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Willow Brook News

On April 29th, singers from Willow Brook Christian Village performed on the steps of the Statehouse for the 150-year commemoration of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train visit to Columbus. A century a half ago the nation mourned the murder of its beloved president. He had been shot at the conclusion of the Civil War in Washington, D.C.'s Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.

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A train carrying Lincoln's coffin slowly made its way from Washington to Illinois, the president's home state, stopping frequently at communities along the way. As the train would pass through towns and villages, weeping citizens would come out and line the tracks. At night, torches often lit the way.
One of the stops was Columbus. On April 29, 1865, the train pulled into the depot a few blocks north of the Statehouse. The president's coffin was carried to the capitol building and placed in the rotunda. Grieving citizens filed by.
Last Wednesday, a choral group from our Village, The Willow Brook Singers, assembled on the Statehouse steps with the Rainbow Kids, a group of homeschoolers who often visit and entertain at The Village, and students from the Delaware Area Career Center's Hospitality Program who volunteer on campus. They were more than 60 voices strong. After a thunderous cannon salute, they sang songs of the era. Most singers were in Civil War costumes. Their voices filled the skyscraper canyon of High Street as a replica coffin lay in state behind them in the rotunda.
Our own Connie McNeal, nursing home activities director at The Village, orchestrated the event. What an honor to be selected from among all the retirement communities in Ohio to help mark this sad occasion!

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In the early to mid 1900s, building model railroads was a very popular hobby, but in recent years it has almost become a dying art. Meet our talented railroaders from Delaware Run! Being former engineers and carpenters, these men are keeping model railroads alive. This project has been very personal to them, because many of the incredibly detailed houses and train set pieces have been in their families for decades. Some they made for their children, while others have been kept ever since they themselves were children. There are many stories behind each tiny creation and such an amazing amount of love and history put into this little world!


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It all started when a few men decided to come together to work on a common hobby: building model train sets and miniatures. This project took over a year, as they faithfully and consistently worked day by day, and sometimes night by night. After a year of creating, designing, sawing, hammering, assembling, and good times, the model Railroaders at Delaware Run were finally ready to show off! A celebration was held where everyone enjoyed watching the train move along the tracks for the very first time. Their hard work was recognized by a group of ladies at Delaware Run who had a theme song with a kazoo parade in honor of their great accomplishments.


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If you are ever in Delaware, stop by and check it out! You will probably run into some of the men still working on and perfecting their railroad. As Larry Harris (CEO) said, "Just like Leonardo Da Vinci was never finished with a work of art, these men will never be finished adding and perfecting this model railroad."


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More incredibly good news…

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Willow Brook Christian Home ranked 14th out of 975 nursing homes in Ohio’s 2014 Family Satisfaction Survey, conducted by the Ohio Department of Aging.  The survey of residents’ family members is conducted every other year.

Cherith’s results could not be calculated due to “too few respondents.”  I believe, though, that the results would have been strongly positive if a calculation had been possible.

As a sidebar observation, 68% of the top 25 in the survey were not-for-profit nursing homes, even though they represent only 17% of Ohio’s nursing homes.  So what does that tell us?

Both of our nursing homes continue to be rated five stars in the federal Five Star Rating project.  Only about 20% of the nation’s nursing homes are “five star” facilities.   And for two years, both have been named in the US News & World Report “Best Nursing Homes” list.

I am beyond proud of our teams!



larry harrisI am forever hearing compliments on our staff members. We are blessed with a team that serves from the heart, and cares about doing the best they can do. You see them up close and personal and know those who go beyond the call of duty to ensure that residents are served well.
Who is your favorite? Who melts your heart with kindness and compassion? You have the opportunity right now to bring honor to that special star by nominating her or him for the 2014 Second Mile Award.
Each year we select three from among our 400 team members to receive the Award—that’s one from each of our three communities. In November, a committee will select the winners from the nominations, to be announced at the staff Christmas party on December 12th. As you can imagine, it is the highlight of the evening.
So give it some thought and complete the nomination form in this newsletter. Place it in a sealed envelope and turn it in to the front desk. Winners in past years are ineligible for The Award, so check the plaque in the lobby listing all past recipients to be sure your nominee hasn’t already won.

Remember, this is a nomination, not a vote. The committee will make the selections based on a variety of criteria. We’ll announce the winners in December after the Christmas party.

With love to all,

Larry Harris, CEO

scrippsWillow Brook has been chosen by Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University to be part of a study examining leadership practices in nursing homes that achieve high resident and family satisfaction while providing different levels of person-centered care.

To gather information for this study, Scripps is conducting site visits and staff interviews to understand how organizations implement broad management strategies into day-to-day practice. The goal is to develop a better understanding of important leadership skills and to develop a tool to assess nursing home leadership. We honored to be a part of this study.

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