Picture8Earth Day, celebrated each year on April 22, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday, and serves as a day of education about environmental issues.

The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), and inspired by the anti-Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment,” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Senator Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight. It is safe to say that he largely accomplished that goal.

In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities. Today, EDN collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. EDN estimates that more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”


With the establishment of the Conservation Committee several years ago, Plymouth Harbor does its part to contribute to the green movement. The committee promotes conservation of resources within Plymouth Harbor, including recycling, water, and electricity usage, and other appropriate conservation measures. The committee also researches and makes recommendations on ways in which Plymouth Harbor may become more environmentally responsible. The committee has begun tracking Plymouth Harbor’s recycling, water, and electricity usage over the last few years.


Friday, April 22, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. in the Club Room.

The Conservation Committee invites all Plymouth Harbor residents to its annual Earth Day Celebration. At this year’s event, you can expect something different! We will provide refreshments, and most importantly interactive, informative, and fun activities! There will be giveaways, trivia, videos, and prizes. Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more information.


The years of 2012 to the present represent a time of extreme growth and forward vision for Plymouth Harbor. Not only did Plymouth Harbor implement programs and practices that would best serve its current residents, both now and into the future, but the community also looked at the needs and services desired by future residents. Thinking of both today and tomorrow, Plymouth Harbor began drafting plans for a new building that would feature additional assisted and independent living units as well as a memory care center (now known as the Northwest Garden Building). In addition, in 2012, the Plymouth Harbor Foundation was established to further ensure the stewardship of funds contributed to Plymouth Harbor.



Picture7Rosann Argenti has taught Tai Chi for more than 30 years, and has been a contracted instructor at Plymouth Harbor for nearly 20 years. Today, she teaches our Tai Chi and Tai Chi Meditation classes.

In part, what’s made Rosann so successful — in addition to her passion, drive, and calming nature — is her non-Tai Chi beginnings. Originally, Rosann earned her BSW and started out as a social worker in Montreal, Canada, serving in educational and psychiatric settings. From there, she opened her own dance company and studio. She then started searching for an outlet that provided more personal growth and development and began meditating — eventually discovering Tai Chi. She enjoyed it so much that she founded her own Tai Chi school, and her social work and dance background helped her bring a unique approach and skill set to the profession.

Her school, Mountain Crane Tai Chi Tao Academy, serviced fitness and community centers in Montreal and is still in existence today. In 1989, Rosann moved to Sarasota, Florida, and passed the school on to some of her former students. Not only did she continue teaching Tai Chi in Sarasota, but she became a licensed massage therapist, and even contracted with WEDU Tampa (PBS) to produce a Tai Chi TV series that aired for nine years nationwide. All the while, Rosann taught at fitness and community centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, private medical institutions, retirement centers, education centers, and cancer treatment centers. She also created the continuing education course, “Tai Chi/Chi-Kung for Professionals,” approved by the Florida Boards of Massage Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy.

Rosann is a specialist in Tai Chi, Tai Chi Swordplay, Fighting Fan, and Double Daggers, and has worked with all populations — from the “average person” to professional golfers, tennis players, skiers, and more. “Tai Chi is based on martial art techniques,” Rosann says. “I teach it as a healthcare system, yet students feel the dynamic instincts of martial arts. It is slow and methodical, with virtually no risk of physical injury.”

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition and a graceful form of exercise. Whether you’re looking to advance in a specific sport or for a way to help center your life, Tai Chi is a wonderfully effective exercise. It helps train you to move to the “zone” — what Rosann refers to as “a place of inner fortitude and outer strength, where your mind is still and your body flows efficiently and effectively.”

“It’s truly a meditative relaxation process that heightens awareness and focus in everyday life,” Rosann adds. “I’ve been doing Tai Chi for many years, and each time it feels like the very first time. I’m never bored.” If you are interested in learning more, you can find Rosann’s contact information in the Wellness Center’s Preferred Professionals brochure.


Picture6Restorative care is a term that is often misunderstood or incorrectly defined as rehabilitation therapy. And while therapy and restorative nursing complement each other, they are not one and the same.

The purpose of restorative care is to maintain a person’s highest level of physical, mental, and psychosocial function in order to prevent declines that impact quality of life. In the Smith Care Center (SCC), restorative care is a part of every aspect of a resident’s daily life. Care includes, but is not limited to: range of motion (active or passive), ambulation, dining assistance, locomotion or wheelchair use, fall prevention, our Sit-to- Stand program, and more.

