Monday, June 15, 2020
Pine Tree Society continues the process of reopening and evolving its services that were impacted by COVID-19.
Pine Tree Camp to You and Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass registration is open and accepting applicants. Pine Tree Camp has launched staff training necessary to offer these new remote and on-site programs.
Early Learning Center will begin to offer in-person services on Monday, June 15. We will be limited to three children per class in the morning and the afternoon. We will also continue to offer remote programming.
Speech and Language Services continues to offer both individual and Extended School Year services via telepractice. We are able to provide on-site services. Clients must complete health screening and be able to follow infection prevention protocols. Our Demo and Loan program has reopened and we can provide equipment via mail or curbside pick-ups.
Case Management is operational and accepting new clients. Case managers are working closely with their clients and their families planning for their return to programs as Maine’s providers are relaunching services.
Home and Community Support for Children is operational and accepting new clients. We have begun to scale back up our in-person services as families and providers are ready. We have openings in the greater Auburn and Portland areas. All clients and employees must follow infection prevention protocols including health screening. We are also working with our partners in the schools to identify school-based Section 28 needs.
Community Support has launched small group programming in addition to remote programming. Small group programming is focused on outdoor activities and immersing in nature. We are working closely with clients and their families to return to programming at the pace that is comfortable to them and meets their needs. We have openings in both our Auburn and Scarborough locations.
Audiology is providing in-person service with increased time between appointments for disinfecting the treatment space. The program is also providing curbside service for repairs and purchasing supplies.
Interpreting Services has been providing in person and video remote interpreting throughout the pandemic. We continue to provide interpreting for the Maine CDC daily briefings. We have seen an increase in requests in line with Maine’s reopening.
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Pine Tree Society’s audiology department has created special in-office hours Monday through Thursday mornings for at risk populations, including seniors. This will allow us to safely serve clients with urgent needs.
In order to ensure safety, we have implemented a range of enhancements including symptom screening, enhanced disinfecting and cleaning of treatment spaces, social distancing, PPE and curbside waiting rooms.
We will also continue to provide supplies curbside or via mail order and require all repairs to have curbside drop off and pick up.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
After careful consideration, planning and consultation with Maine’s CDC, Pine Tree Society is beginning the process of reopening its services that were impacted by COVID-19. The first phase of reopening will be limited to audiology, speech language and Assistive Technology services and home support and community support. (Please note: Sign Language Interpreting, Case Management Services and Home and Community Supports for children have continued to operate and provide services through the COVID-19 pandemic.)
In person services will be provided on a case-by-case, one-on-one basis. The Pine Tree Society team is implementing the following protocols to keep our clients and staff safe:
- We will begin our reopening with limited appointments/service hours.
- Appointments and services will be limited and structured to maximize physical distancing.
- Clients will be subject to pre-visit symptom checks. We will be unable to provide services with anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
- We will ask clients to call upon arrival to our office and wait in their car until the service provider is ready for their appointment.
- To assist with physical distancing practices, we ask that clients enter the office space alone, or with one essential caregiver, if necessary.
- A cloth face covering must be worn by anyone entering our officers.
- Pine Tree Society staff will practice physical distancing and wear PPE including masks, shields and gloves according to CDC recommendations.
- Hands, equipment and treatment spaces will be thoroughly sanitized after each client.
While we are working to reopen in person services, we do, however, encourage clients to schedule telepractice services wherever possible. Pine Tree Society quickly expanded its use of telepractice in March and continues to provide and expand services via this medium.
Friday, May 1, 2020
Pine Tree Camp Announces 2020 Summer Camp Plan
We have a saying in the camping community: 10 for two. Ten months of planning and preparation for two months of incredible summer programming. And now, we have a new saying: one for 75. One summer of being creative in how we connect and engage in order to preserve and continue the traditions of Pine Tree Camp for the next 75 years.
After consulting CDC, the State of Maine, American Camping Association at the national level, as well as the industry that serves others with disabilities, we have made the hard decision to cancel all traditional Pine Tree Camp sessions for the summer of 2020. We do this with the safety and health of our campers, staff, and our community as a whole.
We have gotten creative over the past few months offering Pine Tree Camp to You to keep our community engaged, connected and active. We will continue this remote Pine Tree Camp to You programming on Facebook and invite our community to join us there.
We know access to the outdoors is important. We are planning to launch, starting in July, Pine Tree Camp Adventure Day Pass.This program will open Pine Tree Camp’s campus on a day pass capacity to a limited number of people at a time. Pine Tree Camp Adventure Days offers the opportunity for Maine people with disabilities to experience the magic of camp while continuing to adhere to the physical distancing policies. People will experience hiking on our nature trails, boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming – in a safe manner. Stay tuned for more information!
