A message from Bill Pratt, President and CEO of Wesley Willows

Dear Friends,

I haven’t been in touch for a while and thought during this difficult time you have plenty of time to do some reading.  We thought it is an ideal time to share what we are doing to keep our residents and staff at Wesley Willows and Peterson Meadows safe from the CV-19.  It is also an opportunity to share why now might be a great time to move to a Wesley Willows community.

We often hear prospects say, “we want to stay in place for now and move when this is over.  It will be easier for us and safer when this is finally over”.  I am sure you realize that no one knows “when this over”.

We actually have developed a CV-19 Response Team to deal with the issues as they affect over 350 staff and more than 900 residents.  The Team is participating in daily phone calls with the Illinois Department of Public Health and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).  This in turn leads to numerous other meetings each day to discuss the information and then plan and decide what changes need to occur on our campuses as a result.

On a personal note, I want to share an experience I have been dealing with over the past 60 days when it comes to having work done around my house.  After you read it you may find you have been through a similar experience and can understand the frustration.

I needed some sewer work done in the backyard.  I have worked with the city government where I live, the plumbing/sewer contractor, and the fencing company to remove panels of fencing so the other contractors could actually get to the needed worksite.

As you might imagine, this has been no small task and I still don’t have the final repairs to the ground done or the fence re-installed.  I have made countless calls to keep the project going and obviously writing checks to get work started, not to mention what it will cost when complete.  My last call was with the sewer contractor who said today, we will have that done next week – that was two weeks ago.  That means I once again need to delay the fencing company so before they can complete the fencing restoration.

My point in this long-winded story isn’t how long it has taken or the cost. It is that I have had to manage the contractors once I could get them lined up to do the work.  BUT, even more than that is the personal contact with contactors whose status I don’t know relative to CV-19 or if they have been around others so they can pass it on to me.

Here is the same story if I lived at Wesley Willows or Peterson Meadows.  One and done!  I call the Maintenance Department and it is all managed by our staff.  Staff that have been screened every day since this scourge on the world began.  NO management and I am a guy who loves managing things I have am interested in.   NO extra bills, NO wasted time wondering if I have a qualified contractor.  In Essence, NO muss NO fuss – I sit back and do the things I like doing not the things I dread!

Included with this letter is some information on CV-19 that I feel is important to pass on as you consider your move to Wesley Willows or Peterson Meadows.  We are still working with residents and families to complete their move while following protocols.  Please feel free to contact me personally at 815-316-1529, or reach out to your Senior Living Counselor.

Be safe and be well.

Bill Pratt
Wesley Willows

During this battle with the COVID-19 virus, we have continued to embrace our Core Values. Whether you are considering Wesley Willows or Peterson Meadows for your future home, we want you to be aware of the benefits and some examples of how we are honoring our commitment to providing an “Extraordinary Senior Living Experience”.  Please think of this as your guide to the Wesley Willows and Peterson Meadows response to COVID-19.


Integrity in all we do, embracing transparency and a “do the right thing” focus as a faith based, not-for-profit organization.


Daily:  Ask ourselves the question: what do we need to do today to do the right thing for residents, staff, families and Wesley Willows and Peterson Meadows?”



  • Written weekly (or more frequently) updates to residents and staff
  • Posted notices of visitor restrictions on all restricted buildings
  • Phone calls to residents and families with updates
  • Media interviews about processes
  • Facebook updates
  • Continual acquisition of PPE (regardless of price)
  • Q&A sessions for residents and staff
  • Twice weekly meetings with Department Managers for COVID-19 updates
  • Thrice weekly meetings with COVID-19 Response Team to address any needed changes
  • Daily open forum calls with regulatory bodies
  • Management staff on-call 24/7


Relationships creating a community which exemplifies caring and respect. 


Daily:  Management review and brainstorming of how to keep residents and staff engaged and connected during visitor restrictions and COVID-19 operational changes.



