Introduction of H.R. 4122 for Reauthorization of Older Americans Act

By / Posted on April 30th, 2014

Today, President Barack Obama proclaimed May 2014 as Older Americans Month and so it seems timely to take a look at where reauthorization of the Older Americans Act of 1965 stands.  Although there isn’t visible progress on proposed legislation on the hill these days, it is encouraging to see certain policymakers take up the cause for Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Last year, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S.1562) was introduced in the Senate to address the fact that authorization ended in 2011 and critical funding for the Act’s programs are in jeopardy.

On February 28th of this year, H.R. 4122 was introduced in the House of Representatives as a bill “to reauthorize the Older Americans Act of 1965, and for other purposes.” The bill was introduced by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) with Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and Rep. George Miller (D-CA). What makes this bill unique is that it goes further than simply reauthorizing the Older American Act by including other provisions to protect the health and well-being of older adults.

According to Peter Notarstefano at Leading Age, some of these provisions include:

–          Creation of Federal Database to address Elder Abuse and Neglect

–          New standards for screening and assessment at OAA Nutrition Programs

–          Plans to modernize community senior centers

–          Increased service availability for person-centered transportation

–          Improved resource access for LGBT Older Adults

In addition to H.R. 4122, a bill to simply reauthorize the Older Americans Act (H.R. 3850), was introduced on January 10, 2014 by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) and cosponsors, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN).

 


Congratulations to Jean Probst for being Trustee of the Year!

By / 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!


Great Minds Gala at PEAK Leadership Summit

By / Posted on March 10th, 2014

This year the Leading Age PEAK Leadership Summit will be held March 17-19 in Washington D.C. and THE GREEN HOUSE® Project is excited to send some of our team members to the event.  This summit aims to expand the world of possibilities for aging; a vision we support and work toward wholeheartedly. Not only will we engage with peers in the field by attending sessions and exhibiting at the summit but also through our sponsorship of the Great Minds Gala.

The Great Minds Gala is a fundraising event that will honor Leading Age members and other individuals in the field who have shown courage and leadership as they work tirelessly to improve the lives of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.  One honoree at the event will be Glen Campbell, renowned country music singer and actor, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

You can join the summit conversation by following @LarryMinnix, @LeadingAge and @LeadingAgeCAST on Twitter using #PEAK14 or by liking the Leading Age PEAK Summit Facebook page.

 


Leading Age 2013, a Gathering of Innovators

By / Posted on November 8th, 2013

Recently, Green House Project team members had the stimuating opportunity to attend Leading Age’s 2013 Annual Meeting.  At this gathering of innovative organizations, leaders and vendors from around the country, The Green House model was highlighted on numerous occasions as setting the standard for the future of long term care.

Audrey Weiner, Green House adopter and exiting board chair for Leading Age, opened the conference in full style with bright red boots and a message of hope for the innovative leaders in the room.  The health care landscape is changing, and Ms. Weiner challenged the group to be the providers and organizations that will lead the charge to meet the needs of the field through innovation, strong data and compassion.  She quoted Dr. Bill Thomas, “There is a new old age waiting to be born and the culture change movement will be called upon to attend its birth.”

Throughout the conference, all of the hot topics were explored, from meeting the needs of people living with dementia, to health care reform and improving metrics such as decreasing rehospitalization.  Barry Berman, a wise leader of The Green House movement, and CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, received the Award of Honor, the highest award that Leading Age bestows upon its members.  Barry has made a difference to so many people through his years of service.  The elders, the staff and the people living with ALS and MS for whom he has created a world where life is worth living, created this video to share their gratitude.

The environment where elders live is very important to their well-being, especially for people who are living with dementia.  Person-Centered Design has come a long way over the last 10 years, from the medicalized institutions of yesterday, to small house models and beyond.  Dr. Bill Thomas was awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Ten Year Award for the innovations and contributions that he has made to the field. In true visionary fashion, upon accepting the award, Dr. Thomas thanked everyone for the work that has been done, but challenged the crowd to think about, What’s next?

