Green House Blog

Portrait of a Green House Leader, Terry Rogers

Terry Rogers, President & CEO of Episcopal Foundation of Jefferson County, in Birmingham, AL was recently highlighted in The Green House Project‘s Leadership webinar series. His organization includes, St. Martin’s in the Pines, a continuing care retirement community and home care service in Birmingham, with nine Green House cottages.

terry and elderTerry’s inspiration for a career in health came from observing his mother as caregiver to family members and neighbors, graduate from nursing school, and enter the home health profession. After graduating from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Terry began his healthcare administration career in business and operations positions with home health agencies, hospitals, and the Episcopal Foundation of Jefferson County, where he has served as President & CEO since 2000. In addition, he serves as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the University of Alabama Comprehensive Center on Healthy Aging, the National Public Policy Congress, the Budget and Finance Committee, and the Business Strategy Council for LeadingAge, in addition to his service as member of the Green House Project Peer Network Steering Committee.

Terry began his career with St. Martin’s with a formal long range planning effort aimed at redeveloping the campus and replacing the skilled nursing building. His colleague, Linda Robertson, an Eden Alternative Associate, directed him towards the work of The Green House Project in Tupelo, Mississippi. After attending a workshop in Tupelo, he returned to Birmingham to inform the board about this innovative model of care and identify what a new nursing home may look like on their campus. Terry describes that seeing truly is believing; the enthusiasm for the model carried throughout the board and to the broader community and together they were committed to developing the first Green House homes in Alabama. He attributes this success to formally engaging with The Green House Project team to aid in the collaborative design process of their multi-story Green House homes and assist in overcoming regulatory hurdles by training state regulators about the Green House model.

st. martins_ shovelsDuring the development process, Terry notes that “we had a steep hill to climb” but felt confident given the robust training opportunities provided by The Green House Project team and the value of being associated with the model given the research supporting its success. He continues to be an advocate for the model integrity process and the importance of the Green House trademark as a method of accountability throughout the Peer Network to ensure the original guiding principles are instilled in every community. “We didn’t get into The Green House model because it was easy, we got into this because it was the right thing. Changing in the right way is why we’re having the outcomes we’re having. If we start letting “the right way” be diluted, the outcomes are going to change… we think The Green House model works and we want to do it in the right way and we want everyone in the Peer Network to do it the right way as well.”

At St. Martin’s, continuing team education is key in maintaining the integrity of the model and helps leadership “keep it fresh.” Terry describes that continuing assessment and evaluation creates an opportunity for leaders to revisit the beginnings of why they started and to continually engage in action plans for improvements. As the “keepers of the philosophy”, leaders must problem solve, motivate, and coach their teams through consistent messaging of the model. Since opening, St. Martin’s aims to serve as a role model and brand ambassador to encourage and invigorate The Green House model into future organizations and help them throughout their journey.

Upon opening, Terry observed the model’s financial success as a result of the shift in operational cost structure and the flattened hierarchy that creates a “middle management shake-up.” Furthermore, adding Green House cottages into the St. Martin’s continuum of care created a competitive advantage that drives demand at all levels of care, resulting in a corresponding increase in their assisted living and independent living occupancy of approximately 5%. This influx of revenue allows St. Martin’s to promote the community giveback component of their mission to ensure that Elders have the opportunity to live in their cottages regardless of their payor status.

In terms of quality of care, Terry describes that “there’s a little bit of magic taking place” in their Green House cottages that yields better outcomes. Specifically, their 100% occupancy rate, higher family satisfaction survey scores, and positive clinical outcomes are a result of better, deeper knowing in their Green House homes. The Green House principles “just makes sense.” Despite the Green House model’s success at St. Martin’s, Terry notes that they can always do better and are constantly seeking improvements. He is pleased to be a part of the Peer Network and associated with other courageous change agents that are never satisfied in knowing all they need to know in caring for elders.

