Plymouth Harbor is proud to announce Stephanie Leathers as our new Administrator of Assisted Living and Memory Care. Stephanie joined the Plymouth Harbor team in July 2017.

In her new role as Administrator of Assisted Living and Memory Care, Stephanie is charged with helping to open our new Assisted Living and Memory Care residences in the Northwest Garden Building as well as planning, organizing, developing, and coordinating overall operations. Stephanie will also help to establish policies and procedures, but most importantly, she will be instrumental in the development and implementation of our premier programming in the new residences.

Prior to joining Plymouth Harbor, Stephanie served as Administrator at Mount View Assisted Living in Lockport, New York, where she was responsible for the daily operations of the 150-bed facility with an internal certified Home Health Care Agency. In her time at Mount View Assisted Living, she was instrumental in the establishment and opening of a 118-bed sister facility in a nearby county, and managed a staff of over 80 employees. Before that, Stephanie served in several different capacities at Elderwood Senior Care in Williamsville, New York. Her positions there included Administrator, Resident Care Manager, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Unit Manager.

A Registered Nurse, Stephanie attended Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, New York, where she received her Associate in Applied Science degree with a major in nursing. While there, Stephanie received the Elena T. Perone Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Plymouth Harbor is thrilled to have Stephanie as a part of our team, and we look forward to seeing her personal touch on the opening of our new Assisted Living and Memory Care residences.

 

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is among the largest public health systems in the state of Florida, offering specialties in heart, vascular, neuroscience, and cancer services, in addition to a far-reaching network of outpatient, long-term care, and rehabilitation centers and programs. That said, it is also one of Sarasota County’s largest employers, with over 5,000 employees, 900 physicians, and 600 volunteers.

There are many facets to Sarasota Memorial, which was founded in 1925 and is governed by a nine-member elected Sarasota County Public Hospital Board. This is one of the only politically-elected public boards where members serve on a volunteer basis, at no cost, weighing in on major issues such as overall hospital function, its operations and challenges, real estate acquisitions and expansions, and more. Plymouth Harbor residents have served as members on this board, including John de Jongh and Tom Towler. Tom served on the board for more than nine years and resigned in January 2016. John, who has been actively involved with Sarasota Memorial and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc., for many years, was appointed to fill Tom’s vacant at-large seat and served for one year. 

Sarasota Memorial also depends on its hospital volunteers, who are given a variety of assignments, usually once per week on a four-hour shift basis. Resident Nancy Lyon has been a volunteer for nearly 20 years in many different capacities, alongside Tom Towler who volunteered from 1991 up until last year. Additionally, Alida de Jongh became involved several years ago, formerly working in the gift shop and now serving in the dispatch office. “We’re assigned jobs throughout the hospital, so we’re walking a lot,” Alida says. “But we’re so glad to help because it frees up the nurses for the more important jobs they need to be doing.”

Another element, mentioned previously, is the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation. Established in 1976 as an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Foundation was formed to help raise and distribute funds to improve programs, education, and technological advancements. As such, the Healthcare Foundation may receive gifts, grants, and bequests for restricted or unrestricted funds, and expends those funds for equipment, clinical studies, research, training, education programs, and capital improvements. Resident Bill Stanford has worked with the Healthcare Foundation for close to 20 years. He currently sits on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees as Vice-Chair and formerly served as Treasurer and Chair. John de Jongh now serves on the Healthcare Foundation’s marketing and development committee, and Tom Towler also served on the board of the Foundation for nine years.

Furthermore, Sarasota Memorial’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) is responsible for the ongoing review of research conducted at the hospital and protecting the rights of those who volunteer to participate in that research. It is guided by the principles set forth in the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research report, and IRB members are appointed by the President/CEO of Sarasota Memorial. Members include physicians, pharmacists, nurses, community members, legal counsel, and hospital employees. Residents Tom Towler and Barbara Balaban have served as community representatives of the IRB.

To learn more about the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, you may visit www.smh.com.

 

We are very happy to announce the scholarship awards this year to employees and children of employees. It gives us great pleasure to assist individuals as they pursue their passions through advancing their training and education.

