By Debbie Weisberg / Posted on September 28th, 2015
7th Annual ALS & MS Walk for Living Raised Over $100,000!
Event Supported Revolutionary Urban Green House® Model Residences
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHELSEA, MA (September 2015) –The 7th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living, a fundraiser to support individuals with ALS and MS as well as the innovative residences at the Leonard Florence for Living, was held on Sunday, September 27, 10am at 165 Captains Row on Admirals Hill.
The Leonard Florence Center for Living (LFCL) is the first urban model GREEN HOUSE® homes in the country and the world’s only fully vented ALS residence. The LFCL features neurological specialty residences with cutting-edge assistive technology, allowing individuals with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and MS (multiple sclerosis) to receive skilled nursing care in a nurturing home environment.
Bonnie Berthiaume was the first multiple sclerosis resident to move into the Leonard Florence Center for Living in 2010. The Center has, quite simply, changed her life. “Since moving here, I have been able to participate in wonderful outings; we have gone to Red Sox games, movies and the theatre,” explains Bonnie. “I have even gone skydiving three times!” The Leonard Florence Center, sponsored by the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, consists of ten homes, with ten residents living in each home. The ALS and MS residents, many of whom are completely immobilized, are able to control the lights, turn on the TV, open doors and raise window shades — just by using their eyes.
Ten years after his ALS diagnosis, Patrick O’Brien, another LFCL resident, premiered his extraordinary film “TransFatty Lives” at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Lauded by both critics and attendees, the film won the “Top Audience Award,” which is the highest possible honor and chosen by peers. Although Patrick needs round-the-clock ventilation, he lives an active and busy life at the Center. In addition to producing films, Patrick travels, attends concerts, sporting events, movies and premiers. “I was officially diagnosed with ALS when I was 30 years old,” explains O’Brien. “It is a fatal and incurable disease yet I have chosen to do something with my illness. This challenge has given me a focal point for my energies, and will hopefully inspire others to keep moving through their own adversities.”
Over the years, the ALS & MS Walk for Living has become an integral part of the local community. Over 1000 people attended this year’s walk. The event also honored Everett High School teacher Susan Lomas, who has been involved in the Walk since the start and has been instrumental in getting so many of the Everett High School’s students involved throughout the years. Moreover, Chelsea High School students and their families turned out in full force for this event, as they have in the past.
Popular radio and TV personality Billy Costa, co-host of “Matty in the Morning” on KISS 108, host of “Dining Playbook” on NESN and host of “High School Quiz Show” on WGBH was this year’s emcee and kicked off the two-mile walk. Major corporate sponsors included Biogen, M&T Bank, AHOA, Kayem and Clifton Larson. Immediately following the walk, there was a BBQ hosted by Chili’s, doughnuts provided by Dunkin Donuts, face painting, live dance performances, a petting zoo, a photo booth and a raffle. The Walk for Living is one of the few walks that are dog-friendly.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of our local communities, businesses, residents and their families, and the many friends of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation,” said Barry Berman, CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation. “The Walk for Living is crucial in helping our residents live richer and fuller lives.”
“I was excited to be involved with 7th annual ALS & MS Walk for Living,” states Billy Costa. “It is our hope that the Walk for Living will help to raise funds and awareness about living with ALS and MS today. I have lost two close friends to ALS over the last few years, so I understand just how devastating these diseases can be. The technological advances, amenities and services at the Leonard Florence Center for Living are truly inspiring.”
Support the ALS & MS Walk for Living by making a much-needed donation at www.walkforliving.org or contact Joelle Smith at 617-409-8973 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To view videos about the LFCL residents, please go to http://vimeo.com/24641660, http://vimeo.com/39457786 and https://vimeo.com/56267225.
By Rachel Scher McLean / Posted on June 2nd, 2015
The Green House website is an important channel to inspire people about the potential of this model, and move them to action. Our goal is to make The Green House model a reality in every community. With over 5,000 visits per month, the website is a premier channel for healthcare providers, advocates, elders and family members, policy makers and other stakeholders to learn more about the value and differentiation of The Green House model.
This year, we refreshed the look and feel of the website in order to make it more accessible and communicate a stronger message about how we work with organizations to impact quality of life, quality of care and all at the same cost as the traditional model. The goals of this website refresh are to:
• Emphasize the value of The Green House brand by honoring the “heart” of our mission, with a compelling business case that speaks to the “head.”
• Optimize the experience on computer and mobile device by persona for health care providers, consumers, and strategic influencers (architects, media, advocates, etc.) with an ‘answer driven’ approach to maximize usability, and navigability.