In addition to therapies, the restorative team also addresses residents’ many adaptive devices, such as skin protectors, night lights, chair pad alarms, and pendants. While not every SCC resident receives this service, since January 2016, an average of 58 percent of our residents benefitted from restorative care.

How exactly does the process work?

There is no set path that leads to restorative care. However, most residents receive it after therapy determines that they have reached their maximum potential. Following this determination, the therapist develops a resident’s restorative care plan and shares it with the Restorative Nurse, Lauren Krause, who ultimately implements the program. From there, it is the restorative care team’s job to retain the resident’s ability level. Restorative aides help to provide the care, follow through on programs, and track and report any changes.

How is SCC’s Restorative Care Team different?

Most skilled nursing facilities teach their staff some form of restorative care, and all employees on the floor are tasked with providing this care. However, SCC is unique in that we have a dedicated team that specializes in restorative care and works closely with the therapy department. “The communication between our department and therapy is really amazing,” Lauren says.

Additionally, while Medicare specifies that restorative care programs run at least six days per week, the Smith Care Center offers its residents seven days per week. Lauren leads the program alongside her team of restorative aides — Dennis Ortiz, Sheila Strahorn, and Nancy Chan (not pictured). When you visit SCC, you’ll be sure to see Lauren and her team in action. If you have questions regarding restorative care, contact Lauren at 941-361-7361.


What do medicine, Chicago, and Africa have in common? Paul and Macky Groen.

Paul Groen, M.D. is a graduate of Wheaton College near Chicago, where he was born. He went on to attend Baylor University College of Medicine and took his residency in Detroit. Macky (short for Maxine) graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received her R.N. from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago. She also went on to earn a Master’s degree at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

It wasn’t until 1964, however, that the two met — in Africa. That year, Dr. Groen arrived at Mkar Christian Hospital in northern Nigeria, and by chance, Macky was the director of the nursing school. By 1965, the two were married. Eventually, the couple moved back to the states with their two sons, where Dr. Groen not only went on to study orthopedic surgery, establish a private practice in Wheaton, and teach at Loyola Medical School, but he also founded Doctors on Call for Services (DOCS). DOCS arranges for specialists to travel, on their own dime, and teach African doctors in their fields of expertise.

How did these two end up in Africa in the first place?

View their March Insights presentation to find out:

Insights is a monthly connection where residents can share stories and insights about their lives, careers, and hobbies with Plymouth Harbor employees. A feature of Plymouth Harbor’s developing employee wellness program, OnBoardInsights is offered at noon on the fourth Friday of each month. Open to all employees, lunch is provided, supported by gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation employee assistance fund. Thanks to Phil Starr, each Insights presentation is videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.


By: Addie Hurst

Joy McIntyre_3-2016_2 (3)What a pleasure (a joy!) it is to welcome Joy McIntyre to the Plymouth Harbor family! If you are an opera buff, she probably needs no introduction … but we’ll get to that later.

Joy is an only child whose parents were both school teachers in Kinsley, Kansas. However, her father took a civil service test and, starting in a very simple job with the U.S. Postal Service, ended his career as the Deputy Assistant Postmaster General. So you can see that Joy inherited genes that would take her far.

As a sophomore in high school she was given the lead in an operetta; she was the soloist for her church choir at age 15. She went on to attend Oberlin where she spent her junior year in Salzburg, Austria. Following graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, she won the Emma Eames scholarship and returned to Salzburg.

She spent the next nineteen years working for various opera companies in Germany and giving performances at all the famous opera houses in Europe. She was married to a German architectural engineer for 10 years. Joy then became a professor at Boston University (now emeritus) and Chair of the Voice Department. She also has taught at Utah State University, University of Miami Salzburg Program, and is currently on the faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. As if this were not enough, she also has been a Shakespeare scholar and created a one-woman show integrating scenes and songs by Shakespeare. Her accompanist for several of these performances was John Goodman.

She recently left her house in Silver Oak where she had lived for 12 years and has joined us at Plymouth Harbor…but she is hardly retired. She is currently President of the Sarasota Concert Association, is a past president of SILL and a current board member, is on the board of the Music Archive at the Selby Library where music related items are sorted, catalogued, and stored. Formerly, she was board member of the Artists Series Concerts, produced shows at the Historic Asolo, and ran competitions … and she still teaches at Tanglewood!

