Monday, June 1, 2020

Opening Up ...

Today is our first day back in the office after shutting down in mid-March. It's been a surreal few months for us and, we are sure, for most of you.

First of all, we hope that all our patients, colleagues, and their families are well and have been staying safe. We have continued Yellin Center operations remotely during the worst of the pandemic, using technology to conduct consultations, follow-ups, medical management appointments, and attend CSE meetings. Dr. Yellin also stayed in close touch with his medical colleagues at NYU and elsewhere, to remain on top of the latest facts and recommendations, while Dr. Reddy has explored whether and how to conduct aspects of our evaluations using technology.

We've kept our terrific staff on board and they have been in touch with many of the families and students we serve, scheduling virtual meetings and working on the many steps needed to open our offices safely for everyone. We've posted our current policies on our website and will continue to update these as circumstances change.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've reconfigured our spacious office to allow for social distancing during evaluations and stocked up on masks, gloves, sanitizers, and table dividers. We've removed the toys, games, and magazines from our waiting areas and are screening our staff and all visitors before they get to our office -- and taking no-touch temperatures when they arrive. Masks are required to enter our building and in our offices.

We will continue to conduct many aspects of our services via technology, to minimize contact between students, their families, and our staff, but at this time are not offering the core aspects of our assessments remotely.

On a personal note, we've gained a new grandson, born during the height of the pandemic, where a last-minute switch of hospitals enabled his parents to be together during delivery. We've discovered a wonderful new website,  Readeo, that enables us to have our two and a half year old grandson, who does not live nearby, to read a book together with us. But, like so many of you, we also have had friends and family struggle with illness and, sadly, loss.

As we look around at our world, beset by the strains of pandemic and injustice, we hope that our lives and our cities will be like the plants we found when we returned to our offices after weeks at home. They were battered and bent, but we hold out hope that with time and care they will once again be healthy and thriving. We hope the same for you, our city and our country.

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