By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on December 29th, 2014
2014 has been a whirlwind year for The Green House Project. There have been so many relationships, conversations and experiences with people around the country who are making deep change for elders and those working closest to them. The year culminated at our 7th Annual Meeting and Celebration, where record numbers of Green House adopters came together to capitalize on the momentum, energy and knowledge that is collectively growing. Working with innovative and high quality organizations, how can we not be inspired, and spurred forward to spread this model even further? It is hard to sum up the year in a way that honors all of these individual moments, but here is a sampling of some of the highlights to demonstrate that this model is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing.
There have been a number of firsts:
• Green House Homes Opened in Colorado. The grand opening for The Green House Homes at Mirasol, located in Loveland, Colorado, was significant for many reasons. This project marked the first Green House homes in Colorado, the 27th state to open this model, and also utilized public/private partnerships to make this model accessible to low income elders. Read more about this project on Capital Impact Partners‘, website.
• Green House Homes Approved in Rhode Island by the Department of Health. While a moratorium on building new nursing home beds has been in place for years in Rhode Island, the state acknowledged the need for an innovative model of long term care. St. Elizabeth Home has received approval to build 4 new Green House homes. Read more.
• State Regulators Unanimously Approve Plans for the First Green House Homes in Missouri. Gaining a Certificate of need for new nursing home beds is no small feat. The Healthcare Facilities
Review Committee of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services granted approval for an 80 bed Certificate of Need to build Green House homes in Ozark. Read more.
Some great press coverage:
•Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. Chapter 5 of this best-selling book focuses on culture change and the Green House model. In the media coverage of the book, as well as interviews, there’s a lot of discussion about the Green House model. On Diane Rehm’s show on NPR he called the Green House model “revolutionary.” and The President bought the book to read over the holidays!
• Kiplinger. In the retirement planning issue, which covers a variety of topics, including advice on finding the right nursing home. They recommend consideration of organizations that have implemented culture change or that offer Green House homes. Read more.
Research and resources to ensure growth with integrity:
• The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE) honored for studies: The longitudinal studies by researchers from top universities, and funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has been completed. Their work has already received high honors, such as the Ollie Randall Symposium at the 2015 Gerontological Society of America conference. This research provides insights into the quality, cost and sustainability of The Green House and other culture change models.
• Design Manual and Model Integrity Process: The Green House team has developed guidelines for architects and operators to build homes that are warm, smart and green (‘green’, meaning a place where people grow). This manual will be used as a tool for groups under contract with The Green House Project. Once opened, Green House homes now participate in a model integrity process to protect their investment in the model and to ensure that the elements of the model will grow and thrive.
And some other great news:
• Dr. Bill Thomas’ Second Wind Tour. Susan Frazier and David Farrell joined Dr. Thomas on a 25 city tour to offer audience members powerful insights into slower, deeper, more connected ways of living & working. Watch Susan’s talk
• Occupancy Growth Exceeds Expectations. At the Water’s Edge, with newly opened Green House homes, the rush of elders interested in moving in has exceeded expectations. Read more.
• Tomah VA Medical Center Opens Two New Green House Homes. The Tomah VAMC became the fourth VAMC campus to offer Green House homes to veterans. Read more.
This is just a sampling of some of the wonderful things happening with The Green House Project. Along with amazing people and organizations, we are transforming the way that we age. To become a part of this movement in 2015, contact us or visit our website: thegreenhouseproject.org