Parkvue Community Appreciation Reception Recognizes Giving

Spirit Award recipient Sharon Lichtcsien,
United Church Homes President and CEO Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, Spirit Award recipient Sharon Lichtcsien, Parkvue Activities Director Amy DiFilippo and Executive Director Dan Miller

SANDUSKY [Aug. 29, 2019] – Parkvue Community, a United Church Homes community, hosted its donor and volunteer appreciation reception on Aug. 20, 2019. The event honored individuals who donate time and offer financial support to the UCH mission.

This year, Parkvue gave the Spirit Award to Sharon Lichtcsien, a longtime volunteer and neighbor to the senior living community. The Spirit Award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for the residents and their families of United Church Homes communities.

In 1997, Lichtcsien, her husband and daughter bought a house across the street from Parkvue. In fall 2015, when Parkvue announced the opening of the indoor aquatic center, Lichtcsien stopped by to introduce herself to former administrator Ken Keller and asked if the community would be interested in offering a yogic pool session to residents. The rest is history. Three mornings a week, Lichtcsien shares her teachings with Parkvue residents.

Director of Activities Amy Difilippo provided a tribute to Sharon, explaining how dedicated she is to Parkvue.

“Sharon has never called off or not shown up when she was expected to lead water yoga classes,” Difilippo said. “Her consistency and dedication are quite welcome. … We are beyond blessed to have (Lichtcsien) in our midst.”

Lichtcsien thanked Parkvue for recognizing her volunteerism.

“A Spirit Award – if I was given any award in life, that is the best, especially with the life that I do live with my yoga friends,” Lichtcsien said.

In addition to thanking Lichtcsien, Parkvue dedicated its renovated walking path. Staff also recognized resident Georgianna DeNoewer, whose art from Opening Minds through Art was featured on the stone coaster gift for attendees. “I’ve always liked drawing and coloring,” DeNoewer said. “It relaxes my mind. … I like to see what’s in my mind when it comes out on paper.”

About 60 additional donors and volunteers attended the event. Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, praised them for living UCH’s mission, vision and values.

“Your gifts transform aging by helping us build a culture of community, wholeness and peace,” he said. “Your advocacy for the residents and families we serve at Parkvue Community makes a huge difference in their lives, each and every day.”

In 2018, over $40,000 in charitable donations were invested at Parkvue Community.

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About Parkvue Community: 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.

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

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

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

Parkvue to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

SANDUSKY [April 29, 2019] – Parkvue Community in Sandusky is excited to participate in National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which will be held May 12 – 18.

Parkvue’s theme for the week is “Parkvue: The Talk of the Town.” Parkvue’s week will be a Main Street theme, with all departments participating by creating their own storefronts. Employees will display their wares on Friday and pass out goodies to residents as they tour Main Street. The grand finale will be a street fair, where unique street food can be sampled, bags of popcorn will be distributed and a musician will perform.

Below is Parkvue’s calendar of events for National Skilled Nursing Care Week:

  • Monday, May 13
    10 a.m., entertainer Dan Moyer
    2 p.m., Sweet Nothings
    Bingo will be played throughout the day with winners receiving a prize.
  • Tuesday, May 14
    10 a.m., Surprises at the Apothecary
    2:30 p.m., Ice Cream Shop
    3:30 p.m., Special Deliveries
  • Wednesday, May 15
    10 a.m., Main Street Scavenger Hunt
    2 p.m., Popcorn and Popcorn Floats
  • Thursday, May 16
    10 a.m., Picture Perfect (on courts)
    12 p.m., Main Street Meal in resident dining rooms
    2 p.m., Catholic services
    2:45 p.m., bingo
  • Friday, May 17
    10 a.m., Tours Down Main Street
    2:30 p.m., Street Fair*

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 Parkvue, visit parkvue.org

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About Parkvue: Parkvue Community offers independent and assisted living, long-term skilled care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care on a beautiful campus in Sandusky, Ohio. The campus features multiple ponds and an indoor swimming pool for residents.

*Events are not open to the public, but media is invited to come take photos.

