By: Harry Hobson, President/CEO

As we enter the New Year, it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our achievements from years past. In particular, 2016 was a year of innovation, vision, and forward thinking as residents, administration, and board members alike worked together to implement plans and make dreams become a reality.
 
Some Recent Noteworthy Accomplishments:
In the last five years alone, Plymouth Harbor has seen many aspirations come to fruition: the 2010-2011 enhancements to the Mayflower Restaurant, the 2012 establishment of The Plymouth Harbor Foundation, the 2014 opening of the Wellness Center, the 2015 groundbreaking of the Northwest Garden Building, and the 2016 rejuvenation of Pilgrim Hall. And, of course, elevating our Smith Care Center to the gold standard by achieving the Governor’s Gold Seal Award for Excellence.

We are continuously working to develop strategies to improve the lives of our residents. As we look to the future, we realize the vital importance of striking a balance — not losing sight of the present while we prepare for the future.

The Importance of Due Diligence:
In 2006, an initial master site plan, including the development of a new memory care center, was presented to the board. With the looming economic downturn, the board made a conscious and wise decision to put that plan on hold. Years later, in 2012, we reassessed the need for a dedicated memory care center, asking ourselves, “Is it riskier to not do anything, or riskier to do something?” On December 5, 2012, the board confidently moved forward and began the exploration proces After much planning, research, and due diligence, we realized not only the concern for memory care, but also a need for new assisted living accommodations and that increased independent living apartments were a priority. As a result, official plans for this building, now known as our Northwest Garden, began in 2014.

Today, we continue that focus as we plan for the opening of the new residences in November 2017. We spent the latter part of 2015 and 2016 building a culture of understanding when it comes to dementia and related illnesses through our training with the Positive Approach™ to Care developed by Teepa Snow.

Based on our own experiences and input from board members, residents, and their families, the Plymouth Harbor Foundation and the health services team are currently defining the scope of the programmatic features that will be supported by a capital campaign effort.
 
As we enter 2017, we envision the future of our new campus and are committed to providing the best care and support for our residents and the greater community, providing innovative educational sessions for residents, family members, and the Sarasota community. Our compassion and care will make us stand out, and our ultimate vision for memory care research capabilities will make us unique.

Strategic Plan – Plymouth Harbor 2021:
In the midst of planning for our new building, we celebrated the milestone of our 50-year anniversary and embarked upon a full-scale renovation of Pilgrim Hall, at the suggestion and guidance of our residents.

It was only fitting that one month after our anniversary celebration, at the direction of the Board of Trustees, Plymouth Harbor’s Strategic Planning Oversight Committee was charged with developing a five-year strategic plan: Plymouth Harbor 2021. Following a detailed situational analysis and research of future trends, we narrowed down four crucial strategic goals that will have the most significant impact for Plymouth Harbor going forward.

At the October 2016 meeting, the board reviewed and approved this Strategic Plan. Committees consisting of residents, board members, and administration were formed, and we are proud to announce that we are now in the communication and implementation process.

The four strategic goals that are supported by specific action plans include:

1.) Pursue mission enhancement.
2.) Become an employer of choice in the Sarasota and Manatee area.
3.) Seek out, interpret, and embrace appropriate emerging trends and changing business models.
4.) Ensure PH’s long-term financial success.
 
Throughout this process we realize the importance of staying true to our mission of providing the most positive aging experience possible for our residents.
 
The continued success of Plymouth Harbor wouldn’t be possible without quality trustee leadership, resident involvement, and strong administrative talents. In addition, we are blessed with a philanthropic spirit that is so apparent here at Plymouth Harbor.

We have high hopes as we embark upon the New Year. Our first 50 years revealed a commitment to innovation, perseverance, and excellence that serve as the model for many decades to come.

gh6By: Judy Sarnowski

“Smith’s Best” is a recognition that began in 2013 to honor Smith Care Center’s (SCC) staff role models. We consider these honorees to be our “Hall of Fame” — staff who have performed at a very high level over a long period of time. This is not a monthly recognition; in fact, since 2013, only 11 people have received the Smith’s Best honor.

On November 3rd, SCC staff, along with residents and Plymouth Harbor administration, recognized the 10th and 11th Smith’s Best recipients and first resident honorees. It should be no surprise that this tribute went to George and Florence Heitler!

George is Plymouth Harbor’s very own “Music Man.” His love of theater and music prompted him to share his talents and become a volunteer in SCC in the year 2000. After a decade-and-a-half and almost 200 performances leading sing-alongs at monthly birthday parties and holiday programs, George and his contingent of talented vocalists and musicians are now the longest-running entertainment production in Plymouth Harbor history.

