Bristol Village Olympians bring home 27 medals

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Several of the members of the Bristol Village Senior Olympics team pose with their medals in the courtyard of the Glenn Center in Waverly. Pictured are, left to right, Judy Doll, Otto Zingg, Betsy Hall, Marj Andrus, Ken Love, Mary McElhaney, Sherry Sapienza, Frankie Rinehart, Len Nasman and Gareth Baker.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                              lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

WAVERLY, Ohio – When Marj Andrus stepped to the podium to receive her gold medal, the Senior Olympian from Bristol Village ran into an issue.

To combat the hot summer sun in her events – the 1500- and 5000-meter racewalk – the 98-year old is never without a large, colorful hat.

“That’s the problem,” Marj said. “You can’t get the medal over your head with the hat on. You just need a longer ribbon!”

Marj is one of 17 senior athletes who represented Bristol Village earlier this summer in the Ohio Senior Olympics in the Columbus suburb of Westerville. Altogether, the Bristol Village Olympians brought home 27 medals – including 13 gold, seven silver and seven bronze.

“I had to learn a new walk,” said Marj, who for many years has started each day with a long morning walk to McDonald’s for ice cream. “(For the racewalk) you have to walk with your knees stiff. I had to focus so much on my knees that I didn’t have time to get nervous. Then someone stuck out their hand and stopped me and said, ‘you’re here!’”

“They told us Marj probably had a Senior Olympic record in the 5,000 meters,” said Betsy Hall, who organized the athletics team at Bristol Village. “At 98-years old, they don’t know of anyone else that age who has done it.”

“They told me the record for just for the US and Canada,” Marj added. “I thought, ‘Canada? That’s big enough!”

Betsy, a marathon runner for 21 years, has competed in four National Senior Olympics, winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

Thanks to her enthusiasm for the competition, several of her friends began participating as well.

“It was Betsy,” said Otto Zingg, a medalist in golf and pickleball at the Ohio Senior Olympics. “She started to promote it and encouraged us to participate.

“I thought, well, I’ll do it.”

Otto teamed with Gareth Baker to earn a bronze medal in doubles pickleball – a tennis-like sport played with a wiffleball and paddles – and earned a silver in golf.

“I just turned 80 in June,” he said. “I figured there were not too many others in that age category so I had a good chance to medal.”

Frankie Rinehart also got involved with the Senior Olympics with Betsy’s encouragement.

“Good thing I have this friend,” she said, pointing to Betsy. “I’m kind of an athletic person. So when she said, ‘let’s go,’ I just went.”

Frankie won a gold medal in the 1500-meter and 5000-meter racewalk, a gold in women’s singles table tennis and a silver in women’s doubles table tennis alongside Betsy.

Each of the Bristol Village residents who brought home medals from the Ohio Senior Olympics is now qualified for the upcoming regional Senior Olympics event to be held in Portsmouth, Ohio, in September.

“I can do it. Up to 10 miles. After 10 it’s too much,” Marj said with a smile as she turned to look at Betsy. “If you think I can, Betsy, I will!”

Those who medal at the regional event have the chance to qualify for the 2017 National Senior Olympics in Birmingham, Alabama from June 2-15.

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The 1500-meter racewalk winners at the Ohio Senior Olympics.

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The Bristol Village table tennis team at the 2016 Ohio Senior Olympics.

Bringing home the gold at First Community Village

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Char Christensen

By LANCE CRANMER                                                                lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio – Char Christensen has been to three World Gymnastics Championships, two Pan-Am Games and was in attendance in 1996 when the United States’ women brought home the first-ever team Olympic gold medal in Atlanta.

“I guess you’d say I have a passion,” Christensen joked. “And a full-time job.”

During the week, Christensen is the health care Activities Director at National Church Residences’ First Community Village. In her free time – especially in gymnastics’ busy season from December to April – Christensen is traveling around the country as a highly-renowned judge in the sport she has been involved with since her youth.

“I currently am a national and USA brevet gymnastics judge,” she said, noting that she has officiated at high school, regional, national and NCAA competitions. “I’ve been at that level for 30 years.”

Christensen’s impact on the sport, though made behind the scenes, is on a national scale.

“I am the Region 5 women’s technical chair,” she said. “Which means I sit on a national committee that makes rule changes. It’s a volunteer position that I’ve held for 25 years.”

