IAHD’s Update to CoronaVirus COVID-19

March 30, 2020 | Comments Off on IAHD’s Update to CoronaVirus COVID-19

March 30, 2020

These past few weeks have been tumultuous, to say the least. The CoronaVirus outbreak has changed life as we all know it and it’s certainly changed the way we do business at IAHD.

Like the rest of the world, we have individuals we support and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are doing all that we can to keep people healthy and to help those who have tested positive recover as quickly as possible. Thankfully, all individuals and staff who’ve tested positive are recovering.

We have been able to convert our Day Programs into isolation/quarantine sites, which have helped us to minimize the spread of infection. As people test positive or show signs consistent with COVID-19, we are able to isolate them in place or move them to an isolation/quarantine site. This has proven to be an effective way to minimize the spread of infection.

Currently, only staff who are working directly with people who’ve tested positive are required by OPWDD (per DOH guidance) to wear masks and other PPE. However, IAHD is working diligently to ensure EVERY staff working directly with people we support have masks, whether people have tested positive or not.

We ensure staff do not become complacent and continue to make use of UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS a priority. We know this is THE best defense against the spread of infection.


  • Governor Cuomo announced that The Department of Health (DOH) has developed a less intrusive saliva and short nasal swab test that can be self administered in the presence of health care workers.
  • Tests will likely be available beginning next week.

The governor has also highlighted anticipation of a surge of positive cases in the next 2-3 weeks.

IAHD is taking aggressive measures to prepare and prevent that surge by:

1. Securing adequate PPE for staff

2. Continuing to educate staff and people we support

3. Ramping up our already rigorous sanitizing efforts

4. Isolating/quarantining people as warranted to prevent spread

All of us at IAHD are committed to be there for the people we support and their families.

I am truly grateful to the staff who sacrifice so much each day in commitment to our mission. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been impacted by this pandemic around the world.

Omayra Andino

IAHD’s response to COVID-19

March 23, 2020 | Comments Off on IAHD’s response to COVID-19
Chemistry lab equipment, periodic table and compound elements

March 23, 2020:

While we are responding to Executive Orders from the Governor and OPWDD guidance, IAHD’s highest priority continues to be the health and safety of individuals, families and staff as well as the community at large. We continue to be in touch with OPWDD, the NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC and are following their recommendations. As previously stated, we continue to use infection control procedures to minimize the potential for the spread of infection.

It is important to note that while many of us have likely been exposed to the virus and may not know it, many that contract the virus will have mild to moderate symptoms that will resolve in a week or two. A much smaller number of people will need access to appropriate treatment from medical professionals.

Not surprisingly, we have three individuals we provide supports to who tested positive for COVID-19 at IAHD, whom are currently hospitalized. One staff has also tested positive. The affected individuals are receiving excellent care and the staff is at home recovering and doing well.


  • SUSPENDED AS OF MARCH 18: IAHD Site-Based Day Habilitation programs, without walls and prevocational programs began temporary suspension effective March 18th.
  • People who live in IAHD residences are being provided with extra activities in the residence and have Day Hab staff working in the residences to support those individuals.
  • For people that reside in the community with their families, IAHD staff will be contacting every family to review their needs and to assess our ability to provide supports.
  • We continue to follow the guidance from OPWDD in that only essential IAHD staff will be permitted into our programs. Families, vendors and others will not be permitted to enter until further notice.
  • Any staff entering into the programs will have their temperature checked and be checked for other COVID-19 related symptoms (cough, shortness or breath, fever) and will not enter the program until tested by a healthcare provider and/or when symptoms subside.


The Governor has issued an Executive Order designating people working at OPWDD related organizations as essential personnel. We have worked on providing eligible staff with staggered schedules to minimize physical contact while ensuring the people we support obtain the essential services and resources needed for care. We are also offering the ability for staff to work from home when possible.

For questions about health and personal issues, call your doctor and/or contact the Department of Health at 888-364-3065 or at

This continues to be and will likely be a challenging time for us for several months. While we are asked to maintain “social distancing,” I urge us to practice spatial distancing, but to maintain social closeness. It is now that we should practice random acts of kindness and find time to reach out & call loved ones, friends or others we know who live alone. If ever there was a time for us to band together as a community, now is the time!

We will continue to keep you updated as changes occur.

Omayra Andino

For Additional Information, please visit the following:

Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
General Information and Updates

General Information and Updates
Informational Videos
How to Protect Yourself

Hotline Number 211
Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Update

March 19, 2020 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Update
Washing hands with soap and water.

