Beatitudes Community

The Power of Women

“Women have a unique power of being able to look at the world’s problems and discover solutions that transform lives and make the world a better place.”

You can witness the power of those words first-hand at the Third Annual Power of Women: Wine, Women and Conversation event, which will be held on Wednesday, September 18, from 5-7 pm in the Life Center. We are shining a light on three women who are shaping the Phoenix community: The Honorable Kate Gallego, Mayor of the City of Phoenix; Dr. Maria Harper Marinick, chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges; and Dr. Judy Jolley Mohraz, trustee of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. They will be discussing their life journeys – the highs and lows and everything in between. We will hear the expansive amount of work they do for our community and how the connections and support they receive from our community has been transformational in their lives. Our own President and CEO Michelle Just and Letitia Frye, our Power of the Purse auctiontainer, author and speaker, will moderate the panel discussion.

Mayor Kate Gallego has spent her career working to find solutions to complex problems. Prior to being elected as Mayor this past March, she served for five years as the City Councilwoman for District 8. She is the second elected female mayor in Phoenix history and the youngest big-city mayor in the United States. She’s passionate about building a Phoenix that works for everyone, including her two-year-old son, Michael. Prior to being elected mayor, she worked on Strategic Planning and Economic Development for Salt River Project. Mayor Gallego graduated from Harvard University and earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Maria Harper Marinick is a national leader in higher education and strong advocate for access, equity, and student success. She has served in leadership positions for 17 years at Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college systems in the U.S. serving 200,000 students across 10 colleges. She was appointed chancellor in 2016. She is the first female and the first Latina to be appointed to lead a higher educational institution in Arizona. She is originally from the Dominican Republic and came to Arizona in 1982 as a Fulbright Scholar to complete graduate work at Arizona State University, where she earned a master’s and doctoral degrees in education.

Dr. Judy Jolley Mohraz has spent her life committed to the community and education. She served as the founding president and CEO of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the largest private foundation in Arizona and currently serves as a trustee. She positioned the trust to be a significant partner in civic leadership, constructive change and investment in solution-focused social strategies. Prior, she was president of Goucher College in Baltimore for six years and served on the faculty and administration for 20 years at Southern Methodist University. Her academic focus was American history and she authored a book about Black education in the northern U.S. in the early 20th century. She serves on numerous boards and was a presidential appointee to the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy. She earned her doctorate from University of Illinois and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University

Michelle Just, as we all know, is the amazing leader of Beatitudes Campus and has made enormous contributions nationally in the aging services field. Letitia Frye has been involved in Beatitudes Campus for the past five years as auctioneer at Power of the Purse. She has made a big impact on the Arizona nonprofit community and has helped raise more than $400 million for these organizations.

For those of you who attended Power of Women last year, you know how positive and uplifting this evening is. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer on your new friends. I hope you will come this year!

We invite you to join us at Power of Women and be part of the Women, Wine and Conversation. Tickets are $45 (wine and appetizers included) and can be purchased by calling me (Barbara Wood at x16136) or coming to the Foundation offices. Please call me if you have any questions. I hope to see you there!

Busy Behind the Scenes: A Redevelopment Update

While you don’t see shovels in the ground YET, know that there is plenty going on in regards to our redevelopment and master plan process.

I am sure you have noticed there has been plenty of activities—events, tours and meetings between our Marketing team, led by Rod Bailey, and our BeVIP members interested in the Patio Homes.

Community Town Hall Recap – June 2017

Rev. David W. Ragan, Sr. VP of Resident Services

David Ragan (@dragan), Sr. Vice President of Independent Living opened the meeting at 2:15PM with a forecast of truly melting weather.  Close to 100 residents braved the heat to attend the meeting and find out “what’s new” at Beatitudes Campus.  There were no new residents at the meeting, but David intends to corral all the new residents in September and bring them to the meeting.

