Betty's May 21, 2012 Blog
May 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM
We are off to a great start…………celebrating the “Grand Opening” of our two new facilities and celebrating “Mother’s Day”. For many of us our Mothers are the “Most Important People on Earth”. I know many of you, along with about 1000 of our closest friends and family, were here (Irondequoit and Webster) with us on Saturday, May 12th. It was a wonderful event. We were Blessed by terrific weather, the presence of Bishop Clark who blessed our new facilities, and by the residents (Anna Harrington, John Vandenbrul, Dori Zabel, Mary Christopher, Philip Knight, Jean Escott) who helped us with the ribbon cutting at both of our sites.
The highlight of the “Grand Opening” event was the announcement of two new major gifts, each for $ 1 million for the naming rights for 1) the Leo Center for Caring and 2) the Wegman Transitional Care Center. Jim and Kathleen Leo made this most generous gift, recognizing the immense value of the care provided by the Hospice partnership of St. Ann’s Community and Visiting Nurse Hospice to those that special unit serves. Jim is a Board member of St. Ann’s Foundation Board, and the Chair of our Capital Campaign, “Caring for the Most Important People on Earth”. His wife Kathleen has been a devoted volunteer with St. Ann’s for nearly 20 years. They know the care and services we provide and they have given generously to support the work of our organization. The second major gift was from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation for naming the Wegman Transitional Care Center. The Wegman family has always been interested and supported healthy lifestyles and behaviors. Given the goals of our Transitional Care Center it was a natural for them to support. We are deeply honored and pleased with both of these gifts. They recognize the special levels of care, and outstanding outcomes we have achieved in providing care to the people of our Rochester area.
It was really wonderful to welcome back a number of people from our past. It was a special treat for many staff to see Sr. Marie Michelle Peartree, SSJ, the woman who had been St. Ann’s CEO before I was recruited to fill the CEO position here over 15 years ago. In addition to having a number of our current Board members, we were joined by some of our past Board members, including: Tom Riley and his wife, Barbara Kelley, Fr. Jim Schwartz, and Tony Malone and his wife Judy. It was wonderful to see Arnie Gissin, past CEO of the Jewish Home, who has a family member living at Chapel Oaks. These people have seen the significant changes which have been put in place over the past 15 years. St. Ann’s has always been a wonderful organization with a great reputation, but it takes work to maintain and to continue to build on that reputation. St. Ann’s is a different place now, more complex and more diverse.
This past week we had another class of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) graduates. In addition to people from the community, we continue to recruit staff from Environmental Services and Food Services who are looking for opportunities to be more involved with resident care. The certification also gives them an opportunity to improve their financial position and support themselves and their families. The new graduates are: Holly Barr, Dawn Brewington, Stephanie Glover, Daryl McCuller, Willena Orange, Patrick Thomas. Fr. Bayer always makes a special Blessing for our new CNAs, telling them the story of the painting “Praying Hands” as part of his Blessing. This time in addition to including family and friends to join our graduation celebration, several of our residents came to cheer on this great group of CAN candidates.
Last week we also held a Retreat for our Board of Directors. This is an educational session to help our Board members understand the issues, trends and challenges in the Senior Care and Senior Housing industries. The vast majority of our Board members come from outside the healthcare industry, so this education helps them provide the knowledge to provide the governance oversight that they are called to do in their volunteer roles. The Board members are recruited because they bring their professional expertise to help guide the policy and future direction of the organization. We are very blessed to have a highly capable and quality Board of Directors.
As some of you may know, May is “Older Americans” month. We started with a wonderful Kick-Off event in the Chapel where we were joined by KB Cooper and Scott Taylor, 2 local radio personalities from 990 AM and Legends 102.7 FM. KB and Scott told some great stories and really connected with those in attendance. Throughout the rest of May we will be holding numerous events to celebrate the Older Adults we serve every day. Please make time if you are able, and spend time with those seniors who are your Most Important People on Earth. You will be glad you did.