Picture1Dianna Stilley, Charleen Sessions Scholarship ($2,000)
Dianna is a Certified Nursing Assistant in our Home Care department currently. She is enrolled at Angel Technical Institute to earn her LPN so that she can pursue her passion as a nurse. Dianna relayed a story where her neighbor had collapsed one day in the yard and she administered CPR until the paramedics arrived. She knew at that moment that nursing was her calling.
 
 

Picture2Carol Bello, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Carol is currently a server in Dining Services. She graduated this spring from Florida State University and aspires to practice law. She has applied for a scholarship to help fund a preparatory course for the LSAT (the exam required for all law school applicants), which will help her to be accepted into the two law schools of her choice. This is the fourth year that Carol has received a Foundation scholarship. An advocate for human rights, Carol’s overall goal is to become a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations.

 
Kimberly Gutierrez, Jane T. Smiley Scholarship ($2,000)
Kimberly is the daughter of José Gutierrez, a Plymouth Harbor Employee in Dining Services. Kimberly is attending Suncoast Technical College to earn her Early Childhood Education certification. She is a kind, gentle soul, with deep compassion for young children and helping them to achieve their goals. She has been inspired by her parents, who are hard workers and deeply committed to the success of their children. Kimberly hopes to one day open her own daycare center.

 

Picture4Nathan Stotler, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Nathan is the son of Kay Stotler, a nurse in our Home Care department. Nathan is studying communications at State College of Florida and aspires to a career in cinematography someday. His recommenders describe him as a very determined young man who sets and achieves ambitious goals for himself. He is a polished communicator and has set his sights on a career he is passionate about.

 
 

Picture5Devin Vancil, Jeannette Gehrie Music Scholarship ($1,500)
Devin is the 13-year-old son of Fran Vancil in our Maintenance department. Devin has an interest in violin and wishes to take lessons to improve his skills. He is enrolled at Allegro Music Academy and began his lessons in July. Devin is intelligent and respectful, and has recently been accepted into the National Junior Honor Society. We know we will see impressive things come from this young man.

 
 

Picture6Dayle Cortes, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Dayle is the son of Hernando Cortes, a nurse in our Smith Care Center. This is the second year of Dayle’s scholarship support as he enters his second year at University of Florida Innovations Academy. He recently changed his major from accounting to marketing and aspires to be a successful entrepreneur one day. He is a confident, respectful, and driven young man who we have no doubt will achieve his goals.

 
 

Picture7 Jessica Taylor, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Jessica, daughter of Cindy Taylor in our Home Care department, is pursuing an education in pharmacy. Currently at State College of Florida completing her associate’s degree with prerequisites for pharmacy, she plans to transfer to LECOM via their bridge program to complete the pharmacy program. This is a career track that has been a long time passion for Jessica.

 
 

Picture8Helen Duerr, Residents Association Scholarship ($2,000)
Helen is the daughter of Eva Duerr, registered nurse in our Smith Care Center and Staff Development Coordinator. Helen is a nursing student at State College of Florida pursuing her RN and, eventually, a bachelor’s in nursing. She hopes to work in pediatrics, neonatal, or obstetrics, something involving children. She is passionate about nursing, having shared a story about tagging along with her mother while Eva tended to her home care patients. She was inspired by the love her mother has always had for patient care and making her patients feel comforted and well cared for.

 

Picture8Cathy Laponius, Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant ($800)*
Cathy works in our Dining Services department and plans to complete the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) training to receive her certification. With support from the Dining Services department, and a commitment on her part, we will be fortunate to have another CDM among our talented staff.

*The Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant provides support for employees who show interest in leadership and advancement in their field. This is the first award for this grant program, which was established in 2015.

 

By: David Beliles

If you’re an early riser, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you may have noticed the solitary figure swimming laps in the pool at 7:00 a.m. That would be Barbara Pickrell, new resident of Plymouth Harbor, an interesting new neighbor who you should seek out and meet.

