Since 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has celebrated National Nurses Week from May 6th through May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing. This annual event recognizes and celebrates the hard work and dedication exhibited each and every day by nurses across the country.

Additionally, National Nursing Home Week is celebrated annually, beginning May 14th and ending May 20th. Established by the American Health Care Association in 1967, and always beginning on Mother’s Day, National Nursing Home Week provides an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and surrounding communities to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for seniors. This year, Plymouth Harbor celebrated both annual events during the week of May 15th through May 19th.

Our campus-wide celebration honored our Home Care, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing staff, offering a small event each day, including: “Sundae” Monday, OJ and bagels on Tuesday, Staff Bingo on Wednesday, Taco and Potato Bar on Thursday, and the Blessing of the Hands on Friday.

Held in the Smith Care Center, the Blessing of the Hands offers a simple blessing to our caretakers through a cleansing with myrrh water. Aides, nurses, housekeepers, dining staff, residents, and administration alike are invited to attend, where we acknowledge the role each plays in caring for our residents. The following is said to each participant during the ceremony, “May the work of your hands bring comfort, dignity, and mercy to all the people your hands touch.”

We are truly thankful for the work of our healthcare team and for all those who care for our residents here at Plymouth Harbor.

By: Lorna Hard

Love of water, boats, and sailing are at the center of Bruce Donaldson’s life and always have been. During his childhood in Detroit, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents at their home on the St. Clair River. His first experience of a boat was their row boat. As a very young child, he spent as much time as possible in that boat, trying to make it a sailboat by holding a beach umbrella up to catch the wind. He would go as far upstream as possible behind the umbrella and then close it and float back downstream to the house.

When he was eight he decided to build himself a proper sailboat. This was the first boat he designed, a catboat made from a four-foot by eight-foot piece of plywood and white pine boards. The mast and boom were bamboo and the sail was made from an old sheet. This greatly expanded the range of his sailing on the St. Clair River.

Bruce attended local schools and then enrolled at Olivet College in Michigan. After one year at Olivet, he moved to Florida and spent the next year racing sailing yachts in the waters around Florida and beyond to earn enough money to finance the rest of his college career. He then put himself through Florida State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Except for two years of service in the United States Army in the mid-1950s, Bruce’s entire career was in the boating industry. Through perseverance and a couple of lucky coincidences, he joined Chris Craft Corporation when they moved their headquarters to Fort Lauderdale. He continued with Chris Craft for more than thirty years, working in sales, plant management, the development of products, and corporate management, ending up as president of the company. Most of his career with Chris Craft was in Fort Lauderdale, but he also spent five years at the Chris Craft plant in Holland, Michigan. When the corporate headquarters moved to Sarasota, Bruce settled here. When Chris Craft was sold, Bruce joined Wellcraft Marine where he worked for nine years. He ended his career with Galati Marine, where he worked for eighteen years. The first few years in Sarasota, Bruce lived on Longboat Key and then moved to St. Armands Key where he lived for more than twenty years before moving to Plymouth Harbor at the end of March.

While he was living in Fort Lauderdale Bruce met and married his wife, Judy. When they married, Judy’s son, Tim, was eight years old. Bruce and Judy raised Tim together, and Bruce and Tim are very close. Even though Tim lives in Colorado, he came to Sarasota several times to help Bruce with his move to Plymouth Harbor, and they very much enjoy their time together. Sadly, Judy passed away in 2006.

Bruce considers himself extremely fortunate to have been able to make his living doing what he loves most. Especially, his corporate career entailed long hours working and not a lot of free time, but he enjoyed it all and Judy was very supportive. Bruce is glad to have moved to Plymouth Harbor, but when he moved into Apartment W-302 in March, something was missing. That apartment does not have a water view. So, he put himself on the waiting list for an apartment overlooking the Bay and began happily settling into life at Plymouth Harbor. By early May, Apartment W-315 across the West Garden on the water side became available. Bruce will be happily living there by the time this is published.

He considers Plymouth Harbor his “Last Port of Call” and, with that move he will be snugged down in the “perfect slip” with a lovely view of the water.

 

By: Isabel Pedersen

Aase Eriksen and Frederik Bredahl-Petersen’s names just begin to hint at the complexity of their lives.

Frederik was born in Denmark of an American mother. Growing up there, he started his long educational journey in Denmark, finishing with graduate degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is an American citizen as well as a Danish one. Aase, too, has dual citizenships.

