United Church Homes Manager Named to Local Chamber of Commerce

Rosie Hughey, a housing manager at Glendale Commons and Fox Hollow Community, was recently named to the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce in Tennessee. Hughey has been working for United Church Homes for more than 25 years. She is very dedicated to her work and UCH as a whole. Hughey is proud to represent her community through this prestigious opportunity.

With 39 residents at Fox Hollow and 44 residents at Glendale Commons, Hughey has a lot of responsibilities. As the housing manager of both communities in Tennessee, she works hard to maintain full capacity. Thanks to her dedication, Fox Hollow Community has been nationally recognized as a Community of Quality by the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association. This distinguished award was presented to Fox Hollow because of the excellent services provided to residents.

At first, Hughey thought she was too busy to be part of the chamber of commerce but later decided to join because she sees it as a great opportunity to promote UCH and her communities. She will bring awareness to the greater community about why Fox Hollow and Glendale Commons are so vital for older adults in the area. Hughey also plans to use this opportunity to further promote the mission of UCH. Hughey passionately stated, “I live our mission and core values on a daily basis.” She has even taken every possible opportunity to volunteer during her time with UCH, now expanding that volunteerism to the chamber.

As a member of the chamber of commerce, Hughey also plans to enhance the small town of Covington. She hopes to maintain the unique beauty, attract more industry and ultimately bring more people. When more people move into the town of Covington, eventually some will move into Fox Hollow and Glendale Commons.

Cheryl Wickersham, vice president of Housing Services at United Church Homes, has known Hughey for years. “I’d like to congratulate Rosie on being elected to the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce Board,” she said. “We are happy to share her talents with the chamber and know that she will perform her responsibilities with the same enthusiasm and commitment she has given to Fox Hollow Community and Glendale Commons for the past 25 years.”

Overall, Hughey knows it’s an incredible opportunity to be part of the chamber of commerce. She was shocked when they invited her to join and feels very special as a result. She has big plans for this journey and knows the residents in her communities will be proud of her. Hughey hopes to bring in donations for UCH to support its mission toward abundant aging. United Church Homes is proud to have such a hard-working, dedicated employee.

Glenwood Community Earns 2019 AHCA/NCAL Bronze National Quality Award

National Quality Award | Bronze | 2019Marietta, OH – Glenwood Community has been recognized as a 2019 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for its commitment to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The distinction is the first of three progressive award levels through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. The program, presented by the leading association in long-term and post-acute care, honors association members across the country that have demonstrated their dedication to improving quality of care for seniors and persons with disabilities.

I am honored to accept this designation on behalf of Glenwood Community,” Executive Director Linda Dailey said. “It is a part of our corporate vision to support abundant life in community, and we cannot do that without a team of amazing individuals dedicated to service above self every day.”

The National Quality Award Program, established by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which also serves as the foundation for the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige framework helps organizations among different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance.

The award program has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Providers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision, mission statement and key strengths and challenges. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, Glenwood Community may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award criteria.

“I applaud Glenwood Community for taking this important step toward quality improvement,” said AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers Chair Alana Wolfe. “I encourage Glenwood to continue on its path to achieving the highest of quality care.”

The awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 70th Convention & Expo in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 13-16, 2019.

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About United Church Homes:  United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of older adults for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 75 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Parkvue Community earns bronze award for quality

National Quality Award | Bronze | 2019WASHINGTON, D.C. — United Church Homes’ Parkvue Community, a retirement community in Sandusky, Ohio, has been awarded the 2019 Bronze Commitment to Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL).

The annual award is the first of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which honors long-term and post-acute care providers that have demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of care for older adults and people with disabilities.

“The recipients of the Bronze Award are making it their mission to deliver quality care for our nation’s elders and individuals with disabilities,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This year, we have more Bronze recipients than ever before, and I’m convinced that because of their commitment, our profession will continue to grow stronger and make a national impact.”

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldridge Performance Excellent Program, which is also the basis of the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldridge program helps organizations across different business sectors use strategies to improve performance and organizational effectiveness.

The award program has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Providers begin the quality-improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with fundamental performance elements such as vision and mission statements and key strengths and challenges. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained examiners review each application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. Recipients may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the Silver Achievement in Quality Award.

“United Church Homes is fully engaged with embedding the culture of quality in all our communities,” said Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes. “The AHCA program, starting with Bronze, progresses to Slver and Gold, as communities refine and master all of the internal continuous quality improvement processes that assure top performance. Parkvue has long been recognized as a quality provider. The Bronze Award from AHCA demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the excellence that this award recognizes.”

