Green House Blog

Leonard Florence Center Opens Third Specialized Green House Home

When the decision was first made to build Green House homes, Barry Berman, CEO, Chelsea Jewish Foundation, said we knew the model was “extremely special, extremely unique and wondered what other vulnerable populations in addition to elders we could serve.  We challenged ourselves knowing that these individuals would probably be on Medicaid.”  As a mission driven organization they opened their 10 Green House homes with one dedicated to individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, and one to individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis or MS.  An amazing achievement.

Today, they are excited to open another home for ALS individuals, the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence, thanks to a generous donation from the Dapper McDonald family as well as a group of individuals from New York who assisted in the process.

As Barry explained individuals with ALS are “transformed overnight” in the ALS Green House homes.  They gain “such profound independence”.  Below is the announcement of the new home.

We applaud all those who helped make the Dapper McDonald ALS Residence a reality!

lfclThe Dapper McDonald ALS Residence at the Leonard Florence Center for Living is now open! Due to an extremely generous donation of $3.5 million – and a commitment to raise $9 million in additional funds – the Chelsea Jewish Foundation was able to open a second home for individuals with ALS. The Center’s first home, the Steve Saling ALS Residence, opened in 2010 and has received world-wide acclaim; the Slifka MS Residence is devoted to residents living with MS.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer another residence to individuals with ALS,” states Chelsea Jewish Foundation CEO Barry Berman. “There is such an incredible need for these homes, but the operating costs are extremely high. Thankfully, this donation has helped turn our dream of a second ALS home into reality.”

Richard “Dapper” McDonald was a New York businessman who was diagnosed with ALS in 2008. The news came as a shock to the entire family as it was something completely unfamiliar to them. Over the next seven months, the family took their lead from Dapper. He never slowed down or quit. He went to work every day and continued running his business despite the constant struggle. On July 15, 2009, nine months after his diagnosis, Dapper passed from ALS.

After touring the Center in an effort to replicate the home in New York, the family soon realized it was too difficult to develop the staff and technology that was already in place in Boston. As a result, a group of New York residents have donated a $3.5 million leadership gift and have committed to raising $12.5 million in total.

Welcome to all of our new Dapper McDonald residents! We are thrilled to have you join the Chelsea Jewish family.

 

For the last six years, Patrick O’Brien, has lived in the ALS residence.  Barry Berman describes him “as the most amazing individual I have ever met”.  Read below the story about Patrick’s movie and where to watch it.  The documentary is an amazing story and as Barry explained, Patrick “will always credit The Green House Project for giving him back his life”.

Leonard Florence Center Resident Living with ALS Directed and Produced an Award Winning Documentary!

The amazing documentary film, Transfatty Lives, directed and produced by Leonard Florence Center resident Patrick O’Brien, had its Boston premiere at the Revere Showcase Cinema in Revere on Sunday, April 3. The film won the 2015 Audience Award at the Tribeca and Milano Film Festivals, and is a featured selection in film festivals all across the world.patrick o'Brien

Transfatty Lives takes one on an emotional rollercoaster from Patrick’s wild, fun-loving days as a DJ and filmmaker into the heart of living with ALS. With the support of his friends and family, Patrick braves the unthinkable and turns his camera onto himself. He is able to capture all of the emotion, humor, and absurdity of real life – falling in love and fathering a child along the way.

All proceeds benefit the Patrick O’Brien Foundation. If you missed the premiere, you can still get Transfatty Lives on demand:  Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo

Link to Boston Globe article about Patrick

Leading Age 2013, a Gathering of Innovators

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

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.

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

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

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.