• Highlight the uniqueness of The Green House model, by leveraging testimonials from leaders in the field, case studies from current Green House adopters and data-driven studies that prove the business benefit of the model.
Through a crisp clear design and navigation, this website is optimized for the small screen, so that people can view our website on any device. The site is organized by persona and topic so that all stakeholders can find what they are looking for with less clicks. This site will increase awareness of The Green House model, and drive demand to make it an option in every community. Most importantly, it will create an extraordinary web experience. Visit us today at www.thegreenhouseproject.org, and start exploring the possibilities.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on February 13th, 2015
Below is a special Valentine’s note from Minna Rae Friedman. Her husband lives in a Green House home at the Capt. James A Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois. While the note is written to express how grateful she is…we think you’ll agree there is much love written here “between the lines”!
My husband, Stanley Friedman, has been a resident of the Green House home for over one and a half years. He is a 94 ½ year old WWII veteran. This facility has been a godsend to us both. It is a pleasure to visit and see the care he receives and his surroundings. Friends who visit, want to move in.
When I have had health situations needing care, I am comfortable knowing he is being cared for. Our children have supplied him with a desk and computer so he is able to play his favorite “Freecell” game, which not only engages his time, but provides some mental stimulation.
We, fortunately, live close to Lovell FHCC, and it is a pleasure for me to visit often and I love to bring homemade treats that are always enjoyed by the residents and staff. (I hope. They say so.)
The Green House homes are a wonderful addition to Lovell FHCC and a welcome respite from the old, traditional nursing homes.
Minna Rae Friedman
The Woodlands at John Knox Village: Construction is underway for new Green House homes in southern Florida
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on August 7th, 2014
The sunshine state lived up to its name when groundbreaking ceremonies took place on July 18th for 12 new Green House homes at John Knox Village (JKV) in Pompano Beach, Florida.
The event was a true celebration with approximately 350 Elders, local government officials, staff and leadership from JKV attending the event.
Susan Frazier, Chief Operating Officer of THE GREEN HOUSE® Project told the attendees, “We are here today to embrace something incredible. The essence of the Green House model is not only to provide a real home for Elders, but to fill these homes with warmth and empower staff to create a loving environment.”
The Woodlands at JKV will feature six floors with two Green House homes on each floor. Each home will have 12 private bedrooms and baths—along with a hearth area, open kitchen and dining room. A total of 144 Elders will call this home.
To date, there have been a number of training and informational programs for the JKV community. Implementation teams have been created to help guide the development of The Woodlands and the operational practices that will be incorporated once the homes open.
The first level of The Woodlands will feature a number of ammenties; 50 seat casual Bistro restaurant, a training center and kitchen, a convocation room with a capacity up to 100 people for chapel services and other special events, and a state of the art short-term rehabilitation center.
The homes are expected to open in the Fall of 2015.
We congratulate everyone involved in the project!
Click here to read more about the project.
By Scott Brown / Posted on June 20th, 2014
Take any urban myth, such as the popular one about alligators living in the sewers; people talk about it, but nobody has seen it. The urban myth about Green House homes is that they are not financially viable because they are too expensive to build, and too expensive to run. But when you really look at it, the facts don’t support the myth, according to Scott Townsley, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, in a presentation at LeadingAge of Pennsylvania.
Public perception of nursing homes continues to be negative. Despite that, occupancy remains pretty high. Nursing homes have benefited from Certificates of Need, which peg nursing home bed supply to demand. Nursing homes have never had to worry about marketing a product that the public didn’t want – demand is guaranteed.
Over the next 10-15 years, utilization will decrease, according to Townsley, meaning that supply will outstrip demand. Consumers will have more choice and nursing homes will have to compete to keep rooms filled. To succeed, something will need to change. And Green House homes represent one of the biggest innovations – and opportunities – for operators. Research shows that consumers will drive farther and pay more for Green House homes compared to traditional nursing homes.
The Green House model is not just about doing good – you can do well. In addition to deep culture change, person-centered care, a unique residential environment, and better quality of life, Green House homes also generate better outcomes, improve payor mix and increase occupancy.
In most cases, the urban myth about Green House homes is based on nothing more than rumors or a cursory review.
For example, in a strategy review and financial analysis performed by CliftonLarsonAllen for a struggling provider, they looked at the impact of incremental strategy improvements vs. conversion to Green House homes. With the incremental approach, the organization was out of business by 2019. By building Green House homes and improving occupancy and payor mix, and getting a higher private pay rate – typical results with the Green House model – the organization will turn around and ultimately thrive.
