Longtime Parkvue Leader Retires, Welcoming Back Former Colleague

Ken Keller retired as administrator effective Dec. 15 and Dan Miller was named the new executive director. Over the first quarter-century of Parkvue’s existence, Ken has been a strong leader and friendly face at Parkvue and throughout United Church Homes.

Ken began his tenure with United Church Homes in 1989 when he worked in the Central Office Human Resources Department under former Vice President of Staff Relations Timothy P. Hackett.

From August 1990 through October 1994, Ken was the administrator at Fairhaven Community. This was followed by spending time at both Fairhaven and Parkvue in the later portion of 1994 and 1995. Dan said Ken, who has a natural ability to lead, has been an excellent mentor for him over the years. Ken said it was a pleasure to collaborate with Dan during that transition as a team-oriented colleague.

Parkvue Place opened in 1992 with 87 independent living apartments, celebrating 25 years in 2017. Parkvue Health Care Center opened in the spring of 1995.

Parkvue was a new campus that originated with the vision of 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. As early as 1995, Ken learned of Ruth’s dream to add a state-of-the-art Aquatic Center at Parkvue. Over many years and multiple capital projects, Ruth’s dream was fulfilled with the dedication of the Aquatic Center on April 7, 2016. Even after her death in February 2015, United Church Homes continued to implement her ideas, including renovations at Parkvue Place and the memory care neighborhood, known as Follett Court, of the healthcare center. Most recently, UCH embraced another of Ruth’s visions at the Parkvue campus by initiating the first of three phases to add 44 independent living cottages.

Ken said United Church Homes’ senior leadership shared Ruth’s vision for a life plan community in Erie County and they became collaborators on many projects, including the development of apartment homes for older adults at Parkvue Place to a full-service campus.

“Ruth had a deep sense of caring and wanting to help and fill needs for the older population in the area,” Ken recalled. “Because of her idea and support, we were able to expand the original plan for Parkvue to add skilled nursing with a special area for memory care. It’s now evolved into a true life plan community. United Church Homes’ mission of creating and enabling abundant living was a perfect match with Ruth’s visions.”

“It’s been fun to develop that culture of family, hospitality and teamwork,” Ken continued. “As hard as it was for me to leave Fairhaven, I saw an opportunity to be closer to my wife’s family and a professional opportunity to start a new community. What a challenge and opportunity!”

“There is a great amount of longevity with the team at Fairhaven and Ken has built a similar team from the ground up at Parkvue,” Dan said.

Dan’s father, John Miller, was the administrator and chaplain at Fairhaven from 1973-77. Dan grew up within its walls, spending first through fourth grades living nearby and joining his dad to visit residents. During his final semester at what then was Heidelberg College (now Heidelberg University), Dan accepted a part-time internship at Fairhaven.

“It was like coming home,” he said. “I spent a lot of time there as a kid. There’s a great sense of community and care.”

Dan worked seven months at Trinity Community in Beavercreek, Ohio, while finishing the administrator-in-training program and received his license in March 1991. He also spent time at Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio.

After 18 years at Fairhaven, he resigned in 2012 and accepted a position with another organization. But Dan said he always knew he wanted to return to the United Church Homes team.

“United Church Homes is very innovative and keeps on the leading edge,” he said. “There is a family atmosphere here and I also appreciate the Christian orientation through the affiliation with the United Church of Christ. I see a lot of similarities between Fairhaven and Parkvue including the closeness of the staff. Ken has done a wonderful job here, building that.”

Ken said he has appreciated the opportunity to develop deep relationships at Parkvue and execute “good-hearted” visions.

“The staff has become like family,” Ken said, tearing up. “I’ve watched the kids of the staff grow up. The staff was very dedicated, caring and hard working. They are very committed to enabling abundant living, and embrace a culture of hospitality. They have become my colleagues and I will miss them. I’m happy that it’s Dan who is following me. I am confident Parkvue is in good hands. If Ruth were still here, I know she’d be happy.”

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, said Ken led the organization through many changes.

“He was forward-thinking and progressive in his leadership,” Rev. Daniel said. “I’m proud of him and what he has done at Parkvue.”