For more information about Parkvue, visit parkvue.org.

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About Parkvue: Parkvue Community is a full Life Plan Community offering independent and assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care to nearly 200 older adults. As part of the United Church Homes family of senior living communities, its mission is to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Pilgrim Manor to host screening of film that chronicles life as LGBT older adult

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Pilgrim Manor, a full-service retirement community in Grand Rapids, will host a screening of the award-winning film “Gen Silent” during Pride Month.

The film asks viewers to consider what they would do if they were an older adult, disabled and afraid of discrimination or abuse. “Gen Silent” is the documentary from director and filmmaker Stu Maddux that asks six LGBT older adults if they will hide their lives to survive. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year in Boston.

“Gen Silent” brings these issues into the forefront. The film shows the wide range of quality of paid caregivers – from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT older adults feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT older adults face discrimination, neglect or abuse.

Doors open at Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, at 6:30 p.m. June 12. The movie will begin at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit grcmc.org or call 616.459.4788.

A panel discussion will take place at the end of the film. Panelists are Rev. Bruce Roller, Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek and Tommy Allen. Rev. Rachel Bahr will serve as moderator.

At Pilgrim Manor, we invite people to come as they are, providing a safe and welcoming environment that is open and affirming to anyone who walks through our doors.

In addition to the ONA designation, Pilgrim Manor holds a silver-level certification in SAGECare training, cultural competency training for those working with the LGBT community. SAGECare is a program of SAGE, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. To attain the silver certification, more than 40 percent of staff underwent training.

For more information about Pilgrim Manor, visit pilgrimmanor.org.

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About Pilgrim Manor:  Pilgrim Manor offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus conveniently located in northeast Grand Rapids, Michigan, just minutes from downtown. We focus on individualized care in a casual and comfortable atmosphere for 135 residents. Pilgrim Manor is a United Church Homes community and employs 158 people.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Volunteer Finds Family at Cherry Arbors

Rhonda Farley, finding family at Cherry ArborsRhonda Farley was tired to the bone. She had spent the past several years waking at 4 a.m. daily to help care for her aging mother. With the assistance of her grown son, Rhonda was providing around-the-clock care for her mother, Georgena, who was experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. But Rhonda promised her mother that she wouldn’t send her to a long-term care community. Whatever it took, Rhonda was going to ensure her mother lived independently through the end of her life.

When Rhonda found Cherry Arbors, a United Church Homes affordable housing community in her hometown of North Lewisburg, Ohio, she immediately felt a sense of relief. Finally, her mother would have a safe place to call home. What Rhonda didn’t know was how the residents would become like a second family to her mother.

Rhonda and Georgena worked with the service coordinator to get the necessary supports for Georgena in her new home. From home health services, visiting physicians, Meals on Wheels, exercise classes and potlucks, Georgena would have the extra care she needed.

Eventually, Georgena required in-home hospice services before she died. But by then, Rhonda and the other residents had already bonded in a way that made them just like family.

“She might not live here, but she’s part of us,” resident Joan said. “She does so much for all of us.”

Rhonda continues to volunteer regularly at Cherry Arbors. She takes homecooked meals and treats for the residents. Rhonda also sponsors a monthly birthday party at the community, providing lunch and cake. She brings in homemade jelly for her friends, who refer to her as their daughter.

“Rhonda is a godsend,” said Housing Manager Shawn Hoffner. “She’s right where she’s supposed to be.”

For all this and more, Rhonda received the annual Community Volunteer of the Year Award from Cherry Arbors.

Rhonda gets as much back as she gives. She said she would recommend Cherry Arbors to anyone with aging parents. Qualified residents pay only 30 percent of their incomes for rent, providing an affordable housing option for residents age 62 and older.

“It took about three or four months for Mom to get settled,” Rhonda said. “Once she did, all the residents were so kind and looked after her. Neighbors here take care of one another. There isn’t a better place to call home.”

Rhonda and Shawn joke that her apartment is ready after retirement — but it’s a joke with some truth. Rhonda hopes to live at Cherry Arbors one day.

New interactive educational program gets support from community, local foundations

New grant to support a new program that connects residents with learning opportunitiesSANDUSKY – Parkvue Community, a United Church Homes community, has received nearly $8,000 in grant funds to support a new program that connects residents with learning opportunities. Coupled with donations of personal philanthropy, the funding will be used to launch the program and sustain it for a year.