Parkvue Community’s Walking Path Project Fully Funded

Walking Path's at Parkvue

Nestled in a quiet, picturesque setting in Sandusky, Ohio, Parkvue Community has beautiful flowers, landscaping and water features for residents to enjoy. One of the highlights for all has been the walking path. However, years of weather and wear have made it difficult to use, with deep cracks across its surface. Discouraged by the state of the path, residents rallied together to raise the $13,000 needed to restore it. One anonymous donor contributed $1,000 to kickstart the campaign. Then, thanks to grants from the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation Charitable Impact Fund at the Erie County Community and the Mylander Foundation, the project was well on its way. But the biggest impact, if not in dollars, came from the heart — donations from residents, staff members and memorial donors. In total, Parkvue raised $14,820, and restoration will begin this spring.

Examples of Engagement

Our residents are so engaged, we couldn’t write features on every story. Here are some highlights of other engagement activities by residents and staff of UCH communities from our Community Benefits Program.


Cherry Arbors

Dwight, a resident of Cherry Arbors, retired when he moved in. To fight boredom, Dwight began volunteering at the local hospital. Now, he feels fulfilled as a regular volunteer.


Four Winds Community

Four Winds Community organizes a benefit for St. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Wellston, Ohio, gathering prizes for a hugely popular bingo benefit. The benefit raised more than $1,800 for the school.


Harmar Place

Harmar Place residents make homemade dog treats for the local humane society. Everyone agreed it was a great idea. Every other Tuesday, residents get together to make the treats, the kitchen staff bakes them and a team member drops them off at the humane society. The dogs at the shelter love these special treats!


Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge)

Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge) in Fairborn, Ohio, hosts Camp Ageless annually, inviting children and residents to bond over crafts, games, face painting and more. It is part of several intergenerational programs offered at Trinity Community at Fairborn (formerly Patriot Ridge), connecting residents with younger generations. It’s a win-win when relationships are formed between older adults and youth, who learn from one another.


Parkvue Community

Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio, offers a Patriots’ Day celebration every year, inviting local first responders to enjoy a cookout and socialize with residents.


Mill Run Place

Mill Run Place in Ashland, Ohio, participates in a program called Multi-Generational Mentoring, which links at-risk youth with caring older adults who provide assistance with homework assignments, helping to set the stage for academic success. However, this program is much more. It provides a mutually supportive atmosphere in which students receive encouragement and individualized attention.

UCH Honors Recipients with Awards for Leadership, Dedication and Values

Late fall of 2018 proved a time to lift up those who embody the spirit of United Church Homes, as eight individuals accepted awards for their exemplary service to UCH.

“We have a passion for developing and supporting leadership here,” President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel said. “We’ve been blessed over the years with people giving time and talent, as volunteers, donors and staff, and we value this time to recognize their impactful contributions to our organization.”


Rev. Dr. Robert Diller Legacy Leadership Award – Rev. John Rainey

John Rainey Rev Dr Diller AwardThe Legacy Leadership Award is named after the late Rev. Dr. Robert Diller, who joined the UCH Board of Directors in 1945. Over the next 31 years, he helped move the organization from a single location that served 125 residents to include five communities serving over 800 individuals. Rev. Diller served as the first president and CEO of United Church Homes. The award honors those whose leadership commitment to UCH echoes Rev. Dr. Diller’s high levels of vision, perseverance and faith.

Rev. John Rainey is the second recipient of the award, and like Rev. Dr. Diller, his service to UCH has spanned decades, starting in the mid-1940s when he was a young boy. He and his family supplied canned food from their garden to the Evangelical and Reformed Home for the Aged in Upper Sandusky, Ohio (currently known as UCH’s Fairhaven Community). Fast-forward to 1970 when John decided to run for the UCH Board. He secured the spot and spent the next 24 years as a Board member, once serving as secretary, which he considered one of the most challenging and enjoyable jobs he’s had.