First on the agenda was a heartwarming story of a grandmother who could not afford the birthday cake her little granddaughter had picked out at the grocery store.  The young man in line behind them bought the cake and convinced the grandmother to accept it as he had been the recipient of a similar kindness when he was seven years old.  When the little girl showed her grandfather the cake and a message that the young man had given her, it became apparent that the grandfather was the man who had bought the cake for the seven year old boy many years ago. The story summed up by saying that a simple act of care creates an endless circle.

Or as David put it—you never know what impact the little things you do today might have and the blessings that come back to you in so many ways.

Remember the Welcome Coffee coming up this month on Wednesday, June 28th at 2:00PM in the Life Center.  Come and meet your new neighbors!

Michelle Just (@mjust), President and CEO, complimented Mim Hoover (@mimhoover) and Dosia Carlson (@dosiacarlaol-com) (pictured at right) on the wonderful job they did in their Lifelong Learning Program Workshop at the Annual Meeting of LeadingAge Arizona, an organization of not-for-profit senior living communities.  They were the only resident presenters at the meeting, and their presentation generated interest in starting similar programs at other communities.  Michelle also celebrated two awards that were presented to Beatitudes Campus by LeadingAge Arizona. The first was for Innovation in Environmental Design and it went to Patty’s Garden, the healing garden honoring and named for Harriet Ivy’s mother. Beatitudes Campus  was fortunate to be chosen to receive funding for this garden.  Tena Alonzo (@talonzo), Director of Comfort Matters, noted that the garden provides a sensory experience for residents who may not think like they once did, but retain their feelings. The garden has a positive impact on their quality of life. It was built using solar power, LED’s, low water usage, color that does not attract bees and overall low maintenance. The second award went to the Success Matters Program, led by Jessica Meyer (@jmeyer), Director, and Josephine Levy (@jlevy), Resource Navigator. There is nothing else like this program in our peer group here in the Valley.  The program seeks to keep residents independent as long as possible and make the most of each resident’s individual potential.  They strive to make each resident’s quality of life as great as possible, and perhaps make life greater than when the resident moved to our community. Mim Hoover said she was given the confidence to feel that she could still do things as well as feel that life is still good. Michelle asked that residents join her in celebrating the Success Matters and Comfort Matters teams.  She is incredibly proud of these two Innovation Awards.  Congratulations also go to Tara Bethell (@tbethell),  Sr. Vice-President of Human Resources and Risk Management, who was named to the Class of 2017 Forty Under Forty by the Phoenix Business Journal. She finished in the top ten!!

Herb Komnick, Residents Council President

Herb Komnick (@hkomnick), President of the Residents Council, reported on the May Residents Council Meeting.  David Ragan welcomed everyone to the meeting, congratulated the Lifelong Learning Program and announced that Mim Hoover and Dosia Carlson would be speaking at the Arizona LeadingAge Workshop, and Success Matters is receiving the Innovative Health and Wellness Program Award.  The Security-focused Town Hall was a success with residents learning firsthand about emergency procedures here on campus. Holleran 2017 Resident Engagement Surveys should have been completed and turned in between May 12th and May 27th. The Community Channel is now available to all residents on channel 1966. Pat Dellisanti, Dining Services Committee Chairman, announced the Luau which was held on June 8th as part of the Marketing Program. New menus are being prepared for the Health Care Center, Plaza View and Buckwald’s. A Lifelong Learner’s class will be offered to include kitchen tours. Sunday Pizza will return when the football season arrives. Barbara Carpenter, Interim Chairman of the Employee Appreciation Committee, outlined several Committee activities including letters to new residents, all residents, groups who use campus facilities and friends of the campus; relocated Tip Boxes; possibly adding a statement on menus; and a dinner being planned for August 17th. Gerald Roseberry, Environment Committee Chairperson, reported that leak testing for all resident buildings except Plaza View and the Health Care Center has been completed with the information provided to Scott Mardian (@smardian). Roger Benson, Facilities Committee Chairman submitted a report stating that Mitch Bradshaw (@mbradshaw) had been informed of complaints about the area around the dumpster at the Northeast corner of the campus. Roger was advised that vehicle traffic between Central Park North and the Garden Apartments was necessary for resident moves and appliances stored in the Garden Apartments. Kim Shull, Grounds Manager and Color Coordinator, has resigned.  Residents are requested to help keep the campus looking neat by straightening chairs, etc., that are disarranged and calling in work orders for any obvious problems they observe. There was no unfinished business.  Under New Business, a motion to appoint Sue Lefebvre as Parliamentarian was approved; the Holleran Resident Engagement Survey forms were given to Council members for distribution; and Don Tamuty reported he had received a request to keep the 17th Drive gate open for a longer period of time during the summertime (Herb reported that since the meeting, he has been informed that because of Security concerns, this request was denied.) Bette Henriques, Senior Area Representative for Central Park North and Patio Homes; Don Tamuty, Senior Area Representative for Plaza South; and Sybil Eppinger, Senior Area Representative for Central Park South reported on the various activities that have taken place and those that are planned for their buildings.  Residents asked questions concerning window washing, use of plastic bags in dining venues, recycling procedures, and locating recycling containers near dining venues.  Jeremy was complimented on his excellent work in emptying the recycling bins.  Residents were reminded not to feed the feral cats.  The next Residents Council meeting will be on Wednesday, June 14th in the Luther Life Center at 2:00PM.