When the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics begin this week, Christensen will have even had a hand in selecting the members of the US women’s team. Last month at the Olympic trials in San Jose, Christensen served an auxiliary judge for the balance beam event.

“I have a passion for the sport,” she said. “I was a gymnast. My daughter, Katie, went to Minnesota on a full scholarship for gymnastics. I’m a coach, and an official. I guess you could say I’ve experienced it at all levels.”

At First Community Village, Christensen brings her passion for gymnastics to her residents to help them experience the games.

“There’s a huge sports interest here,” she said. “Every four years we do a torch passing ceremony here. It is a resident with a staff member and we go across the building passing the torch off as an opening ceremony.”

As Activities Director, it is Christensen’s job to keep her residents active.

“During the Olympics we do our version of the Olympic Games,” she said. “We do things like tossing balls through the Olympic rings. Residents really enjoy it. We tie in what’s happening with our community. We are bringing the games to them.”

Christensen has been working with the residents at First Community Village for 15 years.

“I love my job. My goal is to stimulate the residents and involve them physically, mentally, socially and spiritually in our world,” she said. “It is very rewarding. You feel like you make a difference in the residents’ lives on a daily basis.”

Though she isn’t a competitive athlete anymore, Christensen said there are still many aspects from her life as a gymnast that influence her daily life today.

“The physical things we do go by the wayside,” she said. “But it is the processes that carry on. It takes hard work and discipline and teaches you how to both succeed and fail in life. It’s about working with a team and following a structure. It’s important to transfer on that value of hard work to your daily living.”

Detroit properties unite to collect water for Flint families in need

 

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Members of the National Church Residences’ Detroit portfolio of properties united to donate and deliver 726 cases of clean water to the people of Flint, Michigan

By LANCE CRANMER                                                              lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

DETROIT – The first time Makeda Hunt drove a truck loaded with bottled water to Catholic Charities of Flint/Owosso to help the families suffering from the Flint Water Crisis, she witnessed an incredible sight.

“When we were unloading the van, a line of cars was coming up just waiting for water,” said Makeda, the Regional Manager who oversees National Church Residences’ Detroit portfolio. “I really saw the need.”

For that first trip to Flint last April, employees and residents of Wayne Tower (in Wayne, MI) collected about 100 cases of water.

After what she saw there, however, Makeda decided to pool all of her Detroit-area resources together and make an effort on a larger scale.

“I knew our regional conference was coming up in May and I would have all of my managers there together,” she said. “It was the perfect opportunity to put the challenge on the table.”

Makeda tasked her team with the goal of collecting as much bottled water, sanitary wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer as possible to help aid with the Flint Water Crisis.

“They exceeded my expectations,” Makeda said. “I was thinking I would have about 500 cases.”

Over a two day span on June 30 and July 1, Makeda went site-to-site collecting donated water from 15 National Church Residences properties.

“It resulted in a total collection of 726 cases of water,” she said. “Enough to fill up a 20-foot U-Haul truck.”

Makeda took the truck (that she personally paid to rent), along with five cars full of volunteers from various National Church Residences sites, to Flint on July 1 to make the donation – just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.

“I am beyond impressed with the amount of cases of water that we were able to collect and have donated to the residents of Flint,” said Sonya Brown, National Church Residences Regional Vice President, whose region includes the Detroit properties. “This exemplifies true teamwork between our staff and our residents, as well as each (of our employees) commitment to our mission.”

The Flint Water Crisis began in late 2014 when the drinking water supply to Flint, Michigan, was switched over from Detroit’s public water system to polluted water from the Flint River.

In the immediate aftermath of the crisis, donations poured in from around the country. But when the Flint Water Crisis stopped being a national headline, donations of clean drinking water began to dwindle.

“While we were there I had an opportunity to talk to one of the directors from Catholic Charities,” Makeda said. There was a semi-truck that they would store the water in when people would make the deliveries. At the time they were down to their last few pallets.”

According to the staff at Catholic Charities, the water donated by National Church Residences employees and residents was enough to provide clean water to 181 Flint families – each is allowed to take a max of four cases per visit.

“I was very impressed with Solberg Tower, who collected 160 cases, and Madison Manor, being our newest addition to the portfolio, who collected 100 cases,” Makeda said. “We have a lot of residents that are low income and financially strapped, but even the ones who couldn’t get out to get water to donate brought money to their managers that we used to go buy water.”

