CARE: Dedicated to Improving How We Age

By / Posted on May 7th, 2015

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing created the Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) in response to the rapidly expanding care needs of our aging population. The center works toward transformation by using “…nursing leadership, discovery, education, and practice…” to support happiness, health and security for all older adults.

In a recent online post by the CARE team entitled, “What Makes a Green House Home? How You Decide Matters,” the author considers the persistence and commitment necessary to take the philosophical tenets of culture change and put them into practice.

The post describes how UW-Madison School of Nursing Associate Dean Barb Bowers, PhD, RN, FAAN and research manager Kim Nolet, MS have conducted research that analyzes the “lived experience” that the Green House model now has after more than 10 years as the pinnacle of culture change.

“By interviewing 166 staff members at 11 Green House homes, Bowers and Nolet identified patterns of problem solving as important to the erosion or reinforcement of the Green House model over time.”

The researchers found that along with the architecture of the Green House home, it is collaboration across the organization and between nurses and Shahbazim that allows the significant benefits of this model to be realized.

Both Bowers and Nolet are a part of The Research Initiative Valuing Eldercare (THRIVE). Interested in learning more about the THRIVE initiative? Take a look at this recent blog post which discusses the importance of the soon to be published THRIVE research results.

 

 

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Grand Opening Celebration Takes Place for Colorado’s First Green House Homes – A Story of Partnership and Vision

By / Posted on October 25th, 2014

The beautiful Rocky Mountains provide a wonderful view for Elders that will live in The Green House Homes at Mirasol in Loveland, Colorado.  That view will only be matched by the person-directed living they will experience in this innovative model of skilled nursing care.  Built on the campus of the Mirasol Senior Living Community, there will be six homes with each including: ten private bedrooms and bath, open kitchen, a hearth area along with a variety of other open spaces that will embrace socializing and the ability to live life in a meaningful way.

Sam Betters, Executive Director of the Loveland Housing Authority, said,

From my own personal experience of trying to provide the best care for my parents, I discovered that aging in America presents many challenges.  I knew that there had to be a better option than the traditional institutional models for elder care.  There is.  It’s called The Green House Project.  As we began our vision-quest, we didn’t know how we were going to make this happen.  We just knew it had to be done.

Senior Director for The Green House Project, David Farrell, was on hand for the festivities on October 21st along with a number of other state and local leaders in Colorado.

David said, “These homes will help the Loveland Housing Authority meet a gap in its continuum of care-skilled nursing and allow Mirasol residents to remain a part of their existing community, deriving the benefits of receiving a higher level of care while still living independent and social lives.”

The Green House Project is part of Capital Impact Partners, a certified community development financial institution, which led the financing for this $17 million dollar project.

As a mission driven lender, this project fits well into our larger strategy to build strong, vibrant communities of opportunity for underserved populations. We are not only proud to help bring the Green House model to Colorado, but also the fact that a large percentage of the residents are Medicaid eligible,

said Terry Simonette, CEO of Capital Impact Partners. “It took a number of partners, and use of innovative tools like New Market Tax Credits to make this happen.”

Funding for the project included:  $2 million dollar grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, program related investments from the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, $2.5 million New Market Tax Credits, $3.4 million in tax credit equity from JPMorgan Chase plus a land donation by the Loveland Housing Authority.

We congratulate all who helped in the process of making these homes possible…and welcome everyone to the Green House family!

Click here to read more about this project and why leaders from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the AARP Foundation were most pleased to make this development a reality!


Chinese Delegation Learns from The Green House model

By / Posted on December 19th, 2013

A delegation from China recently visited The Green House Residences of Stadium Place.  The translator of the group relayed, “The purpose of this trip is to learn about the infrastructure (of such facilities), so they can implement it (in China) as a successful business model.”   This visit, hosted by the Maryland Department of Aging and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), represents an opportunity to highlight innovative models as a solution for the challenges and opportunities of global aging.  Stephanie Hull, acting deputy secretary for the Department of aging, said to the delegation, :  “Like you, we have a large aging population.  When they need help, our goal is to try to help them get that in their homes, or in places like Green House [homes],” so they can age” with dignity and independence.”