Rod Bailey,
SVP of Sales & Marketing

Rod Bailey (@rbaileybeatitudescampus-org), Sr. Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, reviewed the referral award program in which residents can earn up to $3,750 for bringing new residents to the campus—people who have not been in the system or contacted previously.  He also unveiled a new summer program that will be available through September 30th.  Residents who just fill out a referral card will receive a dinner for two at Buckwald’s.  If the referral card results in a move-in, the resident will receive three different dinners for four at Elaine’s Fine Dining in addition to the monetary award.

Congratulations were extended to Michelle Just for being elected to the Board of Directors of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. The Beatitudes is the only senior living organization that has a presence at the Chamber.

Ruth Crowley, Residents Council Chairman of Health and Wellness Committee

Ruth Crowley, Chairman of the Health and Wellness Committee, noted that the response had been so positive in the spring that three additional workshops have been planned to expand on the topics presented earlier.  The first workshop, “What’s in Plaza View” was held on Thursday, June 15th at 3:00PM in the Life Center.  Cheryl Knupp, Sr. Vice-President of Health Services, and her team from Plaza View, focused on assisted living at Beatitudes.  It was suggested that you review your contract with Beatitudes prior to the meeting so presenters can provide more specific information in answer to your questions.  In July, a workshop on Dementia and Skilled Nursing is planned, and in August there will be a workshop about the services available in independent living to help residents stay in their apartments when health issues arise.

Jessica Meyer, Director of Success Matters at Beatitudes Campus

Jessica Meyer (@jmeyer) announced that the Success Matters team is hosting a farewell for Rich and Mitch.  They will be finishing their clinical rotation on June 23rd and residents can thank them for their contribution to the Beatitudes and wish them well in the Bistro on June 22nd from 12:00 to 1:00PM.  Free cake as well!

Jon Schilling, Director of Life Enrichment at Beatitudes Campus

Jon Schilling (@jschilling) advised that planning is underway for the 2017 Active Aging Week. Residents interested in helping plan for this event should contact Jon at x10333.  Jon reported that Anthony Farias, formerly in Transportation, is now working as a Life Enrichment Specialist in the Health Care Center.  Jon reminded residents to bring suggestions for activities on campus and off campus to the Life Enrichment Committee.  The Life Enrichment Team does their best to make things happen for residents. Mike Smallwood (@msmallwood), Fitness Specialist, provided a fitness report on the BrainSavers Class which is in the 6th week of the 12 week Quarter.  Mike has made some significant adjustments to the program and has received positive feedback from the residents.  Angie Moore, Manager of the Program, observed the class last week and approved of the adjustments that were made to accommodate the needs of seniors.  The second Quarter is scheduled to start the 1st week in August.  Starting Monday, June 12th and continuing through October, there will be Indoor Morning Walks in the Life CenterResidents were reminded of the importance of staying hydrated during these hot summer days.  Residents were also reminded of the many fitness classes available, including Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, Zumba Gold, Zumba Exercises, Memory Maker Yoga as well as Fitness Foundations, Functional Fitness, Water Exercise and Sit and Be Fit. The June B-Fit Winner of a $50 gift card is Tom Denny.  Winners have not been present at many of the Town Hall Meetings, and Mike suggested that you might have a better chance of winning if you don’t come to Town Hall!

