COVID-19 Update - April 8, 2020 - Judson Center

COVID-19 Update – April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

Dear Parents and Friends,

Judson Center has been trusted by Michigan families like yours since 1924. We certainly miss your presence in our various locations throughout Michigan and are eager to see you all again when the threat of COVID-19 has eased. Until that time, we remain committed to meeting your needs for support through phone, email and video conferencing whenever possible. That being said, because there are services that social distancing does not allow, we wanted to offer some assurance, insights and tips from our various programming leaders. We hope you find this information helpful; working together, we can get through this!

Foster Care and Adoption – Khadija Walker-Fobbs, Chief Strategy Officer, foster care and adoption advocate, and youth mentor:

The original reason for our founding, adoption and foster care are at the heart of our existence. We understand the challenges that accompany this heroic effort to provide love and support to children as they wait to reunite with their families or to find their forever homes. Because many children going through this process have experienced trauma, they may need additional comfort and reassurance during this extended period of social isolation. That’s why we are keeping the lines of communication open at new levels. If you need assistance or reassurance to cope with fostering or the adoption process at this time, or have questions related to the programs, please reach out to 313-255-8272 or email us at Our on-staff foster navigator is continuing to support our families over phone, email and through virtual support groups. All our foster care, licensing and adoption staff are actively available and responding to family needs remotely through calls, emails and video conference.

Judson Center Family Health – Offering Primary Care Telehealth Services! Elizabeth Haberkorn, Family Nurse Practitioner:

Don’t neglect your emotional and physical health as you care for your family! Judson Center Family Health, located in our Warren facility, now offers telehealth services so anyone can have a virtual visit from their home with a primary care provider. Because of the extraordinary situation of the coronavirus, Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and other insurers have waived co-pays for this service, so you can likely see a primary care specialist at no charge. Telehealth works through a computer, smart-phone or other device. Please fill out an appointment request at or call our office at 586-573-1810 to determine if you should be seen in person, given healthcare advice over the phone, or if a telehealth visit should be arranged. Because Judson Center Family Health is an ‘integrated primary care practice,’ we serve your physical health needs together with your behavioral health needs.  Please contact us if you have concerns or questions regarding COVID-19, are feeling physically ill, or are experiencing emotional distress that is impacting your overall health and ability to cope during this extended period of social distancing. Judson Center Family Health has experience in meeting your entire family’s needs from pediatrics to seniors.  Judson Center Family Health also has experience in treating individuals with autism and children who have been traumatized. Information on COVID-19 symptoms, and best practices to prevent it, can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website at

Autism ConnectionsFrankie Groce, Director of Autism Services

Judson Center has been providing autism services since 2005, and have long been leaders in advancing the skills of individuals with autism while providing additional support services for their families. I know that parenting a child or individual with autism can be challenging in the best of times. As we shift to a temporary new life of close family quarters, individuals with ASD can grow particularly anxious as their routines are upended. Judson Center is offering assistance by phone, email and videoconferencing, when available, to assist parents and caregivers now. Our team can be reached for assistance by contacting us through our website at by calling me at 248-837-2021. In the meantime, please consider the following tips to best manage this temporary period of staying at home to stay safe.

The need for routine, and the ability to keep to your old schedule as close as possible is crucial. This may mean:

  • Getting up at the same time of day as you did for school; and going to bed around the same time.
  • Having meals at that same time; be sure to include foods at lunch that mimic lunch at school.

Be sure to include a variety of activities throughout the day within the routine:

  • Chores (based on ability); ABA programs/activities; classwork; and sensory activities (crafts, sand, nature walks)
  • Gross motor activities (jump, dance, swing) and don’t forget fun!
  • Try to have a fun, reinforcing activity planned immediately after an activity that is not particularly fun – for example, play on swing after some classwork completion.

Also – please see below resources for further support and tips.

Vocational Services for Individuals with DisabilitiesBrad Ewing, Director of Disability Services

For 30 years, Judson Center has been supporting individuals with disabilities who are seeking dignity, purpose and fulfilment by advancing their ability for personal contribution in the community and the workplace. Because many of our community/business partners are temporarily shut down, or only employing minimal essential staff, our clients with disabilities have been sidelined for likely the next several weeks to ensure their health and safety. While home, there are several activities you can engage in with your loved one so they may maintain their skill level while also contributing to the needs of the home. Following are some examples:

  • counting change or organizing money
  • organizing home cupboards or other home items
  • sorting and folding laundry

Please know that we remain in contact with our support partners and will resume our regular employment placement and skill building services as soon as it is safe to do so. If you need to reach a member of the Judson Center Disability Services team in the meantime, please contact 248.837.2079.

Behavioral HealthMelissa Peters, MA, LPC, NPC, Director of Behavioral Health and Stephanie Riolo, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Behavioral Health

Extended periods of social isolation and uncertainty about the future add to the stresses of everyday life and, while challenging for all of us, can be especially difficult for those who already struggle with their overall health and wellbeing. It is extremely important at this time, we be highly attuned to the behavioral health needs of those who are openly struggling or who may have turned their anxiety further inward. If you or a loved one are experiencing an emotional health crisis or feelings of despair, please reach out to us immediately. We can also be a resource for parents and caregivers unable to use Judson Center’s Respite Care Services due to their current, temporary closure. Our behavioral health team remains available by phone, email, and telehealth or an in-person visit through Judson Center Family Health.

If your needs are urgent and you fear a loss of life, call 911 now or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text Hello to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

New! Judson Center is now offering telehealth services for Primary Medical Care, Behavioral Health and Autism Services Susan Salhaney, Chief Operating Officer

In response to our rapidly changing environment, Judson Center moved quickly to ensure we continue to provide critical services when you need them most.  Telehealth primary medical care, behavioral health care and Autism services are now offered to you in the safety of your home.

Telehealth primary medical care, behavioral health and Autism Applied Behavior Analysis services are currently covered 100% by both commercial insurers and government health plans for most individuals.  If you or a family member are not feeling well please contact our office either online at or by calling 586-573-1810. We can determine if you need to be seen in person at our Warren office, or if a visit can be handled by telephone or video. For video telehealth services, all you need is access to a Smart Phone or computer with a camera and microphone. If your primary care physician does not offer telehealth, our telehealth services are available to:

  • Renew an existing prescription
  • Get treaded for non-emergency services such as conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Look at a rash or wound
  • Discuss concerns of anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts

Thank you for entrusting Judson Center with your family’s specialized needs. For additional information, as well as timely advice and updates, please visit our website at, as well as our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Always remember, we are here for you!


Lenora Hardy-Foster

President and CEO