1st Choice Weekly News Article: May 1st, 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) cont.

Robin Holliman-Smith, Author



1st Choice Family Services’ primary focus is the safety and well-being of its clients, staff, and community. Accordingly, our weekly articles provide readers with up-to-date information about the agency and the COVID-19 Outbreak.





During these challenging and frightening times, we are confident that as an agency and community we will make it through this season of pandemic. Moreover, the management team is happy to report that our staff is in good health and working at their full capacity. As well, we hope you and your families are in good health and in a place of safety.

1st Choice Family Services’ staff are working remotely until otherwise advised by Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine. As well, our agency will continue to follow the social distancing guidelines and recommendations set-forth by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health in Organization (WHO), and Ohio Department of Health (ODH).



Digital Campus


1st Choice Family Services’ has implemented several measures to ensure team efficiency and productivity. Our immediate goal is to provide our clients with a sense of continuity and normality.

Currently, we are utilizing a newly designed digital campus which exposes clients to social outlet experiences. The digital campus is comprised of course offerings (e.g., art lessons to fitness programs). Each course is hosted by credible instructors in our Virtual Office via Zoom.

Our digital campus is a highly interactive medium where participants are given an opportunity to enjoy a real-time communications platform. In this atmosphere clients and staff receive support, respect, and satisfaction. It is inspiring to watch staff unite to engage each client to reach their full potential. More information is located on pages 13-15 of this article.




Staff and Locations


1st Choice Family Services employs dedicated individuals with expertise in the following categories:

  • Office Administration
  • Service Managers
  • Field Trainers
  • Quality Assurance Managers, and
  • Leadership Team

1st Choice Family Services is committed to the safety of Ohioans with Development Disabilities in multiple counties throughout the state and Trinidadians in the Caribbean islands. VISION BOARD: Take over all 88 counties in Ohio by January 2022.




1st Choice Family Services overall objective is to strengthen workforce agility, competency, and performance to provide our clients with exceptional supportive services.


Strategic Agenda


1st Choice Family Services operates from a well-defined strategic agenda. The agenda assists in prioritizing short-term initiatives that support our long-term objective. It gives staff comprehensible direction and reduces the uncertainty that comes with procedural change.




Focus of this Article: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)


Stress and Coping – Need Help? 

Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990

Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233

TTY (Teletypewriter) for National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-787-3224


Stress During an Outbreak Can Cause:

  • Apprehension and fear about your health and the health of family and friends
  • Changes in eating and/or sleep patterns
  • Deterioration of chronic health problems
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping at the night


Things you can do to support yourself

  • Take breaks from reading, listening, or watching news stories and social media. Hearing about COVID-19 can be distressing.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat nutritious meals, exercise regularlyget plenty of sleep, meditate, take deep breaths, and avoid alcoholdrugs, and tobacco.
  • Make time to unwind. Do other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with people to discuss your concerns.


Contact your health care practitioner if stress prohibits your daily activities for several consecutive days.



Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Models


This week’s article will focus on the Theory of Planned Behavior Model. To review, prior articles have focused on five models, to include the Ecological, Health Belief, Social Cognitive Theory, Transtheoretical Model/Stages of Change and Precede-Proceed Model. The models are utilized in program planning to more fully comprehend and rationalize health behaviors to monitor the identification, development, and implementation of an intervention.

When identifying a model and/or theory it is necessary to consider a range of factors, such as the health problem being evaluated, the population(s), and the environment in which the program is being implemented. In most cases, disease prevention and health promotion programs will typically refer to one or more models and/or theories.



The Theory of Planned Behavior Model


Figure 1. Retrieved Here


The theory was expected to rationalize all behaviors in which persons could exert self-control. The model’s key component is behavioral intent. To explain, behavioral intentions are inspired by the attitude about the possibility that the behavior will have an expected result and the subjective assessment of the risks and gains of that outcome.