Chuck Mooney, senior vice president of Senior Living Services and chief operating officer at United Church Homes, explained Dan’s position is executive director, a new title that reflects the community’s transformation in recent years to a life plan community offering a full continuum of care, housing options and hospitality services.

Farmer Finds Abundant Life in Parkvue Community Expansion

Looking over the acreage outside the healthcare center, Bob gets a glimpse of his life in another era.

When he moved to Parkvue more than a year ago, Bob was having trouble walking. His physical limitations were contributing to an overall sullen demeanor. He just wasn’t himself.

Bob’s life began to change when he and an old acquaintance became roommates at Parkvue and he
acquired a motorized scooter to get around the campus. Then, construction started on 10 new cottages, the first phase of a three-part project to add more residential living options at Parkvue Place. Bob blossomed quickly, showing increased interest in going outdoors and interacting with the construction crew and his fellow residents.

“When the weather’s nice, I take my scooter and watch them build the houses,” Bob said. “I try to go out a couple times a day. I watched them put all the cement floors in and then I watched them build the houses. I can picture what this land used to look like.”

In the 1950s, Bob, who graduated from Sandusky High School in 1943, farmed part of the 160 acres where Parkvue sits today. He spent many hours hauling tools from the homestead where he lived until he moved to Parkvue in early 2017.

“It was good ground to work,” Bob said. “I knew the man who owned it, Mr. Kobe. This was old-time farming.”

Bob farmed all his life with his parents, two brothers and sister. He likes to joke that he was 12 years “late” — his siblings were much older, so he inherited the homestead after his older siblings worked it. The family dairy farm is located in Bloomingville, about 7 miles southeast of Sandusky.

Bob still reminisces about his life there, recalling the rural atmosphere and hard work that contributed much joy to his childhood.

The middle of the 20th century was a time of increased innovation as agricultural machinery manufacturers developed more sophisticated machines. Bob took advantage of the new technology and upgraded from his team of draft horses to a big red tractor.

Bob saw the development of the entire area around U.S. 250 (Milan Road). He remembers when a stone quarry took up the space where a mall sits today. Much of the land was used for farming. Today, the area boasts a variety of retail stores and lodging for tourists.

Bob is happy with the work done thus far on the cottages. In the fall, the team from Thomas & Marker Construction invited Bob on a tour, named him honorary foreman and presented him with his own hard hat.

“Bob is a great example of a resident who was able to find abundant life in community,” said Rev. Catherine Lawrence, chaplain at Parkvue Community. “He has really come out of his shell since construction began. The project has given him new meaning and we’re thankful to know him. We are blessed to have Bob’s active presence in our community.”

United Church Homes earns Platinum certification in LGBT cultural competency training

The certification, which will be valid for the remainder of 2017 and the 2018 calendar year, comes from Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, commonly known as SAGE. The SAGECare program trains residential healthcare providers and others that work with and advocate for older adults.

“Many LGBT older adults may be uncomfortable or fearful being open about their identity or relationships. SAGECare training is a way to communicate that your community is invested in their well-being,” said Tim R. Johnston, Ph.D., director of National Projects at SAGE.

“SAGECare Platinum communities have trained at least 80 percent of their staff using SAGECare content, which means eight out of every 10 people that LGBT elder interacts with will have completed at least an hour of LGBT cultural competency training.”

United Church Homes’ Fairhaven Community (Upper Sandusky, Ohio), Harmar Place (Marietta, Ohio), Parkvue Community (Sandusky, Ohio) and Trinity Community (Beavercreek, Ohio) individually earned Platinum certification, meaning 80 percent of their employees completed one hour of LGBT aging training and 80 percent of executives and administrators completed four hours of LGBT aging training or four hours of “State of the Agency” consulting by SAGE.

Communities that earned gold-level certification (60 percent of employees, executives and administrators trained) were Four Winds Community (Jackson, Ohio) and Patriot Ridge Community (Fairborn, Ohio). Silver-level certification, with 40 percent of employees, executives and administrators trained, went to Chapel Hill Community (Canal Fulton, Ohio), Glenwood Community (Marietta, Ohio) and Pilgrim Manor (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

United Church Homes also earned Platinum certification for 80 percent of its 1,800 staff members participating in the training the first time it was offered.