Through the years, John also had the opportunity to forge a relationship with one of UCH’s greatest benefactors, Ruth Frost Parker. Ruth, who was on the UCH Board with John, didn’t drive, so he transported her to and from Board meetings. The time spent together resulted in many enlightening and enjoyable conversations. A few years later, John attended the groundbreaking of UCH’s Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio, where he now resides with his husband, Gene Finnegan. To this day, John’s service to United Church Homes continues. Together with Gene, he volunteers at the front desk and serves as an ambassador to new residents. The two also host Parkvue’s Happy Hour, deliver mail to residents and give campus tours upon request. John is also an accomplished quilter and makes teddy bears as gifts.

On top of all that, Parkvue Director of Resident Services Shannon Graver said, “Gene and John walk the halls or campus (depending on weather) for exercise every day and report anything that should be brought to my attention.

“I genuinely love those two,” she added. “They are wonderful advocates for UCH and also a great support to me!”


President’s Award of Distinction – Rev. Beth Long-Higgins

The President’s Award of Distinction honors people within UCH who significantly advance its mission to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

“The purpose is to celebrate people who have done something of such merit and impact that it creates transformative change in some way,” Rev. Daniel said.

This is certainly true of Rev. Beth Long-Higgins.

Beth Long Higgins Pres Award of DistinctionBeth’s long history with United Church Homes began in the late 1960s at Chapel Hill Community when her church hosted one month’s birthday celebrations for residents. In 1974, her grandparents moved into Chapel Hill, living there until their deaths in 1981. For many years, Beth and her husband served as copastors at David’s United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester. One reason they were interested in the congregation was because of its involvement with United Church Homes’ leadership. Beth spent six years on the UCH Board, chairing the housing and long-range planning committees. In 2013, she joined the UCH staff as director of church and community relations. Now she’s the executive director of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging.

During Beth’s tenure, she led the reinvigoration of UCH’s relationships with churches that have historically supported and formed UCH communities. Also in the years since Beth joined the staff, the organization developed its mission, vision and core values, which Beth helped write. More recently, she constructed the Community Benefits Program that encourages and records how each UCH community engages with their greater local communities.

Rev. Daniel surprised Beth with the award, saying, “Perhaps no one is more deserving of this award than Beth.”


LUV Awards – United Church Homes Staff Members

The Living UCH Values (LUV) Award honors staff members who every day demonstrate the highest commitment to United Church Homes’ core values of compassion, hospitality, respect, integrity, stewardship and transparency. Nominations for the award come from fellow staff members, supervisors, volunteers, friends or family members.

The 2018 winners include Monica Smiley and Linda Bell, Chapel Hill Community; Sharon Frisch, Fairhaven Community; Barb Mugrage, Harmar Place; Kevin Sanders, Parkvue Community; and Jen Wilson, Trinity Community.

“We are pleased to honor these outstanding staff members for their dedication to their residents and all those they come into contact with,” said Alyson Issler, corporate director of human resources.

LUV Award Winners 2019

From Millie, with Love

Simple acts of kindness from a Parkvue residentNever underestimate the impact a small act of kindness has on the world. Meet Millie Schilman, whose kindness extends to each and every resident of Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio.

For the past couple of years, Millie has dedicated most of her free time to one simple act of kindness — sending greeting cards to the residents of Parkvue. At the beginning of each month, she creates a list of birthdays, making sure not to miss a single resident. When someone is in the hospital or loses a loved one, Millie sends a card to offer comfort. When residents move from assisted living at Parkvue Place to long-term care at Parkvue Healthcare, Millie lets them know they’re still close at heart, even if they’ve moved locations. And when Christmas rolls around, Millie delivers a holiday card to every single resident in both buildings.

The fact that she sends these cards is no surprise to those who know Millie. She grew up just a block from the American Greeting Card Company in Cleveland, Ohio, and she used to walk there to buy discounted cards as a child. When Millie was in second grade, she made her first card — her class was tasked with making the third-graders cards.

“My teacher, Miss Warner, told us, ‘No one should ever go without a valentine,’” Millie said, “so we ended up making two valentines for each student. Then we tiptoed across the hall and slipped the valentines under the (third-grade classroom) door. That’s about all I remember, but Miss Warner saying that has stuck with me.”

Another moment in Millie’s life endeared the art of giving greeting cards to her. Her mother-in-law kept scrapbooks in which she pressed every card she’d ever received.

