Next week, visionary leaders will come together at the 2017 Pioneer Network Conference. The theme, ‘Be The Future’, is a powerful charge to change the way society views aging, and create a better world for elders and those who work closest to them. The goal of this conference is to showcase innovative thought and best practices in the long-term care culture change movement. The Green House model is featured throughout the conference, and the national initiative is leading two sessions, one on the value of short term rehabilitation with a Green House home, and one on Best Life for elders living with dementia.
Short term rehabilitation presents an opportunity to position an organization for the future. The small house model provides a consumer-driven experience that leads to positive outcomes. During the education session, The Green House Project will highlight The Woodlands of John Knox Village, an organization who has captured their market by utilizing The Green House model for short term rehabilitation. They will share how they achieve positive outcomes using functional rehabilitation in the home, establish credibility with key stakeholders, and positively impact their bottom line.
As the population of the United States ages, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and related dementia is growing. Dementia was estimated to cost the United States more than $236 billion in 2016. To address this challenge, The Green House Project has developed Best Life, an initiative that aims to connect elders with life and community through the philosophical, architectural, and organizational elements of The Green House model. It requires dedicated teams, extensive knowledge of the types of dementia, and a fervent belief in the unique ability of every individual to enjoy a meaningful life.
The Green House Project is a proud leader of what is possible in long term care. This conference is a time to connect with like-minded visionaries. As the paradigm shifts to view elders as creative, resourceful and whole, their potential is unlocked, and we all benefit.
What Does it Mean to Lead Meaningful and Sustainable Change?
The “Portrait of a Green House Leader” series seeks to highlight talented leaders in The Green House network. It is powerful on many levels to hear these thought leaders share their insight and wisdom. The first of these leaders is John Ponthie, founding member and managing director of Southern Administrative Services, LLC.
John’s interest in long-term care began as a teenager working at a nursing home where he developed a love and appreciation for interacting with Elders. He went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University and a Master of Health Administration degree from Tulane University. John’s healthcare career of over twenty-five years includes sixteen years of hospital administration in addition to serving on the Board of Directors for the Arkansas Health Care Association and the Multi Facility CEO Council for the American Health Care Association.
Despite being a “proud owner” of several traditional long-term care facilities, John and his colleagues witnessed many of fundamental problems of high staff turnover rates and the institutional plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom among Elders. “We knew there had to be a better answer, and for us it was The Green House Project” John says when describing his journey to becoming a Green House adopter.
He identifies that partnering with The Green House Project was crucial to overcoming the fear of change and breaking free from institutional barriers
“We didn’t know what we didn’t know… you know the old model and you’re comfortable with it and to take off in a new direction is difficult. We were in a dark room searching around for a light switch and The Green House Project had the flashlight.”
Working with The Green House Project provided him with the education, training, and the “stamp of approval” from a credible organization necessary to create the right culture to provide a better quality of care. To show the value of the quality of care associated with The Green House model, John successfully led the request for a differential in payment from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through the first state plan amendment in Arkansas.
With two communities in operation, a third in development, and a fourth pending, John’s pride of association with The Green House model is spreading throughout Arkansas, proving that the model can be successful even in small markets. When discussing financial viability, John states that The Green House model creates a competitive edge that fosters the opportunity to do well through a payor mix while also providing high quality care. Specifically, maintaining a successful census of long-term care elders while incorporating 15-20% of short-term rehabilitation allows him to re-invest back into his business where is matters most; creating and sustaining the right culture to create and maintain a better quality of care.
From a value perspective, John relates that adopting The Green House model gives him the “trump card” over any other model of care. “Where there is an opportunity there needs to be a primary consideration for financial reasons, strategic reasons, and obvious reasons of care and quality.” Investing in The Green House model allows him to “plant his flag at the top as a market leader” and generates the opportunity for him contribute towards creating a better standard of life and care for future generations.
“Any number of people can design or build the architecture but that doesn’t bring about the revolutionary change in culture that The Green House Project provides. For us to be able to leverage the successes and failures of so many other adopters is invaluable. The Green House Project has the expertise and structure to help manage our process in a manner that gives our project the highest possibility of success. “ -John Ponthie
Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked to change the way elders live in long term care. Currently, there are 153 open and operating Green House homes 25 states with many more in development. In fact there are 24 more homes scheduled to open in 2014, and we are gaining momentum. Because of these innovations, over 1550 elders are able to live, grow and thrive in real home environments where they are able to give and receive the care that they need.
In honor of our 10th Anniversary, we reached out to 10 thought leaders in the field of aging, and asked them to share their perspective on the impact that The Green House model has made on aging and long term care. Below you will see the support that they voiced for this model, and the work that has been done to move the field forward.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this strong statement that Aging and Long-Term Care can be different.