The only other organization in Ohio that is SAGECare-certified is the Alzheimer’s Association, with four of its regional offices having earned the Bronze-level certification. In Michigan, Pilgrim Manor joins six other agencies in its commitment to affirming and celebrating LGBT individuals.

By completing the training, United Church Homes and its senior living communities have demonstrated their commitment to affirm LGBT residents, staff members and all others who step onto its campuses. It is another step in the process that began in 2012 with United Church Homes becoming the first health and human services agency in the United Church of Christ to earn the Open and Affirming designation.


About United Church Homes: United Church Homes, based in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of seniors for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving 4,700 residents of all faiths in 72 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

Supporters honored at United Church Homes event

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church received the Diakonie Award, which is presented to congregations that have demonstrated faithfulness, generosity, compassion and encouragement in their support of the UCH mission and its communities. Parkvue Community has been the focus of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church’s spiritual care for more than 20 years as it has provided weekly service in the Parkvue Healthcare Center Chapel.

Harold Behnken received the prestigious Ben M. Herbster Award. The award is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Dr. Ben M. Herbster. Behnken is a pillar member and donor at Parkvue. He also was a member of the United Church Homes’ Mission, Vision, Values Committee. The committee helped overhaul UCH’s vision, mission and values statements that reflect what the organization is about and where it is going. Behnken’s philanthropic commitment to UCH began after serving on the committee.

Annee Smith received the Spirit Award. The award is presented to individuals who exemplify volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for the residents of UCH communities and their families. Smith received marketing and sales training at Parkvue after graduating from high school and has been a volunteer at the community for eight years.

“Parkvue is a good place. I told my parents I know I’m doing God’s work. It makes me happy,” Smith said.

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, thanked Behnken, Smith and Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church for their service.

“Your service allows us to continue our mission and create Abundant life at Parkvue Community,” Rev. Daniel said.

About United Church Homes: United Church Homes has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of older adults for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization has more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths in 70 communities throughout 14 states and two Native American tribal nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.

Contact: United Church Homes Communications Department, 740-382-4885.

United Church Homes to break ground on $18M construction project

UCH, a national nonprofit, faith-based senior living provider based in Marion, will build 10 cottage homes as part of the first phase of the three-phase construction project to create Parkvue’s new independent living neighborhood. The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is $3.2 million.

parkvue render

The community center will include a kitchen, a fitness center, activity rooms and informal lounge areas. The 1,650- to 1,750-square foot cottages will feature two-bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open design kitchen and living room and will be built on 10-acres of land on the east side of the campus.

Charles Mooney, senior vice president and chief operating officer, said he hopes the new cottages will attract seniors who are looking for a more active, independent lifestyle. Parkvue opened a state-of-the-art aquatics center in 2016. It now offers new aquatic and fitness programs.

“We want to provide a true independent living housing option on campus for active seniors that promotes abundant living in community,” Mooney said.

Parkvue Administrator Ken Keller said he is pleased United Church Homes is investing in a new independent living neighborhood on Parkvue’s campus.

“It’s exciting because it brings another level of services to our continuing care campus that will be available to the residents of Erie County and the surrounding area,” Keller said.

The project affirms that United Church Homes continues to be guided by the vision of the late Ruth Frost Parker, a prominent Sandusky resident whose many contributions enhanced resident life at Parkvue Community .

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, credited Parker’s generosity for helping UCH establish Parkvue and make major renovations needed to provide high quality and affordable housing and healthcare services to residents.

He said the expansion is an investment in the growth and modernization of the community.

“It’s an investment that will help Parkvue meet what today’s seniors are looking for and grow the community in an innovative fashion,” Rev. Daniel said.

About United Church Homes: United Church Homes has been “Celebrating the Spirit” as it has provided care with older adults for more than a century. The nonprofit, faith-based organization has more than 1,500 dedicated staff serving 4,500 residents of all faiths in 70 communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ.