“Every card meant something to her,” Millie said. “That made me realize that even though we live in a (digital) world, to hold a card in your hand, to say ‘this is my card,’ well, that means something.”

Throughout her school years, Millie and her friends exchanged cards. She said it was an inexpensive way to show people that you care. She also said sometimes the cards they traded weren’t always kind but often funny. She shared the message from a valentine she received as a girl (and remembered after all these years!):

millie cardWhen Millie’s husband asked her father for Millie’s hand in marriage, her father even joked that he better buy stock in the card company if he wanted to marry Millie.

A children’s librarian by trade, Millie has been a joy to all who meet her, and throughout her life, she gave greeting cards — spreading that joy to others. Five years ago, she fell and landed on her shoulder, shattering it. She spent a month recovering, and her daughters suggested she and her husband move to assisted living. Although they were reluctant to move, Millie said living at Parkvue turned out to be “swell.” They lived there a year before her husband suffered a stroke and then continued enjoying each other’s company until he passed away in 2018.

At Parkvue, Millie took over sending cards from another resident, and she began sending those first cards anonymously. She would tuck cards into doorways and mailboxes and then silently walk away. The cards would be waiting for residents when they opened their doors, but they had no idea who sent them. Once a resident opened the door just as Millie turned to leave, and both women screamed.

Parkvue Resident, Millie Schilman“She said, ‘Millie! You!’ and I said yes,” Millie said, chuckling. And that’s how residents found out who had been sending them cards.

Millie doesn’t take credit for the kind gesture. She signs each card with “Blessings from all your fellow residents at Parkvue Place.”

“They are truly from all of us, not just me,” she said.

This past Christmas, Millie sent 294 cards, an incredible amount, especially considering she’s also sending sympathy, get well and birthday cards. When asked where she gets her supply, she said that staff and residents donate them to her.

Once, she received 77 valentines, and she wondered what to do with them. “We have 87 residents here at Parkvue Place,” she said, “but God really does provide. I decided to send the valentines to people in the healthcare building. It turns out they were the ones who really needed them. One woman said that was the only card she ever got.”

Millie already has her cards picked out for 2019, and she has no plans to stop. “It’s a likeable job — a little time consuming, but I sit with a cup of coffee and select cards for different residents,” she said. “Some have great senses of humor, and others don’t. We’re all different.”

Thank you, Millie, for your thoughtfulness!

Sanders recognized with LUV Award at Parkvue Community

The LUV Award recognizes and honors staff members who demonstrate the highest commitment to United Church Homes’ core values of compassion, hospitality, respect, integrity, stewardship and transparency. Nominations may be made by staff members, volunteers, residents or their families.

Kevin was nominated for his demonstration of integrity within the community. Kevin displays great team spirit and works alongside his staff members to provide a fine-dining experience to Parkvue residents. He shows his commitment to the team by supporting them in their daily work. Kevin, who has worked at Parkvue for about a year, has proved to be a great example of a servant leader, demonstrated daily in his commitment to and support of the Parkvue dining services team.

He is a graduate of the 2018 UCH LEADS class. LEADS stands for leadership, education, achievement, development and success.

“We are pleased to honor Kevin for his dedication to the residents and all those he comes into contact with at Parkvue Community,” said Alyson Issler, corporate director of human resources.

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

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About United Church Homes: United Church Homes is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 74 senior living communities in 14 states and two Native American nations. Its Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging brings together experts of various disciplines to collaborate on improving the quality of life for older adults.

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

Supporters Honored at Donor Appreciation Events

At each event, UCH presented three awards — the Diakonie Award, the Spirit Award and the Ben M. Herbster Award.


Diakonie awardThe Diakonie Award is presented to congregations to honor those who have demonstrated faithfulness in their support of the mission of United Church Homes and its communities.

Spirit award 1377The Spirit Award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for the residents and their families of United Church Homes communities.

Ben M Herbster award 1381The Herbster Award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Rev. Dr. Ben M. Herbster, the first president of the United Church of Christ. After his retirement, Rev. Dr. Herbster served as a member and chairman of the Board of Directors of United Church Homes.


