We are into March Madness as I write these words, and a unique story caught my eye. The Loyola men’s basketball team has a “chaplain” for their team. She is a 98-year-old retired nun who has a long association with the university and the team. Her job is to provide spiritual support and scout opponents. Talk about the mix of spiritual and secular purpose! Her role is to pray before games, support the players and cull through the stats of each opponent, analyzing their strengths and vulnerabilities. She is loving life and court sidelines!
Our vision at United Church Homes is to create experiences of abundant life in community. We celebrate the spirit of so many who stay vital and engaged well into their later years. A 98-year-old nun who has been mentor, coach and colleague over so many years surely has made a tremendous and continuing impact on all the people she meets. We honor people such as this who experience an abundance of purpose, community and meaning.
We also celebrate the progress toward achieving our vision through the accomplishments of 2017. United Church Homes’ Board, staff and residents have been busy moving forward and navigating many challenges but keeping sight on our vision and mission. Like a tree planted by a stream, UCH’s roots tap deeper sources of sustaining energy that enable us to grow the impact of our mission.
In 2017 we celebrated the following accomplishments:
- Raised our quality performance with our skilled communities achieving 4-star quality or better through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services;
- Harmar Place and Patriot Ridge Community earned the national Silver Quality Award from the American Health Care Association, joining Chapel Hill Community and SEM Haven in this elite circle. In addition, Four Winds Community earned state recognition for its effort to improve certain clinical quality benchmarks;
- Expanded affordable housing portfolio with acquisitions of three communities in Minnesota and Mississippi;
- Broke ground on new independent living cottages at Parkvue Community and completed major capital projects at Parkvue Health Care Center, Friendship Village Columbus and SEM Haven Health Care Center;
- Began the repositioning of Pilgrim Manor with renovation and expansion of its assisted living apartments;
- Completed the three-year, $7.2 million remodeling of our oldest campus, Fairhaven Community; and
- Launched a new management affiliation with UCC-related Uplands Village in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee.
A 98-year-old nun cheering on her team to victory is the spirit we celebrate with all of our residents and staff. Our successes of 2017 reflect the passionate coordination of resources and support among our teams, executives and Board members. There is no age limit to pursue our vision of creating abundant life for those we serve.