Aase (say Osa) was born in Denmark of a Norwegian family. After studying architecture in Denmark, she continued with her master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Aase founded her own firm, designing many buildings in many countries. While serving as professor of architecture, shuttling between the University of Pennsylvania and Norway’s Trondheim University, she produced copious research. She did not really live on the airplane but it must have felt as if she did.

Frederik, an anthropologist and author, investigated other cultures, specializing in the North Atlantic Region. His professorship was at Temple University, blessedly, in Philadelphia, where the University of Pennsylvania is located.

These two have many stories to tell. Ask them. You will enjoy their tales.

 

Plymouth Harbor recently participated in the State of Talent Conference hosted by CareerSource Suncoast in partnership with the Patterson Foundation. This is the first year for the State of Talent Conference, which was held on Friday, May 19th, at the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.

The conference was aimed at Human Resources and Operations Executives, and its purpose was to bring together employers from Sarasota and Manatee counties who wish to learn how better to recruit, train, and retain talent.

Plymouth Harbor was the sponsor for the Age-Friendly Workplace Panel discussion. Harry Hobson, our President/CEO, was joined on the panel by Kathy Black, Ph.D. (gerontologist and professor at USF), and Mike Jeffries (owner and operator of Mader Electric, Inc.). Laurey Strkyer of the Patterson Foundation moderated the discussion. The topics discussed included demographics of the current workforce, how companies like Plymouth Harbor and Mader Electric recruit and retain employees of all ages, and some of the highlights of each generation.

Harry Hobson kicked off the session by introducing Plymouth Harbor, as an employment leader in Sarasota for over 50 years. He cited the challenges we face in recruiting staff for the new Northwest Garden Building, especially our new level of care in the memory care residence, with the increasing demand in Sarasota for hospitality talent. He also stated the importance of Plymouth Harbor and other Life Plan Communities in Sarasota to make themselves known as an industry where individuals can build their careers in nearly every field, such as accounting, marketing, culinary, healthcare, trades, philanthropy, and hospitality.

“At a recent meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, it was surprising for us to learn that when naming industries that exist in our state, the Life Plan Community industry was not even recognized,” said Harry. “It was an eye-opener to us and we decided to take some action and get involved to introduce our industry to the budding and existing workforce.”

Other organizations participating in the sessions included Department of Economic Opportunity, Dr. Rick Goodman, the Herald-Tribune, Intern Bridge, Game On Nation, FCCI Insurance, PGT Industries, Design Concepts Marine Concepts, and Anna Maria Oyster Bar. The conference was sold out, with approximately 150 participants.

 

A. Rothman Institute, where he serves as President and CEO, and The Rothman Index. 

According to Dr. Finlay, healthcare in the United States is beset by upward spiraling and financially unsustainable costs and quality that is disappointing at best. He says, “These pressures have led to a broad conclusion by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the industry as a whole, that the system must change from the current fee-for-service payment model to a ‘value-based’ reimbursement model.”
 
Early efforts to address this issue have had inconsistent results in terms of both quality and cost measurements. Common to these approaches, and any others likely to be proposed, is that they are patient-centered and thus require a means to accurately measure and follow a patient’s overall condition at any level of care, from the acute care hospital through skilled nursing, home health care, and assisted and independent living organizations.
 
The Rothman Index
The Rothman Index is an acuity metric developed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The Index uses data empirically, associated with severity of illness, and automatically computed, using data routinely entered in the electronic medical record — including nursing assessments, Braden Scale score, cardiac rhythm, vital signs, blood oxygen level, and lab test results.
 
The Rothman Index has been validated with over 30 peer-reviewed articles and is used in over 60 hospitals nationwide, including Methodist Houston, the Yale New Haven Health System, and the University of Florida Hospitals. Preliminary studies in skilled nursing facilities appear to support its accuracy outside the hospital.

Plymouth Harbor’s Involvement
It has been speculated that a functionally equivalent index of acuity can be constructed for those persons living independently. Therefore, the Florence A. Rothman Institute is exploring a trial study whereby patients conduct their own medical self-assessments by answering a series of questions.

In April 2017, Dr. Finlay formally invited our independent living residents to participate in the study, working collaboratively with The Rothman Index and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The study officially began on May 9, 2017, with 43 Plymouth Harbor participants.
 