A lifelong resident of Birmingham, Terry loves fishing, Crimson Tide football (Roll Tide!), participating in barbecue competitions, and spending as much time as possible by the lake with his family. He is presenting at the 2015 Annual Meeting with Green House Project team members Susan Frazier and Marla DeVries on the Model Enrichment Resource and Integrity Tool (MERIT) and the research that supports this process for sustainability.  To hear the full interview>>

Collaborating for a “Sustainable” Future

The future demands that we work together to create viable and sustainable programs.  The world is a dynamic and ever-changing place, with an imperative to do more with less.  In order to achieve these outcomes, the charge is there to innovate and collaborate—pooling our resources and strengths, to evolve our communities. 

Recently, in New Orleans, The Green House Project team had two different opportunities to interact with thought leaders who are impacting the future.  First, we participated in  a round table discussion with Strategic Development Partners, where we joined a diverse group from healthcare, education and finance to contemplate the vision for sustainable, livable communities.  Next, during the AHCA-NCAL Independent Owners conference, the focus on quality as an economic imperative, sparked many substantive conversations about the role The Green House Project can play in long term care innovation.

 The concept of sustainable development was a continuing theme throughout the week,  but what does “sustainable” mean in this context?  The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection. By investing in local culture and shifting thinking from “who are you building it for“, to “who are you building it with”, the potential is there to create value and a perpetuating impact for the community.

Through an initiative on quality, AHCA CEO, Mark Parkinson, imparted that to survive in this changing health care environment, providers need to diversify and adapt.  Sustainability is multi-fold, in order to be financially viable, the organization must have a keen focus on quality.  Parkinson said, “Quality is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative to survive and be reimbursed in the future”.  AHCA is focusing on hospital readmissions, anti-psychotic drugs, staff retention and resident satisfaction as benchmarks to determine quality.    

The time in New Orleans, taught The Green House Project team many lessons about sustainability.  To survive and thrive, there must be a focus on the social, financial and environmental impact of innovation.  Ongoing benchmarking and data collection is necessary to ensure that there is an evidence base for the good work that is being done, and that our resources are being used effectively.  Most importantly, sustainable development requires participative discussion, and inclusion of many different stakeholders.  By bringing those “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” to the table, the end product has the power to create that integrated force for success!

Collaborating for a "Sustainable" Future

The future demands that we work together to create viable and sustainable programs.  The world is a dynamic and ever-changing place, with an imperative to do more with less.  In order to achieve these outcomes, the charge is there to innovate and collaborate—pooling our resources and strengths, to evolve our communities. 

Recently, in New Orleans, The Green House Project team had two different opportunities to interact with thought leaders who are impacting the future.  First, we participated in  a round table discussion with Strategic Development Partners, where we joined a diverse group from healthcare, education and finance to contemplate the vision for sustainable, livable communities.  Next, during the AHCA-NCAL Independent Owners conference, the focus on quality as an economic imperative, sparked many substantive conversations about the role The Green House Project can play in long term care innovation.

 The concept of sustainable development was a continuing theme throughout the week,  but what does “sustainable” mean in this context?  The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection. By investing in local culture and shifting thinking from “who are you building it for“, to “who are you building it with”, the potential is there to create value and a perpetuating impact for the community.

Through an initiative on quality, AHCA CEO, Mark Parkinson, imparted that to survive in this changing health care environment, providers need to diversify and adapt.  Sustainability is multi-fold, in order to be financially viable, the organization must have a keen focus on quality.  Parkinson said, “Quality is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative to survive and be reimbursed in the future”.  AHCA is focusing on hospital readmissions, anti-psychotic drugs, staff retention and resident satisfaction as benchmarks to determine quality.    

The time in New Orleans, taught The Green House Project team many lessons about sustainability.  To survive and thrive, there must be a focus on the social, financial and environmental impact of innovation.  Ongoing benchmarking and data collection is necessary to ensure that there is an evidence base for the good work that is being done, and that our resources are being used effectively.  Most importantly, sustainable development requires participative discussion, and inclusion of many different stakeholders.  By bringing those “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” to the table, the end product has the power to create that integrated force for success!