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Children’s Home of NKY activates emergency operations plan in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky/CHNK Behavioral Health, the only licensed Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) in Northern Kentucky for adolescents with a mental health or addiction treatment need, has implemented an Emergency Operations Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHNK’s risk management team has closely monitored the pandemic and its impact on the region, so as to make appropriate decisions regarding daily operations.

CHNK Manager of Nursing Services Rachel Byrd shared that aggressive prevention measures have been put in place, such as daily, routine digital thermometer readings required for anyone coming into or departing a CHNK building.

Further, access to CHNK’s three sites is restricted solely to staff, clients, and essential vendors, and in accordance with guidance from Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, family visitation and home visits for clients in residential care are indefinitely suspended.

“Keeping our clients and families safe – both in residential care and in CHNK’s outpatient services – is our paramount concern right now,” said Byrd. “We have also added safeguards to ensure our staff remains healthy, both physically and mentally, during this atypical time.”

CHNK’s Emergency Operations Plan is scheduled to run through April 13 unless national and local situations warrant otherwise.

The risk management response calls for select administrative staff to work remotely while increasing nursing staff hours to respond to additional client service needs and changes in process. Meetings among treatment staff and clients’ families have moved to a video conference format, in order to maximize social distancing.


The organization has pivoted quickly to ensure a smooth continuation of services for both current and new clients in all its treatment lines during this period of heightened concern. Referrals continue as normal, although the assessment and admissions processes follow more stringent safety protocols.

“We are full steam ahead in providing our normal treatment services even during this more challenging time,” said CHNK Chief Executive Officer Rick Wurth. “Our team is ready to respond to the increased pressures youth and families may feel as the wider community undertakes precautions that may inadvertently create challenges for certain families needing care.”

The behavioral healthcare organization provides over 11,000 outpatient services and over 10,000 nights of residential care annually. CHNK welcomes any questions about its services; callers should use the main campus number of 859-261-8768 for assistance.

Established in 1882, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky (CHNK Behavioral Health) is a premier provider of behavioral health and substance use treatment services. Outpatient and residential services benefit individuals who have experienced mental health disorders, addiction, abuse, neglect, or other serious trauma.

Operating out of three locations in Northern Kentucky, the CHNK team of 100 healthcare professionals takes a trauma-informed and family-focused approach to treatment, annually impacting more than 2,900 individuals.

For more information about CHNK, visit www.chnk.org.

Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky

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