Resident Association Candidates Forum

Contributed by Julia Freeman

Picture: Judy Collins, Lois Brown, Marianne Mann, Sue Regen, Ann Carlson

Nominating Committee Chair Marianne Mann introduced the candidates for the Residents Association (RA) Executive Committee for 2019-2020: Lois Brown, President; Sue Regen 2nd Vice President; Judy Collins, Secretary; and Ann Carlson, Treasurer. The position of 1st Vice-President does not have a candidate. The candidates appeared in a public forum on Tuesday, September 24, in the auditorium.

Residents will vote the endorsement of the slate on Thursday, October 3. Ballots can be cast from 10 AM to 6 PM in the Clock Tower Lobby. The Annual Meeting of the RA will be held the next day, Friday, October 4, at 1:30 PM in the auditorium. A quorum of about 100 residents is needed. The Annual Report will be available at that time. In addition, the updated Residents Handbook will be released.

Lois, Sue, and Judy served last year. The president and vice presidents can serve two consecutive one year terms. Lois and Sue both commented on what a challenging year it had been in light of the CEO transition at Collington. Lois noted the efforts the team made to increase communication between the RA and residents, the Board, Management, and Staff. She noted that the Board President, Mike Nolin, had initiated written and oral communication with residents to keep residents apprised of the CEO search and other Board actions. Management provides updates in the weekly Courier. The 1st Vice President had worked to enable District Leaders and to coordinate planning with the operating committee chairs..

Ann Carlson is running to replace treasurer Linda Ewald, who will become a resident member of the Board in October. Ann, a CPA, noted her long professional experience in fiscal matters for businesses and corporations. She has also worked as a back-up for Linda.

When asked about initiatives for next year, Lois cited opportunities for partnership of residents and management to address changes needed, such as signage and transportation. She hopes to promote interaction with other Kendal affiliates. Sue Regen noted that the challenge is to accommodate new activities while letting some go when interest declines. Judy noted that she will be serving her 4thyear and every year she learns more. She cited the need for more residents to volunteer for leadership positions in the Resident Association, especially housing leaders and operating committee chairs.

Creighton Center and Wellness Center Repositioning

Contributed by Julia Freeman

Megan Barbour, Health Services Administrator and Director of Operations, and Peter Fielding, a resident member of the Collington Board, gave an overview of the current status of the planned repositioning of the Creighton Center and Wellness Center at a general meeting August 19. They head the Health Service Alliance, a planning group created by the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee that is leading the implementation of one key pillar of the Collington Strategic Plan – Health and Wellness. The presentations focused on the Creighton Center.

CEO Ann Gillespie opened the presentation by reading the Collington mission and vision statements. She also noted she breaks down strategic planning into four stages — and in her view, work on the Collington Strategic Plan is between Stage 2 and 3; however, the work of the Health Service Alliance, also at this stage, is moving toward later implementation stages win a few months.

Peter highlighted the input the Health Service Alliance has sought – from architects, expert in industry trends, market analysis, and features desired by residents. He emphasized that residents will continue to have a role as plans are further developed.

Megan highlighted some of the key architectural and functional goals for the revised space. The current Creighton Center space will be reconfigured to accommodate expanded capacity for assisted living, especially in the Potomac  (moderate support assisted living) and Brandywine (light assisted living) neighborhoods. The Arbor (memory support) neighborhood will be downsized by a third. Skilled nursing beds will be reduced. Megan noted that there is less demand and reduced Medicare funding for skilled nursing both locally and nationally.

Justin Reeves, CFO, reviewed the finances needed to accomplish the repositioning. The current estimate for both construction and soft costs is $25 million. He also noted that the Health and Wellness projects were just one component of an overall master plan for Collington. Multiple funding sources will be needed.

This program was recorded and can be found under Collington Publications: Recorded Auditorium Events. The slides may be found under Collington Publications: Community Meeting Presentations.  Another discussion session of the materials presented will be held in the near future. Watch the Courier!

Meet and Greet New Staff

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

One afternoon in early October the Auditorium was set up with round tables, at each of which was sitting one of our new senior staff members.  All have been here for a few weeks or less!  Residents were invited to come meet and greet them all.  Here are the people we talked with.

Megan Barbour – Administrator/Director of Operations.   Megan will oversee the operations of Health, Culinary Services, Medical Services and Compliance. 

Jerome Perry – Director of Facilities.  He will supervise the Buildings Manager (Gene Davis),  the Environmental Services Manager (Charlene Smith) , the Project Manager (Bryson Adams) and the Security and Transport Manager when one is appointed.

JoAnne Pendorf – Assistant Director of Nursing.  JoAnn is the deputy to Director Dora Gray.

Suzanne Shabe – Activities and Wellness Manager.  She reports to Dora Gray, and supervises wellness and fitness activities for AL and IL residents.        

Sara DeRosa – Social Worker for Independent-Living (IL) residents.  She replaces Natosha, and will report to the Director of Social Services, once Wanda’s replacement is appointed.

Collington Strategic Plan Presentation

A Roadmap for the Future of Our Community, the new Strategic Plan for Collington, was presented at the Community Meeting on Friday, November 17. Marvell Adams, Executive Director, led the presentation with Board members Cindy Medlock, Kay Laughton, Ken Burton, and Sara Case, Chief Financial Officer Justin Reaves, and Resident Association President Pat Howard participating. Marvell emphasized that the Strategic Plan represents the inputs of many residents, staff, and board members who participated in 8 work groups over the last year.

The Strategic Plan includes four broad goals and 17 supporting objectives. The four goals:

  • Deliver Excellence in Health and Wellness
  • Enrich Collington Culture & Stakeholder Engagement
  • Steward Our Resources to Provide Excellence in the Collington Experience
  • Serve Our Broader Community as an Outstanding Leader and Partner

A new Mission Statement was also introduced: Creating community for older adults and all they care about inspired by their vision for purposeful lives. This was accompanied by a new Vision Statement and an affirmation of the Kendal Values and Practices. Implementation and an operational work plan will begin January 2018 focusing first on health and wellness.

A copy of the presentation is available here.

An official detailed publication will be available November 30.

 

Politics in Action at Collington — Good News, Bad News

On Saturday, November 4th, the League of Women Voters of Prince George’s County graced Collington with its presence and that of newly elected junior U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.  He is a member of the powerful Appropriations and Budget Committees.  Many of us found his presentation very impressive.

After an open meeting of the League, Senator Van Hollen addressed a crowded auditorium.  The Senator first shared the good news.

A bipartisan Congress authorized the formation of a commission to commemorate the life and work of Maryland born Frederick Douglass on the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.  Douglass was a runaway slave who became an orator, abolitionist, author and advisor to President Lincoln.   You can go to http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bs-md-trump-douglass-20171102-story.html to learn more about Douglass and the commission.

Another good news story for many there, was, of course, the prevention of the complete demolition of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This would have included 1 trillion dollars in cuts to medicaid (2/3 of which would have affected seniors and people with disabilities).  The Senator praised the effectiveness of the two single-spaced pages of advocacy and provider groups who opposed repeal of the ACA.  National organizations like AARP also played a very significant role.

However, the Senator reported that our biggest challenge ahead is now the proposed tax bill which he vehemently opposes.  The bill offers big, big tax breaks to big corporations, to the tune of 2 trillion dollars.

The means to pay is to increase the taxes on many middle-class families.  One proposed change is to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes.  This is basically double taxation.  Corporations, of course, will continue to deduct these taxes.  This bill also authorizes increasing the national debt to $1.5 trillion, something Republicans talk about being against.  Therefore Senator Van Hollen believes that if this bill passes, the Republicans will implement severe cuts to important programs in health, education, housing, etc.

(Perhaps of even greater concern to Collingtonians —and indeed Collington and all life care communities — is the proposal to eliminate the medical expense deduction.  Given the importance of that deduction in our personal budgets, and those of future residents of all lifecare communities, this is going to have a big impact — if it goes through.  The Washington Post reported on this issue here. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/they-spent-years-planning-to-live-with-alzheimers-disease-the-gop-tax-bill-threatens-those-plans/2017/11/04/83ac1ffa-c098-11e7-8444-a0d4f04b89eb_story.html?utm_term=.d5130d1643b8.)

Van Hollen reported that Republicans will try to strong arm this bill through this week without hearings or amendments.   What can we do since our Senators are already against this tactic?   Well, Senator Van Hollen suggests we contact organizations with national chapters who can represent us and also reach out to people in other states and encourage them to contact their own legislators.

Not bad ideas at all, considering what is at stake.