George was no stranger to volunteer work prior to his move to Plymouth Harbor. He had served on the boards of the Chicago Public Library, the Henry Booth Settlement House, and the Longboat Key Democratic Club, and donated countless hours working with Meals on Wheels. Even at a young age, he wanted to be a man of the people and follow in the footsteps of his idol Abraham Lincoln. To that end, he received his law degree from Columbia Law School and served as legal counsel for the Army during World War II, and for National Blue Cross and Blue Shield, setting up health benefits for federal employees until he retired in 1981. Florence can also be proud of her volunteer work, which includes serving with the League of Women Voters and the Citizen Information Service, providing voter assistance to Smith Care Center residents, working with Meals on Wheels, and recording books for the blind.

SCC residents and staff consider themselves lucky to reap the benefits of such a multi-talented couple who had the determination and fortitude to make a positive difference in the lives of others. It is with great humbleness and gratitude that we bestow the honor of being the first non-staff members to receive the Smith Care Center’s “Smith’s Best” Award.

 

picture3There is no doubt that Plymouth Harbor’s residents and employees are dedicated to helping many charities in the Sarasota community. In an effort to organize and combine our efforts, we are installing a brand new, custom collection bin “cabinet” on the Ground Floor of the Tower, located on the open wall across from the doors to the Wellness Center. The cabinet holds openings for four separate bins, which will each be dedicated to a different organization (a rendering is pictured right).

Information on the organizations and their items for donation will be placed above each bin. This information is also listed below. The bin is expected to be installed by mid-December. We hope this will help bring Plymouth Harbor’s donation efforts together and make it easier for those who give!

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels delivers meals to persons in need in the Sarasota community who are unable to provide or prepare a meal for themselves in their home. Serving between 160,000 and 180,000 meals yearly, Meals on Wheels largely operates with the help of its more than 300 volunteers. Plymouth Harbor’s new collection bin will be dedicated to collecting the plastic bags needed to package meals for this organization.

All Faiths Food Bank

All Faiths Food Bank is the local food bank that provides healthy solutions to end hunger in our community. In addition to monthly sorting days with our employees, many of us donate our time and resources to this organization. All Faiths Food Bank’s bin will be dedicated to collecting the following items: packaged or canned fruit or fruit drinks (100% juice and pull-tab tops); cereal; pasta; soup; stew; kid-friendly snacks; peanut butter & jelly; canned tuna, chicken, or salmon; rice; beans of any kind; and powdered milk.

Resurrection House

Resurrection House is a day resource center for the homeless of Sarasota County, where many Plymouth Harbor residents and employees volunteer their time. The organization is always in need of donations, and Plymouth Harbor’s bin will largely collect the following items: clothing — new or gently used, especially jackets and sweatshirts at this time of year, and women’s and men’s jeans (popular waist sizes for men: 30, 32, and 34); sneakers; blankets; and travel-size toiletries.

Sarasota County Animal Services (SCAS)

Plymouth Harbor employee, and longtime SCAS volunteer, Lisa Siroky introduced us to SCAS — a local, volunteer-based shelter in need of donated items for its adoptable dogs and cats. The shelter accepts the following items for dogs: dog toys; tennis balls; wet dog food; Milk Bone treats; dog beds (soft padded kind); old towels, sheets, and blankets; and Martingale dog collars. The following items are accepted for cats: cat toys; Temptations cat treats; cat litter (any brand); wet kitten/cat food (any brand); and cat carriers (gently used or new).

 

img_1145-3It is no secret that our workforce is shrinking and our need for workers is growing. To that end, Plymouth Harbor is participating in initiatives in Sarasota to address this shortage and explore how we can help create awareness of career paths in our industry.

Thursday, October 27th, was the third annual State of Jobs conference, hosted at Suncoast Technical College. This conference was put on by the Chamber of Commerce Talent 4 Tomorrow initiative, and invites high school students to attend, explore career tracks, and prepare for college by interacting with and learning from local businesses and schools.  At the same time, the conference gives the business community an opportunity to work with students and hear firsthand about what interests them and what they need to succeed.

This year’s program offered seven career tracks for students to explore — healthcare, information technology, entrepreneurship/business, manufacturing/engineering, hospitality/tourism, marketing/design, and arts/culture.