Contact: United Church Homes Communications Department, 740-382-4885

Women Find Love, Friendship, Family at Parkvue

As an infant, Georgianna was placed in two foster homes. She moved to a county children’s home before returning to her parents’ home, where she says she was verbally and physically abused by her mother.

“It was horrible. My mother didn’t want me at all,” Georgianna, 79, said.

The mother of three said her adult life was going well until about six months ago, when she required rehabilitative care. While she was recuperating at Parkvue, Georgianna’s children felt that Parkvue provided a safer environment than returning to her mobile home. Her family wanted her to live in a place where they knew she would not be alone and could receive the care she needed.

Georgianna now shares a room with 98-year-old Frances Landin, who has lived at Parkvue for 18 months. The women have become close friends and Frances’ children treat Georgianna as if she’s part of their family.

“I treat them the same. They are like two moms,” Frances’ son, Ron Landin, said.

Parkvue leaders intentionally placed Georgianna in a room with Frances, a friendly and talkative woman who is a former administrator at Lutheran Memorial Home in Sandusky.

Frances was married to her husband, Owen, almost 50 years before he died in 1992 of colon cancer.

Frances decided to live at Parkvue after she and her children agreed she no longer could care for herself.

Frances lived alone in her room at Parkvue until Georgianna’s arrival and the decision to put the two in the same room has been beneficial for both women, Parkvue Community Chaplain Rev. Cathy Lawrence said.

Georgianna helps Frances, who has difficulty hearing and uses a wheelchair, and Frances has given Georgianna friendship and hospitality, and helped her settle into the community.

“To be able to get a roommate like Georgianna was a blessing to Frances and to be able to get a roommate like Frances was a blessing to Georgianna,” Cathy said.

Frances said her family is thrilled she has Georgianna as a roommate and a friend.

“She is so easy to love. I’d be lonely if it weren’t for her,” Frances said.

Georgianna said the friendship and attention she gets from Frances and her family makes her feel loved.

“With just about everything they do, they include me. They’ve been more family to me than my own has,” Georgianna said.

Ron said he visits almost daily and tries to make his mother and Georgianna happy.

“I laugh with them. Play games. Anything that breaks the monotony,” Ron said. “Georgianna is such a nice lady. We’re extremely fortunate to have her as my mom’s roommate. We want to make sure she feels appreciated.”

2017 UCH Golf Outing

United Church Homes 2017 Golf Outing


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

2017 UCH Golf Outing Brochure

Register by email:

Register by phone:
740.382.4885 ask for Cale

Register by mail:
Complete the registration form

United Church Homes
170 East Center Street | PO Box 1806
Marion, OH 43301-1806

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

Sponsorship Levels

Sponsorship Opportunities

Abundant Life Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $10,000|close

  • Registration for (8) golfers, lunch included
  • Event titled after sponsor on banner at registration
  • Sponsor name featured on banquet room signage
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursomes
  • Hole-in-one grand prize sponsor
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Hospitality Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $5,000

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Sponsor name featured on large banner in breakfast and lunch area
  • Sponsor name featured on beverage cart
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Mission Sponsor (limited, FOUR available) $2,500

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Prize hole sponsor – longest drive, closest to the pin
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Golf Cart Sponsor (limited, ONE available) $1,500

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on golf carts during tournament
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hosted drinks, reserved parking, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Sponsor recognized on UCH social media platforms

Spirit Sponsor (unlimited) $1,000)

  • Registration for (4) golfers, lunch included
  • Sponsor name featured on banner at registration
  • Hole sponsor
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report
  • Hosted drinks, raffle tickets and mulligans for foursome

Practice Sponsor (limited, TWO available) $500

  • Sponsor name featured on sign at practice green
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report

Door Prize Sponsor (unlimited) $100 or Gift Card

  • Sponsor name featured on signage in banquet room
  • Sponsor logo on website
  • Sponsor name listed in annual report

Memorial Donations (unlimited) $50

  • Memorial name listed on signage

Importance of Community Chaplains

Rev. Beth Rodenhouse, Rev. Erin McCreight, Rev. Catherine Lawrence, Rev. Sandy Hutchinson (back row, left to right) Rev. Becky King, Rev. Dale Brown, Rev. Dr. Robert Smitley, Rev. Greta Wagner, Rev. Hannah Niday (front row, left to right)

Providing spiritual care and comfort for people who are experiencing life’s difficulties, and having trained and credentialed pastors present and available when residents, families, friends and staff struggle with illness, grief, loss, or pain.