Makeda was proud of the effort her team put in to collect the water, but added that the water crisis in Flint is still ongoing.

“It’s nowhere near over,” she said. “What I found out on my last visit was that families that had newer plumbing, they were able to install water filters. Those that have the filters in their homes now have adequate water. For the homes that are still not up to date, those are the families that suffer the most and need the most water. They still can’t utilize the city water.”

The National Church Residences Detroit team would like to organize one more water drive before winter. Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Makeda Hunt at mhunt@nationalchurchresidences.org.

Properties that contributed to the water drive included: Lakeside Towers, Lakeside Villa, Meadow Creek Village, Clinton Place Apartments, Canton Place, Clark East Tower, Columbia Court, Romulus Tower, Solberg Tower, Madison Tower, Madison Manor, Wayne Tower, Park Place of Harper Woods, Eden Manor, and Evangelical Manor.

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A pallet of water donated by National Church Residences to the residents of Flint, Michigan.

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Members of the National Church Residences Detroit Team filled a 20-foot U-haul truck with donated water for Flint, Michigan.

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The 20-foot truck was packed to the top with donated water — 726 cases!

‘Richwood desperately needs your hope…’

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Volunteer Colton Naylor helps unload a van of supplies brought to Edgewood Village from the National Church Residences home office in Columbus on Friday, July 1.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                               lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

RICHWOOD, WV – “Don’t take the high road. That’s where they had a lot of the damage,” Kim Carpenter, the property manager at Edgewood Village, told me over the phone as my rented van rumbled slowly down Route 39. “Take the lower road. That’s Edgewood, where our building is. It’s a little bit clearer.”

It had been nearly a week since 10 inches of rain battered Richwood overnight, causing the Cherry River to overflow its banks and put much of the city under water, but the cleanup was still ongoing.

Earlier in the week, the staff at the National Church Residences home office in Columbus began gathering donated food, water and supplies to send to Richwood to aid the residents of Edgewood Village, a 34-unit low-income senior community that the organization has managed since 1991.

The outpouring of donations was nothing less than amazing.

In two days the central office staff pulled together enough supplies to completely pack a 9-foot UHaul van that I, along with my fiancée Kristen, would drive to the building on July 1.

Six hours after leaving Columbus – one road closure at the heavily-flooded community of Belva, and one delay due to road damage on Route 39 between Summersville and Richwood, later – we were nearing our destination.

Turning down Edgewood Avenue and heading toward the city, the views were contrasting: At first, neighbors working together to clean out a home, hauling waterlogged furniture out into the yard. Then, a house completely off its foundation, washed over the cliff that overlooks the river.

This wasn’t my first visit to Richwood.

My journalism career started in southern West Virginia in 2001 and I’d stumbled upon the Nicholas County city of about 2,000 when I’d been sent to do a story about the Cherry River Festival – a quaint street fair the city held each year.

Though I’d only been there less than a dozen times, I’d always had an affinity for Richwood. Walking down Main Street, you can feel Richwood’s history around you. It is easy to feel the bustle of the mountain boom town it once was in the 1930s.

But the closure of the sawmill, the clothespin factory (once the largest in the world) and the nearby coal mines drove its residents elsewhere looking for work. Richwood lost a quarter of its population in the 1950s, and then another 21 percent in the 1980s.

Richwood had struggled throughout its history, but the people who remained were proud of their city and worked hard to keep it alive.

When I began working for National Church Residences in the winter of 2014, I noticed that Edgewood Village was one of ours. I remembered seeing the building the last time I was in town. I wondered if I’d ever have a reason to pay it another visit. I had hoped I would. I never thought it would be on these terms.

As we pulled up out front of Edgewood Village, it was obvious that our residents were luckier than some others in Richwood. The flood waters had rolled downhill from the higher elevated north end of town toward Edgewood Village, which sits in the valley nearer to the Cherry River, and deposited inches of thick mud all around the building. Luckily, though, the floodwaters never entered Edgewood Village, instead passing just feet around the building and filling the small ravine behind it and completely destroying the Dairy Queen next door.

“We lost power when they had to shut down the sub-station down the road,” Kim Mills, the building’s maintenance technician told me. “But luckily, just last year we purchased a generator for the building.”

Kim let his residents know that Kristen and I had arrived and a small group of them met us at the front door of Edgewood Village to help unload the truck. At the same time, Tim Naylor, a friend and former co-worker of mine from Fayetteville, WV, arrived with his son Colton to volunteer their help.