Nearly 400 high school students from all over Sarasota County attended the event. Plymouth Harbor was a participant this year, and our goal was two-fold:

1.)  Introduce Plymouth Harbor to the emerging workforce

2.) Inspire students to consider service to seniors as a career path

To accomplish this, we hosted a panel discussion in the Healthcare track that we entitled “Third-Age Nursing.” Tena Wilson, Vice President of Support Services, served as our moderator, and we invited Danny Bushman, SCC CNA; Lauren Krause, SCC Restorative Nurse; Bridget Chapman, Home Care Nurse; and Manny Flores, SCC CNA, to be our panelists. The discussion included our panelists’ perspective on why they chose the nursing field, particularly nursing in senior services, why they remain in it, and how they feel that they truly make a difference in the lives of residents.

To learn more about the State of Jobs conference, you can visit www.stateofjobs.org. Additionally, we plan to share details from the data collected at the conference in a later issue.

 

picture2-9Originally from Peru, Lucy Guzman came to the United States in 2008. In Peru, Lucy was both a nurse technician and massage therapist; however, her credentials did not transfer along with her move.

“I came here with a lot of dreams and goals to reach,” Lucy says of her move to the U.S. Once here, Lucy set to work, not only to learn how to speak English, but also to earn her certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant. In November 2010, she joined the Smith Care Center (SCC) team as a full-time staff member and has been here ever since.

Lucy moved to Sarasota with the youngest of her two sons, while her oldest still lives in Peru with his family. She always intended to go back to school to receive her license as a massage therapist in the U.S., and in 2014, with the help of a scholarship from the Plymouth Harbor Foundation, she did. On February 20, 2015, Lucy graduated from the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy, and eight days later, she passed her Boards to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. She accomplished all of this while still working full-time in SCC.

Today, Lucy continues her work here as a CNA, works part-time as a Massage Therapist, and also has a massage studio at her home. The Wellness Center offers complimentary chair massages each week, and Lucy is one of two massage therapists, onsite on Wednesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

One of massage therapy’s obvious benefits is relaxation, but it also offers improved range of motion, flexibility and circulation, and decreased stress and anxiety. Lucy adds that her background in nursing helps her a great deal in the field of massage, knowing the ins and outs of the nervous system and the different muscle groups, and using that knowledge to maximize both the experience and health benefit for her clients.

“Lucky me,” Lucy says. “I have a job that I love and I have massage — something else I get to do because I love it, and I love helping people.”

To learn more, stop by the Wellness Center on Wednesday mornings, or find Lucy’s information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals Brochure.

 

By: Addie Hurst

ike-and-ada-eisenfeld-3Perky and petite is the best way to describe the Eisenfelds. They recently moved here from Lido Surf and Sand because of their friends the Gainsboros and the Biros. They have only been here a few weeks but their apartment looks as if they have been here for years!

Ike is a Brooklyn man, and Ada is a Michigan lady, so how did they meet? Ike was in the Air Force stationed near Mount Clemens and was introduced to Ada. They had a whirlwind courtship with dates wherever Ada was, thanks to the Air Force, and were married a year later.

Ike served two stints in the Air Force and went to dental school at the University of  Minnesota. Although he also studied in New York, he took the Michigan Boards and opened a practice in Mount Clemens where he practiced for 40 years.

Ike and Ada had four children who have given them eight grandchildren. After the children were fairly well-grown, Ada, a University of Minnesota graduate who had originally been an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, became City Commissioner of Mount Clemens for eight years, Mayor of Mount Clemens for four years, and then was Vice-Chair for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and served on many regional boards.

The Eisenfelds love to travel and have seen most of Western Europe, China, Japan, Alaska, New Zealand, and Australia. They still own a home in Mount Clemens and hope to spend summers there.

They both are very pleased with their choice of Plymouth Harbor and are so impressed with the entire staff and with the residents who stop by their table and introduce themselves.

We wish them a warm welcome!

 

44564By: Becky Pazkowski

As we watch the new building rise out of the ground and take structural shape, we marvel at the excitement each concrete pour brings, as floor after floor is added. Soon we will start to see the walls form, windows added, and the exterior will be buttoned up for the final months of construction.

With the expanded Assisted Living Residence and new Memory Care Residence, you might wonder what life will be like for our new residents of this building. Our goal is to be known as a premier leader, both locally and nationally, in providing innovative care for individuals and families experiencing cognitive decline associated with dementia. The health services team has been working diligently behind the scenes of construction to define and deliver the breadth and depth of this premier program.

At the same time, the Plymouth Harbor Foundation has been working with the health services team to define the portion of the programmatic features that will be supported by a capital campaign effort. A campaign committee has been formed, and they are in the very quiet stages of the campaign, talking with leadership and donors who have expressed interest in supporting the campaign. The two broad components of the project that the campaign will support are Educational Leadership and Inspirational Programming.