That’s one way to describe what makes United Church Homes different and distinctive. We believe that quality of life — and with it a healthy approach to aging — stems from addressing an individual’s physical, emotional, AND spiritual needs.
We call this concept wholeness. Our mission is to build a culture where wholeness is both visible and viable.

After recently adding four new chaplains — all of whom are ordained and endorsed by the church — UCH now employs full-time chaplains at all of its healthcare communities in Ohio. In addition to having backgrounds in patient and family care settings, all UCH chaplains bring clinical pastoral education (CPE) training and experience to their positions. CPE provides a framework that emphasizes the actual practice of ministry with people of all faiths with pastoral supervision, self-reflection, and the support of peers in small groups.

Our chaplains have well-developed skills in spiritual direction, grief counseling, crisis intervention, and spiritual wellness. Whether they share their gifts by praying with folks or simply being a sounding-board, the intent is to help people heal emotionally or regain a sense of spiritual well-being. UCH continues to invest in people that are passionate about personalized care and ministry, and focused on the whole person, regardless of their faith.

At Parkvue Community in Sandusky, our new chaplain is Rev. Catherine Lawrence, who most recently served for seven years as pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, Fireside, in Bellevue. After earning her Master of Divinity degree at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, she was ordained in December 2008, with full standing in the Northwest Ohio Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. She also served on the Board of Directors for United Church Homes for four years.

Rev. Hannah Niday is now the chaplain at Four Winds Community in Jackson. Hannah most recently completed her chaplaincy residency at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. She also worked at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is currently working toward board certification. Hannah earned her Master of Divinity degree in 2015 from Wesley Theological Seminary. She is ordained through the Alliance of Baptists, accompanied by an Ecclesiastical Endorsement.

Harmar Place and Glenwood Community in Marietta welcome

Rev. Erin McCreight to their teams. Erin previously worked as a chaplain for Harbor Light Hospice in Akron. She completed her CPE internship at the VA Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, and her CPE residency in South Carolina. Erin earned her Master of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2010.

Rev. Dr. Robert Smitley is the interim chaplain at Patriot Ridge Community. With over 30 years of ordained ministry serving churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, Bob is no stranger to spiritual care. He has earned his Master of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Emmanuel Baptist University. Bob was ordained into the Gospel Ministry at the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference United Church of Christ, and has been in full standing with the Southwest Ohio/Northern Kentucky Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ since 2011.

Compassionate caring, including a focus on spiritual care, is a cornerstone of what United Church Homes does every day. It is our mission to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness, and peace. For more on pastoral care and the chaplains in UCH communities, please contact Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, director of outreach and mission integration, at blong-higgins@uchinc.org.

Our mission is to build a culture where wholeness is both visible and viable.

Ohio Health Care Association Scholarships Winners

Shannon was awarded the OHCA Past Presidents’ Scholarship in the amount of $2000, and Velora was awarded The Thomas E. Kriner Scholarship in the amount of $2000. Keep up the hard work, we are all proud of you here at UCH!

Parkvue “Memory Lane”

Parkvue, \

Parkvue Place employees were inspired recently. A resident showing off his wedding photos motivated staff to create a bulletin board in a common area to showcase resident baby and wedding photos. Residents had a grand time talking about their past, and guessing whose photos were shown on the board. Some employees added pictures of themselves to join the fun. Small things make a big difference in bringing people together and nurturing community.

Parkvue Place receives deficiency free survey!

Parkvue Place receiving a deficiency free survey!

Congratulations to Parkvue Place, assisted and residential living, for receiving a deficiency free survey! United Church Homes answers to a higher calling of care. Working together, we share a commitment to excellence, teamwork, caregiving and healing. A big thank you goes out to all of our staff in helping make this possible.