The Green House Residences of Stadium Place is an urban style model with 4 homes stacked vertically and built on the site of the old Memorial Stadium and opened since April 2012. This project was developed by Govens Ecumenical Development Corp (GEDCO) and is managed by Catholic Charities.  NCB Capital Impact helped to finance this project through public-private partnerships including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Weinberg Foundation, Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, and private donors.  This Green House project represents the potential to serve low income elders in their community in a real home.

Nationally there are Green House projects open in 25 states with many more in development.  Click here to find a Green House home near you or how to bring one to your community.

 

To read the full article >>


The Tipping Point for Revolutionizing Elderhood

By / Posted on December 4th, 2013



Financing and Collaboration Brings Green House homes to Colorado

By / Posted on November 26th, 2013

It was a beautiful day in Loveland, Colorado for the historic groundbreaking ceremony of the first Green House homes in Colorado. The skies were clear and the beautiful Rocky Mountains provided a breathtaking view in the background. This Green House project is the result of a collaboration between Loveland Housing Authority and Vivage Quality Health Care Partners.  These innovative groups worked with NCB Capital Impact, AARP foundation, The Weinberg Foundation and many other sources of financing to bring this project to life for low income elders:

A $16 million project takes a significant numbers of financial partners, as well as time. Nearly four years in the works, financing for the project includes New Market Tax Credits, $584,000 in fee waivers from the city of Loveland, $2.6 million from the Colorado State Division of Housing and a $2 million grant from Maryland-based nonprofit The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

Local residents were an integral part of planning the groundbreaking ceremony.  The Reporter-Herald covered this collaborative event, “”The goal is to create rampant normalcy where people can feel at home,” said Nancy Fox, the chief life enhancement officer for Vivage Quality Heath Care Partners.
The program was kicked off by Sam Betters, Executive director of the Loveland Housing Authority. He shared the trials and successes of the long four year journey that led to securing financing for this important project, “It takes a lot of people to make this work, and we do this to meet the community’s needs,” Betters said Tuesday in remarks before a crowd Mirasol residents, local officials and a wide-range of partners.”  The determined spirit and “can do” attitude was palpable throughout the ceremony.

Next Sue Mendenhall, the Resident Ambassador of Mirasol Senior Living Community described The Green House Project as “breathtaking in its innovation.”  Major Cecil Gutierrez from the City of Loveland described Loveland as “one of the most innovative and creative cities demonstrated by art and projects the Loveland Housing Authority has come up with.”

“You are bringing something amazing to your state,” The Green House Project Chief Operating Operator Susan Frazier told the crowd. “You are becoming a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself.”

There are currently Green House projects in 25 states, with many more in development.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards Third Major Grant to THE GREEN HOUSE® Project

By / Posted on November 13th, 2013

On November 1, 2013, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a third, three-year grant to NCB Capital Impact to fund The Green House Project.  This $2.75 million grant is designed to build on the successes of the first and second grants’ activities and those of our pioneering provider partners. Thirty-five organizations have already adopted the evidence-based Green House model and built 153 homes across the country.  The new grant will aim to significantly expand those adoption numbers, with the goal of making Green House homes an affordable long-term care option in every community.

In a recently published collection of testimonials about The Green House Project for our 10th anniversary, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said, “Ten years ago, the idea that we could redesign nursing homes to create the experience of living in a real home was radical.  Today, The Green House model is the benchmark of quality and patient satisfaction for affordable, community-based skilled care nationwide.  As a catalyst for change in long-term care, The Green House Project inspires us to support a culture of health and well-being for older adults across the nation.”

The previous two grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have resulted in huge strides forward in replicating The Green House model.  The second grant catalyzed the spread of the model across the United States fueled by the excellent regulatory, clinical and quality of life outcomes achieved by the early adopters. Terry Simonette, president and CEO of NCB Capital Impact, which serves as the national replication and technical assistance center for the initiative said, “[The Green House Project] demonstrates that it is possible to provide the best care to the people who need it most, at the same cost as a traditional nursing home.”

