By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on November 14th, 2011
November 11, 2011
On a crisp and beautiful fall evening, various stakeholders joined together to celebrate the Grand Opening of Ave Maria home, in Bartlett, TN. Through a journey of many years, through successes and setbacks, the team at Ave Maria can now look to their three beautiful Green House homes, and see the fruits of their labor. To see the shahbazim in their homes, serving a home cooked lunch, working in a self managed team, and bringing the model to life, is a cause for great joy.
The Green House model radically transforms the traditional nursing home in three key areas. The philosophy shifts, from a declinist view of aging, where people are viewed as a diagnosis, to a developmental view of aging, where all people are seen as creative, resourceful and whole. The organization reorganizes to support this view, bringing real power into the home, to the elder and those working closest with them. It unlocks the role of direct care staff, from narrow, task defined roles, to roles where deep relationships are formed and optimal wellness is created. The environment is an intentionally designed home that enables those living and working in the home to experience privacy, dignity, intimacy and real home. By transforming the traditional nursing home in these three major ways, people who need high levels of clinical care can have their needs met without that being the focus of their existence.
As with any great change, it must begin with a strong leadership team. Frank Gattuso’s steadfast leadership has helped this project to continue moving forward amongst various changes and challenges along the path. Brenda Hardin, The Green House guide, and the entire leadership team at Ave Maria have devoted themselves to learning the coaching style of leadership and other important tenets of The Green House model. They continue to develop and learn, in order to sustain a successful culture change. The shahbazim who manage the home and the clinical support team whose partnership provides outstanding clinical outcomes, create a place where people are deeply known, and can flourish. To the board members, the donors, the community of Bartlett, TN, and all those who made this Grand Opening possible, Thank you.
Of course, culture change is a journey without a destination, and as we celebrate the opening of three Green House homes, we know that there is more work to be done. Ave Maria Home has dreams of future Green House homes devoted to skilled care, rehabilitation or other evolutions of the model, and The Green House Project looks forward to these opportunities for partnership as together we change the paradigm of aging.
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