1st Choice Weekly News Article: April 24th, 2020

Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) cont.

Robin Holliman-Smith, Author




1st Choice Family Services’ primary concern is the safety and well-being of its clients, staff, and community. This article provides readers with up-to-date information about our 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).

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.



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.

1st Choice Family Services strategic agenda includes value-based ground rules. The ground rules serve a dual-purpose: 1) to clarify expectations for participant behavior, and 2) it allows the facilitator to maintain a productive discussion. Eight ground rules are listed below:

  • Respect all teammates and agree to disagree
  • Keep unnecessary jargon to a minimum
  • Admit the need for clarification when confused
  • Seek out unconventional ideas/ways to solve issues
  • Discuss alternate methods for completing assignments
  • Pull together instead of pulling away when facing challenges
  • Make decisions based on available options and apply good judgment
  • Share relevant information with all staff (e.g., Connect-A-Voice, Deputy, Webmail, etc.)



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 Bio-Psychosocial and factors in Health. To review, prior articles have focused on four models, to include the Ecological, Health Belief, Social Cognitive Theory, Transtheoretical Model/Stages of Change, and the 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.



Biophyschosocial Models


The biopsychosocial model (BPS) is a common model or approach theorizing that biological, psychological (e.g., thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and social factors, together play a sizeable role in individual functioning in the context of disease or disability.

BPS model is a comprehensive model that considers the interconnection among factors, such as biology, psychology, and socio environmental. The model expressly examines how these facets play a role in matters varying from wellbeing and disease models to human development. BPS was created by George L. Engel in 1977. This model was the first of its type to utilize multifaceted thinking.

Application of the BPS model contends that the mechanisms of the body, mind, and environment all impact each other. The theory suggests that each factor is not enough to bring about health or illness. Rather, it is the collaboration between all factors that determines outcomes.


Figure 1. Retrieved here

Health promotion needs to include all three factors. Furthermore, an increasing body of experimental literature proposes that it is the blending of health standing, perceptions of health, and sociocultural obstacles to accessing health care that affect the probability of a person participating in health-promoting activities, such as taking medication, good diet or nutrition, and participating in physical activity.

Due to COVID-19, the lives of individuals, families, and friends are at stake. This pandemic outbreak continues to cause concern and fear for many around the globe. The Biopsychosocial Model can be utilized to address patients who develop mental health and psychosocial issues during this time of crisis.

 Like all models, the BPS is no exception to receiving criticism about its limitations. However, it continues to maintain influence in the disciplines of health, human development, medicine, and psychology.



From Governor Mike Dewine

FDA Reagent Approval

Ohio will soon be able to conduct more COVID-19 testing following the FDA’s approval of a new testing reagent,

Testing Strike Team

Former Ohio governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft will lead an effort to find more testing reagents and supplies.

Banking Partnership

A new partnership between JobsOhio, Peoples Bank, and First Federal-Home Savings Bank will help small businesses in Ohio.



12,919 Reported Cases

Figure 2. Retriever here

Vinton County remains only county in Ohio without confirmed COVID-19 case

Inmates at Marion Correctional have contributed to Marion County leading in the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 12,919 coronavirus cases to date in Ohio are spread across 87 of the state’s 88 counties, with 509 deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported Monday.

Tuesday, April 21, update at this link: Mapping Ohio’s 13,725 reported coronavirus cases.


Coronavirus Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio—While the DeWine administration has hailed the effectiveness of its social-distancing restrictions to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus infections in Ohio, the disease is escalating among one group of Ohioans who cannot stay at home: prison inmates.

As of late Sunday afternoon, 2,400 of the 11,602 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio have been found among inmates in 13 of the state’s 28 prison facilities, including six inmate deaths. That is up from 1,441 confirmed cases on Saturday.

Note: Almost one in four Ohio coronavirus cases now come from the state’s prisons


Marion Correctional – More than 1,800 inmates tested positive


Figure 3. Retrieved here



Comparison Charts


Figure 4. Retrieved here


Figure 5. Retrieved here


Figure 6. Retrieved here

Note: Totals Include Confirmed and CDC Expanded Case Definition (Probable)

Data received from Ohio Department of Health – Updated 4/21/2020


COVID-19 Deaths Worldwide

Figure 7. Retrieved here


Situation in Trinidad and Tobago


Figure 8. Retrieved here



General COVID-19 Principles for Talking to Children


Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.

Make yourself available to listen and to talk.

  • Make time to talk. Be sure children know they can come to you when they have questions.

Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Remember that viruses can make anyone sick, regardless of a person’s race or ethnicity. Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19.

Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.

  • Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.

Provide information that is honest and accurate.

  • Give children information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child.
  • Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick.
  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
    (e.g., increased handwashing, cancellation of events or activities)
  • Get children into a handwashing habit.
    • Teach them to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
    • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. Supervise young children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent swallowing alcohol, especially in schools and childcare facilities.

Retrieved here




Ohio Department of Health –

Premature Death Statistics

Years of Potential Life Lost Before Age 75 per 1,000 Population, 2014-2017

Figure 8. Retrieved here



Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

Figure 9. Retrieved here



COVID-19 Test (At-Home Kit) Price $119


Figure 10.



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.