This new grant will enable NCB Capital Impact and the Green House team to spread the model nationwide, expand financing opportunities for new projects, spread policy gains across states, pilot the model with new populations, and continue to strengthen the Green House brand nationally.  “The signal achievement of the Green House is it shows the world that the institutional model of care is obsolete,” said Green House Founder Dr. Bill Thomas.

Please contact The Green House Project with any questions at 703-647-2311 or info@thegreenhouseproject.org.

 


10 On 10: Ten Leaders In Aging Reflect On Ten Years Of Green House Homes

By / Posted on November 1st, 2013

Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked to change the way elders live in long term care.  Currently, there are 153 open and operating Green House homes 25 states with many more in development. In fact there are 24 more homes scheduled to open in 2014, and we are gaining momentum.  Because of these innovations, over 1550 elders are able to live, grow and thrive in real home environments where they are able to give and receive the care that they need.

In honor of our 10th Anniversary, we reached out to 10 thought leaders in the field of aging, and asked them to share their perspective on the impact that The Green House model has made on aging and long term care.  Below you will see the support that they voiced for this model, and the work that has been done to move the field forward.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this strong statement that Aging and Long-Term Care can be different.


Financing a Green House home

By / Posted on July 31st, 2013

The Green House Project recognizes that financing is a crucial element of any new development. As a program within NCB Capital Impact, we can partner with lenders to create a streamlined process and many specialized financing options. NCB Capital Impact is a nonprofit, Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works across the nation to improve access to high-quality health and elder care, healthy foods, housing, and education in low-income communities. To date, NCB Capital Impact and The Green House Project have assisted in the development of over 148 Green House homes and have financed $20 million in Green House homes across the country.

There is now an information page on The Green House website, that provides a high level overview of financing vehicles. NCB Capital Impact provides financing opportunities for Green House homes and manages specific Green House loan programs, including The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP Program Related Investments. There is also information about The Weinberg Foundation grant opportunities. This new webpage provides high level information about these opportunities, as well as specific steps for learning more about financing options.

Click here to view the Financing Page on The Green House website >>

 


AARP Foundation and Weinberg Foundation Invest to Extend Green House Model to Low-Income Seniors

By / Posted on July 12th, 2013

New collaborations build on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s $10 million
program-related investment in THE GREEN HOUSE® Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2013

CONTACT:
Leslie Lipsick, 415-901-0111, llipsick@fenton.com
Christine Clayton, 609-627-5937, media@rwjf.org

Princeton, NJ — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) efforts to bring high-quality skilled nursing care to low-income seniors got a boost recently as both AARP Foundation and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced new investments in The Green House Project. The new commitments bolster the national loan fund for Green House homes that RWJF helped to establish in 2011 with a 10-year, $10 million low-interest credit facility.

AARP Foundation unveiled a new $2.5 million program-related investment (PRI) in innovative housing options for the vulnerable, 50+ population, including The Green House Project. The Weinberg Foundation simultaneously agreed to formalize and grow its existing grant program for skilled nursing facilities that both adopt The Green House model and serve low-income populations. The Weinberg Foundation has committed to a minimum of $8 million in capital grants for Green House residences this fiscal year alone.

Though the three foundations’ investments differ in their details, they share the common goal of bringing a higher and more personalized standard of care to aging Americans in every community. The three also share a joint belief that innovative financing is a vital tool for giving lower-income communities the capital required to develop truly excellent, affordable long-term care options.

Unlike traditional nursing homes that have a more institutional feel, Green House homes are designed from the ground up to look and feel like a real home. In an effort to provide more personalized and dignified care, only six to 12 elders live in each home, and every resident has the comfort of a private room and bathroom, along with the freedom to set his or her own daily routine. Even the care in a Green House home is different, with a small team of trained universal caregivers meeting the majority of needs of the residents. Research shows that a Green House home’s intimate layout, combined with its innovative staffing model, provides residents with four times more personal and social contact than typical nursing homes.

“The Green House Project delivers on a bold vision of better, more dignified care for elders that is spreading widely in communities across the country,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are thrilled to have the AARP and Weinberg Foundations join us in investing to spread the impact of this powerful model to all seniors, regardless of income.”