White Oaks Cottages at Fox Hill Village also won an AIA award for cutting edge design to serve people living with dementia.

 

It was a wonderful week in Dallas.  The energy was palpable with a feeling that the providers in those hallways are the ones that will change the world, and that there must be a strong shift to person-centered living in order to meet the needs of the changing demographic of elders.  The Green House model is a strong and proven force for innovation and quality.

Click here to view photos from the reception that we hosted with other culture change leaders.  It is through the providers and leaders of this movement that we will be one of the solutions that will take us into the future.

 


Barry Berman Earns Prestigious Leading Age Award

By / Posted on October 22nd, 2013

Originally printed in the Chelsea Jewish Aug/Sept publication of “Chai-Lights” 

Barry Berman, CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation (CJF), has been selected by Leading Age as the 2013 Award of Honor Recipient.  This award, the association’s highest honor, is given in recognition of Mr. Berman’s exemplary leadership and commitment to expanding the world of possibilities for aging.  Individuals from the entire country were considered for this award.  Mr. Berman was selected based upon his outstanding leadership, exceptional service and commitment to quality care.

Under Mr. Berman’s direction, CJF developed Massachusetts’ first mixed-income assisted living, in addition to developing the nation’s first Green House homes in an urban, low-income neighborhood.  Clearly, Mr. Berman has revolutionized housing and care environments for people living with ALS and MS by developing the nation’s first residence for person’s living with these diseases.  Mr. Berman is a true leader and innovator whose passion for meeting the needs of others is self evident in the remarkable organization he has helped to build and the outstanding work that the Chelsea Jewish Foundation does.

Please join us in congratulating Barry Berman on this well-deserved recognition.  Mr. Berman will be presented the award on Sunday, October 27th at the Leading Age Annual Meeting in Dallas, Tx.


Seniors Aid New Hampshire at the Pioneer Network Conference

By / Posted on September 9th, 2013

Last month, at the Pioneer Network 2013 Conference, a session entitled “Networking Elders to Provide Them with a Greater Voice,” engaged audience members by inviting Elders themselves to talk about their peer networking and advocacy work.  These Elders were introduced as members of an organization called “Seniors Aid New Hampshire” (SANH). They are a community of Elders that live in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Independent living settings throughout their state. With the help of a conference call line, they have joined together each month over the past seven years to host senators, state representatives and members of government agencies in addition to advancing their own community organizing and advocacy agenda. As a result of their organizing, these Elders even provided video testimony in a Senate Committee hearing regarding medication administration.

SANH began in the summer of 2006, when Elders living at different Nursing Homes and Assisted-Living communities in New Hampshire determined that it was “unacceptable for people to go to bed hungry.” The group was assisted by the  New Hampshire Health Care Association in creating a forum for fund-raising and communication to occur. In the early years this group called themselves “Seniors Feed New Hampshire” and in the first year alone raised $42K to assist the New Hampshire Food Bank. In later years the group gained momentum, changed their name and began to focus on other areas of interest that provide opportunities for meaningful resident work and creating communication between Elders living in different long-term care residences across the state.

The session at the Pioneer Network Conference was facilitated by Darlene Cray, a Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Statewide Volunteer Coordinator in New Hampshire and Mark Latham, Administrator of Pleasant View Center, a Nursing Home in Concord, New Hampshire.  In addition to the panel of SANH members, Kathleen Otte from the Administration for Community Living also joined by phone, as well as Jennifer Hilliard, Public Policy Attorney from Leading Age and representatives from Senator Larsen’s office. During the session, Darlene Cray reminded attendees that “When we focus on the ability of the individual, we see Elders.”

The American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) named Seniors Aid New Hampshire as their 2012 National Group Volunteer of the Year.