Parkvue received grants totaling $5,000 from the Erie County Community Foundation and $2,875 from the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation Charitable Impact Fund of the Erie County Community Foundation. The grant funds will support University Circle, a Cleveland-based program that provides accessible and innovative educational programming.

University Circle focuses on offering unique experiences using videoconferencing technology combined with the world-class resources of Circle institutions. Videoconferencing enables Parkvue residents to “travel the world” using interactive technology in real time from their community. The program also offers field trips to cultural institutions for concerts, lectures and exhibitions in conjunction with the monthly videoconferencing series.

In addition to the grants, United Church Homes Board member Dan Busch is the lead donor for the program. Busch said he was excited to give to a worthwhile project like University Circle.

“University Circle presents topics, such as arts, history and spirituality, that connect and stimulate resident participants as lifelong learners,” Busch said. “Programs are presented by well-qualified, thoughtful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic lecturers who are able to be in dialogue through interactive technology with those in attendance. These programs are opportunities to remember the past and offer new insights for continuing education.”

Alissa Clouse, United Church Homes’ director of major gifts and grants, estimated 85 percent of participants will report that they have been able to share their interests with others and that they have engaged with new experiences, based on past classes.

“This innovative program will be open to the larger community as space allows,” she said.

To check seating availability for upcoming classes, contact Amy DiFilippo at 419.621.1900. For more information about Parkvue, visit parkvue.org.

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About Parkvue: Parkvue Community is a full Life Plan Community offering independent and assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care to nearly 200 older adults. As part of the United Church Homes family of senior living communities, its mission is to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

Contact: Alissa Paolella, United Church Homes Office of Communications 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Sue Sheidler Reflects on 12 Years on UCH Board

Sue SheildlerSue Sheidler has spent the past 11 years serving tirelessly on the United Church Homes Board of Directors. Throughout her tenure, Sue has served on every committee, including as chair of the nominating committee from 2009 – 2019. She was Board secretary from 2014 – 2018.

Sue’s background in nursing helped her contributions to the Board, she said. She started working as a nurse aide at age 16, graduated from nursing school at the University of Toledo and worked nearly every area of nursing, primarily in medical-surgical nursing. Sue then contributed to staff development for several years before retiring as vice president of nursing at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, a hospital in Norwalk, Ohio.

Along with being an acute care hospital, Fisher-Titus has assisted living, long-term care and skilled nursing.

“People often ask me if I had to do it all over again, would I go into nursing?” Sue said. “The answer has always been yes, I would. Nursing has the ability to get you into just about any area of healthcare.”

Sue grew up in the United Church of Christ. After she started attending St. John’s UCC in Milan, Sue became deeply familiar with the excellent care provided at United Church Homes communities. St. John’s regularly donated canned goods and visited residents at Fairhaven.

“When I was asked to join the Board, my husband had been ill, and we knew his health was declining. I was looking for something to do where I wouldn’t be gone all the time, so I could still be available for him,” said Sue. “I was reading devotions one morning and one said there are different ways to serve. I took that as a sign to see what I could do on the Board.”

Many years later, Sue has learned to appreciate UCH’s affordable housing ministry.

“Affordable housing was one of the most impactful areas for me,” Sue said. “I knew about the senior living side from my experience in nursing, but I had not been involved with affordable housing.”

Sue traveled with the Board on several visits to UCH affordable housing communities. She said talking to those residents made the biggest impact on her. “Sometimes that’s the only way they have any place to live,” she said. “Those learning experiences remind you about the increasing need for affordable housing.”

Stubbs Endowment Continues Legacy of Giving

Gertie StubbsThe late Gertrude “Gertie” Stubbs made a long-lasting impact on United Church Homes’ Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. United Church Homes’ computer donor records go back to the early 1980s, showing Gertie began giving in 1983 and continued for a total of 22 years before her passing in May 2009 at the age of 98.

In 1999, Gertie worked with UCH leadership staff to create the Gertrude Stubbs Transportation Endowment Fund for Fairhaven with a major gift of $300,000, established to provide funding for the ever-increasing need for transportation for older adults. It was Gertie’s largest donation, although it wasn’t exclusive as she continued to make other donations through the years, including another major gift of $100,000 to support an endowment for staff uniforms.