AARP Foundation: Leveraging Investment Instruments to Drive 50+ Housing Innovation

With the use of program-related investments, AARP Foundation aims to create new models of housing that are scalable and replicable, and to increase the sheer number of affordable and adequate housing units available for low-income Americans over 50. With at least 13 million Americans in low-income, 50+ households struggling to find affordable and/or adequate housing, AARP Foundation identified housing as an area ripe for impact investing.

In addition to funding the replication of The Green House model, led by NCB Capital Impact, the $2.5 million investment will also support Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. and ROC USA. The former will use the investment to help finance the creation of affordable rental and rural housing for low-income seniors. The latter will use it to empower owners of mobile homes, a vulnerable and aging group, to cooperatively purchase the land on which their homes are located.

“All of these projects aim to build, retrofit, or purchase safe and affordable housing that not only helps older residents avoid high housing cost burdens, but also addresses their need for community—either by helping them age in place or create a new community based on a non-institutional model,” said AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins.

Weinberg Foundation: Expanding on an Early Investment in Culture Change

During the last five years, the Weinberg Foundation has made six capital grants for Green House homes, totaling just over $5.5 million, including some of the most innovative adoptions of the model. During that time, the Weinberg Foundation has seen demand for small home nursing models like Green House soar. At the same time, millions of vulnerable older adults have been unable to access the quality, skilled care they need—whether due to limited incomes, high costs of care, or isolation.

To fulfill its vision that every older adult has the opportunity to lead a life of dignity and independence, no matter their ability or income, the Weinberg Foundation has agreed to formalize and expand its Green House development grants program, committing to a minimum of $8 million in capital grants for these residences in the 2014 fiscal year. Among other requirements, applying providers must serve at least 60 percent Medicaid-eligible individuals, with 70 percent preferred, and be open to people of all beliefs.

“All older adults deserve the chance to lead meaningful, engaged lives and to maintain their independence for as long as possible,” said Donn Weinberg, Weinberg Foundation trustee and executive vice president. “Through the combined total of more than $13 million in capital grants already made or planned, the Weinberg Foundation hopes to extend the Green House and other culture-change models to more of our most vulnerable older adults so that they can continue to live robust, healthy lives.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Increasing the Impact of a Long-Time Investment

Since 2002, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $20 million, primarily to NCB Capital Impact, to develop, test, and evaluate The Green House model. In 2011, the Foundation made a new $10 million program investment to build on its existing support of Green House, with the goal of helping the model achieve greater reach and impact than its current presence (146 homes across 24 states).

Specifically, the PRI lowers the cost of financing Green House projects that serve low-income individuals and low-income areas. NCB Capital Impact serves as administrator for the loan fund and seeks investors to leverage RWJF funding in any one project by a ratio of 4-to-1. The investment was part of RWJF’s larger $100 million “impact capital” commitment designed to help the Foundation and its grantees leverage funding from multiple sources and spread innovative solutions that improve health and health care for all Americans.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual’s ability to meet those needs, with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities including Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Israel, and the Former Soviet Union. For more information, please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.

About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact helps people and communities reach their highest potential at every stage of life. As a Congressionally chartered, District of Columbia, non-profit community development finance institution, Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance nationwide to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.825 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities. www.ncbcapitalimpact.org

About The Green House Project
The Green House Project is a radically new, national model for skilled-nursing care that returns control, dignity and a sense of well-being to elders, their families and direct care staff. In the Green House model, residents receive care in small, self-contained homes organized to deliver individualized care, meaningful relationships and better direct care jobs through a self-managed team of direct care staff working in cross-trained roles. Green House homes meet all state and federal regulatory and reimbursement criteria for skilled nursing facilities. http://thegreenhouseproject.org/
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Provider Magazine Highlights Flexible Funding for Green House homes

By / Posted on May 31st, 2013

Provider Magazine tracks the pulse of the industry and serves as the leading source of business and clinical news for long term and post-acute care professionals.  Long term care providers know that the demands of the consumer are changing.  So why do many nursing homes still look the same way they did 20 years ago?  One barrier to transformation may be in the ability to find, “low-cost, flexible financing sources”.  New financing programs are being created to remove this barrier, and to support Green House home development.

