June 30, 2020
While everyone has been busy working remotely, homeschooling, and learning to live life socially distanced, AH has been looking ahead at when and how to reopen the AH offices safely for staff. With a great deal of consideration, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and government authorities, AH has proactively developed a return-to-work action plan—to be implemented at a later date when it’s determined that it’s safe to do so—to ensure safety while also balancing AH’s and its client partners’ staffing needs.
Step One: A Phased Approach
The cornerstone of AH’s return-to-work action plan is a phased approach to welcoming AH staff back to the offices. The earliest phase of reopening the office to AH staff limits the number of employees in the building at a given time. Employees will undergo a health screening process that includes daily temperature checks prior to entering the office and will also be required to wear masks and maintain social distance. Subsequent phases include increasing the number of employees allowed in the building at a time, rotating in-office and remote work days across the AH staff, and the eventual return to business-related travel when necessary.
Step 2: Employee Screening Protocols
In welcoming staff back to the office, AH also bears a responsibility to ensure that those who are in the offices are healthy. In addition to daily temperature checks, employees coming into the AH offices will be asked to confirm their health status via a confidential screening process the day before they return to work. If an employee reports exposure or there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, AH has developed a protocol that incorporates self-quarantine, contact tracing, and office closure, if necessary.
Step 3: Stopping the Spread
AH implemented rigorous office cleaning efforts when COVID-19 closures were announced. In preparation for the day the offices can reopen, those cleaning efforts have been further expanded along with documented social distancing guidelines designed to reduce interactions and stop the spread of illness. This guidance has been clearly communicated to AH employees and will be worked into the fabric of AH, ensuring hygiene and social distancing best practices are the norm.
This return-to-work action plan is just the beginning of what may be a long road to fully reopening the AH offices, with no formal date set for the return to the AH offices.
April 29, 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis wears on, we want to update the association community on how AH is navigating this new environment for businesses, associations, and the professions they represent.
First and foremost, to those working in the health care field, we are humbled by your heroic dedication to your patients during this challenging time. Be safe, stay healthy, and know that we all look forward to the day we can all safely gather together again.
We are fortunate to report that the entire AH staff is safe and healthy and has been working remotely for more than a month with no disruption to services for our client partners. AH’s incredible Technology Services team has worked tirelessly and quickly to ensure staff have the resources they need to keep our client partners fully functioning.
AH created an internal Coronavirus Task Force whose sole responsibility is to filter much of the incoming “chatter” about COVID-19 and distill it down to information our staff and clients will find valuable. In addition, teams throughout AH have come together to provide guidance on issues affecting associations during the COVID-19 response:
Marketing & Communications
AH has continued marketing and communication efforts with the current environment in mind, and think as we always have: how do we reach our audiences in terms of short-, medium-, and long-term strategic objectives? While a single solution never works for all, there are some fundamentals we recommend you consider: For starters, don’t allow anxiety to drive your communications. Clarity, understanding the facts, and temperament are paramount in the current environment. Allow health authorities to provide medical guidance while taking a measured approach to sharing updates to your association operations in response to COVID-19.
Conference & Meeting Management
With the cancellation or postponement of annual conferences and meetings, our teams are working tirelessly with those who have meetings later in the year, aiding in communications to those effected, and where applicable, seeking alternative dates, venues and/or virtual options to keep your audiences connected. As appropriate, our Client Services Financial Team is processing refunds on behalf of clients as quickly as possible.
Client Financial Services
AH’s staff accountants are working with our Chief Staff Executive and client financial advisors to model financial scenarios for how this pandemic may impact each association’s financial standing. We want you to be prepared with the right data to be able to make sound financial decisions to ensure the future success of your organizations. With six CPAs on staff, AH is well-prepared to provide sound financial guidance as we navigate this crisis together. Please lean on us!
In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Congress passed, and the president signed, a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). There are provisions of this emergency financial aid legislation that should assist associations, credentialing bodies and professional societies. While the Small Business Administration has until the end of April to provide final guidance, our team is working around the clock to understand and communicate the favorable components of CARES that could benefit our associations. We are holding a webinar with our Chief Staff Executives in the coming days to fully educate them on the impact CARES could have. Specifically, we’ll be discussing two applicable components of the CARES Act.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide loans of up to $2 million for organizations impacted by COVID-19, including non-profits. At the current time, it is unclear if it applies to 501(c)(6) organizations but we are encouraging AH’s client partners to apply as funding is limited.
- The Paycheck Protection Program only applies to those who employ their own staff. The paycheck protection program is a forgivable loan intended to pay for eight weeks of a business's payroll costs, so the company can retain workers or hire back those it has already laid off.
Continuing to engage your audience is necessary during a public health crisis. We are all nervous and potentially fearful of the unknown; maintaining a sense of normalcy and engagement with the people, businesses, and brands we know is often helpful. Communicate pertinent information with your members, certificants, and other constituents, let them know what’s changing and what’s not. AH’s current priority is to keep our client partner organizations as healthy as possible while we navigate COVID-19 together.
March 19, 2020
To Our Valued Client Partners –
We hope this message finds you and your families safe and healthy.
We wanted to provide a brief update on the actions that AH is undertaking to ensure ongoing support to you, our valued clients, and maintain continuity of service during these very challenging times.
Our first priority is to keep our staff and their families healthy, as well as provide a safe work environment for everyone in order to ensure business continuity and service delivery.
Like you, we are actively monitoring the directives coming from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities. Currently the White House has recommended that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. Accordingly, and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to close the office until further notice. We have also activated our business continuity plan which allows for all staff to work remotely, with access to all technology and software systems. Only essential staff will be in the office following a “shift” schedule to ensure operational support.
We will continue to provide the uninterrupted, world class customer service that you expect from us.
Please take care of yourself and each other and should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to either of us.