IAHD remains committed to providing you with up-to-date  information as promptly as possible. The health and safety of ALL members of our community is a priority. Our Senior Leadership team is working 24/7 reporting and acting on all issues pertaining to this crisis.

We are regularly reviewing our response plans and procedures to ensure the health and safety of the people we support, families and staff, while minimizing disruption of our operations, and continue to emphasize best practices for infection control.

IAHD is monitoring information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the New York Department of Health (DOH), and working directly with The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to address safety protocols as they evolve. IAHD operated Day Programs remain closed until March 31, 2020 and we will provide updates as changes occur.

In accordance with requirements from regulatory agencies and public health experts, IAHD is currently prohibiting all visitors, including vendors  to enter our programs until further notice.

The following procedures have been put in place during these challenging times:   

  1. People who live in any of our residences, will be provided with Day Services in the residence in which they reside.
  2. For those who reside in the community with their families, we will share access to available resources and day supports. Additionally, IAHD will continue to explore whether or not we have the resources available to provide supports our resources within the home for families that might prefer this option if our resources allow.
  3. Essential administrative functions will continue.

IAHD continues to take the necessary steps to keep our community safe. Deep sanitizing continues to take place daily using CDC/EPA approved products, sanitizing of the common areas and offices and ALL IAHD locations, including the residences.

As directed by (OPWDD), only essential IAHD staff will be permitted into our programs. Families, vendors and others will not be permitted to enter until further notice.

We are asking all staff to please be mindful of the following precautions, recommended by the New York State Department of Health, to minimize contracting the Coronavirus which are very similar to the usual steps we take to avoid the cold and flu:

  1. Stay home if you are sick
  2. Keep a safe distance from others (min of 6ft.)
  3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue (preferable) or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  5. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose & mouth)
  6. Do not shake hands with others. Instead, wave or elbow bump.
  7. If you have family or friends who are elderly, have compromised immune systems or chronic respiratory or coronary issues, do not visit them if you feel sick. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  8. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipes.

This is an opportune time for us to show our strength and unity as a community. We hope that our continued communication and transparency helps to keep us all grounded during this difficult time.

Omayra Andino

For additional information, please visit the following websites:

Department of Health 24/7 Hotline: 1-888-364-3065
General Information and Updates

General Information and Updates
Informational Videos
How to Protect Yourself

Hotline Number 211
Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

IAHD responds to the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19

March 17, 2020 | Comments Off on IAHD responds to the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19
3D Rendering of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

As we continue to respond to the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19, IAHD continues to follow guidance from NYC and State Departments of Health (DOH) and the CDC and are closely following their recommendations.

The Day Hab Programs are closed effective today March 17th 3pm. Staff will be redeployed to work with the people we support in their homes where possible. As more info is received, we are taking additional steps to safeguard individuals and staff alike.

At IAHD, our business is anchored in caring for people as we support them. Therefore, it is necessary for staff to be available to work with them. We continue to take all precautions to protect staff and those they care for through additional sanitizing and education about Coronavirus COVID-19.

Our offices will remain open and adjustments will be made to ensure employee safety. We ask that all staff who are sick remain home. Even after the closing of programs, we request that if any staff is showing symptoms of illness or has had contact with someone under investigation for, or diagnosed with the Coronavirus (COVID 19), please immediately inform HR.

During these challenging times, we are working together for the people we support, and their families as well as staff. We will keep you informed when changes occur as they are occurring quickly.

Additional Resources & Information:

Mission into Action: CQL Accreditation

December 9, 2019 | Comments Off on Mission into Action: CQL Accreditation
Council on Quality and Leadership logo

The Council on Quality and Leadership Press Release 12/4/2019

On June 7, 2019, The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics (IAHD) achieved Quality Assurances Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This internationally-recognized designation means that IAHD has made ongoing transformation a priority, to positively impact people receiving services, support staff, the organization’s leadership, and other stakeholders. By aligning with the highest standards in human services, IAHD is demonstrating an investment in improving the quality of their services and the quality of life for people receiving those services.

“We’re proud to partner with IAHD to help strengthen their policies, processes, and especially practices,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CQL. “They’ve already displayed their dedication to person-centered practices through CQL Personal Outcome Measures® Certification, and are now building upon that with their recent accreditation.”

IAHD initiated the accreditation process to develop a productive partnership for the organization’s quality journey to advance an organizational culture shift. “We want to increase the quality of life and quality of services for the people we support, and this is achieved by continuous improvement,” states Omayra Andino, Chief Executive Officer of IAHD. CQL Quality Assurances Accreditation offers a motivational force to drive IAHD to provide an environment for the people supported to live their best life.

