Reflections on the Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit

By Emily Howard

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


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

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

What Does Advocacy Mean to Me?

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

Older Adult Activists

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

Meeting the Needs of Those on the Margins

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

Awareness of Privilege

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

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

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

Addressing Human Questions

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

Rubi Girls performed at the end of day one


UCH Furthers Commitment to LGBT Older Adults

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

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

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

Trinity Community to celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Trinity Community recognized as bronze Employer of Choice

“We’re very proud to be recognized for our culture and commitment to excellence,” said Laura Farrell, executive director of Trinity Community. “We believe that respecting our staff and ensuring their success are the best ways to create a positive community for our residents.”

2018 LeadingAge Ohio Employer of Choice Bronze LevelEstablished in 2017, the Employer of Choice program recognizes LeadingAge Ohio members who are leaders in employee development and engagement. The program establishes operational standards for workforce practices among providers of aging services. It also serves as acknowledgement for organizations that treat their employees with the same care and respect they want their employees to provide to residents.

The program is open to individual communities and is evaluated annually.

This is the second year for the Employer of Choice program, which awards gold-, silver- and bronze-level designations.

Trinity Community is Greene County’s premier retirement community offering independent and assisted living, Fast Track Rehab, long-term skilled nursing and memory care.

For more information about Trinity Community, visit trinityofbeavercreek.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-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 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, 740.692.2243 or apaolella@uchinc.org

About LeadingAge Ohio: LeadingAge Ohio is a nonprofit trade association that represents approximately 400 long-term care communities and hospices, as well as those providing ancillary healthcare and housing services, in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities.

Trinity Community earns Highest Honors in overall satisfaction in resident survey

Holleran awards the annual Highest Honors distinction to communities attaining high mean scores that exceed the Holleran benchmark, an industry gold standard for measuring resident satisfaction. The benchmark is the largest in the nation and includes 140,000 recent cases specific to senior living, aging services and healthcare organizations.

Trinity Community earned Highest Honors by topping the 85th percentile of Holleran’s benchmark for skilled nursing in overall satisfaction. In addition, Trinity ranked high in 14 additional survey factors, including responsiveness to inquiries/problems/complaints; meaningful relationships with caregivers/staff; and skill level of direct-care staff.

“We are proud of Trinity Community for its outstanding dedication and commitment to create a person-directed environment that embraces individualized approaches to care and meaningful relationships between residents and caregivers,” said Amy Kotterman, director of hospitality at United Church Homes.

Trinity also qualified for the honors through mission fulfillment. Its mission is to transform aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

Trinity Executive Director Laura Farrell added, “We are pleased to be recognized for our commitment to our mission and will continue to pursue endeavors that elevate and celebrate aging.”

Survey results will be used to guide Trinity’s leadership team in its continual efforts to improve best practices. To learn more about the culture at Trinity, visit trinitycommunity.org.

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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.

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

Eversound Pilot Finds Success at Trinity

Eversound is a group-oriented headphone solution that enables residents at any level of care to be more engaged in life enrichment programming and their communities. Eversound’s mission is to end social isolation among older adults.

The technology helps seniors overcome the effects of hearing loss, according to research studies by LCB Senior Living and Commonwealth Senior Living.

Although Eversound supports roughly 375 communities and 50,000 residents nationwide, UCH is the first senior living and multisite organization in Ohio to adopt the innovative technology.

“Our technology makes things simple for older adults and group-based activities in all levels of care,” said Alex Wilson, director of Resident Impact at Eversound. “The headphones are easy to turn on and adjust to the desired volume, plus they go right over hearing aids for clear engagement for every resident. Once they are set up, every individual wearing headphones will be able to more effectively engage in the activity, whether it’s bingo night, a trip to a museum or a conversation with their fellow residents or loved ones. All sound comes through crystal clear and each resident controls their own volume, so it’s set to their liking.”

Already United Church Homes is seeing an impact on residents.

Eversound Ron and Matt

“My son has tried everything he could try — ordered all kinds of hearing aids for me,” said one resident, Vivian, while wearing the Eversound headphones. “My mood has been up and down because I have trouble hearing people, but these headphones have helped build my confidence and lift my spirits.”