“Gertie’s husband, Don, was a resident on the second floor for many years,” said Karen Webb, director of nursing. “That is how we all became acquainted with her. She was dedicated and faithful to her husband and visited him twice a day, every day. She not only provided care for her husband, but also identified needs of our staff.

“She once told me that the Lord blesses the silent giver,” Karen said. “And give she did. She created the uniform fund for our staff, purchased a van and assisted staff members on a personal level with whatever they might be going through. She would visit staff members who were ill, did laundry for residents requesting the service — the list goes on and on. Then, when Gertie reached the stage of life when she needed us, what a privilege it was to be able to care for her! She was a wonderful, giving and caring individual who served the Lord by serving others.”

Fairhaven currently has a 16-passenger bus, paid for by the endowment years after her passing, and a wheelchair-accessible van that is used to take residents to medical appointments and on activities and trips that help them stay actively engaged in the community. Fairhaven Community provides transportation for approximately 800 medical appointments for residents every year.

The community offers a low- to no-fee transportation program for residents. This is especially beneficial because many insurers do not cover transportation services. A $2,000 grant from the Wyandot County Community Foundation and the endowment fund enable Fairhaven to cover a greater share of transportation costs, which helps residents stretch their personal dollars even further.

The transportation program is not Gertie’s only legacy at Fairhaven. She funded the construction of a garage, the Stubbs Garage. The former Stubbs Behavioral Care Unit also was named after Gertie. 

“Mother loved the people of Fairhaven,” said Judy Horobec, Gertie’s daughter. “I hope her story encourages others to give. She had a real passion for giving back to residents.”

Ruth Adams, who knew Gertie for more than 20 years and served on the Volunteer Service Group with her, said her friend accepted the call for assistance, no matter the need.

“She was such a giver,” Ruth said. “A lot of it she did anonymously. She was always doing something.”

Gertie offered communion to Catholic residents every Saturday and organized style shows to help raise funds for Fairhaven. “She would talk to the local stores and get all the clothes,” Ruth said. “She was always there. If there was anything to be done, Gertie did it.”

UCH Welcomes New Leadership Staff

United Church Homes recently welcomed two new members to its leadership team as part of a strategic plan to drive growth in its senior living and affordable housing divisions.

Sean Riley

Sean RileySean Riley joined UCH as the regional director of operations for northern Ohio and Michigan. He is responsible for the operations of Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio; Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio; Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio; and Pilgrim Manor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He will be an active contributor to the execution and growth of these communities, said Chuck Mooney, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Sean has more than 25 years of senior living experience, including community and executive leadership positions with HCR ManorCare (Toledo, Ohio); Provider Services (North Olmsted, Ohio); and Hamlet Village (Chagrin Falls, Ohio). Sean joins UCH from his most recent position as executive director of St. Francis Senior Ministries, Tiffin, Ohio.

He was drawn to United Church Homes because of its organizational integrity and mission-driven work. Sean said he is excited to be a part of the UCH team and to be able to help UCH residents live their most authentic and abundant lives. “It’s very rewarding to be able to help make a difference in the life of a fellow human being,” he said.

Sean earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in gerontology from Kent State University and a Master of Business Administration from Lake Erie College. He is an Ohio-licensed nursing home administrator and a certified executive for assisted living. Sean is also an active member of LeadingAge Ohio.

Sean is a native of Canton, Ohio, where his parents owned and operated several small nursing care communities.


Vanessa Norris

Vanessa NorrisVanessa Norris has joined UCH as the corporate director of housing services.

Vanessa has 30 years’ experience in affordable housing. She began her career in 1989 at Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. In 1999, she left her position as assistant vice president of compliance to attain more property management experience. Vanessa also has been the compliance manager at CHN Housing Partners, which developed, constructed and managed its own large portfolio of housing properties. Vanessa later was promoted to the director of property management, where she was accountable for the day-to-day operation of the property management department.

“My experience includes in-depth knowledge of housing operations at all levels,” said Vanessa. “During my early years, I realized the great need for affordable housing and how diminutive the inventory. I believe affordable housing should be a right, not an option. Working with organizations like UCH and others has allowed me to be part of a bigger picture — to significantly impact the development and management of affordable housing. Such organizations continue to be the political voice and the answer to those desperately seeking housing.”

Vanessa holds certifications and designations as an accredited residential manager, specialist in housing credit management, blended occupancy management specialist, certified assisted housing manager, certified credit compliance professional and national compliance professional.