The Art of Printmaking

December 6, 2019 | Comments Off on The Art of Printmaking
Print in teal, black and white

ArtsWestchester recently awarded a matching grant to IAHD. Invited Artist in Residence Diane Cherr is leading a series of print-making workshop with the IAHD artists.

Through this grant the IAHD artists will learn how to use techniques of print making to create collagraphs printing projects and Styrofoam printed plates to create individualized prints.

Celebrating IAHD Direct Support Professionals – More than One Week!

September 16, 2019 | Comments Off on Celebrating IAHD Direct Support Professionals – More than One Week!
Direct Support Professionals at the Armonk Residence

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week took place September 8 through September 14th this year. Direct Support Professionals are the “core” of New York’s system of supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. This job requires technical and values-based skills that make life-changing differences in the lives of the individuals they support.

This year we recognized and celebrated our Direct Support Professionals, at the Day Programs and Residences where they work each and everyday throughout the entire month of September!

The Big Easy Comes to Bainbridge

August 29, 2019 | Comments Off on The Big Easy Comes to Bainbridge

This summer the performing artists of IAHD – The Institutes of Applied Human Dynamics, Inc. Bainbridge have been discovering and celebrating the vivid, diverse, and distinct culture of New Orleans.

Their inspired impressions of what it might be like if the Big Easy were in the Bronx came to life! Music, singing, dancing, costumes and floats!

Laissez les bons temps rouler #mardigras #goodtimes

Style and Talent on Display at Bainbridge Avenue

May 31, 2018 | Comments Off on Style and Talent on Display at Bainbridge Avenue

Show Reflects Bainbridge Avenue’s Boundless Energy, Excitement and Recognition of the Efforts of Dedicated Staff

Music is a favorite activity at IAHD, and today’s musical program reflected the eclectic interests of our performers. Performances included rousing renditions of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (Beatles), Michael Jackson’s hits, “Thriller” and “Beat It,” and “Baby, I Need Your Loving,” (Four Tops). Dances also featured many of Michael Jackson’s hits, but the Latin culture was also represented with an enthusiastic dance to the music of “Dominicano Yo Soy” (Raulin Rosendo), which had the whole audience moving to the beat. Our models displayed their best outfits for different events, modeling everything from tuxedos to formal dresses to vacation attire.  Many of them coordinated and planned their own outfits with staff assistance. The rich heritage of IAHD was well represented in the musical, dance and costumed selections.

The success of the show was greatly facilitated by the Ryer Avenue Residential Manager, Alexandra Contin, Brianna Hopps from the Bainbridge Avenue Pre-Vocational Program and Art Coordinator, Seth Addai. Their efforts helped to engage everyone and create an unforgettable event. A particular highlight of this year’s show was the acknowledgement given to Ms. Philipcia Joseph. The staff recognized Ms. Joseph for the outstanding effort she puts forth on a daily basis, as well as her key role in facilitating special events. Ms. Joseph humbly and graciously accepted flowers and well deserved applause for her continued advocacy and support of IAHD’s individuals.

IAHD Receives Grant from ArtsWestchester

May 18, 2018 | Comments Off on IAHD Receives Grant from ArtsWestchester

Ann Ladd, Artist in Residence, Assists IAHD Artists to Create a Colorful Mural of the Hudson River Vicinity

When ArtsWestchester notified IAHD it had received an award to participate in the Artist in Residence program, they provided a list of artists who participate in this program. Each artist had a wonderful biography, but we made our selection and reached out to Ann Ladd, because of her expertise in working with individuals in similar settings, as well as her talent for making collages and murals of different textures. That description sounded as though it would fit the interests of the people who attend IAHD’s Tarrytown Day Program.

When Ms. Ladd arrived, we knew immediately that we had selected the perfect artist. She was energetic, enthusiastic and full of creative ideas. We brainstormed themes, and together, we developed the idea of creating a mural that would relate to our location in a Hudson River town. The mural presented an excellent opportunity for people to work collaboratively on a project while also allowing for individualized expression. Those who participated had opportunities to experiment with different types of paints and brushes and to try many of the other techniques Ann showed them as they painted fish, boats and all things related to life near the Hudson. The colorful mural is on display at IAHD, and we invite all to stop off and see it. Rightly so, it is a huge source of pride for everyone who participated, and we thank ArtsWestchester and Ann Ladd for providing us with this opportunity.