Parkvue Community Opens New Therapy Gym

Parkvue New Therapy Gym

Parkvue Community recently announced the opening of a newly built 2,300 square foot addition to its therapy gym. The project included the acquisition of new state-of-the-art therapy equipment and additional space for occupational therapy to improve the training program that helps patients return home following surgery or hospitalization.

A new speech therapy office was added and is designed to be especially quiet. Parkvue Community residents are looking forward to using the beautifully designed and spacious gym. The expansion of the gym coincides with the expansion of Parkvue’s therapy services, which are now available seven days a week and include outpatient services.

There are additional plans to add a café and bistro area with a fireplace to the community.

“Parkvue is committed to enriching the lives of older adults through health and healing,” stated Administrator Ken Keller. “This expansion project really makes sense, and the new therapy gym helps us fulfill that commitment.”

Parkvue Community Honors Faithful Donors

Parkvue Donor Dinner

(Sandusky) – Parkvue Community honored faithful supporters at a special dinner event held on June 24, at Plum Brook Country Club. This year, three awards were presented; the Ben M. Herbster Award presented to devoted donors, the Spirit Award to an enthusiastic volunteer, and the Diakonie Award to a supportive church congregation.

The honoree for the Ben M. Herbster Award for Parkvue was Mrs. Audrey Shafer. Honoree for the Spirit Award was Ms. Virginia Duff, and for the Diakonie Award, First Congregational United Church of Christ of Sandusky was recognized.

Individuals whose spirit of generosity led them to provide the necessary financial resources created United Church Homes almost 100 years ago. This tradition of generosity continues to be crucial to the ministries of United Church Homes.

“The honorees were chosen based on their commitment to the mission of United Church Homes, and furthering this mission with their support. We are grateful to all of the volunteers, employees, individuals, and congregations that continue to rally with us in their generosity each year. This is just one way we choose to say thanks for all they do for United Church Homes and their residents,” says President and CEO, Rev. Ken Daniel.

Parkvue Community Earns National Award for Quality

(Sandusky) – Parkvue healthcare community owned and operated by United Church Homes has been recognized as a 2014 recipient of the “Bronze Commitment to Quality” award for their dedication to improving the lives of residents through dependable quality care.

The award is one of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The program honors communities across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Based in Marion, Ohio, United Church Homes is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality housing and healthcare services to seniors, responsive to the needs of the whole person, and based on Christian values.

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The program assists providers of long term and post-acute care services in achieving their performance excellence goals.

Communities begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze award winners must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system, as determined by a team of trained examiners. As recipients of the “Bronze Commitment to Quality” award, Four Winds, Fairhaven, Patriot Ridge, Parkvue and Chapel Hill communities may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the “Silver Achievement in Quality” award, as their predecessors, SEM Haven and Trinity communities, are now doing.

President and CEO, Rev. Ken Daniel, says, “United Church Homes celebrates the shared commitment of doing what is right, and focusing on the needs of our residents. These communities exemplify the mission of our organization with their dedication to positive outcomes.”

The award will be presented to these United Church Homes communities during AHCA/NCAL’s 65th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 5-8, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Introducing Our New Chalice Partner Program


United Church Homes is launching a new initiative to solidify its engagement with specific community churches and congregation members.

The Chalice Partner Program facilitates the organization’s long tradition of building relationships and support among congregations, individuals and UCH communities. The program not only promotes financial support of the mission of UCH, but strongly encourages direct engagement and volunteer participation in this ministry.

“United Church Homes is an outreach of congregations going back nearly 100 years,” explains Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO. “We want to renew these historic ties that have supported our mission and helped transform the lives of so many.”

In addition, UCH offers access to resources and support for the individual and congregational
partners across a broad spectrum. ‘CHALICE’ is an acronym for these areas:



What are the ways we are called to show compassion following
in Christ’s example?



What are the most recent advances to support active, healthy living?



How can we navigate the psychological and physical processes of change
throughout our lives?