Monica De La Rosa, Life Enrichment Specialist

Monica De La Rosa (@mdelarosa), Life Enrichment Specialist, reminded residents that there are suggestion boxes in the Life Center Lobby and the Information Station in the Plaza Bistro.  Please use them to call attention to events, performers and off campus activities that are of interest to residents. Wednesday, July 5th is the last day to sign up for the Wednesday, July 26th baseball game between the Diamondbacks and the Braves.

New menus for Buckwald’s, Plaza View, and Elaine’s Fine Dining will be out in July. Look for the changes on the Community Channel, in the restaurants and in the Roadrunner. David assured residents that hot dogs and baked potatoes will not be taken off the menu.  Apparently, keeping them available was a lesson learned the hard way.

David noted that the Beatitudes Auxiliary Backstreet Boutique is in need of volunteers who can help in the Furniture Annex, moving furniture, etc.  The Annex plans to reopen in September.  Talk to your children, grandchildren and friends about this rewarding volunteer activity.

The Community Channel #1960 is now available across the Campus.  Make sure you tune in and see what is going on.  Through this Channel, residents will receive updates on last minute changes as well as ongoing information in an emergency.  If you have input to make the channel better, let David or Korry Nelson (@knelson) (x18493) know about it.

There will be a Hootenanny every Wednesday night, beginning at 5:45PM. Tell your neighbors and enjoy the enthusiastic music.  It’s free!  Wednesday, June 20th, from 2:00 to 4:00PM in the Bistro, enjoy another freebie, a frozen yogurt sundae.  Just come for the treat or share your thoughts with Dave every third Community Wednesday.

David reminded residents to take staying hydrated seriously, and to have a great June.  He looks forward to seeing residents at all of the events.  There will be no Town Hall in July and the next Town Hall will be held at 2:00PM in the Luther Life Center on August 2nd.

Town Hall Informant – April 2017

David Ragan opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking Gregory’s Market for providing fresh produce for residents to purchase. He invited all to attend the Welcome Coffee for new residents on Wednesday, April 26th at 2:00 PM in the Life Center. The Welcome Coffee gives residents an opportunity to meet their new neighbors and listen to the reasons why they chose the Beatitudes as their home. David also showed some interesting and amusing sayings and signs such as; “a clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory”, and “I went to the Air and Space Museum, but there was nothing there”.

In introducing Michelle Just, President and CEO of Beatitudes, David noted that tomorrow is Michelle’s birthday and residents wished her a “happy birthday” in song. Michelle showed pictures of the participation of the Beatitudes in the Pride Parade on Sunday morning, April 2nd. The bus was decorated for the occasion and the Master of Ceremonies called attention to the Beatitudes volunteers who enjoyed being in the parade.

Michelle announced the Shout Outs for March—Angelo Flores, Jason Corder and Niccole Daine.

Angelo joined the IT team in August of 2016 and has made great improvements to the accessibility of the department and their response time. He is being promoted to Network Administrator for the campus. Jason joined the Dining team in July of 2015 and recently took personal time to help a resident locate a lost item of great sentimental value. He goes above the call of duty in his work. Niccole joined the Nursing team back in August of 2010 as an LPN. She helped a family deal with the loss of their loved one by making everything look its best so the family could have some peace in that moment. Remember to fill out a Radical Hospitality form online or pick one up at the Welcome Center whenever you see a staff member who deserves some special recognition.

Michelle also discussed a new Holleran Satisfaction Survey which will be coming in May. The survey will be shorter than in the past and will focus on measuring engagement rather than satisfaction. Results from the survey will be used in determining whether the right programs are being provided, in preparing budgets and in strategic planning. The surveys will be distributed to Independent Living Residents the week of May 1st and completed surveys will need to be turned in at the Welcome Center by May 20th. Results of the survey will be shared at a future Town Hall Meeting.

