During the month of June, many will wear purple to shine a light on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Despite being the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is still largely misunderstood. For that reason, in 2014, the Alzheimer’s Association® declared June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide, the organization reports there are at least 44 million people who live with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As we are all too aware, those numbers are only expected to grow.

Often thought of as simple memory loss, Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting a person’s ability to remember, think, and plan. As it progresses, the brain shrinks due to loss of cells. As a result, individuals lose the ability to communicate, recognize family and friends, and care for themselves.

Scientists continue in their search to find treatments for the disease and others like it — dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and more. In the meantime, learning more about these diseases and how to improve overall brain health is essential.

Did you know?
-In 2016, more than 15 million Americans gave 18 billion hours of their time, unpaid, to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
-Many people take on an extra job or postpone retirement in order to become a caregiver.
-Alzheimer’s disease is not normal aging. It is a progressive brain disease with no known cure.
-Alzheimer’s disease is more than memory loss. It appears through a variety of signs and symptoms.

What can you do for better brain health?
According to Cleveland Clinic, the following “brain-healthy behaviors” can help:

-Exercise at least three to five times per week.
-Engage in hobbies like puzzles, games, or other mental stimulation.
-Sleep for six hours or more per night.
-Connect with family and friends, and be sure to socialize regularly.

For more information on the above behaviors, visit ClevelandClinic.org. To learn more specifics on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, visit Alz.org.

Sources:
“6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain Health.” Health Essentials. Cleveland Clinic, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.
“Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.” Healthy Brains. Cleveland Clinic, 16 June 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.

 
 

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: Becky Pazkowski

A Commitment to Memory campaign is in full swing, with current gifts exceeding $2,345,000! The Campaign Committee is reaching out to neighbors and friends to ask for participation in the campaign. Our goal is to reach the $3 million by November 1st, when we cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening.

The campaign support will give us the opportunity to build a premier program in Educational Leadership and Inspirational Programming, unlike no other in our region. Specifically, $2 million will go into an income-generating Designated Investment Fund, from which we will draw off 5 percent (or $100,000) annually to specifically support the Educational Leadership ($40,000) and Inspirational Programming ($60,000). The balance of $1 million will support the capital resources needed to deliver these programs.

We hope you will all be interested in learning more about how you could be part of this campaign. We are able to take pledges payable over a five-year period and there are naming opportunities for you to consider, should that be of interest. If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact one of the Campaign Committee members or me (Becky Pazkowski) at Ext. 398.

Campaign Committee: Honorary Chairs: Gerry and (the late) Walt Mattson; Campaign Co-Chairs: Barry and Phil Starr; Committee Members: Marie and Tom Belcher, Joan Sheil and Bruce Crawford, Jack Denison, Charles Gehrie, Jean Glasser, Harry Hobson, Jeanne Manser, Ann and Ray Neff, Cade Sibley, Nancy Lyon and Tom Towler; Staff: Joe Devore, Becky Pazkowski.

 

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.

 

As residents of Sarasota since 1997, Drs. Sarah and George Pappas have a strong tie to Plymouth Harbor. Sarah first became aware of Plymouth Harbor 30 years ago through Peggy Bates, a very prominent person at New College of Florida and in the Sarasota community. In 2012, Sarah joined the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees. She ended her term in January 2017, and served as Vice Chair for two years.

In November 2017, when the highly-anticipated Northwest Garden opens, Sarah and George will join us on the Plymouth Harbor campus as residents of the new building. In the meantime, the two are busy “rightsizing,” selling their home, and preparing for the move into their new apartment — in addition to balancing their work life.

Sarah is the current President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the past president of Manatee Community College (now State College of Florida). While Sarah plans to step down from her position at the Selby Foundation this coming June, she is sure to remain busy with her positions on the Board of the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club and her recent appointment to the Ringling Museum Board of Trustees.

George is a talented abstract artist whose work can be found at the Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, and additional galleries in Tampa and New Smyrna Beach. In fact, in 2011, the Ringling Museum acquired one of his works, “Double Trouble,” for its permanent collection. In addition, up until last year, George served on the Board of Trustees at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Both Sarah and George spent much of their lives working in higher education. Sarah received her master’s degree in social science education from the University of South Florida and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Nova Southeastern University. Her career spans 40 years at three community colleges and the University of Central Florida. George studied at the Massachusetts College of Art, then continued his arts-related education with a master’s from Harvard and Ph.D. from Penn State University. After teaching at Northern Iowa University and Penn State, he taught art education for 27 years at the University of South Florida, serving 10 years as chair of the art department.

When asked why they chose Plymouth Harbor as their new home, Sarah responded, “The fact that Plymouth Harbor was a non-profit was number one for us. The practice of having residents on the Board was another attraction. Since both George and I spent our whole lives in higher education, it reminded us of the shared governance that is seen in universities and colleges. It really impressed us.”

What are they most looking forward to in living in the Northwest Garden and at Plymouth Harbor? The couple highlighted their brand-new apartment, and its 10-foot ceilings and plentiful wall space to display George’s artwork, as well as the Bistro just down the hall for entertaining friends. Additionally, George plans to use their second bedroom as his art studio overlooking their waterfront view, and together, they plan to take advantage of the many lectures, seminars, and activities that take place on campus.

As November quickly approaches, we certainly look forward to welcoming Sarah and George.
 
 

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.

Former President and CEO for the New College Foundation, John Cranor, III has over 30 years of management experience in the food service and retail industries, including senior executive positions with Pepsi-Cola North America, Taco Bell Corporation, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Frito-Lay Company.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New College of Florida and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He also received an honorary Doctorate from Bellarmine University. John currently serves as the non-executive Chair of the Board of Directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. In addition to serving on the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees, John now joins the Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees.