Collington Director Marvell Adams reassures staff team that they are all “part of a large and close knit international family” and that “Collington stands firmly shoulder to shoulder with all of you”

Obviously, this is not as easy time for those of us who believe that all human beings are brothers and sisters, that diversity is a strength not a weakness, and that we are obliged to act in accordance with those beliefs.

It is important, and may become even more important as time goes by, that we feel part of a community that understands this, and can act appropriately based on it.

I am again proud of Collington, and hope that we can be a national model, as I here report the efforts made by our Director to support those who may need it.

Here is the full text of the letter sent by Marvell to the staff today.

January 30, 2017
Dear Member of the Collington Team,
Each and every one of you reading this is a part of a large and close knit international family here at Collington.  We represent numerous countries from all over the world and proudly celebrate that diversity throughout our community.
As you undoubtedly are aware, an executive order recently signed by President Trump placed a ban on immigration into the United States from certain countries.  This ban is currently being challenged within our judicial system.  Be that as it may, I feel it is important for you to know that Collington stands firmly shoulder to shoulder with all of you.  We welcome with open arms all individuals.
In writing this letter, I am reaffirming Collington’s commitment:
“To encourage and welcome all people without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or any other characteristic protected by law, to live in our communities and to serve on our staffs and boards.”
–  Excerpt from our Values & Practices
As a reminder, you have access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which can help with a variety of personal concerns including legal matters.  You can utilize this service at no cost to you and confidentially by calling Carebridge Employee Assistance Program toll-free, 1-800-437-0911, for immediate consultation.  Brochures with more information can be picked up in Human Resources or by visiting (website access code:  XEGKX).
Thank you for all you do in service to the Collington Family.
Marvell Adams
Executive Director

Here is the cover note that Marvell sent to the Board of Directors with the above.  It includes some important background information.

Dear Collington Board Members,
Today I shared th[is] letter to all staff of Collington.  I am sharing with you as well for your information and knowledge of how we are supporting our staff.
For those that may not know, a significant portion of our staff are Muslim and/or immigrants and the recent executive order has many of them fearful even though they are all either naturalized citizens or permanent residents of the US.  As one staff member said to me today, “Collington could not exist without immigrants that come here to work.”
Thanks and be well.


I would urge residents to share with friends in other communities who might find this a useful model.

I would also remind that there are online tools to help people with such issues, as discussed here.

Strategic Planning Engagement Report

Last week, at the Community Meeting, Executive Director Marvell Adams shared his presentation on the status of, and questions for, strategic planning.  I would strongly urge everyone to take a look at the whole thing.

Marvell presented one slide for each of the Working Group areas, focusing on questions that the groups have been and might focus on.  Here are two of particular interest to me, at least:


Generally, I would make the point that these are intentionally big questions. They encourage not an incremental, but a blue sky approach to the future of our community, one that builds on our strengths, but that aims for a community much more engaged in the world.  This obviously reflects in part the sense that this is a different time.

Each of the slides lists the co-chairs of the Working Group, and I would urge you to think about these questions and give input and ideas.

A personal note:  I have occasionally been met by some resident skepticism about the ultimate decision-making process for the strategic plan.  As someone who has been a resident member of both iterations of this Committee, and have watched all its steps, I want to reassure you that huge respect is being given to resident ideas, values and the input process. I am absolutely confident that the ultimate plan will deeply respect this input — indeed would be simply impossible without it.

If anyone needs more reassurance, let anyone involved in the process let know — or join it yourself.

But, first of all, look at the whole presentation.

This slide shows all the areas of work.


Thanks to all.


Pink Hats — By Collington Residents, For Collington Staff – Now With Photos At the March

Pink Hats Rule!

Here are three members of our staff, wearing pink hats knitted by residents from the Knitting Group, ready for the Women’s March on Washington tomorrow: Denina, Sonja and Krystal.

This fits in our strategic planning process under “Collington Culture,” “Outreach,” and “Development of Human Capital.”


Here are the hats at the March!


Every rainbow has pink in it!

P.S.  This is up on Kendal’s Facebook page.

Kendal Report, as Always, Has Nice News

Each year the Kendal Annual Report, viewable in full here, reminds us of why Collington’s Kendal affiliation is so important to us.

This year some of the highlights for me are:

A review of some of the highlights of our leadership in whole ageing world, including, to quote for the Board Chair Message:

  • Promoting restraint-free care through Kendal’s national Untie the Elderly® program and the Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative, which has helped virtually eliminate the use of physical restraints in Pennsylvania over the past 20 years.
  • Helping to create the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission, now CARF-CCAC, to promote national standards of excellence.
  • Providing a proving ground for the late Dr. Dennis McCullough’s “Slow Medicine” concept—a more humane and less costly approach to end-of-life care.
  • Pioneering college/retirement communityrelationships with a passion for lifelong learning.
  • Partnering with Hebrew SeniorLife (a Harvard Medical School A liate) to create and implement Vitalize 360, a scientically grounded health
    and wellness assessment system that engages, challenges and inspires older adults to live full, healthy, vibrant lives and enables communities to better foster successful aging.

Similarly quoting, a listing of some of the newer such initiatives:

  • Kendal at Home, which became a full- edged Kendal Affiliate in March, has begun to expand beyond northern Ohio to central and southern Ohio. In November, Kendal at Home introduced private duty home care—including companionship, light housekeeping and personal care—to its members.
  • The new Tapestry program at Barclay Friends is based on the premise that superior dementia care enhances freedom and personal choice. The highly personalized memory support program encourages positive social interactions and fosters a better quality of life.
  • A recent fundraising effort garnered $165,000 in seed money for the Kendal | People Development Initiative. This new program will help develop System-wide programs to support relevant training, certification, internship, fellowship and mentorship programs.
  • In December, Kendal Charitable Funds awarded two Promising Innovations grants for 2015–2016: a $25,000 grant to the Michigan LGBT Aging Project; and a $20,000 grant to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, to fund a yearlong Caregiver Boot Camp program.

So many of these items,most of which are discussed in more detail in the full Report, have so much to say to us in our strategic planning process here at Collington.  In particular, I am moved by this lovely news from the anti-restraint campaign.

Kendal Outreach, a subsidiary of Kendal, which administers and staffs the Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative (PARRI), announced June 7 at a news conference in Pennsylvania’s Capitol that the use of physical restraints in state nursing homes dropped to an all-time low in 2015—0.7 percent. Statistics compiled by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) indicate Pennsylvania has seen a 97.6 percent drop in physical restraint use since PARRI’s inception in 1996.

My question to us all is this:  Twenty years on, what are the national, state, and Collington issue or issues that emerged from the strategic planning process on which we want to be able to look back and say we have been 97.6% successful?

In the same spirit, it’s great (if a little bittersweet) to about our former CFO Amy Harrison, and how:

Amy is one of 22 staff from throughout the Kendal System who recently completed the Kendal Leadership Fellows Program. Modeled after the LeadingAge Academy Program, Kendal’s program consists of three, three-day fellowship retreats held in St. David’s, Pennyslvania, over the course of eight months. Fellows are encouraged to take risks, stretching outside their “comfort zones” to consider new perspectives or try out new behaviors.

How about including residents in the program, or setting up a parallel program for residents interested in such a 97.6% project?  (Actually we could call the initiative “The 97% Project“, to remind ourselves how much difference the right project, at the right time, done by the right people, with the right persistence, can make.)