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Willow Brook News

A Word from the CEO (March 2014)

Larry Harris, CEOWhat does it mean when we say an organization is not-for-profit? Willow Brook is in that category. To state the obvious, Willow Brook’s purpose is something other than profit. This does not mean that we don’t earn any. We do, and we wouldn’t be around for long if we didn’t.

So what, then, is the difference between Willow Brook and a for-profit organization that serves older adults? To answer that question, let’s follow the money trail. What do we do with our profit? What do they do with theirs? We retain ours and use it for residents’ benefit. Our profits go to bolster services, to cover losses on those who can’t fully pay, to establish new ministries under the Willow Brook banner, and to strengthen our financial footing. We have no owners or investors who expect a return.

The for-profit operator first pays investors their due. That’s priority one. Service to residents is seen as a means to that end. In fact, the actual business activity – serving older adults – can be irrelevant to the purpose of profit. If the time comes when elder services are no longer profitable, our for-profit brethren will take their money and build a shopping mall, buy a car dealership, or open a chain of donut shops. In other words, they will switch to something, anything, that will earn profit.

Willow Brook is in it for the long haul, come what may. If not for our mission of service, Willow Brook would not exist. There’s nothing wrong with earning profit for investors. Profit drives the American economic engine. But in an organization that serves our old friends, every dollar distributed to investors is a dollar not spent for the good of the people served.

Since our founding 42 years ago, thousands of people have been served by this not-for-profit ministry. We do it all for them, period, and that’s the beginning and the end of the Willow Brook story.

With love to all, Larry Harris

A Word from the CEO ( Feb. 2014)

Larry Harris, CEOOld Man Winter has clobbered us good! I am beginning to wonder if I will ever get warm again. When I go home at night, Janet and I snuggle in under a throw, put on American Idol, and sip hot chocolate.
Still cold… Willow Brook has had a few frozen pipes at our three communities – Delaware Run was hit especially hard last month with a major fire sprinkler line break in the lobby. What a mess! Other than that, we seem to be faring pretty well.
Putting myself in your shoes, I would say Willow Brook is a good place to be in weather like this. Inside, there are warm gathering places, the food is great, and spirits are high. Outside, the maintenance teams have done a great job clearing snow from parking lots and streets, so even when you need to go out, you can safely do it.
So I say let the cold north wind blow and let the snow pile high. No matter the season, it is an honor to serve you. You inspire me and my team, and you give us energy. Can’t think of anything I would rather be doing with my life.

With love to all, Larry Harris, CEO

A Word from the CEO (December 2013)

Larry Harris, CEO

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

A Word from the CEO (November 2013)

Larry Harris, CEOWillow 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 Honored at RAP Banquet

Marlene Win RAP AwardMarlene 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!