Green House Blog

New photos available from the first Green House Home at the Zablocki VA Medical Center

 Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin welcomed Elders into their first Green House home in November, 2014.  This is the first of three Green House homes planned for this VA medical center.

These Green House homes will serve Veterans in need of long-term skilled nursing care, including veterans living with cognitive impairment and mental illness.  The medical center looks forward to welcoming veterans into their next two Green House homes when they are completed in the spring of 2015.

Alive Inside, MUSIC & MEMORY℠ and the GREEN HOUSE® Project

The film Alive Inside, which documents “music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity,” is now available on Netflix. It is a touching documentary that “follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.” Alive Inside was featured on Dr. Bill Thomas’ Second Wind Tour, which also included guest presenters, Susan Frazier and David Farrell of THE GREEN HOUSE® Project.

Alive Inside inspired the Music and Memory Program. MUSIC & MEMORY℠ “is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.” Their purpose is to “train nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.” The results are stunning and  powerful.

The Wisconsin Music and Memory Program is a state-wide program “designed to bring personalized music to individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.” So far, 100 nursing homes have been certified as MUSIC & MEMORY℠ facilities, funded through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The Green House home, Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh, was accepted to become a certified MUSIC & MEMORY℠ facility. This program requires “nursing home staff to attend a series of three 90-minute webinars, taught by MUSIC & MEMORY℠ founding Executive Director, Dan Cohen, MSW.”

The Music and Memory Program is changing the way people with dementia are cared for, by unlocking words, memories and thoughts that can’t always be accessed in an institutional setting. Here at the GREEN HOUSE® Project, we are excited about the change in care that this program can bring, and we look forward to seeing MUSIC & MEMORY℠ in every state.

Tomah VA Medical Center Opens Two New Green House Homes

The Green House Project is proud to say that two new Green House homes have opened in Tomah, Wisconsin at The Tomah VA Medical Center. On August, 13th The Tomah VA celebrated their home openings with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Mario V. DeSanctis, the Medical Director at Tomah VA Medical Center remarked, “This is the future of skilled nursing care and we are proud to join the Danville VA (Ill.), Lovell Federal Health Center (Ill.) and Milwaukee, Wis., in providing this new concept of care for Veterans.  We believe this transformation of care will dramatically enrich our Veterans lives and the lives of the next generation of Veterans.”

Tomah VA Medical Center has named their homes Patriots’ Place and Heroes’ House. These  two homes will serve veterans in need of skilled nursing care.  Veterans will move in during the month of September.  You can read more about the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Tomah VA Medical Center here.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was also highlighted on WKBT News, you can see the news clip here.

Wisconsin nursing home associations ask for state to expand incentives to replace aging facilites—Green House homes are a prime example

via Wisconsin State Journal 

“It’s the spice of life!” that’s how 80 year old Henry Hintz describes living in a Green House home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 

Nursing homes, traditionally marked by long, institutional corridors designed to be efficient for staff are ungoing a culture change across the country and Green House homes are a prime example for the industry.  In Wisconsin, 10 elders live in each of the two homes where breakfast is made to order and all share the meal at one table just steps away from a common area that includes a fireplace and reclining chairs.

“That’s where we want to be,” said Keith Vanlanduyt, a vice president of Oakwood Village, which plans to replace or renovate its 100 bed nursing home, but with land and financial restrictions wonders “how close can we get to that?”

That’s why two nursing home associations have asked the state to expand incentives to replace or remodel aging facilities.  Read more about their efforts and tell us what you think!

Milwaukee VA Medical Center (VA Great Lakes)

Milwaukee, WI

Operating: 0
In Development: 4
Square Feet per Home: 0


Four 10-bedroom Green House homes will replace 40 Community Living Center nursing home beds.

Project News

For more information, visit

Sponsoring Organization History

The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is located on 125 acres on the western edge of Milwaukee and part of VA Integrated Services Network 12 (VISN 12), which includes facilities in Iron Mountain, MI; Tomah and Madison, WI, and North Chicago, Hines, and Chicago. The Medical Center delivers primary, secondary, and tertiary medical care in 168 care acute operating beds and provides over 500,000 visits annually through an extensive outpatient program. The nursing home care unit of 113 beds offers geriatric programming and the 356 domiciliary beds are the locus of programs in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation, Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder care.

 Sponsoring Organization Mission

VAMC Milwaukee’s Mission is to provide:

  • Medical Care
  • Education
  • Research
  • Back up to D.o.D.

“… to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan…”  -Abraham Lincoln




Tomah VA Medical Center (VA Great Lakes)

Tomah, WI

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

Three 10-bedroom Green House homes will replace 30 Community Living Center nursing home beds.

Project News
For more information, visit

Sponsoring Organization History
VAMC Tomah has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. We consider it our privilege to serve your health care needs in any way we can. Services are available to veterans living in a Western/Central area of Wisconsin.

Sponsoring Organization Mission
1. Quality, Compassionate Care
2. Every Veteran
3. Every Day

Honor and serve Veterans by providing exceptional healthcare that improves their health and well being.

Marlene Schultz, Program Specialist
Tel: 608-372-3971
500 East Veterans Street
Tomah, WI 54660-3105

Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh Green House Homes

Oshkosh, WI

Operating: 2
In Development: 0
Square Feet per Home: 7081

A departure from traditional skilled nursing models, Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh Green House Homes will be a place where elders, their families and the staff engage in meaningful relationships. With equality, empowerment and mutual respect at the core of these relationships, elders will enjoy an excellent quality of life and quality of care. Following an innovative architectural approach, the 10-bedroom Green House homes offer a unique layout, interior design, staffing, and methods of delivering professional services. The spacious, sunlit, private bedrooms are situated around an inviting hearth, and residents will enjoy private bathrooms and an open kitchen and dining area.

Continue reading “Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh Green House Homes”