  • 1:1 visits in resident apartments or rooms
  • Video chats facilitated by Life Enrichment staff on scheduled basis
  • Staff orienting residents on use of their personal technology devices
  • Life Enrichment activity packets developed for residents
  • Resident volunteers calling their neighbors (in Independent Living) to keep in touch
  • Staff calling residents in Independent Living to keep in touch
  • Celebrating milestones – a 70th Wedding anniversary with a special meal, a 100th Birthday celebration through the window, a 93rd birthday by video chat
  • Management staff on-call 24/7

Employees – Our Indispensable Warriors

  • Designation of our staff not as essential workers but as Indispensable Warriors
  • Weekly casual days on varied days of the week to ensure everyone can participate
  • Gift certificates for a meal for a family at Lino’s (local Rockford small business) 1/staff
  • World’s Finest Chocolate Bars for World’s Finest Staff 2/staff
  • Dream Cream hand repair cream from Bath & Body Fusion (local Rockford Business) 1/staff
  • T-Shirts – Indispensable Warriors – each staff person can wear to work once a week
  • Celebrating Milestones – An Employee’s 40th anniversary at Wesley Willows, Employees of the Month and Quarter
  • Management Staff on call 24/7

Prospective Residents:

  • Staying in touch – phone calls, e-mails, cards and notes
  • Safe tours – visitor screening (temps and symptoms); prescribed routes; homes opened by appointment for tour without staff; and video tours


Operational Excellence in programs, services, facilities and grounds.


Daily:  Management review and brainstorming of operational changes due to changes in the guidelines and/or mandates from regulatory bodies or the wellness status of residents and staff relative to the COVID-19 virus.  Ongoing focus on the business of Wesley Willows



  • Programmatic changes due to visitor restrictions designed to maintain relationships
  • Video chats for residents and families
  • Calling residents in independent living to keep in touch
  • Q&A sessions to help residents understand interventions as well as their responsibilities
  • Ensuring best practices in healthcare services – quarantine and isolation protocols

Employees – Our Indispensable Warriors:

  • Training, Training, Training
  • Q&A Meetings to help our staff understand how to navigate the virus
  • Focus on Personal Protective Equipment to keep staff and residents safe
  • Staff changing their daily responsibilities to meet resident needs (Fitness doing Life Enrichment programs, Drivers doing grocery shopping)
  • Video meetings to maintain connections safely
  • Call off procedures and daily follow up with ill employees

Wesley Willows & Peterson Meadows:

  • Cleaning and infection control processes and procedures at the highest level, followed diligently
  • Conduct business as usual – ensure programs, services, facilities and grounds in good order
  • Budget development for FY 2021
  • Preventative Maintenance programs across the campus
  • Lawncare and Landscaping prioritizing projects
  • Development of “Safe Tours” guidelines for protection of prospective residents and staff


Fiscal Responsibility for Wesley Willows, residents, and employees.


Daily:  Management review of staffing levels, PPE, financial position, and occupancy as well as other financial measures


Employees – Our Indispensable Warriors:

  • Commitment to maintain all positions – no plans for lay-off or furloughs


  • Ensure continuation of services and programs within the guidelines of COVID-19


Wesley Willows & Peterson Meadows:

  • Review financial impact of COVID-19
  • Develop FY 2021 budget
    • assuming slower move-in rate during Shelter in Place; projecting fee schedules to ensure financial well-being of Wesley Willows in balance with residents’ possible investment losses
  • Identifying and purchasing equipment and supplies to support changes in operations
  • Continue planned maintenance and capital expenditures to maintain campus

Prospective Residents:

  • Budgeting dollars for renovation allowances
  • Projecting fee schedules to be competitive in the marketplace while ensuring financial well-being of Wesley Willows


Safe and Secure practices and environments.


Daily:  Management assesses the environment



  • Visitor Restrictions to minimize threat of others entering the building
  • Resident Screening 2-3 times daily in all healthcare areas
  • Residents in assisted living and independent living wearing masks when outside their homes or apartments
  • Weekly calls to the residents in independent living to keep in touch
  • Quarantine and Isolation protocols in Willows Suites, Willows Arbor, Hunt Terrace and Willows Health and Rehab Center – Daily follow up with impacted residents
  • Daily follow up with ill residents
  • Social distancing whenever and wherever possible
  • Weekly updates from management with COVID-19 status on campus; scam alerts; and activity ideas during Shelter in Place
  • Management staff on-call 24/7

Employees – Our Indispensable Warriors:

