The COVID-19 pandemic has sent Thurman Adult Day Care Center on an emotional and logistical roller coaster. Director Robyn Holloway appeared before the Greensville County Board of Supervisors Monday to ask for financial assistance – $15,000 – to help the center recover from damages she claims are the result of “ignorance” on the behalf of the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Medicaid.
Holloway said the center was initially slated to open in February 2020, but the pandemic forced them to close their doors until July 2020. Beginning July 20, the center was open for roughly six months before a second wave of COVID cases forced them to put operations on hold once more on January 29.
“We didn’t want public transportation that [attendees] ride in to bring anything into the center,” Holloway said.
The center was ready to reopen, but Holloway said the Emporia-Greensville DSS didn’t’ “do their part.”
“On January 29th, we closed with the hopes of opening within a month,” Holloway said. “However, the Department of Social Services here in Emporia-Greensville failed to do their part, which was to authorize these people to attend the center. There was a screening that needed to be done and no one here knew how to do it.”
“So I went above their heads and brought in big people from the state that told them what they had to do,” she continued. “It’s been in the policy book for 30 years. We’re the first adult day care center… we’re actually a health care facility. Along with nursing homes and assisted living facilities, we’re in the middle to keep them out of one or the other.”
Holloway said DSS’s failure’s have put Thurman Adult Day Care Center $28,000 in debt, and that Medicaid is not reimbursing those costs. She said she fights with Medicaid every day over the issue.
“I’ve never known such ignorance in state government in my life,” she said.
If DSS were to follow through on the services needed to reopen the center, Medicaid could retroactively pay Thurman for their incurred costs, Holloway said. She hopes that will be the case. In an email to the Board last month, Holloway said the Thurman had applied for CARES Act grants and been denied.
Thurman Adult Day Care Center has 14 participants currently enrolled or in the process of enrolling in the center’s services. Of those participants, seven reside in Emporia, four in Greensville County and three in the town of Jarratt. Holloway said the center has the capabilities of serving up to 36 individuals, depending on when they would need care. The center also offers service to residents of Brunswick, Southampton and Sussex Counties and the town of Surry.
The Board did not make a decision regarding Holloway’s request for funding during Monday’s meeting. The implication was that Supervisors would wait to see if DSS and Medicaid would resolve the situation on their own.