Eversound headphones are made with anti-microbial plastics to avoid disease transfer between residents and feature replaceable earpads. The headphones are also fully wireless — even when charging. Residents can hear from any location within 200-300 feet of the transmitter — a small box which enables residents to hear audio like a speaker’s voice, music from an iPod or their favorite television program.

Eversound technology is specifically designed to fit over hearing aids, which pick up extraneous sounds, and the headphones can be used with or without hearing aids.

In addition, Eversound can be used for extended periods, as both the headphones and transmitter last for five hours on a single charge. The headphones charge within a carrying case, so residents and group leaders need not worry about cords or chargers. They can connect to any audio source to enhance every activity, whether it is a resident council meeting or a movie night. Eversound also comes with a clip-on microphone, which enables the speaker to easily broadcast audio of their voice to the entire audience. The headphones are lightweight for total comfort during long listening sessions.

UCH Director of Hospitality Amy Kotterman headed up the pilot project at Trinity after learning about Eversound at a LeadingAge national conference in New Orleans last October. “These headphones have completely exceeded my expectations and brought so much joy to the residents,” Amy said. “After the successful pilot at Trinity, we’ve decided to roll out this technology at all UCH communities.”

Trinity Activities Assistant Ron Wilson trained other staff members on how to use the headphones. About a dozen residents have tried the system. “When they wear it, sometimes they can be skeptical at first,” Ron said. “They don’t want to use the technology or they’re not used to the headphones. But when they try it, they find out they really don’t have to do anything and their hearing is improved. Some of them were astounded that they could actually hear and immediately begin carrying on a conversation with people. Others were just laughing and happy.”

With the help of Eversound technology, UCH residents will soon have a clear world right at their fingertips.

EMR Systems Help Physician Residents Improve Patient Care

Dr. Jodi Sperber, medical director and attending physician at Trinity, is overseeing second- and third-year physician residents from the Indu and Raj Soin Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, part of the Kettering Health Network. The partnership will fulfill an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirement for physician residents to complete continuity geriatrics training.

Improving care coordination has emerged as a key strategy for enhancing the quality of life and lowering healthcare costs for older adults, experts say. This educational experience will afford opportunity to enhance coordination efforts across the care continuum.

Twelve physician residents will manage the care for Trinity Community residents with oversight and preceptorship provided by Dr. Sperber.

“It’s a big deal to get a new residency for medical education,” Dr. Sperber said. “It is a beneficial program to have, particularly in our community. We all recognize the need for more family medicine physicians to meet the needs of our aging population.”

United Church Homes is investing in the future by supporting this program.

“It keeps us vigilant to stay up to date and relevant,” Dr. Sperber said. “Young physicians offer a surge of energy, ideas and contemporary updates and guidelines based on current literature as part of their education. We, in clinical medicine, are susceptible to maintaining status quo due to busy schedules and comfort levels. This endeavor will offer opportunities for growth for all participants involved, including the physician residents, nurses, staff members and the residents themselves. I consider it a unique opportunity to demystify the nursing home space, and I am optimistic it will serve to further support and improve the excellent care already provided to our residents across our community.”

A typical day will start in the afternoon, with physician residents visiting patients, performing exams and formulating treatment plans. Later, they will go over their findings with Dr. Sperber, followed by a didactic session, comprised of a lecture and discussion, most of which will be led by the physician residents.

Dr. Sperber said Trinity’s secure memory neighborhood is a unique experience from which physician residents will benefit.

“It’s my favorite. It’s so gratifying,” she said. “They’re lovely people, and their special needs mandate the importance of a skillful approach. These residents provide an opportunity to perfect the optimal approach to patients with advanced dementia often compounded by multisensory impairments. It is easy to become self-absorbed with our hectic lives, but this population mandates a slower, more deliberate pace, and kindness matters. I emphasize maintaining the dignity and individuality of each resident, and it is impressive that when given the opportunity, we can connect on a personal level with these residents.”

The physician residents will use technology such as secure messaging to share information and make decisions. The secure texting app TigerText works integrally with electronic medical records (EMRs) to permit secure two-way messaging along with secure remote access to the EMR for data synthesis. In this way, management of acute issues is not restricted to the confines of physical space.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, EMR systems have the potential to provide substantial benefits to physicians, clinic practices and healthcare organizations. The systems facilitate workflow and improve patient care quality and safety, among other benefits.