The TPB has been successful in predicting and explaining wide-ranging health behaviors and habits, such as drinking, smoking, breastfeeding, substance abuse, and health services utilization. The TPB is consist of six constructs that cooperatively represent an individual’s actual control over the behavior:

  1. Attitudes – the degree to which an individual has a favorable or unfavorable assessment of the behavior of concern.
  2. Behavioral intention – the motivational factors that impact a behavior where the stronger the intention to execute the behavior, more than likely the behavior will be performed.
  3. Subjective norms – the belief about whether persons will approve or disapprove of the   behavior.
  4. Social norms – the traditional codes of behavior in a group or larger cultural context.    Social norms are deemed normative, or universal, in a group of people.
  5. Perceived power – the perceived existence of factors that can impede performance of a behavior.
  1. Perceived behavioral control – an individual’s perception of the ease or complexity of performing the behavior of concern.



Comparison Charts


Figure 2. Retrieved Here


What is a Comparison Chart?

A comparison chart is a visual comparison tool which helps to compare between two similar or unlike phenomenons relative to process, objects or groups of data. They also provide both quantitative and qualitative data.

In Figure 3, page 8, a comparison chart on Mapping Ohio’s COVID-19 Cases, Updates and Trends.

Comparison charts are mostly used by organizations to analyze the progress of different data groups.


Figure 3. Retrieved Here


In the above caption, reported coronavirus cases, updates and trends for the state of Ohio are compared from April 20 to April 23.

On April 20, Harrison and Vinton counties had no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

On April 23, Vinton county was the only county in Ohio with no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

On April 27, Vinton County reported three pending cases of COVID-19. To review this update, refer to Figure 4.

In comparing April 20 to April 23, notice the overall increase in confirmed cases, and especially in Marion County (from 91 on April 20 to 2073 on April 23). To review the reason for this horrendous spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19, refer to Figure 5.

In Vinton County, Ohio, another positive case of COVID-19 was been confirmed by the county Health Department on Monday, April 27, 2020. That brings the county’s total number of confirmed cases to three.

In the state of Ohio, Overall, there have been more than 17,300 COVID-19 cases and more than 900 deaths.

Health departments in Ohio urge people to continue to maintain social distancing, frequent and thorough handwashing and wearing a mask while in public.


Figure 4


Vinton County, a steeply hilled, heavily wooded county about 75 miles southeast of Columbus, Oh. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,435, making it the least populous county in the state. Its county seat is McArthur. The county is named for Samuel Finley Vinton, US Representative from Ohio.

The population of Ohio’s Marion County is just over 65,000. Yet, as of Tuesday, April 21, it has the highest number of cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Marion Correctional Facility is one of the nation’s largest sources of COVID-19 infections.

Seventy-eight percent (1,800) of prisoners have tested positive for coronavirus and most of them were unaware they had contracted the virus.


Figure 5.

Marion Correctional Institution is a minimum to medium-security prison for men located in Marion County, Ohio. It is owned and operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The facility first opened in 1954 and has a general working population of 2623 Inmates.




Situation in Trinidad and Tobago


Figure 6. Retrieved Here



On the Brighter Side




Governor DeWine’s Responsible Restart-Ohio Plan



Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-644-0957

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Business organizations across Ohio praised Governor DeWine’s Responsible Restart-Ohio plan, which will restart Ohio’s economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


“Today’s announcement on the reopening strategies of Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted are responsible first steps to Ohio getting back to business. For many businesses in Ohio, the staged reopening of commerce beginning May 1 through May 12 is a relief. We appreciate that the DeWine Administration listened to the business community as well as relevant experts in establishing the required safety protocols.”


“Ohio Hospital Association appreciates the opportunity to continue working with Governor DeWine and his administration on Ohio’s efforts to combat COVID-19. This pandemic presented many challenges to our state demanding unique and difficult decisions for hospitals and our communities. We commend the governor and his administration for collaborating with the health care community to resume elective surgeries and procedures. Ohio hospitals are safe places to receive care. No one should hesitate to present to their community hospital for services that are needed.”