1. Rev. Jean Montgomery, St. John’s, Massillon, Diakonie Award recipient. 2. Fairhaven Administrator Lori Marsh, Herbster Award recipients Mark and Nancy Johnson and Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes. 3. United Church Homes President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel, Four Winds Spirit Award recipient Frank Doenges, Four Winds Chaplain Rev. Hannah Niday and Administrator Mary Casey. 4. Allan Norris, Glenwood Community Spirit Award recipient, and his wife, Carol. 5. United Church Homes President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel, United Church Homes Management Executive Director Karen Messick, Anne Marks Gaertner, Herbster Award recipient, Jim Gaertner, David Marks and Cathy Green, Board chair of United Church Homes. 6. Sherry McKay, Calvary Baptist Church, Parkvue Community Diakonie Award recipient. 7. Members of the Trinity Community Auxiliary, the Spirit Award recipient for Trinity Community.

Journey to Parkvue: Neighbors Discover They Share an Incredible Bond

Jos\u00e9 Su\u00e1rez and Dr. E. Anne Eddowes

New Parkvue resident Dr. E. Anne Eddowes was familiar with United Church Homes because she grew up with Ruth Frost Parker, a former Board member and the largest single benefactor in UCH history. Anne decided to move to UCH’s Parkvue campus in early 2018 after splitting her time between Arizona and Ohio for several years. Her son was uncomfortable with her driving so far every winter, and family in the Sandusky area helped her decide to come back home to be closer to them. Shortly after her move, Anne met José in a serendipitous moment when José introduced himself as Anne’s new neighbor.

José was only 14 years old when he left his home country of Cuba, alone, without his parents, to come to the United States amid a period of turmoil in the island country in the northern Caribbean.

Jose 2 years oldJosé fondly recalls his childhood as being “spoiled.” Every year, he and his mother would travel to Miami for the summer months, where his father would join them on weekends. José was enrolled in a trilingual school, where he learned English, Spanish and French. Additionally, he was a talented competitive chess player.

“I really had a charmed childhood,” José said. “There was a lot of political disturbance and fighting, but in terms of my personal life, it was very, very satisfying.”

With a propensity for language, José quickly became a target of the communist authorities. He feared he would be sent to the Soviet Union or face death if he stayed in Cuba.

José was one of more than 14,000 Cuban children airlifted from Havana to the U.S. between 1960 and 1962 as part of Operation Pedro Pan, made possible because of a deal between Father Bryan Walsh of the Miami Diocese and the U.S. State Department that allowed Walsh to sign visa waivers for children 16 and younger.

James BakerJosé met James Baker, a philanthropist and humanist whom José credits with saving his life. Mr. Baker, coincidentally, happened to be Anne Eddowes’ uncle. Baker had been a colleague of José’s English teacher, a British woman named Penny Powers who first rescued Jewish children from Nazi Europe in the 1940s and did the same for Cuban youth in the 1960s. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her work with children.

“Baker and Powers provided the necessary papers for children to enter the United States legally,” José said. “They also worked closely with Catholic Charities and other institutions in the U.S. that would be able to provide housing for the children who would be arriving. Some were as young as 2 years old. It was always assumed that this would be a temporary situation until the communists were overthrown in Cuba. Unfortunately, this never happened and the children grew up in freedom and safety in their new country. … I have always felt that James Baker and Penny Powers saved my life and allowed me to become the person I am today.”

Jose SuarezJosé, like many other children in Operation Pedro Pan, traveled alone to the U.S. by plane. He spent about six months in a refugee camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before being reunited with his parents in Florida.

The waiting room at the airport in Havana was called the fish bowl.

“You had to go in at 7 in the morning,” José said. “It was totally surrounded by glass and there was a loudspeaker where you would hear, over and over, ‘The maggots that were born in this country by mistake should leave and never come back.’ I heard that from 7 in the morning until 2 o’clock. They strip searched me twice. My parents were on the other side of the glass and I was crying. I waved at them, and a militiaman came over and said, ‘Ignore them. If you wave again, you’re not getting on that plane.’ It was like seven or eight hours of torture.”

Despite the traumatic experience, José ultimately made it to safety in the United States.

