UCH Names New Executive Director of Managed Properties

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — Karen Messick was recently named the new executive director of United Church Homes Management.

Messick provides leadership and direction to the management and operations of UCHM, the management services division of United Church Homes, a nonprofit, faith-based organization based in Marion, Ohio. She will also work to increase the number skilled nursing and senior living communities UCH manages.

“I would like to grow (UCHM’s) presence within UCH and certainly in west Michigan. I see it becoming a value-based service,” Messick said. “I would like to see United Church Homes manage more properties because one of UCH’s strategies is growth.”

Messick was previously the executive director of Pilgrim Manor, a senior residential and healthcare community in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which integrated with UCH late last year.

Pilgrim Manor has approximately 170 employees who have been retained into UCH. Through this integration, Pilgrim Manor will become part of UCH’s system of senior living and healthcare communities. Leadership and decision-making will remain local.

Pilgrim Manor will benefit by integrating with an organization that can strengthen its position in the local market, grow its programs, and effectively manage the risk.

With this integration, UCH will increase its service area to 14 states and two Native American reservations.

Messick said she is pleased with Pilgrim Manor’s new relationship with UCH because it faced a bleak future without the help of UCH. She said it’s a win-win for both the community and UCH.

“I’m very, very excited. This is something I have worked on for several years. With UCH not having a footprint in Michigan, this was a really good fit and gives UCH an opportunity to expand into this market.”

UCHM currently manages Friendship Village Columbus and SEM Haven in Milford.

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of UCH, said he is pleased to welcome Messick to UCH. “Karen brings a strong combination of expertise and leadership that’s needed to help UCH and UCHM continue to grow,” Rev. Daniel said.

Messick has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and human resource management from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and a master’s degree in health care administration from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She has been a licensed nursing home administrator in Michigan for 23 years.

About Pilgrim Manor: Pilgrim Manor was conceived in 1955 by 12 Grand Rapids area Congregational churches, which are now mostly affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It opened in 1963 as an assisted living community for retired seniors. Pilgrim Manor later added skilled nursing services. Today, it operates 55 Medicare/Medicaid dually certified nursing beds and 110 assisted living units on a 10-acre campus near downtown Grand Rapids.

About United Church Homes: United Church Homes has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the largest providers of senior living, with more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths in 69 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two native American reservations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Contact: Tiffany Latta, United Church Homes Communications Department, 740-382-4884, ext. 2012 or tlatta@uchinc.org.