A Family Affair

Cathy GreenIn May, I will complete two years as the chairperson of the UCH Board of Directors and nine years on the Board, so it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the connections and influences that draw people to a ministry like United Church Homes.

Over the years that I’ve been involved with UCH, I’ve often heard people comment about ways that the organization reminds them of a family. “Like a family” is used to describe the relationships among residents, between residents and staff and among staff. It’s used to describe the loving care that is provided at every stage of life. It’s occasionally used in observing the generational legacies, such as staff member with a parent who also worked at UCH, or a staff member with a grandparent who is a resident.

These relationships are also true for some of our Board members, and I am an example. I grew up in St. Marys, Ohio, where my parents, Phil and Mary Maurer, were active laypeople of St. Paul’s UCC. I recall hearing about Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky when I was quite young. After my dad retired from his engineering profession, he joined UCH as a part-time member of what was then called the development department. In that role, he helped raise vital dollars so that UCH could sustain its ministry. Some years later, my mom was elected to the Board of Directors, where she served nine years. Hearing stories from my parents and knowing how important UCH was to them is one reason I said yes when asked years later whether I would join the Board.

Another factor, which is true for most of us on the Board, is seeing firsthand the challenges my parents faced in their final years. My father lived with Alzheimer’s for about 10 years before his death. My mother and I were with him when he died at Fairhaven in 2007, and I experienced firsthand the care and concern of staff. Watching the toll of dementia on my dad, and on my mom as his principal caregiver, makes me especially appreciative of the programs that UCH has implemented in recent years. Opening Minds through Art (OMA), Music & Memory and Comfort Matters® are all programs that enrich the lives of our residents with dementia and bring peace of mind to their family members.

These past nine years have been a joy and a privilege to me, working with UCH leadership and other Board members on strategies and programs that will transform aging and strengthen a culture of community, wholeness and peace. Our work is not done, nor will it ever be, but we have made notable progress in the past year and are committed to making more in the year to come.

Cathy Green
Chairperson, Board of Directors

Making an Impact

As part of its core value of transparency, UCH has begun documenting community benefits in three areas:

Creating Abundant Life in Community

Investment in Transforming Aging

Building a Culture of Community, Wholeness and Peace

Staff members track data related to the mission, vision and values by answering questions such as:

“How can we help to build influence in the larger culture and nurture their understanding of Abundant Life?”


“How does our mission lead us into the larger community to help transform aging there?”


“What are the things we do in our communities that contribute to building the culture of community, wholeness and peace, thanks to the philanthropic support of others?”

The results from 2018 show United Church Homes remains committed to transforming the culture from ageist to age friendly.

United Church Homes Impact Results from 2018 Infographic

Reflections on the Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit

By Emily Howard

Editor’s Note: The following is a blog post by Emily Howard, intern with the Advancement Office and Clinical Pastoral Education at Trinity Community’s ACPE Center, about the LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit, a two-day conference held in February in Dayton. To subscribe to the weekly blog, visit abundantaging.org.


The auditorium was filled to listen to Stu Maddox, producer of Gen Silent

A packed auditorium listens to the keynote of Stu Maddox, producer of the award-winning film Gen Silent, during the LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit in Dayton.

What Does Advocacy Mean to Me?

First, it means learning to love myself. I am a questioning, and queer, woman. I had a moment during the course of the LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit that took place Feb. 11–12, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. I was sitting in a workshop on intersectionality. I realized, listening to a reminder on what intersections mean, that in our world, none of us are just one thing. And some of us carry multiple identities, such as black and lesbian, and that we also hold intersections of identities within ourselves. In a world full of intersecting identities — and intersecting lives — if I cannot fully support and embrace who I am, how can I embrace others? I am working on this now as a result of the conference.

Older Adult Activists

In that work, I am inspired by Andie Hock, a trans woman advocate, and Lew and Steve, older adult gay men who have used their positions from the margins to change society. Often, I believe, they did it by being who they are in public. It didn’t happen for them overnight. It happened over time. But, in that time, they have inspired young people like me. This is the power of older adult activists. They were in attendance big time at the summit.

Meeting the Needs of Those on the Margins

Advocacy also means to me a never-ending struggle for the needs of individuals on the margins, those oppressed, to be recognized and met. I am reminded of a talk by Georgia politician Stacey Abrams. She said, as an African-American woman, that the struggle to have black people’s needs met in the U.S. is a never-ending struggle. She also said that it is her duty as a leader and it is the duty of all black people and allies to remain engaged in meeting those needs.