St. Johns Homes near Rochester, New York demonstrates the financial impact of Green House homes. Susan Frazier presented a case study comparing St. Johns traditional nursing home to their recently developed Green House homes. The Green House homes are generating improvements in occupancy and payor mix, with exemplary survey results, at operating costs that are 30% lower PPD than the legacy nursing home.
Don’t fall for the urban myth about Green House homes. With 152 Green House homes in operation, and another 150 under development, the facts tell a different story.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on June 11th, 2014
It was a LONG winter for all of us, but the summer promises to be a time of sunshine and celebration for many in the Green House family! Five homes will be opening and groundbreaking ceremonies will take place for another 12 homes.
We start the summer off on June 26th with the grand opening ceremonies for the first Green House homes in the land of 10,000 lakes. The three assisted living Green House homes are called “Water’s Edge” and are located in Mankato, Minnesota.
They are being developed and operated by Grace Senior Services. The owners, Brad and Heather Bass, have been committed to serving Elders for many years. In fact, they started their journey by opening an adult day service in their home 17 years ago. They currently have several senior housing cooperatives, two assisted living communities, and an adult foster care program. The new Director of Operations for Water’s Edge will be Brooke Olson.
Congratulations to the team at Water’s Edge…we wish you a wonderful grand opening and are excited to be working with you on this journey with your Elders!
Our next celebration will take us to the sunny state of Florida where our first skilled nursing Green House homes will be located. Groundbreaking ceremonies are slated to occur in late July.
The Woodlands at John Knox Village will have a total of seven floors and 144 private rooms for Elders. Two Green House homes will be located on each of six of the floors for a total of 12 homes, with the ground floor featuring a community area with a multi-purpose room, bistro and rehab center.
John Knox Village of Florida is the second largest not for profit Continuing Care Retirement Community in Florida with almost 1,000 residents in Pompano Beach, Florida. John Knox Village was the recipient of the Governor’s Gold Seal Award in recognition of excellence in long term care.
We will keep you posted on the events surrounding their groundbreaking ceremonies as soon as they are finalized! We are most excited to see this project under construction…it is slated to open in late 2015.
Our final summer celebration will take place in Wisconsin! Two new Green House homes will have their grand opening on August 14th. It is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Tomah VA Medical Center located in Tomah, Wisconsin. We are so pleased to know that 20 veterans will experience REAL HOME in Tomah.
So as you can see, it will be a very eventful summer season for our Green House family and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate such success!
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on June 7th, 2014
Citing his extensive work in transforming long-term care in California, the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine (CALTCM), honored our own Sr. Director, David Farrell with their 2014 Leadership Award.
CALTCM is the professional organization for California physicians, medical directors, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, and other professionals working in long-term care. CALTCM is the state chapter of the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA). It is an organization that advocates quality patient healthcare, provides long-term care education and seeks to influence policy within the industry.
The Leadership Award presentation took place at the CALTCM 40th Annual Meeting for group. Prior to joining The Green House Project, David served as a nursing home administrator and regional director of operations in California. As many of you know, David has long been a strong advocate for person-directed care and culture change within long-term care.
We congratulate David on receiving this award!
By Tara Cugelman-McMahon / Posted on March 20th, 2014
Congratulations to Jean Probst, a long time board member of Episcopal Homes of Minnesota, a Green House adopter, for being honored with Trustee of the Year! Jean was honored at this year’s Aging Services of Minnesota Institute and Expo.
Marvin Plakut, the CEO of Episcopal Homes, nominated Jean for this award while recalling a meeting he had with her; “A petite and soft-spoken woman in her 70s, Jean opened the meeting with the comment…, ‘I’m troubled by how small your thinking is, Marvin.’”
Jean challenged Episcopal Homes of Minnesota’s plan for a $2 million renovation of their Alzheimer’s unit with a successful $10 million campaign because “the program and space needed to be totally transformed.”
In a letter congratulating Jean, Larry Minnix, the President of LeadingAge, expands upon the concept of small thinking versus big thinking, and “invite[s] all of us to hear Jeans Probst’s challenge that we are thinking too small.”
To read more about the difference between small thinking and big thinking, click here.
Congratulations Jean! Green House is honored to be associated with transformative thinkers like you!
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on December 31st, 2013
The beginning of a new year always brings a sense of excitement…a chance to reflect on our accomplishments…a chance to strategize about what improvements can be designed to further our mission or goals in life. As I turned the day calendar on my desk this morning, I believe the message was perfect: If we celebrate the years behind us they become stepping stones of strength and joy for the years ahead.