A happy announcement by Michelle was the addition of a new bus that can transport up to four wheelchairs at one time. The bus is ours due to a grant from the Maricopa Association of Governments and the City of Phoenix. Michelle thanked the Auxiliary for also providing funds toward the purchase of this bus. It is parked outside the building and residents are encouraged to check it out as they leave the meeting.

Herb Komnick, Residents Council President, provided a report of the Residents Council Meeting on March 8th. David Ragan began the meeting with a report that a good time was had by all at the LeadingAge Senior Fitness Challenge competition. He encouraged residents to attend the Design Studio meetings to help plan our residents’ future. Dining Services Committee Chairman, Pat Dellisanti, reported that Joe Kane, Director of Dining Services, had completed his building meetings and survey distribution. The Sunday Brunch is returning on the second Sunday of each month. Staff members are being trained on CPR, chest compressions, the Heimlich maneuver, and defibrillators. Employee Appreciation Committee Interim Chairman, Barbara Carpenter, reported that a letter will be sent in August and an evening dinner event will be held in August to encourage residents to contribute to the Employee Appreciation Fund. Monthly billing for contributions can be arranged through Cammy Clevenger. Facilities Committee Chairman, Roger Benson, reported that Maintenance has posted instructions of what NOT to put into drains on campus bulletin boards. Lost items should be reported to Security at x16172. Residents are asked to completely fill a recycle barrel before starting to fill another. If the barrel(s) is/are full, please call 18492 promptly. Under New Business, Gayle Richmond was confirmed as the new Life Enrichment Committee Chair; the Resident Telephone Directory is now available on the Resident Website (; and Kathy Amend has volunteered to post bulletin board items on the Patio Homes bulletin board. Leave items to be posted there in her mail box at the Welcome Center. Area Representatives’ Reports included the Central Park North Representative, Walt Smith, advising that the water leak survey has been completed, and a Spring Fling dinner in the Rose Garden is planned for March 28th. Plaza South Representative, Don Tamuty reported that Plaza South has completed the dining preference survey and is planning a dinner meeting. Central Park South Representative, Sybil Eppinger, reported that CPS, CPN and the Patio Homes are working together on the Spring Fling plans and also working with Marketing on the Open House being held on March 23rd in the Rose Garden. In response to a concern about a master calendar, it was reported that a software program for scheduling campus activities in coordination with outside groups’ activities being held on site has been purchased and is being installed.

Josephine Levy, Resource Navigator of Success Matters, advised residents about three upcoming programs. On April 12th, at 2:00PM in the Agelink Great Room, Josephine will discuss Health Care Power of Attorney (POA) and Living Will. The program promises to incorporate humor and not be boring! On April 26th, at 1:00PM in the Agelink Great Room, there will be a program on VA benefits and a VA representative will be on hand to answer questions. The last one-hour program will be held on May 9th, at 1:00PM in the Agelink Great Hall, with a representative from the Arizona Attorney General’s office discussing Scams and Such and talking about what is happening right here in Arizona to our senior citizens.

Jessica Meyer, Director of Success Matters, introduced Mitch Sopko and Rich Fauci to residents. Mitch and Rich are Masters level occupational therapy students doing their Level II Fieldwork at Beatitudes for the next three months. They are anxious to engage with residents and get to know us better. When you see them on campus, give them a big Beatitudes welcome! Premier Hearing will be hosting a free lunch and addressing the topic of hearing aid technology and maintenance on Thursday, May 4th from 11AM to 1PM in the Agelink Great Room. If interested, you must RSVP by calling 602-279-0003. Jon Schilling, Director of Life Enrichment, and Jessica will be offering their seventh SAFER Stepping at Beatitudes, a six week comprehensive falls prevention workshop offered periodically through the year. The workshop will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30PM, starting in mid-May. Contact Jessica at x16110 to be put on the registration list.