One of the many interesting facts about Barbara is the reason she’s here and how she accomplished getting here. A longtime resident of the Phoenix, Arizona, area, she began having difficulty with the air quality of the region and breathing difficulties began. She searched the internet to find areas of the nation where the quality of the air was better. She discovered that Southwest Florida, the area south of Tampa Bay and down to Fort Myers, enjoyed some of the better air in the nation. That led her to long vacations in Sanibel and Naples, and finally, Sarasota.

Following that major decision to move to Sarasota, Barbara next began research on continuing care communities in the area. She reported that that was the easy part. Plymouth Harbor stood alone as the finest in her opinion.

Born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Barbara also lived in Boston, Los Angeles, and Paradise Valley, near Phoenix. She and her husband Hank, a successful mortgage broker, had 25 years together before his death in 1999. Barbara found travel the only release from her grief and has visited over 160 countries since Hank’s death. Most of her trips were with bird study groups, since Barbara is an avid “birder.”

Following high school and junior college, Barbara moved to L.A. and completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal State, L.A. After more graduate work, she became a psychologist for L.A. County Department of Hospitals and at the Aeton Rehabilitation Center. During the last four years she has also become a Spiritual Director.

Her civic experience is extensive and impressive. While living in the Phoenix area she served on the executive boards of the Arizona Opera and Homeward Bound. She also served on the Foundation for Senior Living board. Currently, she is a chalice bearer and leader of Centered Prayer at her church, All Angels by the Sea, Longboat Key.

Barbara has two stepdaughters, five grandchildren from them, and 11 great grandchildren.

In addition to swimming, Barbara enjoys dancing, adventure travel, and photography. Her apartment looks like an intimate modern art museum, with large, quality pieces lining the walls.

 

Throughout history, building design and construction has adapted to reflect design trends, technological advances, and most importantly, to address social needs. For example, take the evolution of the skyscraper in the early 1900s. As more and more Americans flocked to major cities, available real estate became harder to come by. With the addition of new steel framing technology, the concept of the skyscraper became possible — capturing exponential growth within a contained footprint.

Today, builders are focused on reducing a different kind of footprint: our environmental footprint. It may come as no surprise that the “green” movement is becoming more mainstream — however, in most cases, energy-reducing technologies have become a standard requirement in today’s building codes. This is due in part to continually emerging technologies that are not only lowering our impact on the environment, but are also minimizing overall operating costs.

At Plymouth Harbor, residents and employees alike have made conservation efforts a priority in recent years. The same rings true in the construction of our Northwest Garden building, which has incorporated many green elements. Some of these conservation items include:

Our overall building site uses recycled crushed concrete as the base material for pavement; a portion of the new asphalt also uses recycled materials; the landscaping that has been selected is indigenous to Florida (reducing water usage); and demolished concrete and asphalt are diverted to local landfills for recycling. Additionally, building materials, including all concrete, CMU block, and asphalt are produced locally, and any raw materials, are sourced from Florida. The new structural steel is made up of recycled material, and all paints, sealants, and adhesives are low odor and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) — limiting the release of toxic emissions into the air.

Energy conservation in the exterior of the Northwest Garden is mainly exemplified in the form of insulation. The exterior windows are insulated to minimize heat gain from the sun, keeping a cool temperature throughout the building. The same can be said for the roof and exterior wall insulation. You also may have noticed a white material incorporated into the building’s roofing system — this material helps to reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun.

Inside the building, you will find elements such as LED lightbulbs, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and occupancy sensors to control the lighting of appropriate common areas when not in use. In the building’s garage, electric car-charging stations are available. The exact number and locations are being determined.

Furthermore, non-residential HVAC units are controlled by a building automation system. This is connected to the campus energy system rather than adding remote equipment, which would require additional power. An Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system is also being used, which exchanges the energy contained in normally exhausted building air and uses it to treat (or precondition) the incoming outdoor ventilation air in an HVAC system.

While this is certainly not a complete list of each and every green element used in the construction of our new Northwest Garden, we hope it provides a look into its sustainable design. We look forward to sharing many of these elements with you in person as we continue to approach our Grand Opening in November.