Getting to know Joy is in fact … a joy! She is very modest about all of these past accomplishments, but just ask a few questions and she has lots of stories! We hope she will be as happy to be in Plymouth Harbor as we are to welcome her.


April 10th-16th represents National Volunteer Week, a week when dedicated volunteers are recognized for their efforts. With so many of our own volunteers here at Plymouth Harbor, we wanted to find a way to celebrate these individuals. It is no secret that our residents and staff are kind, caring, generous, and giving. Whether they are donating their time within Plymouth Harbor or to the greater Sarasota community, they are committed to helping organizations succeed.

Each year, The Plymouth Harbor Foundation asks residents and employees to share their community involvement for use in the annual Impact Report. For 2015, we are proud to report that our residents and staff collectively volunteered over 10,100 hours to 73 area organizations, including, but certainly not limited to, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Ringling Museum, Selby Public Library, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Suncoast Community Blood Bank, Selah Freedom, and many more.


Picture4Jim Griffith, M.D.  is a prime example of the generosity of our residents within the Sarasota community. Dr. Griffith has been a volunteer physician with the Friendship Center’s Rubin Medical Center for Healthy Aging for 18 years, where he receives no payment for his services. The center serves patients who are uninsured or have limited income, and is largely staffed by
retired or volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and nurses.

Dr. Griffith began working with the center after he retired and moved to Florida. “I wanted to do something useful,” he says. In 2015 alone, he spent 240 hours at the center, where he is involved in treating patients and other related activities. He also organizes the center’s medical library, completes required continuing education for his Florida medical license, attends weekly meetings at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and gives medical presentations — one of which will be given as a Health Matters presentation on April 18, entitled “Sleep Disorders.”


Jerry Kaplan spent over 385 hours volunteering with six different organizations in 2015 — including: Meals on Wheels, the Sarasota Education Foundation, Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, the Patterson Foundation, the Smith Care Center, and serving as a principal mentor for the Sarasota County school system.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of the things I’m involved in,” Jerry says. “I hope to make a contribution and make a difference in the lives of others.”

Jerry became involved in volunteering early on after he retired as a means of staying busy. Today, he discusses news topics every Monday in the Smith Care Center, evaluates programs and grants for the Sarasota Education Foundation, improves children’s reading skills through the Patterson Foundation, and with the help of his wife, Nancy, he works with Meals on Wheels every Tuesday.


There are also so many ways that residents give generously of their time within Plymouth Harbor. Some work in different capacities in the Smith Care Center, while others work closely with the Plymouth Harbor Foundation to better our educational opportunities and philanthropic endeavors. And while they may not necessarily consider it volunteering, residents devote time to enhancing the lives of their neighbors. Ted Rehl spends countless hours preparing for his annual performances, while Don Wallace brightened the lives of others with his plays. Also among our internal volunteers are the many residents who serve on the Residents Association Board of Directors and 20 committees that ensure Plymouth Harbor operates at its greatest capacity.

Picture1Terry and Maureen Aldrich exemplify this volunteerism. Terry, president of the Residents Association until he passes the torch in early April, dedicated himself to the position. He’s seen his peers do the same.

“There are roughly 170 residents who volunteer their time to serve Plymouth Harbor — so we’re talking a huge number of people and hours,” he says. “It’s been a great privilege of mine to see.”

As a retired psychotherapist, Terry also lends an ear when needed, and along with Maureen and Mary Allyn, he invites new residents to have dinner with them each week. For the last 10 years, Maureen has also devoted her time to tutoring English to priests — including Father Sebastian from St. Martha’s,  who serves at Plymouth Harbor regularly.

Picture3A resident since 2003, Mary Allyn is the epitome of resident involvement, serving in many capacities. Not only is she a past president of the Residents Association, but Mary also served as chair of the Grounds Committee, chair of the Nominating Committee, colony director, member of the Long Range Planning Committee, and a member of the search committee to select Plymouth Harbor President/CEO Harry Hobson. Additionally, Mary is involved in Plymouth Harbor’s bird rookery, annually counting our native birds, and ensuring their proper habitat.

“I’ve done a lot of Plymouth Harbor service over the years,” she says. “And I enjoy it because it’s a lot like what I did professionally.”

It would take countless pages to portray the efforts of all our residents and staff, but one thing’s for sure — we’re lucky to call such generous individuals part of the Plymouth Harbor family.