Residents John and Alida DeJongh share insights from their childhood, journey to the United States, career, and family life. World travelers, ask them each their favorite place to visit. You might be surprised… Or, watch the video!

View their April 2018 Insights presentation here:
 

 

Plymouth Harbor’s Earth Day Celebration
On Monday, April 23rd, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the Wellness Center, the Conservation Committee invites all residents to its annual event—Celebrate Earth Day!

Light refreshments will be provided in addition to interactive, informative, and fun activities—there will be trivia, videos, prizes, giveaways, featured items from the Fund Shop, local produce vendors, complimentary chair massages, an introduction to Plymouth Harbor’s new Resident Portal, and more! Bring your reusable shopping bags, and be sure to stock up on all things Earth Day.

Earth Day History
Celebrated each year on April 22nd, Earth Day is a global holiday focused on educating the public about environmental issues. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), and inspired by the student anti-Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest for a healthy, sustainable environment.

The first Earth Day accomplished a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, tycoons and laborers. At the end of the year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. By 1990, Earth Day was recognized worldwide.

How Plymouth Harbor Contributes
Plymouth Harbor residents and the Conservation Committee do their part to participate in meaningful and effective conservation efforts. The committee promotes conservation of resources at Plymouth Harbor—including recycling, water, and electricity usage, which is regularly tracked and reported (2017 information will be available at this year’s Earth Day celebration.)

Additionally, when getting rid of household items, the committee strives to remind residents to consider the Resident Fund Shop or the donation collection bins located on the Ground Floor of the Tower—these four organizations (All Faiths Food Bank, Resurrection House, Sarasota County Animal Services, and Meals on Wheels) put our reusable items to good use.

We were very sad to recently say goodbye to Jim Gaylord in the Smith Care Center. Mr. Gaylord’s work life centered around the Colonel…yes, that’s Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He owned as many as 18 franchises during his lifetime, all in the Midwest, for which he was accustomed to many business operations. This was a big and important part of his life.

Upon his death, Jim’s wife Dee came to us and wished to make a gift to benefit the Smith Care Center, for whom she was eternally grateful for the great care Jim received. Her gift will fund an upgrade of the West Lounge in Smith Care Center to make it a functioning media center, much like the one in the new Northwest Garden Building. Her hope is that more rehab patients, guests, and long term residents will have better and more up to date access to secure internet, a printer/scanner, all in a comfortable and updated environment.

Thank you, Dee and Jim, for your generous and much appreciated vision for the Smith Care Center.

 

Throughout 2016 and 2017, Plymouth Harbor partnered with Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s HealthFit program—a contracted outreach program that brings experienced wellness professionals to organizations in the Sarasota community. We partnered with HealthFit in order to bring knowledgeable speakers here monthly as part of our OnBoard Employee Wellness Program.

Today, we are excited to share that we have expanded our partnership with HealthFit to recruit and staff our Wellness Director position. This partnership means that the Wellness Director is a skilled, experienced wellness professional and a HealthFit employee, contracted to work here at Plymouth Harbor.

After a careful and dedicated search with HealthFit, we are thrilled to introduce Summer Rentsch as Plymouth Harbor’s new Wellness Director. Summer has more than 10 years of experience in the health and wellness industry and a proven ability to drive and deliver improved health results. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology exercise science and health promotion from University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. Additionally, Summer is specially trained in Six-Sigma Yellow Belt, Culture of Excellence – Culture Leader Level 1, Workplace Violence Prevention/Creating and Maintaining a Positive Work Environment, Business Acumen, Essential Facilitation and Leading Virtually, and PHI (Protected Health Information) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Guidelines.

Most recently, Summer served as Personal Health Coach Manager for Humana, Inc. in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, where she led a team of 18 direct reports and supported more than 11,000 individuals with chronic disease and/or behavioral health concerns. She was responsible for supporting associates and collaborating to develop and educate associates on chronic conditions, preventive measures, SMART goal-setting, and more. Also at Humana, Summer previously served as a Personal Health Coordinator and a Leader of Well Being Champion Group, helping associates within the Humana At Home business segment to implement well-being initiatives. Before that, she worked for Trotter Wellness in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as Health Coaching Department Manager.

With Summer’s expertise, and HealthFit’s resources, we are excited to begin this partnership. Summer and her husband, Austin, live in Sarasota and enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle with their
dog, Lido.

 

In February of 2015, a new idea was presented by the employee wellness OnBoard team that would help build strong relationships between residents and employees by bringing them together on a more personal level – enter Insights. Insights is a monthly event where a resident shares their story with employees at Plymouth Harbor on the fourth Friday of each month during January–October, from 12:00–12:30, typically in the Private Dining Room. Residents are invited to be the featured speaker, employees sign up to attend, and lunch is provided by the Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Part of the inspiration for the Insights series was the notion that, by residents sharing the paths to their remarkable lives, our employees would perhaps feel invigorated and inspired to achieve some of the things they otherwise felt were unattainable. What we have found is that there are many benefits to the series: connections, inspiration, admiration, and self-fulfillment.

