Oldest African-American Owned and Operated Nursing Home in Maryland Reports Zero Covid-19 Deaths and Not a Single Case of the Virus

BALTIMORE, MD – June 15, 2020 – In Maryland 6,317 nursing home residents have contracted the coronavirus and 1,330 people have died from Covid-19, according to statics from the Maryland Department of Health.

But Maryland Baptist Aged Home, the oldest African-American owned and operated nursing home in the state, reports no deaths from Covid-19 and not a single case of the coronavirus among its 30 residents and staff of 40, which includes 21 full-time employees and 19 part-time employees.

Maryland Baptist Aged Home. (Photo/Google Maps)

“It was early mitigation,” said Rev. Dr. Derrick DeWitt Sr., Director and CFO of Maryland Baptist Aged Home. “We didn’t wait for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control or from the Maryland Department of Health or from Baltimore City, we did what we thought was prudent at the very beginning of the pandemic. It is just a tremendous accomplishment, thanks to the early and decisive actions of our administrator, Johana Walbourn, our Director of Nursing, Josephine Mungent and our Medical Director, Dr. Narender Bharaj.”

Rev. DeWitt, who is Senior Pastor of First Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Sandtown-Winchester, said the 100-year-old facility has had stringent controls to begin with and made adjustments when the pandemic hit.

In early March, nursing home staff eliminated all outside visits from families, contractors and non-essential employees, however, residents continued to receive regular medical checkups. Additional cleaning staff was brought in and worked 24-hour shifts. Nursing home employees had an adequate supply of personal protective equipment. Employees who didn’t have direct contact with residents were not allowed in the building. The team also eliminated community meals opting to feed residents in their rooms.

“Our residents stayed isolated from their families as best they could,” said Rev. DeWitt, who has not entered the building in 10 weeks. “Every day our residents had their temperatures check. All employees had gloves and gowns.”

To help make sure residents’ spirits were up, the staff had daily activities, engineered Zoom calls with family members and made sure every resident had a television set in their room.

Rev. DeWitt said Maryland Baptist Aged Home’s game plan is more of the same, running a tight ship and continuing the practices that have worked for them in addition to closely following local, state, and federal guidelines.

“We are a small non-profit nursing home that serves people of all races regardless of their ability to pay,” said Rev. DeWitt. “The emphasis should be on the safety and the care of the resident and that is where we focus.”

About Maryland Baptist Aged Home

Established in 1920, the Maryland Baptist Aged Home is the oldest African-American owned and operated nursing home in the state of Maryland. It is governed by the Board of Trustees of the United Baptist Missionary Convention. The MBAH is a non-profit 501c3 29 bed facility providing short and long term care to all residents without regard to race, color, sex, religion or national origin.