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It seems surreal to be reflecting on the past year already, and yet, here we are. After being
challenged in unprecedented ways in 2020, we entered 2021 with a new sense of hope. A
vaccine had arrived, and if you squinted hard at the horizon, you could just make out the finish
line. Vaccination rates for staff and residents climbed quickly in early 2021, and we saw positive
case counts fall dramatically. We finally had an effective tool to protect our communities, and in
record time.

As we all know now, things ended up playing out differently this year than expected. A
workforce crisis emerged, exacerbating existing challenges, and then came the delta variant. In
many ways, our industry was challenged more this year than last. Our sincere respect goes out
to the team members who chose to show up every day to take care of residents, and to the
leaders who readily rolled up their sleeves when short-handed in support of their hard-working
teams. Sometimes when you’re at the end of your rope, all you can do is tie a knot and hold on.
This past year has been a testament to the grit and mission-driven nature of our industry, which
is mirrored by the incredible efforts of the State Associations. Through their advocacy efforts,
our partners at Oregon Health Care Association and Florida Health Care Association, in
conjunction with support at the national level, were able to carry the message clearly to policy
makers to ensure our industry received the resources and support needed. Their efforts in
support of Members to provide guidance, connect resources, and inform have been a critical
part of this process.

At Incite over the past year, we have been hard at work for our Members as well. We launched
Incite Select in partnership with DSSI to provide our Members with a comprehensive purchasing
platform coupled with consulting support to ensure the right products at the best prices are
consistently identified. We also built Analytical Incites, a BI platform to provide operators with
actionable information for more effective Incite program utilization and savings. Coming in
2022, we will be launching Blue Dot Community, an on demand, web-based member education
portal for staff development and training on Incite programs and culinary initiatives. Through
our Members’ valued input, we will continue to respond with innovative solutions to address
their evolving needs.

As we close out 2021, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our Members, Vendor
Partners, and Association Partners for all of your strength, dedication, and tireless efforts this
past year. You are the light that has shined consistently in these dark times. In the coming year,
we look forward to continuing to build lasting partnerships.