Within an hour our truck was unloaded and the building’s community room was overflowing with supplies.

A few at a time, residents began to sort through the donated goods, modestly picking out only what they needed – leaving the rest for someone else who they probably felt was worse off than they were.

With a long trip home ahead of us, Kristen and I paused to take a few photos inside the building before walking the few blocks up into the center of town to get a first-hand look at the damage.

The journalist in me wanted to document the devastation to spread the word to a larger audience about what had happened. But I had no desire to be intrusive. I took photos only of the National Guardsmen working to clear the debris and the glaring signs of destruction left behind when the water receeded.

The Oakford, a small tavern on Oakford Avenue, the city’s largest north/south running street, had its door open. As I approached it a man stepped outside to tell me, “We’re closed indefinitely. But I think she’s open a few doors over.”

Just two people sat in Carolyn’s, a pool hall a few buildings north on Oakford Avenue.

“The flood started up on the hill and rolled down. All the houses up there, the water just went right through them,” the woman behind the bar said. “My house got it bad.”

Still, though, on that Friday afternoon, she was at work.

Kristen and I sat for just a brief conversation before we began the nearly 300 mile journey back home.

It took some time over the long weekend to let everything I’d seen soak in. It felt good to help. It felt good to have made the journey and done something – anything – that might have made a difference. It’s still hard to tell myself that anyone could do enough.

It’s hard to know that people are still digging out from the mess, still pulling their destroyed furniture and belongings into the street to be hauled away, still dealing with the feeling of helplessness that was dumped on them along with millions of gallons of water.

Today I received an e-mail from Kim Carpenter updating us all on the situation in Richwood and thanking those of us at the central office for our kindness.

“Richwood still looks like a war zone, with river rock lining the sidewalks and streets,” she said. “Cleanup will take months. The local Rite Aid has passed out flyers saying they will be rebuilding here in town. I have no heard anything about the Dollar General store, or whether the new grocery store will continue to rebuild. Most residents of Richwood did not have flood insurance, and those that did had limited coverage.”

She added that the donated items will greatly help the residents of Edgewood Village who now are without any local stores where they could buy everyday items.

In the last week, Edgewood Village has filled two vacancies with Richwood residents who lost everything in the flood.

One family, the Marlowes, had been in the same house for 60 years.

“The flood completely demolished their home,” Kim said. “They were in water up to their necks and climbed the stairs to their attic. I believe they may have been there for over 24 hours, perhaps even longer, before they were rescued.

“During their initial application process (to live at Edgewood Village), Mrs. Marlow’s only concern was that they lost their beautiful gardens.”

West Virginia still needs help. I encourage you to donate to the National Church Residences foundation, the Red Cross, the United Way or any of the countless charities set up to help.

“Thank you for continuing the Mission, as the City of Richwood desperately needs your hope, compassion and daily prayers,” Kim said. “God bless you all!”

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Edgewood Village maintenance technician Kim Mills rolls a cart full of donated items into the community room at Edgewood Village.

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The West Virginia National Guard was still working at cleanup efforts a week after the flood that tore through Richwood.

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The mud that covered the parking lot at Edgewood Village in Richwood, West Virginia, is now a large pile of dirt sitting in the building’s parking lot.

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Edgewood Village in Richwood, West Virginia.

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A portion of the donated items after being brought into the community room at Edgewood Village.

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Items damaged during the flood in Richwood were dragged out into the streets awaiting removal by the crews from the National Guard.

Richwood Sign

Welcome to Richwood.

Unloading the Van

Unloading the van.

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National Church Residences Media/Public Relations Specialist Lance Cranmer and his fiancee Kristen drove the van full of donated supplies from the central office in Columbus to Edgewood Village in Richwood, West Virginia.

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National Guard dump trucks haul away debris from the flood while a single childrens’ sandal lies next to the street looking south on Oakford Avenue in Richwood, WV.

 

Program brings food to central Ohio seniors in need

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Residents at Meadowview Village Apartments in Mount Sterling, Ohio, sort through donated food last week. Each resident that signs up can walk through and pick up groceries.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                          LCranmer@NationalChurchResidences.org

COLUMBUS – April Huber watched as her residents filed in to the community room five at a time holding bags and baskets, waiting their turn to walk through and collect their supply of donated food.