Dr. Sperber is board-certified in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is also board-certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is a certified medical director for post-acute and long-term care.

A Greene County native, Dr. Sperber has worked in several capacities in the Miami Valley region during her professional career including serving as the regional medical director for United Church Homes for five years. Her relationship with Trinity Community is sentimental and dates back to her childhood visits with her church group, Beaver United Church of Christ.

Dr. Sperber’s passion is for geriatrics with emphasis on acute and chronic disease management permeated with palliative care approach and hospice integration when appropriate. Palliative care provides a holistic approach to complex medical, social and financial situations. “It emphasizes quality of life for patients with chronic, incurable diseases by managing symptoms aggressively while addressing patient-specific or patient-directed preferences, recognizing that though cure is not an option, optimal symptom management is. I consider caring for the vulnerable, and often forgotten, my purpose — my mission in life. I feel compelled to serve those who have lived amazing lives and to assist them and their families in finishing well,” Dr. Sperber said.

“Ultimately, the goal is to live abundantly at whatever stage or condition one finds himself or herself in. Peace of mind, comfort and dignity are aspects of care I strive to accomplish for each patient,” Dr. Sperber said. “Each patient’s life journey is unique, and I am privileged to participate as their physician. Though incorporating technology into most aspects of my practice enables improved efficiency and aspects of care unfathomable in the past, I find old-fashioned communication still works best when it comes to direct patient care.”

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.

Patriot Ridge Community, Trinity Community honor supporters at Donor Appreciation Dinner

St. John’s United Church of Christ in Dayton received the 2018 Diakonie Award. St. John’s is proud of its involvement with Trinity Community. The church helped found Trinity years ago and takes an active role today. The church hosts a month of birthday parties, takes special offerings for Trinity and visits members and friends within the community.

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.

Robin Farinet was the recipient of the 2018 Spirit Award for Trinity Community. Farinet and her late husband, Jim, moved to Trinity in July 2012. Robin was instrumental in the start of the cottage activity planning group. She helped continue Christmas Tea with Gene Williams, planned gazebo picnics and other potluck events and strived to make the cottages a neighborhood.

Judy Baker received the 2018 Spirit Award for Patriot Ridge Community. Baker started coming to Patriot Ridge when her husband was a resident there. They had just gotten their dog, Rocky, from SISCA Pet Adoption Center, as an 8-month-old puppy, and Judy brought Rocky to visit residents of Patriot Ridge. As Rocky went through a 10-week training program, he visited the community daily. Baker continues to bring Rocky to Patriot Ridge.

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.

The Trinity Community Auxiliary was the recipient of the 2018 Ben M. Herbster Award. The women’s auxiliary began in 1973 with a group of volunteers from the United Church of Christ Dayton Area Women’s Program District. The group has 45 years of service.

Raymond Rusnak was the recipient of the 2018 Ben M. Herbster Award for Patriot Ridge. Ray retired when his beloved wife, Lois, had special caregiving needs. Years of health complications and difficult care transitions led them to Patriot Ridge in 2014.

Rusnak says the people at Patriot Ridge are extraordinary. The Rusnaks particularly loved participating in community life/activities programming. The staff helped the Rusnaks celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in the community life room at Patriot Ridge. Sadly, Lois passed away the day before her 73rd birthday.

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-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 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.

Teen Impact: Bringing Joy to Fairhaven Community

 

Tena Koehler is a retired teacher who loves playing piano, watering plants and participating in the enriching community life at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Tena Koehler with an impactful group of teensPicture this — many residents at Fairhaven Community, a United Church Homes community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio sit outside their homes, eagerly awaiting teens who will bring them farm animals to see and pet. The teenagers are members of a local FFA and have brought goats, chickens, turkeys, sheep, a calf and a horse for the residents to enjoy. Residents ask many questions about the animals and the care they require. Smiles and laughter abound when the antics of the goats and turkeys entertain all. What a great experience for all! How very nice that the FFA members and their advisers made it possible for this enjoyable day to happen.

My husband and I have been residents at Fairhaven Community for approximately three years. Besides receiving very good care, we have found that living here offers many opportunities to attend interesting life enrichment programs, musical offerings, craft workshops, religious discussion groups and worship. I try to attend many of the programs that are offered, as does my husband.

