ActivityTeamSCCTraditionally, when someone is asked to describe activities in a skilled nursing environment, they might envision a “riveting” game of bingo, or a balloon volleyball match. Today, Judy Sarnowski, Smith Care Center’s Activity Director, and her team are doing away with that notion. In addition to Judy, the Smith Care Center (SCC) team consists of Erica Andrejkovics, Virginia Bailey, and Jason Redmon.

Before coming to Plymouth Harbor, Judy taught for 12 years in the Indiana school system. This experience has absolutely shaped Judy’s approach to her position as Activity Director, providing meaningful leisure activities that help to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit of SCC residents. Judy and her team tend to focus on range of motion activities in the morning, and on cognitive stimulation activities in the afternoon that offer a broader appeal — for example, the game “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” The team also differentiates itself by incorporating technology — including everything from computer games to iPods and iPads to YouTube and Wii games. And, if requested, they will even facilitate FaceTime with residents and their family members.

While sharing the same vision, each member of the SCC activity team brings his or her own unique approach to the job. According to Judy, that is what makes their team work so well together. Jason graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in Psychology. He worked in the healthcare activity field for a few years before leaving to pursue interests in both teaching and IT.  After only four years away, he felt a calling to go back into activities. Erica is similar to Judy in that she has spent many years working in the field of education, and currently serves as a middle school math teacher in addition to her part-time position in SCC. Virginia seemed to always have had her sights set on the healthcare industry, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, and earning her certification as an Activity Assistant and a Certified Nursing Assistant.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have a team that shares my passion to make a difference in the lives of others. It is delightful to work with those who have both the education and background to assist me in providing our residents activity choices that are fun, relevant, and meaningful,” Judy says. “We are a cohesive team that complements one another, and I think that is a rare find.”

There is no doubt that when you visit SCC, you’ll see the activity team in action.

 

Judy Liersch began her work life at IBM, programming early computers like the RAMAC. Al Jennings graduated from West Point in 1954 and went on to a career in the U.S. Air Force. How did Judy, a Liberal Arts major, end up meeting this retired Air Force Colonel? In the remote mountains of New Mexico at Los Alamos National Laboratory — one of two laboratories in the U.S. where classified work designing nuclear weapons takes place. What was it like working at Los Alamos?

View their May 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.

 

DSC_5361On Monday, May 23, 2016, Plymouth Harbor celebrated its 50th anniversary on MacNeil Day 2016 — an annual tribute to our founder, The Rev. Dr. MacNeil. The event began with a Commemoration Ceremony at 4:00 pm in the Mayflower Restaurant and Café, and was followed by a reception.

Plymouth Harbor opened its doors on January 15, 1966 to the first residents of our community, and on May 6, 1966, an official dedication ceremony was held. Over the years, Plymouth Harbor has grown, welcoming residents from all over the world, enhancing programs, activities, and amenities, and expanding, first with the addition of the North Garden, and now the Northwest Garden. There is no doubt that Plymouth Harbor has endured the test of time due to the willingness of the entire organization to adapt and evolve to meet growing needs and changes in the industry.

The MacNeil Day celebration paid tribute to this notion, honoring our past, present, and future. It included remarks from President and CEO Harry Hobson, and a special address by John Patterson, former Chair and Trustee of the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees. A proclamation from the City of Sarasota honoring Plymouth Harbor’s 50 years was presented by Suzanne Atwell, Vice-Mayor.

The proclamation conclusion read: Now, therefore, the City Commission of the City of Sarasota, Florida, and on behalf of the citizens of our community, takes great pride in recognizing May 23, 2016 as “Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay’s 50th Anniversary,” a day of special importance and worthy of the recognition of the citizens of the city of Sarasota.

The Rev. Dick Sparrow, Interim Chaplain, gave the invocation, and The Rev. Dr. Wes Bixby, Senior Minister at the First Congregational United Church of Christ Sarasota, concluded the ceremony with a responsive reading and benediction.

More than 230 guests attended the event, including Plymouth Harbor residents, employees, past and present members of the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees and the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees, representatives from the United Church of Christ, and the local media.

Plymouth Harbor is proud to celebrate 50 spectacular years, and we look forward to many more. Below please find the 50th anniversary video:

 

Picture2Tim Schalch has been a line dance instructor since 2012, and has been teaching at Plymouth Harbor for a little over a year now. He teaches our intermediate line dancing class from 10:30-11:30 a.m. every Thursday.

Tim originally attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played baseball. He later transferred to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and his master’s degree in sports management. Tim continued to play baseball while he was a student at Florida A&M, but he picked up another sport after visiting a country music restaurant in 2008 — line dancing. Although he had not been exposed to line dancing before, he picked it up fairly quickly.

Tim enjoyed line dancing so much that he continued to visit country music establishments to learn new routines, all the while finishing up his master’s degree, serving as a graduate assistant, and coaching baseball. After he graduated, Tim went on to play Minor League baseball for two years with the Evansville Otters in Evansville, Indiana. Eventually, he moved to Sarasota, and when the White Buffalo Saloon opened in 2012, he landed a job as an instructor.

Since then, Tim has launched his own business, TLS Entertainment, where he offers one-on-one and group classes, DJ/music services, and classes for both corporate and private events. Through this business, Tim has taught classes at weddings, business functions, and even on a country music cruise. In addition to his passion for teaching, Tim holds a full-time position as a Marketing and Advertising Account Executive at WWSB ABC 7.

Of teaching at Plymouth Harbor, Tim says, “It’s been very exciting to see how well residents have progressed from the first lesson until now. They have a great outlook, and they are always inviting new people to join the class.”

If you are interested in learning more, you can visit Tim’s website at www.tlsentertainmentfl.com, or you can simply stop by his Thursday morning class.

 

Construction for the Northwest Garden project is moving forward on schedule. Test piles measuring the integrity of the foundation were successful, and as evidenced by the photos shown below, construction has begun.

Staff is working diligently alongside our construction team to ensure that every detail is met for the new Memory Care Center, Assisted Living, and Independent Living residences. In the meantime, we thought it would be interesting to share some progress photos directly from the construction site.

These photos depict the construction site before and after the demolition of the Cooling Tower, the removal of the North Garden second-floor balconies (which will be incorporated into the new building), and resident construction viewings in N-313. Please stay tuned for continued progress updates.

Capture

 

 

 

She began in the mailroom, while he started as a trainee, but before their retirement, Tom and Marie Belcher both held high-ranking positions for the Aetna insurance company. After decades in the industry and 15 years of friendship, Tom and Marie were married in 1990. What finally brought these two together?

View their April 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.