How can we continue to stimulate our intellectual and mental abilities?



What are the ways God is still speaking through our lives?



How do we engage with the relationships that give our lives meaning and purpose—in our communities of faith, with our families, neighbors, and other community resources?



What are the ethical standards by which we make decisions?

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins, director of church and community relations for United Church Homes, is spear-heading the Chalice Partner Program. The inaugural event is planned to take place in Dayton in May.

“Through the Chalice Partner Program, we hope to provide ways in which grace may be made known in our lives,” said Rev. Long-Higgins. “The chalice, the cup of blessing, is a powerful symbol of the giving and receiving of grace. Together, we can strengthen the communities in which we live and work and worship—by sharing the resources that we already have.”

Congregations and/or individuals who are interested in learning more about the Chalice Partner Program may contact Rev. Beth Long-Higgins at blong-higgins@uchinc.org, or by calling 740.361.3354.

Parkvue Staffer Recognized for Award at Annual OCHA Convention

Shannon Bloomingkemper

Shannon Bloomingkemper, Director of Resident Services, was nominated for the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) Heroes of Long Term Care by resident, Audrey Shaffer, last year. Shannon won the award in May of 2013 and was recognized for this award at the annual OHCA convention in April 2014.

OHCA has a panel of members who review application and select one award recipient each month in Ohio, whom they feel deserves and represents the spirit of caring and providing excellent services for residents and senior customers/clients. The recipients are recognized once per year during the annual OHCA convention in front of the entire convention attendees. The OHCA convention was held in Columbus at the Columbus Convention Center. The awards banquet is part of the 4 day convention. Thank you Shannon for all your dedication! Parkvue is excited to see you succeeding!

Ruth Frost Parker: A Woman on a Mission


Ruth Frost Parker

“I still have a lot of work to do.”
So says Ruth Frost Parker, “Sandusky’s quiet lady,” whose vision and character personify the faith-based mission and community attributes of United Church Homes.

An elegant lady who isn’t afraid to get her hands (or shoes) dirty, she maintains very high standards for the causes she supports. A generous local philanthropist in Erie County, Ohio, her contributions to United Church Homes are unsurpassed, and she’s the visionary behind Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio. But at the core of this woman is a giving spirit that involves so much more than money.

Countless visitors and residents of Erie County have and continue to benefit from Ruth’s good works.

Yet it’s not notoriety that she seeks. In fact, those who know her best maintain that she’s a private person simply on a mission to honor her family’s legacy by investing in the future of Sandusky and Erie County.

Forging her own path
​Ruth is the only child of John and Zella Frost, who came from Ontario, Canada, and settled in Cleveland where Ruth was born in 1922. Her parents were humble, generous individuals who served as role models for her drive and philanthropy.

Her family moved to Sandusky in 1939, principally because her father, John G.G. Frost, thought the business environment in Sandusky would be superior to what he had experienced in Cleveland. To say that her father’s business thrived in Sandusky is an understatement. At one point, his company was the second largest provider in the nation of magnesium scrap and magnesium aluminum alloys, key raw ingredients needed by the fast-growing airplane industry. Aluminum Magnesium Inc. continued to grow rapidly throughout World War II and the post-war years.

In 1967 Mr. Frost’s firm was acquired by Vulcan Materials Company of Birmingham, Alabama.

Ruth chose to major in biology and chemistry at Wooster College (where she later served on the Board of Trustees). She received her medical technologist training from Northwestern Medical School. She married her sailing friend, William (Bill) Parker in 1954.

Bill was a salesman and worked for Ruth’s father’s business. When John Frost retired, Vulcan acquired his business and Bill continued his career at Vulcan. Upon his retirement, Bill volunteered as CEO of Goodwill for two years. Ruth and Bill enjoyed a nice life, along with their three children. Today, Ruth enjoys six grandchildren who fondly call her Mimi.

For decades Ruth thrived as a wife and mother, while serving Erie County residents in multiple capacities in such areas as alcohol addiction, education, volunteerism, historic preservation and community beautification.