From all of us here at Pine Tree Camp and Pine Tree Society, we appreciate your commitment to Pine Tree Camp and our mission of discovering abilities together
Out of this time of uncertainty has come great acts of kindness, innovation, creativity, and strength. We are looking as what we can gain from this experience to improve and expand what we already do and make it stronger.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Zoom is a HIPAA-compliant tool that Pine Tree Society uses to provide telepractice services. We have been closely following Zoom’s recommendations to ensure a secure web conferencing environment. We have implemented measures to secure our Zoom sessions against the practice of “Zoombombing,” such as password protection of online meeting rooms by default, elimination of Meeting ID display, removal of the attendee attention tracking feature and implementation of a new join flow for web clients.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Our technology has a name: It’s called telehealth
At Pine Tree Society, we’re committed to discovering abilities together, and one of the ways we can be together during this time of social distancing is through the use of technology.
Maine is a big state and we’ve used technology to bridge distances for years. Providing ASL interpretation via video conference, for example. This technology we use has a name: telehealth. You’ll be hearing that word a lot in the weeks ahead because telehealth has quickly become a critical way to keep us all safe and healthy without interrupting needed services and support you rely on.
Telehealth is, quite simply, the use of technology to bring services to people via remote technology platforms rather than in person; allowing licensed professionals to provide HIPPA compliant services without physical contact or travel.
In most cases, telehealth is a video chat on a computer or smart phone. Pine Tree Society offers telehealth/remote services using Zoom, which is a user-friendly video conferencing technology that is easily accessed from any device.
Our expanded telehealth services include:
- Speech Language Pathology: Our Speech Language Pathologists are available to schedule remote telehealth speech therapy sessions. Contact Linda Bonnar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-386-5931.
- Assistive Technology for Learning and Living: Our Assistive Technology Practitioners can provide remote telepractice consults for Assistive Technology for Learning and Living. Contact Linda Bonnar at email@example.com or 207-386-5931.
- Sign Language Interpreting: Our Sign Language Interpreters are available to provide interpreting services and support instruction for children who are Deaf. Contact Tim Wilbur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-386-5971 or 207-510-4647 VP.
- Case Management: Our Case Management team is here to support people with disabilities and their families with individualized services during this stressful time. Our team can help identify and connect families to community-based services. Contact Julie Brennan at email@example.com or 207-386-5952.
- Audiology: Our audiologists are offering both telephone and telepractice appointment for trouble shooting hearing aids and any additional training people may need to support use of hearing aids. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-386-5920.
Friday, March 20, 2020
Pine Tree Society partnering with schools to support remote learning
Pine Tree Society has adapted quickly to the events of the past few weeks. In an effort to support the remote learning of students with special needs, we are offering a variety of remote services.
Here are some ways we can support schools, students and their families during this time. (Please note, we are offering telehealth/remote services using Zoom, user-friendly video conferencing technology that is easily accessed from any device.)
- Our Speech Language Pathologists are available to schedule remote telehealth speech therapy sessions allowing children who continue to work on their communication goals. Contact Linda Bonnar at email@example.com or 386-5931.
- Our Assistive Technology Practitioners can provide remote telehealth consults for Assistive Technology for Learning to support children who may have more challenges accessing the curriculum during social isolation. Contact Linda Bonnar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-5931.
- Our Sign Language Interpreters are available to support instruction for children who are Deaf. We are also available to interpret important messages to families so Deaf parents and community members can receive important updates in their native language. Contact Tim Wilbur at email@example.com or 386-5971 or 510-4647 VP.
- Our Case Management team is here to support students and their families with individualized services during this stressful time. Our team can help identify and connect the families to community-based services. Contact Julie Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-5952.
- We are also utilizing Facebook for sharing information and resources to support families as they work to keep their child engaged as well as opportunities to connect with other during this time of isolation. Please feel free to share our Facebook pages with parents and those who need resources: Pine Tree Society and Pine Tree Camp.
We are here to help.
Friday, March 13, 2020
In times like these, Pine Tree Society’s programs and services are more important than ever. We are working closely with our partners including the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education and hospitals throughout the state to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver our mission safely and effectively. As we have throughout our history, Pine Tree Society is able to remain nimble, quickly adapting to meet the needs of Maine children and adults with disabilities and the families who care for them.
Here are some of the things we are working on:
- Our case management team has begun working remotely, proactively checking in with clients to identify opportunities for support.
- Pine Tree Society’s speech language pathologists are supporting school districts in implementing distance learning for students with special needs. The team is also providing speech services remotely using the telehealth model.
- Pine Tree Society is working closely with hospitals throughout the state ensuring that sign language interpreters are ready and available when needed in person and via telehealth.
- While our Early Learning Center in Auburn is closed, our team continues to support parents with telephone consultations. Our teachers are staying connected with their students through activities like reading stories over the phone.
- We are continuing to screen and adhere to hygiene protocols as established by the CDC for employees and clients who are coming to us for clinic-based speech services, audiology and community support programs.
We will continue to share updates and resources on our Facebook pages and website.