Quite often there are teenage girls and boys at these events as part of the Teen Impact volunteer program. They sometimes help residents by walking with them or pushing them in their wheelchairs to the location of the program or workshop. They also give assistance as needed, whether it be painting, cutting or stringing beads. The smiles on the faces of residents when projects are completed are a good indication of the fun they have had. A new friendship was created, and an artsy item will go back to their apartment to show their friends and family members who visit.

At the same time, one can see the smiles on the faces of the teens because they know that their help and encouragement made it all possible. It is almost as though they are helping their own grandparents! The teens share information such as names, schools, family members and even what their plans are after graduation. And, in turn, residents share information about themselves. It is a pleasant experience — a time to reflect and remember.

Many times, at the close of a life enrichment program, teens accompany residents back to their apartments, and the conversation continues. I personally was fortunate to have two young women talk with me. They called it an interview, and it lasted almost an hour. They asked questions about my school years and my experiences while teaching. We compared values of my growing years to the values of today. They shared their plans for the future. They both were delightful, and I would welcome another visit from them.

Once a week, a class of students from a nearby high school travels to Fairhaven Community to join residents who are waiting on the Sun Porch. The students and residents enjoy a variety of life enrichment programming together, including crafts, board games and cards. Everyone appears to be having a good time working and playing together.

Both the residents and the teens have meaningful experiences being together. Many of us are aware that sometimes it is difficult for young people to carry on a conversation with adults — especially older adults. But that barrier is put aside here at Fairhaven Community as seniors and teens enjoy one another’s company while working together on projects or just talking and getting to know one another.

Trinity Community ACPE Center 2018 CPE Summer Intensive Unit

CPE application are currently being accepted

Send your fully completed ACPE application and $25.00 application fee payable to Trinity Community

  • by mail to Marie Atwood, CPE Support Staff, 3218 Indian Ripple Rd. Beavercreek, OH 45440

OR

  • by email as a pdf attachment to Greta Wagner, ACPE Certified Educator to gwagner@uchinc.org [ w/application fee by mail to Marie]

For application questions or additional information and details, please contact Greta Wagner, ACPE Certified Educator at gwagner@uchinc.org today!

On April 9, Trinity Community ACPE Center welcomes Linda C. Grant, MDiv, BCC as the new ACPE Certified Educator. Linda is an ACPE Certified Educator and a Board-Certified Chaplain. She received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA. Linda most recently served as Associate Manager, CPE at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Trinity Staffer Named Top Activities Professional in Ohio

In October, he received the state’s highest level of recognition for that role.

Ron received the Dr. Charles Peckham Sr. Award from Resident Activity Personnel in Ohio, the association for residential activities professionals in senior living communities.

Ron, who was elected to serve as RAP Ohio’s 2018 president after 12 years on the board, thought he was being punished when he was told not to take pictures during the ceremony.

“I’m listening to the description of who got the award this year. Finally, they said, ‘There’s nothing else to say except there are no words to describe this person. The winner is…’ and they named me.

I sat there for probably 10, 15 seconds before I realized I had won. I turned as red as scarlet. I’m not a guy who doesn’t have something to say about anything and everything. But I was just totally speechless. Then, the water starting flowing,” Ron said.

Named after Dr. Charles Peckham, the award memorializes the man credited with starting activities programs in Ohio. Prior to his passing in March 2013, Dr. Peckham served as a mentor to Ron.

“He wrote the textbooks for training people to be qualified activities professionals,” Ron said. “To win the award with his name on it means to me that I’ve lived up to Dr. Peckham’s expectations.

“The whole thing was just a dream come true because I had been there to train the people in front of me to be great activities directors and evidently, they saw it in my training that I was living up to what I was teaching them.”

Ron moved to the Dayton area just before the blizzard of 1978. At the time, he worked with the Boy Scouts of America. He has been a UCH staff member for more than 21 years. He also is an ordained pastor with a degree in psychology.

“I used to have a church, but people will say, ‘Why don’t you get a church and get behind the pulpit?’ I feel this is where I need to be,” Ron said. “I see it as a ministry and I love the residents. We have a great time together.”

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.

