Record (VAR)—Informed Consent for Vaccination.  Soon you will hear from your community leader regarding how to return the form. 

We will continue to follow infection-prevention guidelines from the CDC, Centers for Medicare &  Medicaid Services (CMS), and state and local health departments. We look forward to being able to  adjust protocols and ease restrictions when advised by CDC, CMS, public health officials and our  infection control specialists that it is safe to do so while continuing to prevent the spread of  COVID-19. Our current community restrictions can be found on the Resources Page of  AscensionLiving.org. We will not stop working to keep our communities healthy during this time and  prevent the spread of infection while continuing to care for those who need us most. Our  community leaders will continue to keep you informed of any new developments in your  community.  

We know this has been a difficult time for you and your family. We are doing all we can to connect  our residents and beloved family members, while ensuring the continued safety of all and adhering  to relevant regulations and guidance. Here are a few helpful ideas for how to stay virtually  connected this upcoming holiday season: 

Personal devices for video chats, emails, text messages and phone calls
Cards and letters with messages of support and updates on family members
Recorded videos and video messages shared through email or text messages
Care packages with photos, drawings, favorite snacks and forms of entertainment (e.g., books, magazines, puzzles). Our teams are happy to deliver to your loved one.

If you have any questions, please contact your community leader or email:

Now and always, Ascension Living is here for you and your family. We hope you have a blessed and  joyful holiday season. 


Danny Stricker, President, Ascension Living