About the Study
The study consists of 43 independent living volunteers who will answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to 14 questions about possible symptoms pertaining to their own body systems. Then, the same volunteers will have a Registered Nurse independently perform a “standard” head-to-toe nursing assessment for comparison. This assessment will be repeated on a second occasion separated by more than 24 hours.

This study is funded by the Florence A. Rothman Institute (www.farinstitute.org) under the auspices of the Institutional Review Board of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System.

We hope to have results to share from this study in the coming weeks.

In recent months, Plymouth Harbor engaged in a competitive graduate student project with architectural students from the University of Florida’s CityLab-Sarasota campus. We worked with six students enrolled in a master’s seminar under the instruction of adjunct professor and celebrated local architect, Guy Peterson.

Through this partnership, the major project for the seminar was decided to be the porte cochère on the ground level entrance of our new Northwest Garden Building. As the main point of entry to the new building, the porte cochère’s design served as an important, hands-on project for the students. The students worked in pairs, forming three teams. From there, each team was given a period of three months to outline their design and a stipend of $1,000 for any materials needed for their involvement in the project.

Guy Peterson, George McGonagill (Plymouth Harbor’s Vice President of Facilities), and Lorraine Enwright (THW Architects), worked with the students to identify the scope of the project, budget, structural parameters, and a materials list that was consistent with that of the building. Becky Pazkowski (Plymouth Harbor’s Senior Vice President of Philanthropy) served as Program Advisor, while George served in the role of Construction Advisor.

At the completion of the project, students were asked to present their designs for consideration for a first, second, or third prize. The first place pair received a $5,000 prize, second received $3,000, and third received $1,000, each to be split between the two team members. The first place award was supported by residents Marie and Tom Belcher, and the second and third place awards were supported by resident Charles Gehrie.

On Friday, May 5, the students presented their respective projects to Plymouth Harbor’s selection committee, and were called back to Plymouth Harbor on Monday, May 8, for the award announcements.

Each design was impressive, and one stood out among the rest. Offering a sophisticated, modern design, the first place winner met the requirements for the scope of the project above all others (rendering pictured on page 1. Please note: this is only a rendering, not an actual depiction of the final product). In the coming months, we will incorporate much of this design into the final plans for the Northwest Garden.

Plymouth Harbor was proud to collaborate with these talented students, four of whom are now graduates with their Master of Architecture degrees.

Below are the student teams, by prize:

1st Prize: Gabriella Ebbesson & Miranda Crowe
2nd Prize: Elena Nonino & Olivia Ellsworth
3rd Prize: Brittany Perez & Francia Salazar

 
 

By: Sallie VanArsdale

Prominent among the common interests of new residents Laurie and Tom Goddard is the desire to live next to water. Possibly, this began in their childhoods. Laurie grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, near Massachusetts Bay. Tom did the same in Brooklyn, New York, where the southern shore edges the Atlantic.

After graduating from Weymouth High School, Laurie worked at the General Dynamics Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. Tom graduated from “Poly Prep” in Brooklyn and went on to MIT. After graduating with B.S. and M.S. degrees, MIT’s ROTC took him to the U.S. Navy, assigned to the Quincy General Dynamics Shipyard, where, of course, he met Laurie. Within a few months they married. After they left the shipyard, Laurie worked for Mobil Oil and Tom went to Exxon in New York City. Wherever they lived there was water; Brooklyn, briefly, Darien, Connecticut, and Madison, New Jersey, for longer periods.

In Darien, they joined the Roton Point Sailing Association (RPSA) and raced a tornado class catamaran. They supported the RPSA on land, too — Laurie as Treasurer, Tom as Commodore. Summers found them vacationing at Hyannis at a Goddard family home.

Tom spent twenty-nine years at Exxon International. One early project, research on building large oil tankers, sent him to Scandinavia where the best facilities are located. “Some of the research models we used were pretty large themselves, forty feet long,” he commented. In 1973, Tom and a Dutch engineer, Wilhem Van Berlekom, won the Kinnard Prize of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Laurie took advantage of Tom’s travel to visit the site and meet the researchers. She worked for Mobil for 21 years, including 10 of those as Assistant to the President. When Mobil moved to Virginia, she signed on with Exxon. “Commuting together was much pleasanter,” she observed smiling.

After retirement, the Goddards spent 20 summers on Cape Cod and winters in Stuart, Florida. They joined the U.S. Sailing Center in Martin County. The Center must have been delighted when two seasoned sailors volunteered for their race committee.