He and his wife, Margaret, first visited the Parkvue campus for an annual concert. They decided to move to Parkvue immediately. José’s new home at Parkvue gives him safety, security and the feeling of family that he left behind. His new neighbor, Anne, and the connection to her uncle who he credits with saving his life, has helped him realize his life has come full circle at Parkvue Community.

“I was transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly in my new home in America.”

Predictive Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence: Tools for Early Intervention

 

According to a January 2017 report from management consulting firm NewVantage Partners, approximately 95 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have made significant investments in big data initiatives within the past five years.

The senior living profession is no exception. United Church Homes collects demographic and health data of its residents that can be used to predict the health status of a particular resident and improve care, said Chuck Mooney, senior vice president of senior living services at United Church Homes.

“To me, data analytics is like the unicorn — often talked about, rarely seen,” Chuck said. “Our cloud-based software platforms allow for a number of things. We’ve invested in hiring Clinical Informatics Manager Kathy Ely. She’s really our resident in-house PointClickCare (PCC) expert. The idea is to figure out how to use the data that we collect in more intelligent ways to, perhaps, predict falls, monitor diabetic status and be able to predict future illness for residents with diabetes.”

According to the PointClickCare blog, much data analytics comes from electronic health or medical records. This can include nursing assessment information, medication usage, hours and types of therapies and more. Documenting relevant data is one side of the coin. The other is the ability to analyze, understand and apply the data that has been collected. EMRs contain a treasure trove of data that can be leveraged to drive positive health outcomes among residents, increase staff engagement and drive operational efficiencies.

Every EMR contains a wealth of resident information, all of which can be analyzed to better understand individual resident care needs, to more efficiently schedule staff on different shifts and even to document whether certain meals have fallen out of favor among residents, according to PointClickCare.

The ultimate vision for UCH is to partner with a college gerontology program to provide an avenue for research-based data collection. Predictive algorithms and artificial intelligence technology can, for example, monitor a person’s movement patterns during a defined period of time. A change in these patterns may indicate a potential problem and, once identified, can be addressed quickly and efficiently.

“All providers in long-term care are required to collect the minimum data set (MDS),” Chuck said. “The MDS record is a very extensive clinical record that draws from the medical record and also from other sources, such as social work notes and chaplain/spiritual services. It captures all that information into a standard data set that is then reported to both the state and federal levels.”

Casper reports are quality metric reports generated from these data sets that have over 2,000 metrics with standard definitions. The reports lend themselves to benchmarking relative to UCH’s peers in senior living.

Parkvue Community Aims to Help Residents Stay Secure, Socially Engaged

K4Connect creates solutions to serve and empower older adults and people living with disabilities. The flagship K4Community product integrates home automation, health data and social engagement software to promote more abundant living for older adults in retirement communities.

With K4Connect, residents can fully manage multiple areas of their lives, such as adjusting their thermostat and lighting; connecting with friends and loved ones through secure text messaging, email and video; and registering for life enrichment programming within the community.

After piloting the technology at Parkvue and Friendship Village Columbus for 90 days, United Church Homes discovered that the wireless internet infrastructure on these two campuses did not adequately support the software for the highest level of functionality.

“The pilot, like all pilots, was revealing in a number of different ways,” said United Church Homes Senior Vice President of Senior Living Services Chuck Mooney. “One clear message that came out of it is the need for a wireless network platform to be able to support not only the K4Connect device in each of the independent living apartments, but also all of the future needs related to the devices people carry today. That’s been the common experience for K4Connect with other clients who have piloted the system. Wireless internet service has to be in place to be able to take advantage of all the features of the application software.”

Pilot participant Gene Finnegan, a resident of Parkvue Place, said he had a positive experience with K4Connect.

“I have gotten more pictures for both (spouse) John (Rainey) and I from our kids than we would ever get,” Gene said. “We don’t do Facebook and we were surprised by how many pictures our kids sent. It is certainly very easy to make phone calls with the tablet.”

Gene enjoyed checking the life enrichment calendar and daily menus on his tablet.