In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health foundation, made a $10 million Program-Related Investment (PRI) in NCB Capital Impact and The Green House Project to make it easier for more providers to obtain flexible financing and build Green House homes.  In making this investment, the foundation saw a unique potential for The Green House model to address the nation’s growing shortage of affordable, high-quality long term care options for low-income elders.
As an initiative of NCB Capital Impact, The Green House Project has also been able to leverage the financial expertise of this group, “Because NCB Capital Impact is enlisting additional investors—like the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and AARP Foundation—to leverage RWJF funding in any individual project by a ratio of four to one, the total financing opportunity is actually substantially larger than the foundation’s initial investment.”  These resources are creating opportunities for long term care providers to meet the demand of their customer for small, real home environments.
The Green House model has a proven track record for delivering high quality care at roughly the same cost as a traditional nursing home.  Additionally, consumer research found that caregivers would be willing to drive further and pay more to have this type of home as an option for their loved one.
Because the RWJF and NCB Capital Impact loan pool needs to be entirely distributed by 2014, interested providers should begin exploring the option as soon as possible. To find out more about tapping into RWJF and NCB Capital Impact financing for Green House projects, contact Maura Porcelli at (703) 647-2311 or mporcelli@ncbcapitalimpact.org.
 


The Wall Street Journal Investigates: How Does Dementia Impact Health-Care Spending?

By / Posted on April 9th, 2013

Researchers from the Rand Corporation recently published a study that found medical costs of treating dementia totaled $109 billion in 2010. This is more than was spent on heart disease or cancer! What can be done now to slow increases in expenses and improve care? The Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics Blog highlights the financial impact of The Green House model:          

RWJ and a nonprofit, NCB Capital Impact, have also funded the Green House Project. Each Green House accommodates 10 to 12 seniors with medical help provided by certified nursing assistants.

David Farrell, The Green House Project director, says the small homes allow for less administrative costs and allows residents to remain ambulatory, even with a walker, rather than depending on wheelchairs.

Plus, the nursing staff develop a closer relationship with a small number of [Elders]. “The [CNAs] can pick up on subtle changes in the elderly,” which leads to preemptive care rather than medical emergencies, Mr. Farrell says. 

In a Green House home more money is spent on care and less on administration.  The Elder to staff ratio makes for better care and less hospitalization of Elders.  To learn more, read about The Green House Project’s cost saving summary.  Read the full Wall Street Journal article here or learn more about The Green House model.


Fast Company, The Green House Project Brings Back Dignity to Aging

By / Posted on February 21st, 2013

Fast Company, is a magazine focused on highlighting the most creative individuals sparking change in the marketplace. By uncovering best and “next” practices, the magazine helps a new breed of leader to work smarter and more effectively. Recently, they  published a piece about The Green House Project.  The article interviews, Jane Lowe, the senior advisor for this program with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and she gives her ultimate endorsement, “”If I am frail and old and need nursing home care, I would be quite comfortable going to a Green House home. I would definitely not say that about going to traditional nursing home.”

The article, complete with beautiful photos of Green House homes, and a short video, highlights the fact that this model is creating real home, whether that is in a rural setting, an urban high rise, or the Veteran’s administration.  By putting the elder at the center of the organizational chart, it is clear that the goal is to deeply know the elder, and to help them live their best life, “Nursing homes are hierarchical, and patient’s needs are at the bottom of the chain. Bill [Thomas] had an idea that you could create these homes that could provide complete care for the elders in a more high-quality way and a way that really supported their lives,” explains Dr. Jane Isaacs Lowe, a senior adviser for program development at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We were all intrigued, because if you could build these Green House homes so they could be embedded in communities then this would make nursing homes more of a home and community-based service, because in theory someone could move from home to Green House home and still be in that community.”

As The Green House Project celebrates 10 years since the first Green House home opened in Tupelo, MS, the initive looks to the future, and how this model will create a viable and sustainable option for long term care.  Explore www.thegreenhouseproject.org for more information about The Business Case of The Green House model, and to find a Green House project near you!