How did they find Plymouth Harbor? The Goddards searched Stuart and Delray Beach for Continuing Care Retirement Communities, then came to Sarasota. They drove by Plymouth Harbor and noted the waterside campus. After investigating, “We knew this was the place for us!” Laurie said.

So, two more water lovers are settling in here and appear happy with their decision.

 

True of most scientists, Charles Miller knew what he wanted to do from a young age. “It goes back to when I was a boy, wiring light bulbs with my father and putting extension cords in the house,” he remembers. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Charles didn’t experience the glamour most associate with the city. “It’s like any other city – it has the persona of Hollywood over it, but underneath there’s a city of ordinary people doing ordinary things.”

Far from ordinary, Charles went on to earn both his B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology. In his senior year of college in 1952, Charles met his first wife. “I met her as I met both of my wives – on the telephone,” he laughs. His friend was on the phone with a girl, Anne-Marie, and handed it to Charles. They ended up hitting it off, Charles invited her to a party, and the rest was history when they married a year and a half later.

In his last semester of graduate school, Charles’ professor asked if he would be interested in a one-year teaching position at Amherst College. Charles accepted, and when his term came to a close, he ended up enjoying the experience so much that he looked for a similar opportunity nearby. He landed at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he stayed for the next 35 years. His wife, who was also a teacher, taught education at Central Connecticut State University. Charles and his wife had two daughters — and it comes as no surprise that their daughters are both teachers today.

In contrast, Cynthia Lichtenstein was born and raised on the East Coast in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She studied at Radcliffe College of Harvard University in Massachusetts and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Russian History and Literature. “With my degree, my choices were to get a Ph.D. and teach, or to work for the government.”

During her final semester of college in 1955, Cynthia decided to take the exam to work for the U.S. State Department. She did well enough that she was given an oral exam, but that was as far as she would get. “One of the examiners was kind enough to say, ‘Don’t feel badly when you do not pass this. We do not take women,’” she remembers. Despite the setback, Cynthia was not discouraged. She had a friend who was studying at Harvard Law School, and when she began arguing a case with him, he suggested that she go to law school. Without too much consideration, she took the LSAT, scored in the top percentile, and applied.

Cynthia’s parents, however, did not want her to attend law school. Instead, they gave her a trip to Paris for graduation, and when she returned, the only job she could find was as a secretary. “I was dreadful at it,” she laughs. “I couldn’t do two things at once. But at the time, it wasn’t usual for young women to go to law school.” After she was let go from her job as a secretary, Cynthia followed her instincts, borrowed the money from an uncle, and attended Yale Law School.
 
Cynthia met her first husband when in Paris, and after graduation from Yale, went to work as an associate at a Wall Street firm. She worked full-time for two years before they began their family. While pregnant with her first child, Cynthia began a two-year program through the Ford Foundation, which was offering scholarships to study civil law for one year at the University of Chicago and a second year internship abroad. After Chicago, Cynthia’s husband got a job at the Economist in London, while she began her internship at the European Economic Community (EEC) in Brussels, where she worked on EEC African projects.

In 1963, Cynthia returned part-time to her firm in New York. But in 1971, she decided to explore a different career path. By this time, she was raising three children, her husband was in Boston working at MIT, and because she couldn’t commit to working full-time, her firm would not make her a partner. A friend recommended her for a teaching position at Boston College Law School, and she accepted — as their second female professor.

While Cynthia had a newfound love for teaching, she had her work cut out for her with 140 students in one class and 90 in another. Balancing work and home life, she taught corporate finance (including securities law) and contracts. She was also the second in the country to teach a course in international economic law at a law school. After five years in Boston, Cynthia and her husband divorced.

In 1984, Cynthia met Charles — who had been widowed two years before — over the phone. A mutual friend set them up, and Cynthia invited Charles to Boston for dinner. When he showed up with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, Cynthia fell in love. A year and a half later they were married.

After several years of a commuter marriage, Cynthia convinced Charles to take early retirement. He taught half the year for five years and then made the move. Cynthia retired from Boston College in 2001, but worked as a visiting professor at George Washington University Law School for four falls after that. The couple spent winters on their boat in Fort Myers, before coming to Sarasota and looking into Plymouth Harbor at the suggestion of friends.

Today, Charles and Cynthia spend half their time here and the other half at their home in Stonington, Connecticut. In his spare time, Charles reads with the Shakespeare Group and enjoys the Physics Club he co-founded nearly 10 years ago. Cynthia keeps busy with several law organizations. She is a panelist for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Chapter 19, and is occasionally appointed to hear cases. Up until the last year, she was a Vice Chair of the Executive Council of the International Law Association, which meets every six months in London.

