Green House Blog

Chinese Delegation Learns from The Green House model

A delegation from China recently visited The Green House Residences of Stadium Place.  The translator of the group relayed, “The purpose of this trip is to learn about the infrastructure (of such facilities), so they can implement it (in China) as a successful business model.”   This visit, hosted by the Maryland Department of Aging and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), represents an opportunity to highlight innovative models as a solution for the challenges and opportunities of global aging.  Stephanie Hull, acting deputy secretary for the Department of aging, said to the delegation, :  “Like you, we have a large aging population.  When they need help, our goal is to try to help them get that in their homes, or in places like Green House [homes],” so they can age” with dignity and independence.”

The Green House Residences of Stadium Place is an urban style model with 4 homes stacked vertically and built on the site of the old Memorial Stadium and opened since April 2012. This project was developed by Govens Ecumenical Development Corp (GEDCO) and is managed by Catholic Charities.  NCB Capital Impact helped to finance this project through public-private partnerships including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Weinberg Foundation, Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, and private donors.  This Green House project represents the potential to serve low income elders in their community in a real home.

Nationally there are Green House projects open in 25 states with many more in development.  Click here to find a Green House home near you or how to bring one to your community.

 

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Leadership and Vision

If you are reading this blog post, three things are clear: You are an innovative leader, who values elders, and you have a definite vision for a better tomorrow.

So, I begin with the most important message: Thank you.
From a leadership perspective, you are driven by governing values, have a clear image of a positive future and have the foundation to take action and be effective.

As leaders in our community, we know 10,000 of our friends, family members and neighbors will turn age 65 every day for the next 19 years! What a blessing it is to be able to tap the energy, insight and expertise of Boomers as they become our elders! And what a challenge it will be to adapt care in terms of financing, engagement and wellness.

My life experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, working with our treasured elders, has helped me to identify several attributes of effective leaders that will be essential to our professional success going forward.

In creating communities of care inside and outside of centers, effective leaders will recognize the importance of and study effective techniques in communication and negotiation that puts people first, places shared interest over individual position, and separates a person from the problem or challenge with which they are identified.

These concepts of negotiation come from the hallmark text, Getting to Yes by Harvard scholars Roger Fisher and William Ury. For leaders working in a public/private intersecting space with features of home, hospital and community, and with varied voices of community members, families, staff teams, funders and regulators, negotiation is most certainly a necessary core competency for success.

Leaders know the importance of identifying crucial conversations as the intersection between opposing opinions, strong emotions and high stakes – as outlined by the authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McLillan and Al Switzler in their powerful book of the same title. In the early pages of Crucial Conversations, the authors begin by offering important and powerful tools of dialogue – shared meaning, active listening, and starting from, instead of avoiding, the heart and emotion – to identify, and successfully navigate crucial conversations.

Today and tomorrow, effective leaders engaged in realizing the opportunities and overcoming the challenges of an aging America will study and work to not avoid crucial conversations with community members, families, employees, teams, and regulators (to name just a few in our broad circle of influence).

As Jack Welch and his wife Suzy point out in their book Winning, effective leaders recognize that “before you are a leader, success is about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is about growing others.” Effective leaders in aging America recognize it is critical to learn from and nurture leaders in care, to grow leaders on staff and community teams, and to recognize the positive influence we can all have on other leaders in the broadest sense of community.

As leaders in our important work of helping elders to be as engaged, well, healthy and safe as they want and are able, we have a tremendous opportunity in our professional communities to envision and make the business case for sustainable care enterprises, whether for- or not-for-profit.

Effective leaders negotiate by putting people first, recognize and have crucial conversations, help others to grow as leaders and focus on all that connects us instead of that which separates us.

Steve McAlilly of Tupelo, Mississippi is this sort of effective, passionate and powerfully impacting leader. Steve can be counted among a handful of gifted leaders in our community of, for- and not-for-profit, large and small, government, private and philanthropic businesses, associations and scholars, who are working to guide us to a better tomorrow.

Our elder community is expanding exponentially. Green House homes have made a tremendous difference in the lives of real people. As long as we all put people first and recognize the various tangible and intrinsic values in caring, there is room for, and value in, various models of care and community.

About Joe:
Joseph DeMattos, Jr., is the CEO of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM), Maryland’s oldest and largest nationally affiliated provider association representing skilled nursing, transitional, rehabilitative and long term care providers. Prior to joining HFAM DeMattos worked in the leadership of AARP in Hawai’i, in its national office in Washington DC., and in Maryland.