 

Since 2010, Plymouth Harbor has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Functional Pathways, a contract rehabilitation and therapy management service. Functional Pathways provides the staffing needed in our Rehab Department to offer superior inpatient and outpatient therapy to not only residents of the Smith Care Center, but to all residents of Plymouth Harbor. We are proud to share that satisfaction ratings from those receiving therapy services consistently exceed our benchmark.

Recently, the Residents Association Health and Wellness Committee requested more information regarding services that are available to residents as they try to improve the safety of their apartments relative to fall prevention. As a result, we have provided a summary of services below.

For the increased safety and independence of our residents, the Rehab Department offers individual assessments. Performed by a skilled Occupational Therapist, this one-on-one assessment is performed in the privacy of your home and usually lasts about 45 minutes. The therapist will evaluate your specific concerns and make any necessary recommendations to reduce your chance of an accident. Additionally, the therapist may offer an assessment plan to enhance the function of your home. For example, this most often includes rearranging items or furniture for ease-of-use, or adding select safety devices, such as grab bars, to aid in independent movement. As physical, sensory, or cognitive changes occur, the environment should change as well. Any recommendations made by the therapist will be provided to you in writing. From there, the Plymouth Harbor team, including Home Care, Housekeeping, and Maintenance, is available to assist you in implementing any changes you wish to make.

Therapy assessments are covered by traditional Medicare and most other health insurance plans under the following conditions: 1) You have experienced a new illness or injury; 2) You have a chronic condition that has worsened; 3) You are dealing with new equipment (i.e., a walker) or are adjusting to a new environment. Please note that the cost of equipment is often out-of-pocket.

If you would like more information on how a home assessment may benefit you, please call the Rehab Department at Ext. 166, and ask for Gina.

The Bernard and Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust has made a $30,000 grant to A Commitment to Memory Campaign to support a premier lecture series that will be named The Doyle Trust Lectures. These lectures will be delivered by local, national, and international experts on the latest research, treatments, and caregiving techniques in the industry. We believe it is critical to bring hope to our residents, families, and the community that there are experts working to better understand, treat, and perhaps cure the diseases that result in dementia.

The grant will make it possible for us to host one expert lecturer annually, who would speak to several audiences over a two-day period. The Doyle Trust Lectures will be open to professional caregivers and staff at Plymouth Harbor, board members, residents and families at Plymouth Harbor, Harbor Club members, and the community of Sarasota.

We are very grateful to the Bernard and Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust Selection Committee for this generous support.

 

We are very happy to announce that residents Margo and Chris Light have made a gift to support the music concert series in the new Memory Care Residence. The musical concerts will be given by professional musicians four times per year, twice in the fall and twice in the winter, during high season in Sarasota.

The concerts will take place in the dining rooms of the two Memory Care residences and will include both neighborhoods. These concerts will be an opportunity to invite family members and friends to attend. Hors d’oeuvres will be offered for the guests, making it possible for families to have a pleasant social interaction with their loved ones in a safe and festive environment. The concert series will be named the Light Concert Series.

Please join us in thanking the Lights for their support!

 

Plymouth Harbor recently participated in CareerSource Suncoast’s Career Academy program, running from June 12th through July 20th. In its third year, the Career Academy is a five-week program that provides high school students the opportunity to learn about careers in a variety of fields. These fields, or “career tracks,” include: Foundations, Healthcare, Information Technology, Manufacturing & Construction, and Business/Entrepreneurship.

The Career Academy grew out of a state grant to create annual programs targeted at low-income teens facing a barrier in one way or another. Forty students (juniors or seniors in high school) were admitted into this year’s program – 20 from Sarasota County and 20 from Manatee County. Each week, students visit various organizations in the community pertaining to that week’s career track to increase leadership skills, network with industry professionals, and learn a variety of skills.

In addition to receiving $1,000, each student earns college credit through State College of Florida for participating. Students are assigned a program mentor, with whom they meet each Monday and Wednesday; and on Tuesdays, they take a “field trip” to two different participating organizations. Additionally, throughout the program, they are invited to attend networking events at Manatee Technical College and Suncoast Technical College.

