Willow Brook News
Christmas is waiting impatiently at our doorstep. Outside the three Willow Brooks, the days have grown short and the nights long. Lights of the season adorn our structures and landscaping. Furry critters that share our acres have become invisible as they hunker down against the cold.
Inside, trees are going up, parties and holiday meals are in the works, and hearts are light.
Willow Brook is a good place to be at the holidays.
And I can think of no better time to tell you how grateful I am to be leading this great ministry. I consider my work to be a high calling. It is not a responsibility I take lightly. Neither do I consider it my right to stand at the helm. It is my humble privilege.
You are such a beautiful bunch of people, and I have always insisted that Willow Brook’s architecture facilitate my being among you. I would never settle for a private, secluded office high up in some ivory tower. No thanks. Put me right out there on Main Street, with my door wide open to the ones I serve.
And so I offer you my wishes for a Christmas filled with good cheer. May your joys be many and your sorrows small, and may God bless you at this season of miracles.
With love to all,
Larry Harris, CEO
Willow Brook is gliding through this beautiful season of color in fine form. The assisted living expansion at our Delaware Run community is coming together beautifully. It is a crazy project—adding a second and third floor above the existing first level, but it is turning out well. We expect to complete the project in February.
Even more, there is a revolution raging behind the scenes that may be invisible to you. Our computers. We are changing most of our operating systems, affecting accounting, payroll, human resources, and most significantly, our nursing departments. It all is creating quite a stir with most everyone in every department. The greatest disturbance is on the floors of our healthcare centers. For the first time, we are implementing electronic charting in our two nursing homes and three assisted living facilities.
We are moving away from paper records. In the not-so-distant future, nurses, aides, social workers and therapists will be punching keys on laptops and I-Pads, instead of putting pen to paper. The advantages are great in terms of records storage, coordination with care-team members, and transfer of information with doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals.
Progress, they call it. For sure, the conversion comes with disruption and pain, but the changes are necessary, and the rewards will be worth it. So stay tuned.
With love to all,
Larry Harris, CEO
Marlene Andersen, at Willow Brook Christian Village, was honored the other day at the annual conference of Resident Activity Personnel in Ohio banquet. RAP is the organization dedicated to long-term care activity people who are support the recreational, social and psychological needs of aging residents. RAP maintains the quality standards for certification, promotes professional growth, and develops ethical guidelines for members. Marlene received the “The Innovation Award” for unique, innovative programming. It is quite an honor, and we are all very proud!
The roof is on, the windows and outside doors are in, siding is almost complete, and in November, the assisted living residents who had taken up temporary quarters on the apartment side of Delaware Run will move back home. Then construction will be completed on the second and third floors. Folks should be able to move into their new homes in late winter. Save the date of April 17, 2014 for the grand opening!
Willow Brook offers a continuum of services and living arrangements for older adults – everything from independent living to skilled nursing care, with three or four steps in between. We didn’t pioneer the concept, but we most surely have taken the pattern and “kicked it up a notch,” as celebrity TV chef Emeril Lagasse would say. All things at Willow Brook are done with flair – carpet in our nursing homes, restaurant-style dining (yes, even in the nursing homes), creative architecture that works with the natural undulations of the land and is accommodating to precious trees.
We meet our old friends where they are, and serve them in the lowest-cost setting that best meets their needs, not what will produce the most revenue. A few years back when we opened our adult day care center at Willow Brook Christian Village, a colleague from another senior community shared his observation that this new service might deflect admissions to our assisted living centers and nursing homes. “You’ll lose a lot of revenue,” he said. True enough. But the way we see it, if someone’s needs can be met in a daytime setting for one-third the cost of a nursing home, then we would be negligent to not encourage it.
And that reminds me of one more thing we have kicked up notch – integrity. We will always be straight with you. Our motives are pure. Your needs and wants have always driven our decisions. And that, as you know better than anyone, makes all the difference in the world.
With love to all, Larry Harris, CEO