Awareness of Privilege

Dr. Quartey presenting during the the event
Dr. Quartey presented information gleaned from the first study by AARP on sexual identity and gender identity.

Advocacy also requires awareness of privilege — white privilege, cisgender privilege, straight privilege, ability privilege, middle-class privilege. The list goes on. As one summit participant noted that as a gay man, he often has to strategize about which of his privileged friends’ help he may need to have his healthcare rights heard and addressed. This is an ugly reality. But it is real.

As an aspiring ally in any struggle for people on the margins, I hope I never forget that my struggle doesn’t bring change. Instead, the voices of the marginalized people bring change. The ones who have fought for so long and could not be heard — they incite it. The role of privilege should only be to give a hand in leveraging those voices, not to take credit. The allies won’t win the fight. Instead, people with privilege have the responsibility of giving a measure of presence, money, time or whatever is asked for, to win those fights that the people on the margins identify as necessary. That is the best use of privilege, no matter the cause.

Addressing Human Questions

Another older adult summit participant, Jeannie, put it this way over dinner: advocacy is addressing human questions. Human questions are complicated. Sometimes they don’t have a clear end point. But, I think, Jeannie was pointing out that the purpose of advocacy is to stay on the journey. As Abrams says, it is to stay engaged in the struggle. When I can find meaning, not only in the winning of a fight but also in the journey, perhaps I will better use my voice and commit to advocacy.

Final Thoughts

Watching lives intersecting — intersectional — at the summit, along the journey for healthcare needs to be met, inspired me. I noticed joy in the gathering. I felt humanity in the openness about suffering and struggle. I recognized freedom in the willingness to celebrate all people. And above all, God’s embrace was waiting every step along the way.

May we go on inspired to advocate for the well-being of older adults. May we take the inspiration of those older adults, in particular, who readily and bravely shared their stories and their wisdom. Young people also attended the summit — and moved to continue the fight.

Rubi Girls performed at the end of day one


UCH Furthers Commitment to LGBT Older Adults

UCH's deep commitment to LGBT older adultsIn 2017, United Church Homes obtained the platinum level in SAGECare training, cultural competency training for those working with LGBT older adults. More than 80 percent of staff participated across the entire UCH network. UCH was recertified at the platinum level this year. The move came five years after the United Church Homes Board of Directors voted to become Open and Affirming, a designation within the United Church of Christ that empowers groups to fully accept — not just tolerate — LGBT people to live their most authentic lives.

With the first Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit, held in February at Sinclair Conference Center in Dayton, Ohio, United Church Homes furthered and reaffirmed its commitment to serving LGBT older adults, LGBT family members and staff members who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ). With more than 15 breakout sessions over two days, those serving older adults learned important information about discrimination faced by this underserved community. Topics ranged from legal information for trans individuals to cutting-edge research by national experts on LGBT-related issues.

Co-sponsored by Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton, the event was well received with more than 200 in attendance.

United Church Homes awards Markley with scholarship

Rev. Daniel with Olivia Markley, the first ever recipient of the United Church Homes Scholarship Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, recognizes Olivia Markley as the first recipient of a new, $1,000 scholarship. Markley is a junior at Bowling Green State University.

MARION – Olivia Markley, a 2018 graduate of Pleasant High School, is the first recipient of a new, $1,000 scholarship from United Church Homes.

The scholarship is open to students from Marion and Wyandot counties who are studying a healthcare-related field. Markley was selected as the first recipient through the Marion Community Foundation scholarship.

Markley is a junior at Bowling Green State University, where she is majoring in social work. She is considering adding a gerontology minor after seeing her great-grandmother, who will turn 93 in June, move into an assisted living community.

“I was able to witness how the staff helped her going through the transition,” Markley said. “I became aware of what I can do to help someone else.”

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, said the organization wants to support young people who are considering careers working with older adults.

“This scholarship recognizes students of promise whose academic and personal achievements are most needed in healthcare fields like senior living,” Daniel said. “United Church Homes works with a number of undergraduate and graduate schools to provide internships, field education practicums and summer jobs so we can expose as many young people as possible to careers serving older adults. We call these ‘careers that love you back.’”

United Church Homes employs about 1,800 individuals, and in addition to nursing and other healthcare fields, career opportunities include business administration, social work, marketing and sales, communications and gift planning/advancement.

“Working with older adults is among the most satisfying and emotionally rewarding ways to live out your personal calling,” Daniel said.