Jon Schilling introduced Wendy White who began volunteering at  Beatitudes when her parents moved here. She spreads joy wherever she goes and now visits three floors in the Health Care Center with her wonderful therapy dog, Max. She will be presenting a workshop entitled, Happiness is a Choice, on Thursday, April 20th at 2:00 in the Motion Studio.

Michael Smallwood, Fitness Specialist, discussed a new fitness program entitled, BrainSavers (because gray matters) which will be offered on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11AM. The course will begin in May and is structured to have up to 25 students. Beatitudes is making a one-year commitment to this “trial course” that encompasses Brain and Body Total Fitness. The mission statement declares that BrainSavers will help maintain healthy minds, reducing the impact of age-related memory impairment and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The six key components of healthy brain aging include physical exercise, nutrition, cognitive exercise, sleep, socialization and stress management. Dr. Paul Bendheim, M.D. will be introducting the course in a one-hour presentation on Monday, April 17th at 3 PM More information can be found at The March B-Fit Winner is Jean Hiser.

Monica De La Rosa, Life Enrichment Specialist, detailed some of the activities on the agenda for this month. They included a Lloyd Foundation Musical Performance in the Life Center on Tuesday, April 13th at 2PM; a movie and discussion presented by resident, Mary Harkness, on Friday, April 14th at 2PM in the Recreation Center; the Paradise Valley Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, April 15th, at 3PM in the Life Center; a trip to the Spring Butterfly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden on Tuesday, April 18th at 9AM (tickets are $20 and available at the Welcome Center); our annual off-campus BBQ at Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ, Tuesday, April 25th, 9:15AM departure (purchase your boarding pass at the Welcome Center for $7); Buzy Bees Spring sale on Friday, April 14th outside Elaine’s; and line dancing at 10AM on Thursdays in the Recreation Center. Synopsis sheets have been distributed to each building. Call Monica at x18526 if you need more copies.

Dosia Carlson discussed the plans for Earth Week, April 17th to April 22nd. Elders for a Sustainable Future have prepared a Triple Header. On Thursday, April 20th, at 6PM in the Life Center, Nature will be celebrated in Words and Music with vocalists, instrumentalists, visuals and reading. On Friday, April 21st, at 9:30 AM, during coffee hour in Elaine’s Fine Dining, we will discuss how we can share our environmental concerns with the younger people in our lives. Bring photos of friends and family members and we will discuss how, together, we can promote sustainability of this planet. On Friday, April 21st, at 2:30 PM in the Life Center, we will present Mother Earth is Crying: Residents and Employees in Conversation. After viewing a few startling videos and discussing our response at tables, we will exchange ideas with people who work here. Don’t miss these important events in support of Mother Earth.

Ken Fomby, Transportation Coordinator, advised residents about just how the transportation system operates. Residents call #16135 to schedule medical appointments, bank trips, RX pickups and other related trips. Residents should call #12905 for any activities/off campus events to reserve a seat on the bus. The information is then recorded on yellow pads for the medical trips and white pads for the off-campus activities. Information is transferred to an annual calendar with the date, time and address. From there, the information is computerized and trips are assigned to specific drivers. Residents are contacted the day before the trip is to take place to confirm the appointments. Residents are given a business card with phone information, and either they, or the office where their appointment takes place, can call to let transportation know that they are ready to be picked up. Ken displayed a graph showing that there are about 500 medical calls per month and as many as 700 calls last December.

David gave residents the results of dining comment cards for March. Over 76% of the comments were positive, which raises the morale of the whole dining staff! David emphasized that residents should send back a meal if they are dissatisfied. That is the best way the dining staff can be made aware of problems with the food.

David introduced Dave Johnson of Hospice of the Valley. Hospice of the Valley had its roots right here at the Beatitudes 40 years ago. Dosia Carlson, Greta Wiseman and Gerald Roseberry were instrumental in its formation. Dave noted that Hospice of the Valley is a non-profit organization, and he is appreciative of our using their services. He said there are over 50 different hospices operating in the Valley. There are flyers at the back of the room for anyone interested in Hospice of the Valley and the organization’s speaker’s program.