After celebrating our 10th Anniversary in 2013, The Green House Project team and our adopters are most anxious to start our 2nd decade off with a renewed energy to spread the good news about The Green House model and the high quality of care and service that it provides to Elders.
To attain that goal, we’ll certainly be “on the road” with our message at a number of conferences including Impact Texas, AHCA Independent Owners, Environments for Aging and a variety of LeadingAge state conferences including Aging Services of Minnesota in February. It is especially exciting to speak in Minnesota because, in 2014 our first homes in that state will open in Mankato.
There is also a very special nationwide tour combining the talents of Dr. Bill Thomas, The Green House Project, and others in the works…but you’ll just have to wait to hear more about that in the coming months!
We are also resolving this year to further enhance our Green House workshops, Green House overview webinars and to provide that critical financial information through a series of webinars beginning in February.
We feel strongly that our Peer Network is a huge part of our value proposition. This group has made significant strides over the past 12 months, and the outlook for 2014 is exciting. A robust schedule of educational webinars, exclusive to Green House adopters, is already planned through the first quarter of the year. Organizations who have adopted this model, learn about a variety of topics and share best practices, not only with industry leaders, but with their peers. We will work together to continuously enhance the opportunities to learn, grow and thrive as a movement.
Our education programs are a critical element in making a successful Green House home, and we are committed to expanding and deepening this imperative offering. Through careful evaluations and Peer Network support, in 2014 we will begin working on additional modules of education for the leaders of our adopting organizations and for the new team members in Green House homes.
Of course with the generous support of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other partners we are working on a number of special projects. Stay connected to our website, facebook and twitter to for the latest details!
They say that culture change is a journey without a destination, and at The Green House Project we embrace this concept. Every year we resolve to learn more by working with all of you, to create a world where Elders are seen as creative, resourceful and whole.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on November 21st, 2013
A major $100 million dollar project is underway on the campus of Jewish Senior Life. It will include a number of upgrades for the facility…but the focus of the construction will be 14 Green House homes. Each will be complete with a private bedroom, open kitchen, large hearth and dining area.
Read more about the project and tell us what you think!
By Margaret Stansbury / Posted on April 9th, 2013
Congratulations to Christian Care Communities for breaking ground on The Homeplace at Midway, the first Green House homes in the State of Kentucky! Today, supporters of The Homeplace at Midway gathered to celebrate this very special moment for Elders in Kentucky.
In the words of Christian Care Communities, “With shovels in hand and wearing hard hats, public officials, community and business leaders joined with Christian Care for the groundbreaking, signaling the start of the new $13.5 million Green House® community at 671 East Stephens Street, across from Midway College.”
To learn more about Christian Care Communities’ and these new Green House homes please click here.
By Mary Hopfner-Thomas / Posted on March 7th, 2013
Being an advocate for others is what Marla truly enjoys. In fact, most of her professional career has been in roles where it has been her responsibility to make sure the voices of others are being heard. Elders have been her focus for the last 20 years.
Marla began her journey in Michigan as a Long Term Care Ombudsman for a nonprofit group called Citizens for Better Care. In her position she would visit with Elders to make sure they understood their rights, conducted education sessions for Skilled Nursing Home staff and participated in family and Elder councils. It was during this time that Marla heard a lecture by Eden Alternative and Green House founder, Dr. Bill Thomas, and within months the Ombudsman program partnered with the Eden Alternative. Marla became an Eden Specialist instructing her colleagues on the principles of the Eden Alternative. She implemented a Western Michigan Eden Support group for long term care communities.
Training and educating others about Elders became a passion for Marla. In Michigan over 2,500 participants learned about the Eden Alternative through her training programs. She developed educational materials and learning sessions for Area Agencies on Aging staff in Michigan and became a sought after speaker for long term care conferences.
For the past 5 years, Marla has focused all of her attention on culture change. Most recently she led the management of culture change work teams across five care communities in Utah employing 400 staff positions.
Marla is now sharing her skills and knowledge about Elders and culture change in THE GREEN HOUSE ® Project as a Project Guide.
- 20 years of experience in aging services—with a passion for culture change
- Recipient of the Eden Alternative 2010 Leadership Award
- Initiated curricula development for state-wide adult abuse and neglect prevention training and train the trainer sessions reaching over 7000 direct care staff in Michigan
- Eden Educator authorized to conduct Certified Eden Associate training, Eden leadership training, Eden at Home trainer certification, and Eden Alternative Neighborhood Guide workshops.
- Speaker/Presenter for numerous Utah Healthcare conferences
Marla thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking on a good trail…whether in the sun or snow! Marla and her husband live in Utah and have 3 children.