“One of the nice features is if you don’t feel like going down to dinner but you wonder what’s on the menu, you can check that out on the tablet without having to go to the dining room,” Gene said. “I know a lot of us older folks don’t want to get involved with a lot of technology, but you have to look down the road. People who are moving in now are going to be more exposed to technology than we have been, so they’ll be ready to have this kind of device available.”

To share photos, a resident can simply invite a friend or family member to connect via cellphone or email. Friends and family then download an app to their phone or computer for secure messaging with their loved one.

“It’s a learning process,” Gene said. “I really think this is a good feature for United Church Homes to be able to offer.”

Supporters honored at United Church Homes’ Parkvue Community event

Calvary Baptist Church, the recipient of the 2018 Diakonie Award, sends children and teens to Parkvue Community for Christmas caroling and the Hallellujah! puppet show. Started in 1931, the church seeks to be a blessing to those it reaches. Its ministries include several programs for children and teens as well as opportunities for families and adults.

The Diakonie Award is presented to congregations to honor those who have demonstrated faithfulness in their support of the mission of United Church Homes and its communities.

Parkvue honored resident Mike Kevesdy with the 2018 Spirit Award. Kevesdy was born in 1923 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he minored in economics. He taught at Ohio Business College for 31 years and was a trucking manager for 24 years. Kevesdy is a 20-year member of Toastmasters.

Kevesdy said he has been impressed with the residents and opportunities the staff provides. At Parkvue, Kevesdy offers a chitchat group three times per week — an important activity to stimulate thinking and to socialize with others as they age. He also sits on the resident council and assists with happy hour and Bible reading.

The Spirit Award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for the residents and their families of United Church Homes communities.

Susan Sheidler is the recipient of the 2018 Ben M. Herbster Award from United Church Homes. Sheidler retired as vice president of nursing at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, Norwalk. She began working in senior living services as a nurse’s aide at age 16, and her passion for assisting older adults has not ceased.

Sheidler knew of United Church Homes for some time before having any contact with UCH communities; however, she was not initially aware of the affordable housing ministry of United Church Homes. That introduction was a turning point for her.

“United Church Homes meets all needs, from affordable housing to independent living and from skilled care to long-term care,” Sheidler said. Through benevolent care, UCH helps those who outlive or deplete their financial resources.

Sheidler has been a United Church Homes Board member since 2008 and currently serves as secretary.

The Ben M. Herbster Award, named after the first president of the United Church of Christ, is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Ben M. Herbster.

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 seniors for more than a century. The faith-based 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 74 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 Community to celebrate grand opening of The Cove

The new Cove at Parkvue in Sandusky

The grand opening marks completion of phase 1 of a three-part expansion project. The first phase includes the construction of 10 two-bedroom, two-bath cottages, including three duplexes and one quad, all with an attached garage. In total, United Church Homes plans to add 44 independent living cottages to the campus at The Cove.

The Parkvue Healthcare Center originated with the vision of the late Ruth Frost Parker, an Erie County resident, former United Church Homes Board member and the largest single benefactor in its more than 100-year history. Ruth’s vision included the state of the art Aquatic Center and more independent living options on the Parkvue campus.

Parkvue, a United Church Homes community, offers independent cottages, residential and assisted living apartments, Fast Track Rehab, a secure memory care neighborhood and long-term skilled care. Spiritual services are an important part of Parkvue’s mission.

On July 25, the public is invited to attend the grand opening, with a ribbon-cutting scheduled for 6 p.m. and the annual concert of the Vacationland Band taking place from 7-8 p.m. An art show featuring artworks by residents, family members and staff will be on display.

Those unable to attend are invited to call (419) 621-1900 to schedule a personal tour.

For more information about Parkvue, visit parkvue.org.

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About United Church Homes: United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The faith-based 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 74 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’s Opening Minds through Art summer session begins

 

OMA is an evidence-based, award-winning program developed by Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio. Led by trained facilitators Amy DiFilippo, Thess Miller, Sharon Tipton and Samantha Williams, each OMA session provides an opportunity for older adults living with dementia to express themselves creatively.