On Tuesday, June 20th, the Career Academy’s Sarasota County students visited Plymouth Harbor as part of the Healthcare career track. While introducing students to the healthcare field within a Life Plan Community was a top priority, our overall goal was to introduce students to the many different career paths available within an organization like Plymouth Harbor.

After receiving a general overview of Plymouth Harbor by President/CEO Harry Hobson, students were given a tour of the campus and introduced to the following career tracks and opportunities within our organization: Health Services, Wellness, Security/Concierge/Transportation, Sales/Marketing, Maintenance/Grounds, Communications, and more. The students ended their tour with a meal and presentation by Dining Services, Accounting, and Resident Programming.

We are proud to be part of this exciting partnership within the community, helping students to identify, at a young age, careers and opportunities that are available to them right here in their backyard. We hope to continue to partner with CareerSource on similar initiatives in the future.

 

With its iconic architecture and exceptional performance lineup, the city-owned Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is known far-and-wide as Southwest Florida’s premier performing arts hall. In fact, in 2017 it was ranked the No. 1 Performing Arts Hall in North America in the 2000-seat category of “top spots” for the sixth time in Venues Today magazine.
 
The Van Wezel offers Broadway musicals, popular comedians, world-class symphony orchestras, top international performers, and classical, ethnic, and modern dance. With over 100 of these events per season, the Hall also hosts close to 50 events presented by the Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Ballet, the Sarasota Concert Association, and the Ringling Library Town Hall Lecture Series. In addition, what many may not realize is that the Van Wezel runs an educational program that brings over 30,000 of our youth (K–12) to the Hall for special performances, and sends visiting artists into our local schools and community. Through a partnership with the Sarasota County School Board and the John F. Kennedy Center Partners in Education program, teachers also have the ability to participate in development workshops, learning to teach through and about the arts.
 
Like so many organizations in the Sarasota community, the Van Wezel depends on volunteers to assist in offering the finest performing arts experience. Resident Don Fosselman was introduced to the Van Wezel by friends shortly after he moved here. Today, he has been volunteering as an usher for nearly 15 years. His love of the arts and the Hall’s variety of performances has kept him there.
 
In 1987, the Van Wezel Foundation was formed to support the overall mission of the Hall. Established as a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation operates independently, but as a partner, of the city-owned and-operated Hall. Since then, the Foundation has directed millions of dollars in support of the Hall’s capital improvements, programs, and ongoing educational efforts, like the initiatives described above. Resident Karl Newkirk has been a member of the Van Wezel Foundation Board since 2007.

According to Karl, an important focus of the Foundation Board today is the Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 initiative first started by Michael Klauber, the restaurateur, some three years ago. This is an independent group working to plan the future of 42 acres of mostly open, city-owned Bayfront land. The vision is to support the creation of a long-term master plan for the Bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region, while ensuring open, public access to the Bayfront.

There are over 50 community stakeholder organizations involved in Sarasota Bayfront 20:20, including Plymouth Harbor. In 2016, based upon the recommendation of Bayfront 20:20, the City Commissioners formed the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, an independent, privately funded, 501(c)(4) organization with a nine-member board, whose objective is to ensure the delivery of a professionally-prepared master plan to the City. Representatives of the Van Wezel Foundation Board regularly attend the organization’s meetings, providing input as requested and advocating for the Hall’s needs, which include a vision of a brand new, state-of-the-art iconic facility replacing the nearly 50-year-old Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Karl stresses, however, that this does not mean the Hall’s beloved purple building would be torn down, but rather more likely repurposed. That said, decisions are yet to be made and planning is expected to continue over the next year.
 
“All of us are proud of, and value, Sarasota’s recognition as the arts and culture center of Southwest Florida. The Van Wezel is clearly the centerpiece for that Brand,” Karl says. “Fully developing the 42 acres for use by the community at-large is a once in a generation opportunity and I cannot stress how important this will be in maintaining Sarasota’s leadership and commitment to that Brand.”
 
To learn more about the Van Wezel, visit www.VanWezel.org/support/ or call 941-955-7676. You may also place a note in Karl’s mailbox (T-25A) and he will be glad to get in touch with you.