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.