For more information about United Church Homes, visit unitedchurchhomes.org.

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About United Church Homes:  United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of older adults for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 75 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Parkvue welcomes intern through summer Links Internship program

Megan Maschari joins Parkvue Community as a summer internSANDUSKY, Ohio – Parkvue Community in Sandusky has welcomed a college student as a summer intern thanks to a grant from the Erie County Community Foundation.

Megan Maschari, a 2018 graduate of Sandusky Central Catholic, is a student at Capital University, studying marketing with a minor in digital design.

She will have the opportunity to learn about nonprofit operations and job opportunities in long-term care and acquire in-demand professional marketing skills. Maschari will work with both Parkvue’s and United Church Homes’ staff.

Parkvue’s goal for the program is to help Maschari prepare for a job after graduation, to provide insight into the senior living professional and sales process and the benefits of working for a nonprofit organization.

“We would like to be a good neighbor by helping to develop, and hopefully keep, young talent in Erie County,” Miller said. “We look forward to working with the Erie County Community Foundation on this and other projects, and we are thankful for their support.”

For more information about Parkvue Community, visit parkvue.org.

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About Parkvue: Parkvue Community is a full life plan community offering independent and assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing care to nearly 200 older adults. As part of the United Church Homes family of senior living communities, its mission is to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Volunteers honored for service to Fairhaven Community

UPPER SANDUSKY – More than 60 Fairhaven Community volunteers gathered Monday for the Best of the Best celebration, an annual event that honors the nearly 100 people who give their time and talents to Fairhaven.

Fairhaven Community volunteers gathered Monday for the Best of the Best celebration

In total, volunteers gave more than 7,500 hours of service to Fairhaven in 2018. Hours come from the Volunteer Service Group, Teen Impact, Friendship Ambassadors and volunteers in the Reflection Ridge memory care neighborhood, among others. The longest-serving volunteer, who asked not to be identified, has volunteered at Fairhaven for 41 years.

“All our volunteers are golden,” said Becky Blocksom, resident activities assistant. “We also have the faithful ones behind the scenes who quietly come in and serve. A lot of our volunteers humbly selected not to record most hours they serve.”

Lori Marsh with VolunteerAdministrator Lori Marsh thanked the volunteers on behalf of her staff. They are an extension of the Fairhaven family, she said.

The age range of volunteers runs from 19 to 90+. “The spirit of our residents continues to amaze me and the rest of the staff,” Blocksom said. “They are passing the torch to build our future, and this is why we are here. All are true examples of love, hope and abundant life.”

Also, during the celebration, Sarah Faber, a Fairhaven state-tested nurses aide, received a $1,000 scholarship to go toward her nursing degree at Owens Community College in Findlay.

To become a volunteer, contact Blocksom at 419.294.4973 or bblocksom@uchinc.org. For more information about Fairhaven, visit fairhavencommunity.org.

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About Fairhaven:  Fairhaven Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term care, short-term rehabilitation and holistic, person-directed memory care services on its beautiful campus in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. As part of the United Church Homes family of communities, its mission is to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

Contact: Alissa Paolella, United Church Homes Office of Communications, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

Reflection Ridge Receives Accreditation in Comfort Matters

Congratulations to the Reflection Ridge memory care neighborhood at Fairhaven Community, which received accreditation in Comfort Matters on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Comfort Matters is a memory care dementia education and palliative care program dedicated to improving the quality of care and quality of life for those living with dementia. We are very proud of the Reflection Ridge neighborhood team for embracing and living the key concepts of the Comfort Matters program.

Heidelberg presents honorary degree to UCH president, CEO

Rev. Daniel presented with an honorary degree from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OhioTIFFIN, Ohio – Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Heidelberg University as part of the university’s 166th commencement exercises Sunday, May 12.

Rev. Daniel has a connection with Heidelberg. In addition to United Church Homes providing internship opportunities for Heidelberg students, he has twice served as a guest lecturer in the Philanthropy and American Society honors seminar co-taught by President Robert H. Huntington and history professor Dr. David Hogan each fall semester.

A day earlier, Rev. Daniel delivered the keynote sermon, titled “Salt and Light: So What?,” at Heidelberg’s interfaith baccalaureate ceremony.

During his commencement sermon, Rev. Daniel wove together messages from readings from Exodus 3:1 – 12, Galatians 5:13 – 17 and 22 – 25 and Matthew 5:13 – 16, focusing on this passage from Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it under the bushel basket but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Rev. Daniel’s key message to the members of the class of 2019 was to be the light of the world.