DeMattos holds Masters Degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University and is an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Erickson School for the Management of Aging Studies. He has over 30 years of professional experience in labor, government, the private sector, and in association management with a focus on health care policy. He can be reached at Jdemattos@Hfam.org.

Stadium Place Manifests Hope for Low and Moderate Income Elders

U3_Green-House-Stadium-Place-Watercolor-not-on-sheet_1000x800-428x320“We used to have home plate,” Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke told the crowd at Thursday’s opening ceremonies of The Green House Residences of Stadium Place . “Now we have home sweet home.”
The Grand Opening of Stadium Place, built on the site of Memorial Stadium, had all the festivities of opening day at the ballpark, complete with hot dogs, and a ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Dr. Bill Thomas and elder, Shirley Dickens. It was a wonderful culmination to a long and winding journey with strong partners. The Green House Project is built on relationships, and this project, the first in Maryland, highlighted that core value. GEDCO’s steadfast vision partnered with NCBCI and RWJF’s creative and innovative financing to create a home where Catholic Charities, with a long history of compassionate care, could create real home, in the community, for the community!Stadium-Place-1

In addition to the Oriole Bird, the media were present to document this moment that propels Baltimore to the forefront of providing cutting edge services for low income elders. The Baltimore Sun covered the Stadium Place grand opening with a great story about the elders and background on the project. A couple TV stations attended the festivities and WBAL Channel 11 broadcast this excellent story featuring Stadium Place’s administrator Nate Sweeney GEDCO Executive Director, Mitch Posner and others. A blogger from Kaiser Health News also attended the gala and wrote a post touting the research proving The Green House Project model. WYPR 88.1 FM’s Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast interviewd Dr. Bill Thomas about the urgent need to provide long term care to underserved populations he was joined by Brown University assistant professor Zhanlian Feng, who has led ground-breaking research about the changing ethnic and racial make-up of nursing home residents.
Stadium-Place-4-478x198This event was one of those beautiful days, where everyone in attendance is filled with hope, and happiness.

Community Partnership Key To Maryland's First Green House Project, Baltimore Sun Reports

In light of the final stretch of construction for The Green House® Residences at Stadium Place, The Baltimore Sun recently posted an article highlighting the unique community partnership that has contributed to the success of the first Green House homes in Maryland. Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO) and Catholic Charities have created a strengths-based collaboration to achieve their shared vision to create better lives for Elders receiving skilled nursing care in Baltimore. In an interview with GEDCO Executive Director, Mitchell Posner, he explained the significance of each organization in the partnership:

“GEDCO operates its other housing complexes, including the Venable and Ednor apartment buildings at Stadium Place, on the site of the old Memorial Stadium. But, since the Green House will require skilled nursing care, GEDCO is handing the management reins over to Catholic Charities, which has experience in that part of the health care industry.”

The collaboration has amplified the community involvement in and commitment to the project, as the Stadium Place team has demonstrated the importance of all perspectives, resources, and experiences. Nate Sweeney, Green House Guide at Stadium Place, acknowledged that the homes will ensure that each elder “has a place at the table”. Similarly, GEDCO and Catholic Charities have modeled this value by bringing complementary strengths to table in preparation for the homes to open in April 2012.

Community Partnership Key To Maryland’s First Green House Project, Baltimore Sun Reports

In light of the final stretch of construction for The Green House® Residences at Stadium Place, The Baltimore Sun recently posted an article highlighting the unique community partnership that has contributed to the success of the first Green House homes in Maryland. Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO) and Catholic Charities have created a strengths-based collaboration to achieve their shared vision to create better lives for Elders receiving skilled nursing care in Baltimore. In an interview with GEDCO Executive Director, Mitchell Posner, he explained the significance of each organization in the partnership:

“GEDCO operates its other housing complexes, including the Venable and Ednor apartment buildings at Stadium Place, on the site of the old Memorial Stadium. But, since the Green House will require skilled nursing care, GEDCO is handing the management reins over to Catholic Charities, which has experience in that part of the health care industry.”

The collaboration has amplified the community involvement in and commitment to the project, as the Stadium Place team has demonstrated the importance of all perspectives, resources, and experiences. Nate Sweeney, Green House Guide at Stadium Place, acknowledged that the homes will ensure that each elder “has a place at the table”. Similarly, GEDCO and Catholic Charities have modeled this value by bringing complementary strengths to table in preparation for the homes to open in April 2012.