“It doesn’t matter if we have one thing to give or 1,000 things … everything helps,” said April, the Senior Property Manager at National Church Residences Lincoln Gardens.

Three years ago, April secured a monthly food donation from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank to benefit the 100 low-income seniors who live at Lincoln Gardens.

“For some of them, as little as $343 is their monthly income. Some only get $16 to $32 a month in food stamps,” April said. “Having this food, especially at the end of the month, is such a help. This means a lot to them.”

April said she initially got the property on a waiting list with Mid-Ohio Food Bank, a non-profit that has served Central Ohio on the mission to end hunger since 1980, before becoming a regular once-a-month stop.

Seeking to help another National Church Residences property that was in great need, April made an additional request to Mid-Ohio to see if the organization could help Meadowview Village, located roughly 25 miles away in rural Mt. Sterling, Ohio.

“When we asked Mid-Ohio Food Bank if we could take food down there, even though it is in Madison County, they said sure,” April said.

Tammy Justice began her career at National Church Residences working under April at Lincoln Gardens. A year ago she made the transition to becoming the Property Manager at Meadowview.

“April recruited me,” Tammy said. “She knew this property and she knew the needs of the community. Now that we are at full occupancy, there’s an even bigger need.”

Nearly two years ago the only grocery store in Mt. Sterling, a community with a population of less than 1,800, closed down leaving Meadowview residents without a nearby place to get groceries.

“A lot of our residents don’t drive,” Tammy said. “The nearest store is probably in Washington Court House, which is about 20 minutes away.”

Tammy said when Meadowview residents are able to make grocery runs, they make sure to take care of each other.

“If one is going to the grocery store and they have a neighbor who doesn’t have a car,” she said, “they knock on their door and ask if they need anything or if they want to go with them.”

Having the food brought straight to their building, however, is a Godsend.

“They get a 5- or 10-pound bag of potatoes, some onions, fruit, milk – they get between $50 to $80 worth of groceries,” Tammy said. “For one person who lives alone, that’s pretty good.”

Since she arrived at Meadowview, Tammy has helped multiple formerly homeless into the building. She said, at first, getting them back on their feet is a challenge.

“They don’t have money for things like groceries,” she said. “The donations we get from Mid-Ohio Food bank are such a big help for them.”

According to information released by the Mayo Clinic, currently 10 million Americans aged 50 or older are considered “food insecure,” meaning that they do not have reliable access to food.

A 2014 study conducted by Feeding America found that seniors who suffer from being food insecure are at higher risk for chronic health conditions and depression. Food insecurity has been found to be a strong predictor of health problems in seniors as it leads to reduced muscle mass, lower bone density, poor vision and an increased likelihood to report heart problems.

April said the monthly food delivery to Lincoln Gardens has been very important to her residents.

“These are the people programs like this are meant to benefit,” she said.

“You’ve got people who will come up to you two or three days from now and just say, ‘thank you for the food,’” added Tammy. “I think it’s a big help.”

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Food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank is first delivered to Lincoln Gardens (pictured here) and the surplus is later driven south to Meadowview.

Seniors give warm donations to National Church Residences hospice patients

 

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Clients at National Church Residences Center for Senior Health on Livingston Avenue in Columbus work on knitting hats and shawls for hospice patients.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                              lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

COLUMBUS – Margaret could quickly crochet hats. Barbara spent her free time making shawls.

Before long, their passion and skill with needles and thread began to spread around the National Church Residences Center for Senior Health on Livingston Avenue.

“It was one winter when we had all the clients together in one room. One lady did hats. One did blankets,” said DeVonne Tucker, a volunteer at in the Center for Senior Health’s Adult Day program. “I knew how to crochet, so some of the things that these two ladies were doing I learned.”

Eventually, several other clients joined in and the casual knitting group became an every-Thursday activity.

Roughly 18 months later, the small-but-dedicated group of seniors pooled together all of the items they made and donated them to be given as gifts to National Church Residences hospice patients.

“This was really unique for the folks at our Adult Day centers to share their time and talents in such a lovely way to brighten someone else’s day,” said Deana Thatcher, National Church Residences Hospice Director. “When someone is in hospice care, anything that can brighten their day is so wonderful. Hospice is based around improving the quality of life for our patients. When they get a gift they weren’t expecting, it brightens their day. And it brightens the day of those who care for them just to see them happy.”