The deepening of relationships that have been cultivated through these monthly connections has been noteworthy. Karen Smith, an employee in Resident Programming, has attended nearly all presentations. She shared, “…The Insights program has been tremendously valuable to me as I seek a more personal connection with our residents.” Paul Pazkowski, an eTech at Plymouth Harbor, says, “When I heard Anne Burroughs speak, I learned that it is important to have a passion in life, but you may or may not make your living at it. From Charles Gehrie’s talk I learned that many people have innovative ideas, but it takes an inventor and a team to make one successful.”

Some of the stories that are shared have deep life lessons and some are riddled with what we might consider strife, yet the storyteller found it to be part of their fulfilling journey. For instance, Sue Johnson’s story began in Manhattan, where she slept in the living room or hallway of their apartment most of her childhood. She wasn’t complaining. This was part of her life and contributed to what has made her the resilient and positive woman she is today. Reina Jay Aavri Troiano was reticent about telling her story, saying that her life was rather unremarkable. However, going through the process of reviewing her life, she found the experience to be uplifting and fulfilling, and she delivered a review of her life that was quite remarkable.

Insights is videotaped by resident Phil Starr every month, who then edits and produces a digital recording that is loaded onto our website at PlymouthHarbor.org/Category/Insights/. DVDs are produced and given to the speakers to share with their families, and a copy is placed in the Resident Library. If you are interested in telling your story through Insights, please contact Becky Pazkowski at Ext. 398.

Current Insights collection:
Charles Gehrie (March 2015)
Don and Peggy Wallace (April 2015)
Beverly and Bill Vernon (May 2015)
Jane Smiley (June 2015)
Senator Marlow Cook (July 2015)
Ted and Fran Rehl (August 2015)
Walt Mattson (September 2015)
Susan Mauntel (October 2015)
Terry and Maureen Aldrich (January 2016)
Phil and Barry Starr (February 2016)
Paul and Macky Groen (March 2016)
Tom and Marie Belcher (April 2016)
Judy Liersch and Al Jennings (May 2016)
John Goodman (June 2016)
Wendy and Jim Underwood (July 2016)
Jerry and Nancy Kaplan (August 2016)
Joe Berkely (September 2016)
Anne Burroughs (October 2016)
Lou Newman (January 2017)
Tom Elliott (February 2017)
Connie Meadows (March 2017)
Reina Jay Aavri Troiano (April 2017)
Sue Johnson (May 2017)
David Beliles (June 2017)
Connie Sanders and
Carl Koenig (July 2017)
Tom Towler and Nancy
Lyon (August 2017)

 

At the March 2017 Café Chat, Chair of our Board of Trustees, Dr. G. Duncan Finlay, introduced Plymouth Harbor to the Florence A. Rothman Institute (FARI), 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. Early efforts to address this issue have had inconsistent results in terms of quality and cost measurements. These approaches are commonly patient-centered, and thus require a means to accurately measure and follow a patient’s condition at any level of care, from hospital care through skilled nursing, home health care, and assisted and independent living organizations.

The Rothman Index
This is where the Rothman Index (RI), an acuity metric developed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, comes in. The RI is a score of a patient’s general condition that is calculated automatically from information that is routinely collected in the electronic medical records (EMR) system. The score is displayed in a graphical format that depicts the patient’s condition over time. The RI has been validated with over 30 peer-reviewed articles and is used in over 60 hospitals nation-wide. Preliminary studies in skilled nursing facilities appear to support its accuracy outside the hospital.

Plymouth Harbor’s Involvement
FARI wanted to explore if this same index could be constructed for persons living independently, and as a result, asked Plymouth Harbor residents for their participation in a trial study where patients conduct their own medical self-assessments, answering a series of questions. The study officially began on May 9, 2017, with 46 independent living participants. A total of 30 females and 16 males participated, with an average age of 83. These volunteers answered 14 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions about possible symptoms pertaining to their own body systems.

The same self-assessment was then repeated on a second occasion separated by more than 24 hours — with an average separation time of 11 days. Then, the volunteers had a Registered Nurse independently perform a standard head-to-toe assessment for comparison.

The Results
The study was able to demonstrate significant inter-rater reliability (agreement) in 11 of the body system questions on the first pass, and in 10 questions on the second. The individual answers were consistent between the first and second answer periods.

Future plans include asking volunteers to use a handheld device, which was demonstrated at the Café Chat, to measure their own vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and oxygen levels) and then answer the same questions on a smart phone. These will be combined to create a Rothman Index score and graph, which will give a picture of each volunteer’s overall wellness during the monitoring period. Please stay tuned for more information on this future study.