“Let your light shine,” he told them. “Let the world see the best you have to offer … let the world experience that unique and passionate energy that comes from your experience at Heidelberg.

“You are part of the Heidelberg legacy to make the world a better place. Go be the salt. Go be the light and let it shine brightly.”

Rev. Daniel presented with an honorary degree from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, OhioUnited Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of older adults for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 75 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

In all, 208 undergraduates received bachelor’s degrees in arts, science or music, and 59 graduate students received master’s degrees in counseling, education and business administration.

 

United Church Homes adds Miami Township independent living campus to its Dayton-area network of senior living communities

MARION, Ohio – United Church Homes, an Ohio-based provider of senior living and healthcare services, has acquired an independent senior living community in Miami Township formerly managed by Brookdale Senior Living.

Trinity Community at Miami TownshipThe three-story apartment complex located at 7847 Lois Circle, Dayton (in Miami Township), will become Trinity Community at Miami Township and joins three other United Church Homes communities serving older adults in the greater Dayton market. The community offers independent, one and two-bedroom apartments with ala carte supportive services available for residents.

United Church Homes also operates Trinity Community in Beavercreek, a full-service life plan community, Patriot Ridge Community in Fairborn, offering assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care, and Trinity Community at Fairwood, also in Beavercreek, which offers independent living.

“We’re excited to welcome more than 130 residents in Miami Township to United Church Homes and the Trinity family of communities,” said Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, President/CEO.

“We have a longstanding commitment to the Dayton area and Trinity at Miami Township is a unique addition to our 74 senior living communities nationwide. Its residents are vibrant, active and embrace the UCH culture of living life abundantly each day.”

Residents actively participate in a robust schedule of onsite activities, entertainment, local outings and enjoy daily chef-prepared meals. The community also offers an ala carte menu of personalized services to assist residents with shopping, pet walking, laundry and other needs.

Daniel noted older adults today want to remain active for as long as possible living at home. Having an engaged community of neighbors and an environment that can support changing needs is often the key to maintaining an independent lifestyle.

Residents at the UCH Trinity family of communities have access to higher levels of assistance and healthcare services when they need it, including in-residence hospice services provided through a new partnership, Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes.

The nearly 40 staff members at Trinity at Miami Township have been offered employment with United Church Homes.

United Church Homes is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living and healthcare services for older adults, with 74 senior living communities in 14 states and two Native American nations.

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Trinity Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

BEAVERCREEK [May 03, 2019] – Trinity Community of Beavercreek is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Trinity Community will host a variety of events during the week, which kicks off on Mother’s Day with music and entertainment. Tuesday’s schedule includes a paper airplane race, table-top cornhole and football trivia. Events will continue through Saturday*.

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Trinity Community, visit trinityofbeavercreek.org.

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Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About Trinity Community:  Trinity Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term skilled care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus in Beavercreek, Ohio.

*Events are not open to the public, but media is invited to come get photos. To arrange a visit, please contact Alissa Paolella.

Patriot Ridge Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

FAIRBORN [May 3, 2019] – Patriot Ridge Community in Fairborn is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers and their residents and staff by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. The theme fits well with United Church Homes’ mission and vision to provide care to the whole person including mind, body and spirit, which includes providing full-time chaplains at all UCH senior living communities.

Throughout the week, Patriot Ridge will host cookouts for all staff. Monday, May 13 is Wear Your Favorite Hat Day. Tuesday will be Wear Your Favorite Color Day and residents will make no-bake cookies. Wednesday, May 15 is Spirit Day, when staff are invited to wear red, white and blue. Staff are invited to wear their favorite sports apparel Thursday, May 16 and Friday is Dress in Your Favorite Decade with entertainment by Rhinestones & Roses at 2:30 p.m. and walking tacos for residents and staff.

Established an as annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s older adults and people with disabilities.

For more information about Patriot Ridge Community, visit unitedchurchhomes.org/patriot-ridge/.

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Media Contact: Alissa Paolella, Communications Coordinator, 740.382.4885 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About Patriot Ridge Community:  Patriot Ridge Community offers assisted living, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus located in Fairborn, Ohio. We focus on individualized care in a casual and comfortable atmosphere.

*Events are not open to the public. Media is invited to come take photos. Please contact Alissa Paolella to arrange a visit.