“The Ohio Township Association (OTA) appreciates Governor DeWine’s measured response and decision to begin opening Ohio on May 1st. The OTA looks forward to continued collaboration on addressing the needs of Ohio townships and those they serve. The OTA is grateful for the leadership of the DeWine Administration during this difficult time.”

More information found here.



1st Choice Family Services

Digital Campus

Course Offerings:


Art Classes

Host: Mr. Sidney Wilson – Master Artist and Director of Therapeutic Program

  • Staff and clients join in to utilize their imaginations and develop skills to create beautiful canvas paintings. For example, art classes help to promote an optimistic attitude, nurtures emotional growth, and strengthens memory.


Athletic Club

Host: Mr. Micaiah Wilson – Professional International Trainer from Trinidad –

Two memberships: International Sports Science Association (ISSA) and International Strength Training Association (ISTA)

  • Staff and clients are involved in a variety of activities, such as: Cardio, Jogging, Strength and Conditioning Exercises, Meditation Techniques, and Yoga Training. Established Health and Fitness Goals: Athletic purposes, Sports-driven, and Weight loss-based.


COVID-19 Forum

Host: Dr. Robin Holliman-Smith -Specialization: Organization Leadership

  • All-Staff are encouraged to participate in this open environment. The forum is all-inclusive, and it provides a platform for interactive dialogue. We invite Guest Speakers to share their knowledge and areas of expertise. As well, our team of professionals are energetic and current on breaking news and top stories. Team members share their experiences, opinions, on-line news articles, and information from other media outlets.
  • Currently, our forum discussions are focused on COVID-19 and its impact on “Global Healthand the Global Economic Crisis.” An on-going comparative analysis is shared, and is comprised of Ohio, U.S., and countries around the Globe. For our Trinidad Office, we review Media Releases relevant to COVID-19. Regarding protective measures, 1st Choice Family Services follows guidelines enforced by Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and the World Health Organization.


Digital Lounge

Host: Staff Rotation Cycle

  • Staff and clients are given an opportunity to hangout and enjoy lunch in the digital lounge together as one community. The word “community” is derived from the Latin word “communis” and it means common. Within this relaxing community, common interests are shared, cultural dynamics are captured, personal concerns are tabled, goals become reality, and “staff to staff” and “staff to client” relationships are strengthened.


Game Room

Host: Staff Rotation Cycle

  • Staff and clients are given an opportunity to participate in many of the latest games (e.g., Charades, Bingo, and Hangman). The game room provides time and space for individuals to increase their mental agility, reduce fatigue, and release stress and anxiety.


Music Center

Co-Hosts: Ms. Brandi Cotton and Mr. Steve Franklin – Professional Disc Jockeys

  • Staff and clients can express an array of feelings based on their emotions which includes being happy, inspired, or contemplative. Whatever the feeling, music has a positive impact on an individual’s mood. Also, individuals are given an opportunity to take part in karaoke or sing-along to display their vocal talents. Dancing to the music helps to boosts staff and clients’ level of alertness, and releases endorphins that burn off tension.


TikTok Videos

Host: Service Managers

  • Staff and clients learn how to create personalize videos that capture life’s most precious moments. TikTok enables participants to share their passions and innovative expressions in designing their video productions. This activity includes a weekly entertaining TikTok dance challenge and prizes are awarded.



  • 1st Choice Family Services will continue to monitor the latest news on the COVID-19. Our staff will receive daily updates and participate in bi-weekly COVID-19 forums.
  • 1st Choice Family Services follows preventive measures and guidelines for combating COVID-19 in line with Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
  • 1st Choice Family Services would like to extend their deep gratitude to everyone who is working to ensure our clients, staff, families, and neighborhoods stay healthy and safe for the duration of this pandemic.
  • 1st Choice Family Services is extremely appreciative to other Direct Care Agencies for their dedication to providing quality and timely services that are client and family centered, culturally responsive, and sensitive to the needs, feelings, and opinions of the clients we all enjoy serving.