Green House homes are Coming to California

By / Posted on February 25th, 2013

Joanne Handy, CEO of LeadingAge California provided the introduction in her publlication, Agenda, to  the feature article on The Green House Project, “The Green House model was born from necessity – from a realization that there had to be an alternative to caring for older adults. But without the persistence of a relatively small group of people, this new and innovative model may never have seen the light of day. And just as Mt. San Antonio Gardens is helping to lead change with its Green House, [Leading Age California] is helping to lead change by stimulating and fostering innovation.” The Green House Project is grateful to the leadership and partnership of many groups in California, together we are creating real homes for elders in this state.

In California, “the state’s population continues to age rapidly. The number of Californians over 65 is expected to
double – if not triple, by 2030, and seven in 10 of those seniors will need long-term care at some point.”  There is a call for innovation in long term care, a need for a model that will care for people as individuals, putting their person-hood at the same level as their medical needs.

After many years of striving to partner with regulators in the state, “two new homes will open at the Mt. San Antonio Gardens senior community in Pomona, Calif. They’ll fit right in among the apartments and cottages – with their patios and gardens – that already populate the 30-acre campus, beside its putting green, arts center and more. But these homes will be different. In fact, they’ll usher in the beginning of a new era of a nursing-home care in California.”

The gains made by Mt. San Antonio Gardens will be further solidified through legislation, “Late last year, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1228, introduced by State Senator Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara)… The bill will facilitate the development and delivery of “skilled nursing care in a homelike, noninstitutional setting” like never before, by creating The Small House Skilled Nursing Facilities Pilot Program.” Housed in the Department of Health, this bill calls for 10 organizations to participate in this pilot program which will demonstrate the positive outcomes that come from creating real home, meaningful life and good jobs in the long term care field.

The Green House Project urges every eligible provider to consider applying for this unprecedented opportunity to bring small home, person-centered care to market with the urgency that consumers are demanding and the efficiency for which providers are striving. To read the full article in the Leading Age California publication, click here.

 


Leading Age names The Green House Project a Leadership Program to Watch in 2013

By / Posted on January 31st, 2013

To expand the world of possibilities for aging, LeadingAge members and affiliates touch the lives of 4 million individuals, families, employees and volunteers every day. The work of LeadingAge is focused on advocacy, education, and applied research. CEO, Larry Minnix, shared an inspiring blog about how far our field of aging has come, and he asks the question, “So, how did dramatic change occur over the generations? Did it happen spontaneously? No, it happened because of the leadership from members, many of whom have served their communities for generations!”

Just as Eden Principle #10 states, “Wise Leadership is the lifeblood of any organization”, Larry Minnix calls out a few programs whose leadership is moving our field forward. The Green House Project, with a commitment to research, including a business case, is honored to be named as a leader. Leonard Florence Center for Living was also named as a leader to watch. As the first urban Green House Project and with incredible use of technology to create meaningful lives for those living with ALS and MS, this project is beyond cutting edge.

Thank you to Leading Age for this honor and for the work that you do to support and advance our field.


Leading Age Honors Green House Organizations and Stimulates Thought Leadership

By / Posted on October 29th, 2012

The 2012 LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Denver, CO was an incredible opportunity to connect with thousands of aging services professionals and explore the current and future needs of our field. Through engaging education sessions and a robust exhibit hall, innovative ideas sparked and crackled throughout the convention center. Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, a staff writer for The New Yorker and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, delivered a keynote about the power of communication and person-centered care. He says that, “medicine works best when it works for people’s goals, not the other way around.” It is not surprising then that he has visited Green House projects, Leonard Florence Center for Living, and White Oak Cottages and has returned several times to learn lessons from the elders and the model. This year’s Leading Age Conference highlighted Green House values and adopters throughout the event.

Green House adopters are thought leaders and pioneers in the field of long term care. Audrey Weiner, Leading Age Board Chair, and CEO of Green House adopter Jewish Home Lifecare, addressed the conference and boldly challenged the group to meet and exceed the goals of Health Care Reform through accountability and engagement. Green House adopters are leading the charge of innovation, with a commitment to person centered care, workplace excellence, and clinical outcomes. Steve McAlilly, CEO of Methodist Senior Services of Mississippi, and the first Green House project in the nation, was awarded the highest award that Leading Age gives its members, The Award of Honor. Steve embodies the LeadingAge promise, to “Inspire. Serve. Advocate.” Tabitha Health Care Service, was honored for Excellence in the Workplace, and their commitment to service and leadership in building a better world for the aged.