  • Ongoing evaluation of PPE status
  • Ongoing purchase/acquisition of PPE for staff safety
  • Twice daily screening of all staff for temperature and symptoms
  • Mask on at all times while in any of the buildings or in any resident homes/apartments
  • Social distancing whenever and wherever possible
  • Infection control protocols followed diligently including cleaning; quarantine; and isolation
  • Call off procedures followed for ANY illness
  • Daily wellness calls to ill employees, strict adherence to return to work guidelines
  • Management staff on-call 24/7


Wesley Willows & Peterson Meadows:

  • Continually review and develop protocols for safety related to residents, staff and the organization
  • Navigate the COVID-19 guidelines and mandates to ensure Wesley Willows is prepared and in compliance
  • Twice weekly meetings with Department Managers for COVID-19 updates
  • Thrice weekly meetings with COVID-19 Response Team to address any needed changes
  • Management staff on-call 24/7



While none of us can predict where the next few months will take us, we want you to know what you can do NOW to be proactive in planning your move to a Wesley Willows community. 


Reach out to Melissa or Dave at Peterson Meadows and review your options. Tell us what is most important to you.  Talk about the things you are looking forward to but also what concerns you have.

Melissa Wright-                 815-316-6901  melissaw@petersonmeadows.org

Dave Peterson-                 815-316-6908  davidp@petersonmeadows.org


Take a virtual tour-schedule a time to view available Homes and Apartments all in the comfort of your home.  If you want to come to campus and tour, we will accommodate you and keep you safe with the screenings and safety measure we have in place.


Have time at home? Grab some sticky notes and get to work on the Four-Color Method.  We often talk about this as it relates to the Smart Move process, and the only supplies you need are 4 different colors of sticky notes.

-What items are you going to bring with you when you move?

-What is important to give to your children, family, or friends?

-What can you donate?

-What in your home needs to go to the curb and be out of your hair forever?


Reach out to us and we will have our real estate partner Matt Humpal contact you with information on the process of selling your home in the COVID-19 market and beyond.  Matt is available to answer your questions and help you with a competitive market analysis of your home.


Talk with your family about making a move and make sure they know what your wishes for the future are.  Share this guide to our response to COVID-19 and the many safety precautions we have in place.


Consider not having to navigate the COVID-19 virus and Shelter in Place alone.  Instead live in a community with dedicated staff to      help you get groceries; pick up prescriptions; fix your furnace, air conditioning, leaky faucet; and answer your calls – emergency or mundane – 24/7.


We hope to talk to you and see you soon!  Please contact us to discuss options for your move to Wesley Willows or Peterson Meadows — sooner rather than later!  The sooner you’re here, the sooner you begin to enjoy the care-free lifestyle we offer.  Many others have made the choice – you’ll be in GREAT company!

Thanks to our emergency preparedness plan, infection control measures, and dynamic response to rapidly changing conditions, Wesley Willows and Peterson Meadows remain committed to keeping everyone on our campus safe and healthy. We will continue to closely follow guidance from the Winnebago County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Wesley Willows and Peterson Meadows are taking proactive measures to protect the health of our community. Our priority is the safety of our Members, employees, and visitors and our primary focus is prevention, education, and communication. This includes:

  • Limiting visitors to essential visitors only.
  • Screening all persons entering the facility. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who has traveled to an area of known infections within the last 14 days, will not be permitted to enter our community.
  • Providing ongoing education to employees and vendors about the Coronavirus and scheduling additional training on hand hygiene, isolation protocols, and proper PPE (personal protective equipment) usage for all departments. We have also increased the cleaning frequency of high touch surfaces such as handrails, door handles, and elevator buttons.

To our wonderful residents, our deepest thanks for your understanding, cooperation, and support during this unusual time. Your safety is our priority. To our friends and families, thank you for your understanding and the kind offers of help and support you have extended to us. And to our incredibly talented and hard-working team members, we are so thankful for all you do every day. 

In times like today, the benefit of having additional support and direct access to care while not leaving the community has provided our Members and families with peace of mind. We hope you are heeding clinical and state officials’ tips and counsel on how to stay safe wherever you are. Please continue to visit this page for ongoing updates.