Green House Blog

Ave Maria Home Receives Grant to Build Safe Havens for Victims of Abuse

Acting on a strong mission to serve elders in need, Ave Maria home, in Bartlett, TN is embarking on Phase II of their Green House journey.  They are currently building five 12-bed Green House homes that will join four Green Houses built six years ago.  The new homes have a special purpose, to serve as a safe haven for elders who have experienced abuse.

To support this worthy endeavor, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. has awarded them a grant of $500,000.  Ave Maria CEO, Frank Gattuso, states “It’s exciting to have a national foundation’s involvement in recognizing the importance of care for our elders.  The Weinberg Foundation is committed to assisting elders through post-acute care and culture change in our community with these Green House homes.”

Maureen Conley, family member of one of the Ave Maria residents.

The Green House model has within it, the power to impact those who live and work there.  The comprehensive transformation of environment, philosophy, and organizational redesign creates an interelated web that supports people to flourish.  Ave Maria home is a leader in Tennessee elder care, and we are so proud to be a part of their innovative and compassionate work.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. are integral partners.  Susan Ryan, Senior Director of The Green House Project shares, “Since 2013, the reach of The Green House Project has been expanded through the generous support of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Their involvement enables the Green House® Project to make an even greater impact, bringing a highly and more personalized standard of care to elders in every community.   These funds have furthered innovation in the field and are vital to extend truly excellent, affordable long term care to all people regardless of acuity level or ability to pay.”

Congratulations to Ave Maria Home, on this truly important work, and the national recognition and support



Jefferson County Creates Home

Jefferson County Green House homes, nestled in the Smokey Mountains, are an ideal place to enjoy life in a tight knit community., recognized that there is something special happening within this organization and took a deeper look:

In the houses, elders, many of whom have dementia, have private rooms; they can bring a recliner and dresser from home. There’s lots of natural light around the airy “common” areas: a hearth area, with conversational seating around a fireplace; a dining room adjacent to an open kitchen, with one large table around which residents and staff eat meals together; and a sitting room with a television and games.

Roger Mynatt, administrator, reflects back on his decision to pursue Green House homes, “it looked like home. It was just such a difference from the traditional institution. The board saw that the elders had better quality of life, and that it was a good situation for the staff, and they wanted it. They thought, ‘That’s what we need.’ ”

Jefferson County Nursing Home is one of two Green House Projects in Tennessee. Ave Maria Home is a Green House Project located outside of Memphis.

Click here to read the full article about how Jefferson County is achieving great results for the elders of their community, and those who love them!

Ave Maria Home, Grand Opening Celebration

November 11, 2011
On a crisp and beautiful fall evening, various stakeholders joined together to celebrate the Grand Opening of Ave Maria home, in Bartlett, TN. Through a journey of many years, through successes and setbacks, the team at Ave Maria can now look to their three beautiful Green House homes, and see the fruits of their labor. To see the shahbazim in their homes, serving a home cooked lunch, working in a self managed team, and bringing the model to life, is a cause for great joy.

The Green House model radically transforms the traditional nursing home in three key areas. The philosophy shifts, from a declinist view of aging, where people are viewed as a diagnosis, to a developmental view of aging, where all people are seen as creative, resourceful and whole. The organization reorganizes to support this view, bringing real power into the home, to the elder and those working closest with them. It unlocks the role of direct care staff, from narrow, task defined roles, to roles where deep relationships are formed and optimal wellness is created. The environment is an intentionally designed home that enables those living and working in the home to experience privacy, dignity, intimacy and real home. By transforming the traditional nursing home in these three major ways, people who need high levels of clinical care can have their needs met without that being the focus of their existence.

As with any great change, it must begin with a strong leadership team. Frank Gattuso’s steadfast leadership has helped this project to continue moving forward amongst various changes and challenges along the path. Brenda Hardin, The Green House guide, and the entire leadership team at Ave Maria have devoted themselves to learning the coaching style of leadership and other important tenets of The Green House model. They continue to develop and learn, in order to sustain a successful culture change. The shahbazim who manage the home and the clinical support team whose partnership provides outstanding clinical outcomes, create a place where people are deeply known, and can flourish. To the board members, the donors, the community of Bartlett, TN, and all those who made this Grand Opening possible, Thank you.

Ave Maria Home, Executive Director, Frank Gattuso

Of course, culture change is a journey without a destination, and as we celebrate the opening of three Green House homes, we know that there is more work to be done. Ave Maria Home has dreams of future Green House homes devoted to skilled care, rehabilitation or other evolutions of the model, and The Green House Project looks forward to these opportunities for partnership as together we change the paradigm of aging.

To view more photos visit our Facebook Page

Ave Maria Home

Bartlett, TN

Operating: 3
In Development: 1
Square Feet per Home: 0

Four 10-bedroom Green House homes will replace 35 nursing home beds.

Project News
To learn more about Ave Maria Home, visit

To view photos of Ave Maria Home, visit The Green House Project Facebook Page

Sponsoring Organization History
The Ave Maria Home was opened in 1956 by the ladies of the Ave Maria Guild. They wanted to have a home for seniors at the time. It began as a retirement home and in 1962 transitioned to a nursing home for 35 residents. The Home was expanded in 1972 to 73 residents. In 1998, 61 units of assisted living were added to the facility in addition to an adult day care program.

Sponsoring Organization Mission
The mission of Ave Maria Home is to care for the frail and elderly in a Christ centered environment.

Brenda Hardin, Guide
Ave Maria Home
2805 Charles Bryan Roadblank
Bartlett, TN 38134