The program pairs people with dementia with volunteers who are trained to help them use imagination instead of memory and focus on remaining strengths instead of lost skills. OMA enables people with dementia to find new ways to express themselves through a variety of beautiful artwork.

The summer session at Parkvue will take place from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Fridays through July 27, with an art showcase that is open to the public Aug. 19. The community holds no session July 6.

For information on becoming a volunteer with OMA, please call Amy DiFilippo at 419.621.1900. For more information about Parkvue Community, visit parkvue.org. For information about United Church Homes’ memory care services, visit https://bit.ly/2JB7SUm.

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About United Church Homes: United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The faith-based 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 74 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

2018 UCH Golf Outing

 

United Church Homes 2018 Golf Outing

REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 1

Schedule for the Day

Schedule for the Day

8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m. Call to Carts

9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

Return to the clubhouse for lunch and prizes after tournament play.

How to Register

Register online:
Click Here

Register by email:
nlongmeier@uchinc.org

Register by phone:
740.382.4885 ask for Natalie


  • Registration: $100 per person
    (Register by September 1)
  • Raffle Tickets: 2 for $15

Sponsorship Levels

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become a Sponsor

Abundant Life Sponsor $5,000

  • Eight (8) registered golfers, breakfast, lunch, hosted drinks, mulligans and raffle tickets included
  • Event titled with sponsor name and logo on banner and event communications
  • Hole-in-one grand prize sponsor

Lunch Sponsor $2,500

  • Four (4) registered golfers, breakfast, lunch, hosted drinks, mulligans and raffle tickets included
  • Sponsor name and logo exclusively featured on banner in lunch area
  • Sponsor name and logo on banner and event communications

Golf Cart Sponsor $1,500

  • Four (4) registered golfers, breakfast, lunch, hosted drinks, mulligans and raffle tickets included
  • Sponsor name and logo featured on two beverage carts
  • Sponsor name and logo on banner and event communications

Practice Sponsor $500

  • Two (2) registered golfers, breakfast, lunch, hosted drinks, mulligans and raffle tickets included
  • Sponsor name featured on signs at driving range and practice green
  • Sponsor name and logo on banner and event communications

Door Prize Sponsor $100 or Gift Card

  • Sponsor of raffle item (gift cards/certificates) in honor or memory of an individual
  • Sponsor name on signs in door prize/raffle exhibit area

Residents Continue Ritual of Giving

 

In 2017, United Church Homes communities donated over $20,000 to local, national and international charities through worship service collections

Residents of Chapel Hill, Fairhaven, Parkvue and Trinity communities collectively gave more than $20,300 to local, national and international charities in 2017 through worship service collections. This practice has deep meaning for many people who choose to live at United Church Homes.

“The residents love to give,” said Rev. Dr. Becky King, chaplain at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and dean of chaplains at UCH. “One hundred percent of their gifts are given to charities of their choice. Some people bring coins; some people bring bills. Some are able to offer prayers as their gift.”

Many residents of Trinity Community of Beavercreek, Ohio, have a long history in the United Church of Christ, of which UCH is an affiliate. Rev. Dale Brown, chaplain at Trinity Community, said residents often advocate for contributions to the United Church of Christ’s Global Ministries to spread the word and cause of Christ to the world.

Other times, residents elect to give their contributions to local charities or nonprofit organizations, such as food banks, homeless and domestic violence ministries and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association.

The faithful also help their peers by giving to the community’s Life Enrichment Fund. This fund provides resources for life enrichment, group outings and other resident needs.

“People will bring their bingo money. Even if they only can give four quarters, it’s extremely important to them,” said Rev. Cathy Lawrence, chaplain of Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio.

Recently, at Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio, residents made their gifts go further with a donor match for the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, said Rev. Erin McCreight, chaplain at Chapel Hill. Each year, they also sponsor a child for $500 through Family Village Farm in India’s child-elders sponsorship program.

Many of the chaplains share details about the giving from the organizations receiving the funding during mission moments in worship services.

Emily Howard, a chaplain intern at Fairhaven, said she was touched by the energy that giving sparks in residents.

“We’re each called as people living in a faith community to share what we have and give of ourselves, and we’re connected in that way. It’s part of our faith,” she said.