Educational Leadership: We have adopted the Positive Approach® to Care, developed by Teepa Snow, whose techniques and training models are used throughout the world.  Plymouth Harbor has initiated campus-wide training for all of our employees on this approach to caring for and interacting with persons with dementia. We will expand the training to include family members and the community-at-large.

Inspirational Programming: A diagnosis of dementia is devastating for you and your loved ones. The future is uncertain. The past is vague and confused. It is the present in which we must live, to seek and celebrate joy, discovery, and connection that can happen in a moment. This moment. Our programs will establish inspiring and fulfilling opportunities to spark that engagement with the moment, reaching the passion, emotion, and enthusiasm within each resident.

In January, we will share more about the specifics of the A Commitment to Memory capital campaign as we move towards our public announcement. Until then, if you have particular questions or would like more information about the campaign, please feel free to contact Becky Pazkowski at Ext. 398, or any of the campaign committee members listed below. Members of the capital campaign committee include:

Walt and Gerry Mattson, Honorary Co-Chairs

Barry and Phil Starr, Co-Chairs

Marie and Tom Belcher

Bruce Crawford and Joan Sheil

Jack Denison

Charles Gehrie

Jean Glasser

Harry Hobson, President/CEO

Jeanne Manser

Ann and Ray Neff

Cade Sibley

Tom Towler and Nancy Lyon

 

By: Isabel Pedersen

jewell-emswiller-3Aptly named, Jewell Emswiller is one of the newest Plymouth Harbor residents. Jewell chose Plymouth Harbor after much research into Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) here and in Virginia.

Jewell and her husband Carl retired in 2000 and began to winter in Sarasota. Tennis became a primary interest in their lives. In fact, Jewell was a contender in two super senior national tournaments.

Coming from a small town in Arkansas, she met Carl when her family moved to Jacksonville, Florida. They married after a whirlwind courtship and moved, for a time, to Newfoundland where Carl was stationed at the Naval Air Station, a primitive early warning base. It was in Newfoundland that they learned what values were really important.

Richmond, Virginia, came next, where Carl received his degree in pharmacy from the Medical College of Virginia. They then bought a traditional drug store in Leesburg, Virginia, converting it into an office practice of pharmacy. Jewell, giving up on her own career, joined him in his practice, becoming his full partner in business as well as in life.

Their efforts to develop collaboration among health professional students and practitioners were honored by the creation of an annual symposium named for them. Its purpose is to foster increased collaboration among those providing health care.

In Leesburg, they were known for their willingness to serve the community. Jewell served on and chaired the Loudon County Planning Commission, the town council, and was an active member of the Rotary Club. In her spare time, she earned a degree from George Mason University.

In Sarasota, her curiosity led her to become a flower arranger. Her arrangements were a part of “Ringling in Bloom” at the Ringling Museum a few years ago. She is also a past president of the Sarasota Garden Club.

With her camera always handy, she has become a photographer of note, winning the 2012 “Best of Loudon” Photo Award, given by the local newspaper.

Jewell splits her time between Leesburg and Plymouth Harbor. We are pleased that Jewell’s research led her here to Plymouth Harbor. Welcome.

 

picture1-9The phrase coined for our 50th anniversary stated, Plymouth Harbor celebrates our past and envisions our future.

January 15, 2017, will mark Plymouth Harbor’s 51st year — as we look back, we thank our founder, The Rev. Dr. John Whitney MacNeil, and our many supporters: employees, residents, their families, board members, donors, and members of the community. We also look to the future, seeking ways to innovate and improve for both current and future residents, who we hope will enjoy Plymouth Harbor for more than 50 years to come.

The future is bright for Plymouth Harbor, located in beautiful Sarasota, which has been consistently ranked as one of the top places to live, work, and retire (No. 1 on Gallup-Healthways 2015 Well-Being Index; No. 14 on U.S. News and World Report’s ‘Best City To Live In 2016;’ and No. 2 on Livability’s 2015 Top 10 Places to Retire, to name a few).

A new attribute for Sarasota is that of  “one of the best ‘small cities’ in the U.S.,” on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2016 list. This list features the top 15 small cities around the U.S. as voted by more than 100,000 readers, highlighting cities that may be scaled down in size, but still offer big-city entertainment and activities.

Plymouth Harbor itself stands as a “small city” — a close-knit community focused on the best in daily living, dining, wellness, and care for our residents. When we look to the future, we realize the definition of “the best” will certainly change over time.

 According to a recent survey by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, emerging trends in our industry point to items like increased use of technology to help sustain independent lifestyles; the expansion of services “beyond” the walls of the organization; and the biggest trend seen across the U.S.— an increased emphasis on choice and value. Older adults want more choices, more control, a redefinition of what community means, and convenience both inside and outside of the community.