That all changed when her beloved husband, Bill, perished in a private airplane crash in November 1985. Widowed at a young age, Ruth pledged to focus her generosity on improving life for those who call Sandusky and Erie County home.

The house that Ruth built
A dedicated member of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sandusky, Ruth knew of a brother and sister from her congregation who needed to be in a home together. The nearest facility available at the time was Fairhaven Community, in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
She recognized the need for a faith based senior living community closer to home. Ruth chose United

Church Homes as the project partner. As an organization affiliated with the United Church of Christ, it became the ideal partnership.

“When I first met Ruth, I was given a glimpse of the true servant leader she is, one who embodies Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself. It was obvious she had been fulfilled in knowing the Lord in a very personal way. Over the nearly 20 years I have known Ruth, that initial impression has been fortified by the countless ways I have seen her reach out to others without any expectation or desire for reward or recognition,” said Rev. Lenore Kure, pastor of First Congregational UCC.

She applauded Tim Shultz, former general manager at Parkvue Place, whose leadership helped her vision for the project come to fruition. In 1992, with Ruth’s vision, generosity and leadership, United Church Homes’ Parkvue Community in Sandusky was born.

“Ruth is a woman on a mission. She is engaged in a lifelong program to improve her community. This extends to a number of causes including Parkvue Community. She has given so generously over the years to establish and sustain Parkvue, affectionately calling it her baby and her second home,” said Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes.

“While envisioning an expanded campus for the future, she has made key contributions to move Parkvue toward that larger dream. She has supported our renovations of the Fast Track Rehab center and the construction of an expanded therapy space which the outstanding therapists deserve so they can continue to work with her and others. This has enabled us to more than double our number of skilled care rehabilitation patients,” continued Rev. Daniel.

“Just volunteering on a board is not enough”
Ruth has held many volunteer leadership roles in the community including serving on the board of directors at United Church Homes, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Bowling Green State University Foundation, State Theatre Restoration, Renovation of Downtown Sandusky Waterfront, Erie County Community Foundation, Firelands Regional Medical Center and the College of Wooster.

“Before I give to an organization, I find out if the full board is giving money before I get involved. Just volunteering on a board is not enough,” Ruth said. She challenges the board with a gift, which she hopes they will match in the amount which each member is able to give.

She recognizes the need to preserve the beauty of downtown Sandusky, and was instrumental in the founding of the Merry-Go-Round Museum. The museum is housed in the former post office. The carousel museum officially opened in July 1990.

“Ruth is a woman who leads by example. She sees a need, identifies it and figures out how to fix it. If she wants it to happen, she makes it happen,” said Veronica Vanden Bout, director of the Merry-Go-Round Museum.

“I believe in doing things in my hometown. My father did very well here. He started his business and was very passionate about this community, and so am I,” Ruth explained.

“Ruth does everything with a sense of urgency. Once she has made up her mind to support a project, she wants to see the dirt fly! The photo on the cover of Spirit really captures her personality and leadership style. Before we have one project completed, she has already started thinking about the next. She is the most significant donor whose generosity has powerfully impacted the ministry of United Church Homes,” said Rev. Daniel.

Those who know and work with Ruth all attest to her generous nature and high expectations. When she lends her support to a cause, it is with a determination that her support will improve the lives of others.

“She is hands on and expects good things to happen from her gifts. She is generous with her support and direct about her expectations that the project be done right. We are so grateful that she has included United Church Homes and Parkvue Community in her philanthropic journey,” said Gloria T. Hurwitz, vice president of advancement for United Church Homes.

After all, there is still so much work to be done.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything
in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Creator through him.

– Colossians 3:17

United Church Homes representatives attend UCC annual meeting

UCH attends UCC

Courtney Reese, director of marketing at Parkvue Community; Becky Blocksom, donor relations coordinator for United Church Homes; and Samantha Kerner, director of marketing at Fairhaven Community, attended the Northwest Ohio Association United Church of Christ 51st Annual Meeting on April 26, 2014 in St. Mary’s, Ohio. Pastor Bill Michaels from Parkvue Community, Rev. Becky Jones from Fairhaven Community, and members of the the United Church Homes board of directors also were in attendance.