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Willow Brook News

A Word from the CEO (July 2013)

As we dive headfirst into summer, we have unleashed a small army of landscape workers who are duking it out with Mother Nature. Mother Nature insists on dense forests everywhere; we want retirement communities. Except in those wild places where we are in agreement with Mother Nature’s attempt to hold onto patches of natural woodland, we are waging a war. Each day, armed with mowers and pruners and herbicide concoctions, the landscapers do battle with weeds, wooly grass, and unruly shrubs and trees. The three Willow Brooks look great landscape-wise, but only because we have reached a Mexican standoff with all things green.

Larry Harris, CEOAnd at our Delaware Run campus, we pulled off an amazing feat this spring by lifting the roof from our single-story assisted living wing so we can add a second and third level. The wing was built with the idea of expanding vertically (crazy as it sounds). A precast concrete ceiling was installed beneath the framed roof structure, along with foundations substantial enough to support three floors. As sections of the roof structure were removed, workers rolled out a rubberized mat to protect the lower level from rain. So far so good – only one minor leak that was quickly fixed.

When complete next winter, the second level will contain more assisted living rooms, and the third level will be “transitional apartments” for those whose needs fall between independent and assisted living. Seems like we always have a construction project in the hopper. We just opened an expanded therapy department at Willow Brook Christian Home, but this one at Delaware Run is for the books.

Of course, everything we do is for the residents. Whether it’s trimming up the landscaping, expanding the therapy department, or adding floors to an assisted living wing, it all is done with one goal in mind – so we can serve more people better. I am so glad you are one of them.

With love to all,


Larry Harris, CEO

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Central Ohio Symphony Sponsor

The Fourth of July will be a busy holiday for Willow Brookers. Two of “our guys” will be grand marshals in the Columbus parade on July 3 at 6:00 pm.  Ray Nally, from the Village, and Charlie Allen from Delaware Run, both WWII pilots, will be honored and ride in the parade, which begins at 6:00 pm on the Main Street bridge, going east on Main Street, turning north on Front Street, and disbanding at Spring Street.

The next day, Willow Brook will again be a proud sponsor of the 4th of July concert at Phillips Glen on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in downtown Delaware.

A Grand Opening

WBCH Grand OpeningWillow Brook Christian Home welcomed members of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and the community at a Business Before Hours breakfast open house to celebrate the opening of the new rehabilitation therapy digs on Lazelle Road.

About a hundred people gathered to feast on fruit, omelets, pastries, breakfast meats and lemon cheese blintzes with raspberry sauce. Yum! Tours of the rehabilitation center and warm words of welcome from Chamber director Kathryn Paugh, Willow Brook CEO Larry Harris and Home Executive Director David Chappell complemented the courtyard conversations and comraderie, and everyone continued on to a more productive day because of their early morning stop for their business breakfast.

Delaware Run Roof Comes Up – And Goes Down

Delaware, OH—The folks over at Willow Brook at Delaware Run on West William Street are raising the roof this week and next.

Raise the Roof“It’s in preparation for an expansion of our assisted living center,” says CEO Larry Harris.  The self-funded $5.5 million project will add 12,600 square feet to the 14,000-square foot healthcare center, with 22 additional  assisted living rooms or suites and seven transitional living apartments.  A new dining room for the memory care center, and a snack shop/deli where residents, families, guests, and staff can grab a quick bite to eat any time of the day will also be added.

Opened in 2009, the healthcare center at Delaware Run has reached capacity and sees a growing need for assisted living services.  The expansion will add two more floors to the assisted living wing, one just like the first floor, and the other with apartments that will provide transitional care.

“Transitional apartments will make it possible for couples to get more supportive services than they can receive in independent living,” says manager Heidi Reed, “but at a lower cost than a couple would pay for an assisted living suite. So many couples just barely hang on because they want to continue to share their lives as before, but one person’s illness places that married life in jeopardy.”

The roof project will continue on Monday, once the weather improves.

Construction of the two additional floors is expected to be complete in about eight months, says Harris.

A Word from the CEO (June 2013)

Weren’t the three Willow Brooks gorgeous this spring? All the flowering crabs, redbuds, dogwoods and forsythia painted our communities with splashes of pink, fuchsia, and sun-bright yellow. What a show!

Larry Harris, CEORight from the start, as we developed our campuses, we were determined to use growing things to create environments that not only would please the eye, but also offer a home for birds and critters. Mission accomplished, I would say.

We have planted 3,500 trees combined at the two Delaware communities. Many of those went into reforestation projects. At The Village, the woods trees were planted 20 or so years ago. The results are almost indistinguishable from the parts of original forest that survived our development. Seeing now how it turned out, I wish I had committed more acres to trees.

At Delaware Run, we are only getting started with the reforestation. The saplings we planted are maturing nicely. Come back in a few years and you’ll find dense woods.

And even at Willow Brook Christian Home, we long ago declared “hands off” a little corner by the lower parking lot. Nature has taken its course, and just look at the beautiful outcome. There is even a little stream flowing through the trees, but you have to walk over and peek in to see it.

I have done my best to make amends for all the tree cutting required to make room for our structures and parking lots. Please enjoy.

With love to all, Larry Harris