Whatever the future holds, Plymouth Harbor is committed to evolving and revolutionizing care for our residents in the years ahead.

 

3212L3-PILGRIM_HALL-SD (3)On Thursday, December 22, 2016, Plymouth Harbor will host a “red carpet” Grand Opening event for our newly rejuvenated Pilgrim Hall. The event will showcase the new hall and will offer self-guided tours of the new space, featuring exciting upgrades including acoustics, seating, lighting, state-of-the-art technology, and more.

The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. with one hour of self-guided tours. While there will be staff stationed throughout Pilgrim Hall to help answer any questions, residents and guests are free to explore the fully-upgraded hall. Also during this time, we will be offering complimentary red carpet photos in the Lobby. At 4:00 p.m., the doors to Pilgrim Hall will close in preparation for the Grand Opening ceremony, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Mayflower Restaurant.

The ceremony will include the dedication and ribbon cutting for the rejuvenated Pilgrim Hall, as well as remarks from President/CEO Harry Hobson and other key individuals involved in the project. A reception with complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will follow the ceremony, sponsored by Integrity Sound and WBRC Architects, our audio visual installation team and architect. Pilgrim Hall will again be opened for tours during the reception.

As a part of Pilgrim Hall’s Grand Opening, we have prepared a special program lineup beginning January 1, 2017, that will run through the end of February 2017. These programs, which will be revealed at the event, showcase the variety of amenities offered in the newly rejuvenated Pilgrim Hall.

Plymouth Harbor is proud to celebrate the completion of this exciting project and looks forward to providing the best programming  possible for our residents. Please look for an event invitation with more details and information in your mailbox in early December.

 

Below are some particulars regarding the rejuvenation:

Acoustical Treatments:  The interior walls, ceiling, exterior corridor, and front and back of the room have all been acoustically treated with panels and rounded materials that allow the sound to travel equally throughout the Hall.  There will be a new stage curtain and a curtain in the back of the room, which will further enhance the acoustics.  Sound deadening panels have been added to the exterior corridor that is shared with the Café.  These new treatments were intended to improve residents’ ability to hear and converse in the Café during meals.

Seating:  There will be 100 seats:  95 are permanent and 5 are removable to make space for wheelchairs or scooters.  The manufacturer of the all-new seating is American Seating, the same company that provided the previous seats in Pilgrim Hall.  The size (height and width) of the new seats are very similar to the previous seats, but the cushions are new and improved material that will add to the comfort and long-term durability.  Several of the end caps of the rows will lift up to provide ease in entering the seats.

Integrated Audio System:  The microphone system is all new and it operates on a digital system, which improves the quality of the sound.  Additionally, a new surround-sound system is being installed to improve sound needed for video, computer, or DVD.

 Upgraded Video Technology and Improved Sight Lines:  A new Pan/Tilt/Zoom video camera is being installed that will project a high definition picture onto a new high definition large screen.  To improve sight lines for guests, 55” TV monitors will be installed on both sides of the hall, about half way back.

Enhanced House and Theatrical Lighting:  House lighting is being added to the north and south walls in the form of beautiful sconces.  Recessed house lighting has been added to the ceilings of the house and the stage.  Theatrical lighting, including two movable spotlights, will be added to highlight the stage.

Increased Storage:  A new permanent storage area has been added outside of the rear of the hall for storage of walkers and wheelchairs during dinner or an event in the hall. The Steinway piano has been accommodated backstage for permanent storage, and the vertical rack for the audio/visual equipment has its own storage area backstage.

Increased Accessibility:  A ramp has been added to access the stage.  The two doors from the Café corridor have each been widened by 18” to improve ingress and egress.  The moveable wall at the rear of the hall provides another opportunity to move into and out of the hall quickly.  That wall also allows us to retain our flexibility in expanding seating during an expected overflow event, should the need arise.

Repositioning of the Sound Booth:  Previously, the sound booth was positioned at the front of the hall.  Sound booths are typically at the back of a performance hall, so that the technician will be able to hear and see what the audience is hearing and seeing.  We have been able to add a portable sound booth at the back of the hall, which can be removed when it is not needed.  Mobile applications make it possible for the control of the lights, audio, and video to be pre-set and controlled at any location in the hall.

Colors and Décor:  The décor package has been carefully considered to coordinate with the restaurant and the lobby, but with some added enhancements.  Wall coverings, curtains, paint, carpet, chair fabric, and beautiful woods combine to offer a refreshing new look in the hall, while not taking a complete departure from the existing design of adjacent areas.