The Green House Project is proud to be associated with these diverse leaders for their creativity and dedication to quality of person-centered care and join Ms. Weiner’s charge to create homes that meet the triple aim of health care reform: better health, better healthcare and better value. The educational session, The Green House Project: Transforming Skilled Nursing Care, created a space to partner with St. Martin’s in the Pines CEO, Terry Rogers, and share how this model creates real home and meaningful lives. The newest development, The Green House Business Case, presents how this model impacts lives as well as the bottom line of the organization.

The Leading Age meeting was a time to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the non-profit sector of long term care. The national Green House Project was gratified by the recognition of Green House organizations for their excellence and thought leadership. The success of the national initiative is bolstered by the success of individual organizations, whose pioneering spirit enables everyone to grow.


Tabitha Health Systems Honored by Leading Age for Excellence in the Workplace

By / Posted on October 23rd, 2012

Tabitha Health Care Services is honored to announce it was recently named the recipient of a national award from LeadingAge, one of the country’s foremost elder issues advocacy groups.

Among an elite list of distinguished winners from across the U.S., Tabitha was recognized for its innovative LIVE to Succeed company culture with LeadingAge’s 2012 Excellence in the Workplace Award.

“We’re humbled and grateful to again be named among the nation’s best Elder care service providers,” said Christie Hinrichs, Tabitha president and CEO. “Outstanding care for Elders begins with outstanding compassion, commitment and training, and we work to enhance those qualities in our Tabitha team each and every day.”

LIVE to Succeed, born in 2006 and spearheaded by then-COO Hinrichs, has transformed the organization with four simple, employee-focused objectives:

  • Love your job
  • Invite optimism
  • Vision success
  • Embrace the mission

Through ongoing employee education, appreciation events and other incentives designed to make Tabitha a great place to work, the organization commits substantial time and financial resources to support its culture, an investment that has paid off in the form of significantly lower employee turnover than the industry average, excellent regulatory rankings and, most importantly, Tabitha’s consistently positive clinical outcomes and family satisfaction feedback.

 

A longtime regional leader in Elder care, Tabitha offers the state’s only complete continuum of services to support aging individuals at every stage of the journey. As just the latest in a growing list of industry recognition, Tabitha’s most recent award supports the measurable success of the organization’s Christian-based mission, innovative approach and definitive status as the answer for Elder care in southeast Nebraska.

As a nonprofit organization serving 28 Nebraska counties, Tabitha’s love embraces a society where everyone is valued and empowered to live life to the fullest, with compassionate at-home support, innovative living communities, exceptional rehabilitation, health care and hospice services.


The Green House Project to present and exhibit at The LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Denver

By / Posted on October 5th, 2012

The Green House Project offers a model for long-term care
designed to look and feel like a real home. Green House
homes are seen as a national leader and proven business
model for long-term care. Today there are hundreds of
Green House homes open or in development in the majority
of states.

Our evidence-based model has been proven — through
independent research — to be effective, feasible and
sustainable. Our technical assistance is a big reason why
The Green House Project has become a preferred partner
in helping organizations meet demands of the changing long-term care market.

Connect with Us at the Leading Age Conference:

  • Pick up a free copy of our Business Case at our booth (2118)
  • Join our Session, “The Green House ® Model” Transforming Skilled Care, on Wednesday, October 24 @ 2:30-4:00p
  • Talk to us about how you can bring The Green House model to your community


Video: Larry Minnix, CEO of Leading Age, speaks about the high standards for long-term care he experienced while visiting The Leonard Florence Center for Living

By / Posted on May 23rd, 2012

Larry Minnix of LeadingAge visits The Green House Homes at The Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA.

Watch the below video to hear Larry’s insights and reflections related to this innovation for adults living with ALS and MS.