Additionally, Cynthia worked with the International Law Students Association, which puts on the annual Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Today, she serves as a coach for Booker High School’s mock trial and appellate cases. This program works with students interested in law and allows them to compete in Florida-wide mock trials and appeals that go all the way up to Florida’s mock Supreme Court.

With a passion for life and a continued commitment to their work, there is surely more to come from Charles Miller and Cynthia Lichtenstein.

Located on Orange Avenue in downtown Sarasota, the Woman’s Exchange is a consignment store like no other. It began in 1962 with the idea to create a business means of supporting local arts in Sarasota and Manatee counties. The Woman’s Exchange was formed as a result, offering affordably priced treasures like Tiffany silver, Gucci handbags, fine jewelry, women’s clothing, high-end furniture, oriental rugs, and more. In fact, Lara Spencer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow” even lists the Woman’s Exchange as one of her favorite places to shop in her book, I Brake for Yard Sales

Along with a staff of nearly 20 employees, the 12,000 square foot store has over 230 dedicated volunteers who ensure that the ever-changing inventory is filled to the brim. Individuals are able to designate specific participating charities to receive their consignor profits, which is 65 percent of sale price. Additionally, any unsold clothing, furniture, and household items are typically donated to other local non-profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army and the Pines of Sarasota.

Through its consignment operation, the Woman’s Exchange has awarded more than $7.8 million in grants and scholarships to support the arts of Sarasota and Manatee, such as the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Asolo Theatre, Sarasota Opera, student scholarships, and more.

Resident Barbara MacLean became involved with the Woman’s Exchange nearly 26 years ago. At the suggestion of a friend, Barbara began as a seasonal volunteer when she and her husband spent their winters on Longboat Key, and continued her involvement when they moved to Sarasota full-time. Barbara works at the front desk, helping to check out customers and package their items. “The fun part is getting to know the customers,” she says. “People come from all over — New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, and some even drive up from Venice and Naples.”

Residents Mary Allyn and Weta Cannon began volunteering at the Woman’s Exchange five years ago. The two were instrumental in establishing the Encore! & More Consignment Shop, which benefited the Women’s Resource Center, and when it closed its doors, they decided to focus their efforts on the Woman’s Exchange. Once a week, they volunteer together doing pricing and computer input. “We think the world of the Woman’s Exchange team,” Mary says. Weta adds, “It’s an amazing organization in terms of its financial and moral support of the arts in our community. They really do a wonderful job.”

In addition to volunteering, numerous Plymouth Harbor residents support the mission of the Woman’s Exchange by both consigning and donating. To learn more, you may visit their website at www.SarasotaWEX.com.

 

By: Judy Sarnowski, ADC, CDP, Smith Care Center’s Activity Director

In any Skilled Nursing Facility, this adage unfortunately holds true when attempting to design an activity calendar that fits the leisure patterns of adults who have diverse backgrounds, levels of education, and religious preferences. Throw varying degrees of cognition into the mix and the challenge to provide activities that appeal to the majority of your residents, becomes
even greater.

Experienced activity directors know that the key to developing a successful program is to find a common thread within the patchwork quilt of each person’s interests, the three most common being some form of exercise, music, and reading. Once that is accomplished, the task of providing activities that have a global appeal to your resident population becomes much simpler.

The next step is to simplify each activity into segments that can be altered to match each resident’s specific abilities. Variations of card games like UNO allow residents with varying levels of cognitive ability the opportunity to participate and enjoy a positive experience. Adaptive devices and task segmentation can also be used to facilitate the participation of a large group of residents in a single activity.

For example, the task of building a birdhouse could evolve into a successful activity simply by assigning the more difficult aspects of the project, like measuring and cutting, to residents capable of performing these tasks, and allowing those with cognitive or physical limitations the opportunity to perform simpler tasks like sanding or painting.

In a Life Plan Community, activity offerings should address the individual needs and interests of residents within their specific level of care. At times, this can be difficult to achieve as residents whose needs are ever-increasing are unable to move through the care continuum due to lack of available space. As Plymouth Harbor nears the completion of our Northwest Garden Building —complete with state-of-the-art Memory Care and Assisted Living Residences — we will be able to offer enhanced activities for each individual resident and accommodate the influx of people searching for the ultimate destination in which to live life to the fullest.