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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

Seven UCH employees honored with 2017 LUV Award

United Church Homes honored seven of its employees with the 2017 Living UCH Values Award that recognizes those who demonstrate the highest commitment to our core values. All LUV Award winners received a certificate and community recognition. Pictured are LUV Award winners (front row, from left) Rebecca Snodgrass, Chapel Hill Community; Shelly Sheets, Four Winds Community; Carol Reep, Fairhaven Community; and Anna Kender, Trinity Community. Second row: Vice President of Human Resources Scott Slutz; Director of Major Gifts and Grants Alissa Clouse; LUV Award winners Sherry Shaver and Bonnie Chesser, both representing Harmar Place; and Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO. Award winner Heather Traxler, of Fairhaven Community, is not pictured.

President’s Award Honors Servant Leadership

“I’m very thankful and grateful, but I don’t know that it should have been me. I was just doing my job,” Crystal said.

UCH President and CEO Rev. Kenneth Daniel presented Crystal with the award at a Donor Appreciation Dinner in July in Beavercreek, Ohio. The award celebrates people who have done something of such merit to significantly advance United Church Homes’ mission to transform Aging by building a culture of community, wholeness and peace.

For more than 35 years, Crystal served as director of activities and volunteers at Trinity Community, a United Church Homes life plan community in Beavercreek. She retired from the position earlier this year.
“The job needs youth and it needs energy. I still can get my job done, but I think it takes me a lot longer than it used to,” said Crystal, who is 69 years old. “We’re growing leaps and bounds, but we’re still small enough to get to know all of our residents.”

Her relationships with residents and their families are directly responsible for more than $1.1 million in donations.

Crystal was responsible for asking for a $1 million donation from a former resident that led to the expansion of the Roy R. and Virginia Sultzbach Healthcare Center, Trinity Administrator Laura Farrell said.

She also was involved with a $100,000 donation for the development of the community’s memory care neighborhood that Trinity named after donor Lofton Philips, the brother of a former resident.

“When you do this kind of work, you get to know the people and the families. Some need more care than others so you just give. Sometimes they pay us back with honorary gifts and donations. But it’s never one staff member. It’s all of us,” Crystal said.

She was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame, established key relationships with local United Church of Christ congregations that donated time and financial support to Trinity residents and created intergenerational programs with Beavercreek City Schools.

Her efforts earned commendations including the Citizens Advocate Award from the Beavercreek Education Foundation and the 1997 Governor George Voinovich Award for Intergenerational Programs.

“I cannot imagine our community today without the service of Crystal,” Laura said. “Crystal has served our residents and community as director of activities and volunteers, not just in longevity but with compassion and service. At all times, she has exemplified the mission and vision of United Church Homes.”

Supporters honored at United Church Homes event

David’s United Church of Christ 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. The church has partnered with Trinity Community for years.

Mary Tymeson and Ethel Lucile Phillips 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.

Tymeson, a native of Marysville and a Miami University graduate, has been a Trinity donor for more than 10 years and has an endowment established at the Dayton Foundation in her name. The Tymeson Society of Stephen Fund distributes an annual check to Trinity.

Phillips has been a Patriot Ridge volunteer and donor for several years. She said she enjoys working with Patriot Ridge residents and staff.

“I feel I give them a small portion of myself each time I visit. I feel I owe a debt to those residents who are veterans of our armed services for their unselfish service and that I, in my own small way, let all the residents know they are not forgotten by their community.”

Frederick Feicht, a Trinity resident, and Roger L. Blakely, Jr. received the Spirit Award. The award is presented to individuals who exemplify volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for the residents of the UCH communities and their families.

Feicht, of Dayton, has volunteered at Trinity for decades. He plays the organ at chapel, Sunday services, during the Christmas season and every Friday morning. He also volunteers to greet residents and visitors at Trinity and calls bingo games

Blakely is a retired chief warrant officer in the United States Army and currently works for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. He has been volunteering at Patriot Ridge since April 2015.

Crystal Swayne was honored with the President’s Award of Distinction, the highest honor for staff and board volunteers. Swayne will retire this year after nearly 35 years of service at Trinity. During her tenure, she provided daily values-driven work in her role as Activity Director, but also was personally responsible for relationships that led to $1.1 million in gifts to enhance Trinity.

Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, thanked Crystal for their service with this special award exclusively for individuals who have done something of such merit and impact that it creates transformative change.

“Your service allows us to continue our mission and create Abundant life,” 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 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.