For many years now the seniors at Center for Senior Health Livingston have found ways to participate in charitable programs to benefit their community.

“We started this huge civic engagement program here,” said Terri Napletana, the Site Manager at CSHL. “We let clients pick out organizations they want to donate to. Then we do fundraisers.”

At first they assembled care packages to give to the formerly homeless and disabled military veterans who were moving in next door at National Church Residences Commons at Livingston. Later they raised money to purchase winter coats for the children at a nearby church.

Then came the idea of crocheting hats and blankets.

“My sister was going through chemotherapy and someone gave her a shawl to use while she was getting her treatments,” Terri said. “She said it was a lifesaver.”

DeVonne and Terri organized the group that met every week to make the hats and blankets.

“Some people couldn’t crochet, so DeVonne came up with little dogs that people could make,” Terri said. “In the beginning we would sell the dogs to get money to buy more yarn.”

After a year-and-a-half of work, on June 2 the group donated 11 sets of hats and shawls, eight adult hats, three children’s hats and two lap blankets to the National Church Residences hospice team with a small ceremony at the Livingston center.

“The whole idea of the civic engagement is there,” Terri said. “We want to give back. They love to give back.”

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Michelle Barnhart, Volunteer Coordinator, DeVonne Tucker, volunteer, and Deana Thatcher, Hospice Director, show off some of the items Center for Senior Health clients donated to National Church Residences hospice patients.

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Staff satisfaction soars at Lincoln Village

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National Church Residences Lincoln Village Executive Director Sally Grote (back row, center) and her team recorded the organization’s highest increase in overall staff satisfaction by community this year.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                               lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

COLUMBUS — A little over a year ago, National Church Residences Lincoln Village needed a helping hand.

The staff turnover rate at the assisted living facility on Columbus’ west side was unexpectedly high and overall moral was heading in the wrong direction.

At the time, Sally Grote was serving as the Assistant Executive Director at National Church Residences Chillicothe campus. But when the organization’s leadership reached out to her to lend a hand at Lincoln Village in April 2015, she was up for the new challenge.

“It’s hard to talk about how it was before, because I wasn’t here,” Sally admits. “We had to work hard to get the right staff in the right positions. It took some time.”

Sally spent two months lending a hand at Lincoln Village. Then in June, she was officially named the facility’s new Executive Director.

“I was definitely worried (about the new challenge), but just personally, I have a certain standard of how I expect things to be,” Sally said. “It’s definitely getting better. There were days where I didn’t want to leave at the end of the day. But now we have the right staff and the right procedures in place.”

After nearly one year on the job, Sally got some exciting news. According to information gathered from organization-wide surveys, staff satisfaction at Lincoln Village had increased by 24 percent in one year – the largest increase by any community in the National Church Residences family.

“We have a really strong leadership team. We worked really hard to establish relationships with everybody here, especially the staff,” Sally said. “We tried to work with the staff to find out what they’re seeing. We’re all together trying to provide quality care for these residents.”

Sally said that embracing National Church Residences President and CEO Mark Rickett’s concept of “shared leadership” has been a key to success.

“Nobody is trying to figure this out alone. We’re doing this as a team,” she said. “Our staff has owned their positions and responsibilities. We foster a learning environment. We’re trying to make our staff successful.”

Sally added that the addition of Lynette Garcia as the new Director of Nursing at Lincoln Village has also been a great help.

“We both started at the same time,” she said. “We had a lot of new staff. Maybe five employees were here before. There was a lot of turnover and we did a lot of trying to find the right people for our open positions.”

In 2016, Sally is happy to report that staff turnover at Lincoln Village is officially at zero percent.

“We have one person leaving in June, but she’s retiring,” Sally said. “We have a pretty good culture here now. It’s family-oriented and is a place where relationships matter. We’re building and growing together. We don’t have all the answers, but we seek to find them.”

Sally credits having a successful first year as an Executive Director to what she learned working for four years under the direction of Chillicothe Executive Director Karen Steinbrook.

“Working under her I learned so much. She’s an amazing woman,” Sally said. “I learned so much about this organization from the Chillicothe campus. It was a great place to learn about all things senior.  They really have it all there.”

“Sally is a wonderful person and leader,” Karen added. “She soaked up information like a sponge. I truly liked working with Sally, and I was sure that she would not last long as an assistant.”