Elder Wisdom Brings The Green House model to John Knox Village

By / Posted on November 26th, 2014

Twylah and David Haun are residents of John Knox Village, in Pompano Beach, Fl, and were a part of a group from Independent Living who researched The Green House model and presented it to Administration.


The administration at John Knox Village, decided that their excellent nursing home was getting old, and needed to be updated.  The residents of John Knox insisted that whatever was built had to have a private room with private bath for each person.  When David first heard about The Green House model, he was skeptical.  He thought it just seemed too good to be true. He feared our local staff wouldn’t accept the concept, and he questioned the quality and efficiency of preparing meals in each home.  Finally he wondered how wise it was to pay outside Green House “experts” who might dictate plans and organization for John Knox.

In 2011, David suggested a visit some existing Green House homes to learn more.  He felt it wasn’t fair to condemn the concept in ignorance.  The possibility of what could be discovered was exciting.

On the first visit to Buckner Westminster Place, in Longview, TX, Twylah remembers thinking, “Wow, this doesn’t look like a nursing home at all!” As their exploration continued, they entered the GH Cottages of Wentworth Place, in Magnolia, Arkansas, and became more and more excited,  Tywlah proclaimed “why would we want to recreate the wheel, this is a proven model”.

Both David and Twylah were impressed with the number of Shahbazim (versatile worker that serves as direct care staff) and Guides saying how thrilled they were with the quality of care The Green House model enabled them to give their elders.  “I never would want to work in a traditional style again” seemed to be a recurring theme.

By the fourth Green House visit in The Green House Homes at Traceway in Tupelo, MS, David found that all of his questions and reservations regarding the cost, the food, and the organization were answered.  He was convinced.  He decided that working with The Green House Project was a sure thing. Just as The Ritz Carlton is a  proven model for creating an excellent hotel, John Knox should depend on The Green House model to guide building design, as well as,  education and organizational redesign.  The Green House homes at John Knox Village will look different than the various homes around the country, because they will reflect the culture of John Knox Village, but they will have the proven elements and core values of Real Home, Meaningful Life and Empowered Staff that has led to successful outcomes across the country.

John Knox leadership decided to follow The Green House model, and plans were drawn for a seven story Health Center with 12 homes, with 12 residents each.

Twylah and David have been privileged to share the story of how the residents of John Knox Village were the driving force to bring this change to the organization.  Honoring varied faith traditions, Twylah shares a request to lift the Green House staff members (and especially the Shahbazim) in prayer to honor those who have chosen to spend their lives caring for elders in this special way; those who have a desire to create a real home that truly meets the unique needs of its elders.

John Knox Village is pleased to become part of The Green House family.  Twylah and David have made many new friends in this journey, and wish all Green House Homes a Happy Holiday and look forward to serving in the New Year.