David called our attention to a Special Town Hall which was on April 13th. The Fire Department and Beatitudes Campus discussed emergency evacuation procedures. The fire department trains for this kind of activity and some of the firefighters have family here as well.

The Hootenanny is every Wednesday at 6:00 and is free! Bring your friends and enjoy the wonderful music.

Thanks again to Gregory’s Market. They are here for every Town Hall at the beginning of the month and are much appreciated.

Don’t forget Sundaes with Dave on each third Wednesday of the month from 2 to 4PM in the Bistro.

The next Town Hall will be held on May 3rd at 2:00 PM in the Life Center. Plan to be there!

(A quick note from David – please thank Norma Dieffenbach for the continued excellent minutes for the Informant—she does not miss a thing!)


Town Hall Informant – February 2017

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New Beginnings

At the start of a new calendar year, we are messaged all around about “new beginnings.”  I am seeing a host of media ads about mattresses, cars and furniture as retailers look to prop up the inevitable dips in sales following the business holiday season.  Then, of course there are dozens of (urgent!) weight loss commercials specifically geared to appeal to those who have overdone it through the holidays.

I look at “new beginnings” in my search engine and find that the terminology has been tapped by treatment centers, counseling and mental health services, adoption services, numerous religious organizations, a governmental office of personnel management, alternative education, a Kenyan soap opera, a series of novels about a guardian angel named Victoria Schwab…….. the list goes on and on and many of them very important.  So I am a bit reluctant to just crowd in what we are doing at Beatitudes Campus with everything else.  One, because I would rather it not be “lost in the crowd” and two, because we are really, literally beginning a new phase in the life of this fifty-plus year old campus with our physical updates, furthering our Radical Hospitality attitudes and programming at a resident-centric level like never before.

As we are learning from the ATLAS process (an organizational assessment program funded by the Virginia G. Piper Foundation) about which Michelle Just, our President and CEO wrote in this space some weeks ago, organizations have life cycles.  Only those with strong determination (aka “grit”, the subject of my last Roadrunner article) are able to keep at the top of their operating space and continue their mission in meaningful ways.  Absent the will to innovate, collaborate and research, companies can find themselves going the way of least resistance, continuing with methods that may need updating and not stretching to fund their depreciation or bring improvements to the marketplace.

This is but one of the reasons I am so happy to be a part of Beatitudes Campus.  We have made a conscious decision not to lapse into mediocrity, but rather to continue a process of “new beginnings” that strives for excellence in every aspect of the life plan community sector.  We have just finished our intensive Phase I of the First Impressions updates which has touched most campus buildings, and we have already seen some definitive results with those making decisions about making Beatitudes Campus their home.  Painting, floor coverings, furnishings and artwork have a rather profound impact on decision making in senior living often even above our superior care ratings in the licensed areas.  Our mission continues to be just as our founders envisioned…….to be leaders and innovators.  And we have definitely learned that First Impressions (an integral part of our Radical Hospitality program) is a foundational part of the equation, especially as we also envision the continuance of that mission into the redevelopment process.  The higher occupancies that result from attention to this part of the overall equation coupled with strong operations produces a position at which our lenders look far more favorably and which allows us to take next steps.

Now with the first part of the time sensitive program complete, during the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year, we will be continuing the First Impressions/Radical Hospitality process with not only completion of Phase II of the physical assets/décor plan but also with continued training for every member of our staff in the fundamentals of this important aspect of our culture.  (Phase III, the completion of the program, is slated for fiscal year 2018.)  So, our “new beginnings” is an evolutionary process in which we expect to involve staff and residents in the planning process for the next few years in not only our redevelopment for new areas, but also in the re-tooling and updates for our existing buildings.  I am so excited to work with the Residents Council and building representatives on what constitutes the best for each area.  We will be producing common area maps that will be very valuable tools that help keep décor assigned to an area in that location and how the room(s) are to be set following any necessary movement of furniture for an event or holiday season, among other deliverables.

Thanks again for the opportunity to be of service to this campus and it’s top notch residents.  You are an inspiration and joy – great days ahead!