National Lutheran Communities & Services Names Regina Figueroa as Chief Operating Officer

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is pleased to announce Regina Figueroa has been named chief operating officer (COO). Figueroa joins NLCS as previous COO Cyndi Walters transitions to the role of NLCS president and chief operating officer (CEO).

Regina brings over 21 years of senior health care and wellness experience to this position. Her experience is vast and includes work with continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), assisted living facilities, long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, home health, outpatient services, hospice, adult day programs and wellness clinic operations with organizations along the Eastern Seaboard.

Most recently, Regina was the chief administrative officer of Stella Maris, Inc., providing oversight for seven senior services business lines under the leadership of Mercy Health Services. Prior to that, she spent seven years in New Jersey as a regional vice president for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice and home health care. Regina also spent 10 years with Life Care Centers of America in several administrative capacities throughout five states.

As the COO, Regina works closely with NLCS community executive directors in the communities’ master planning, continues to develop NLCS’s home care service line and leads operational process and performance improvement efforts as the NLCS portfolio grows. Additionally, she collaborates with NLCS’s strategic business partners to further enhance operational efficiencies and effectiveness.

“I am very excited to assist Cyndi and the NLCS team in continuing the mission of NLCS to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults,” Figueroa said. She continued, “This is a great organization, and I am also really excited to assist in taking the organization to the next levels of success.”
Cyndi Walters, NLCS president and CEO-elect said, “Regina’s experience is impressive, but what made her the best fit for NLCS is how closely we felt she aligns with our core values and guiding principles.” Walters continued, “Every team member at NLCS contributes to our We CARE program, which stands for creating smiles, attending to details, respecting everyone and embodying excellence. Our leaders, including Regina exude these traits, acting as a role model to all others.”

Figueroa assumed the COO role on June 28. Walters will assume the president and CEO role on August 1. 

National Lutheran Files Amended Application for The Village at Providence Point

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) filed an amended planned unit development application with the City of Annapolis on July 1, 2021, for its proposed continuing care retirement community The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community. This submittal, which includes a forest conservation plan, a subdivision plan and site plan, amends the previous May 2020 filing. This recent filing is a response to collaborative feedback from the City of Annapolis and Annapolis community members.

“We have continued to champion this project because we believe so deeply in the benefits it will bring to both older adults and the greater Annapolis community. This revised plan continues to reflect the collegial nature we have developed with the Annapolis community and the City of Annapolis,” NLCS’ President & CEO Larry Bradshaw said. “This submission further refines and resolves the four areas of concern individuals previously expressed with traffic, forest conservation, stormwater management, and the conservation easement.”

The Village at Providence Point intends to purchase 52.5 acres of the 175-acre site, with a footprint of 30 acres and clear approximately 27 acres. The June filing addresses one-to-one onsite reforestation, traffic mitigation to improve existing traffic conditions, and exceeds the 125% stormwater management requirements onsite, as well as extinguishes future development rights on the remaining land. Combining conservation and reforestation efforts, the project will protect approximately 124 forested acres and incorporate nearly 62,000 square feet of green roofs and 79 micro-bioretention facilities.

“We also remain committed to the stream restoration for an outfall channel along Spa Road near Annapolis Middle School, as well as building out Skippers Lane within the property’s boundaries,” Bradshaw said. “Further, we will provide an additional six-figure contribution to extend Skippers Lane to the west of the property (contingent upon the City undertaking the design and construction of this link and cooperation of all affected property owners), furthering the relief road concept referenced in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.”

Located at the intersection of Forest Drive and Spa Road, The Village at Providence Point will offer a variety of residences and health care options for individuals 60+. The master plan of the project is slated to include 272 independent living apartments, 30 cottages, and 48 health care suites. To learn more details and see the latest site rendering, visit www.thevillageatprovidencepoint.org/development-faqs.

Nominations Open for 2021 Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards Presented by The Village at Orchard Ridge

Awards will highlight achievements of individuals 70 and over in Winchester City, Frederick County and Clarke County, Virginia

WINCHESTER, Virginia – The Village at Orchard Ridge–A National Lutheran Community is pleased to announce the opening of nominations for the 2021 Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards. This will be the second Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards hosted by The Village at Orchard Ridge since the inaugural event was first launched in 2019. Plans for a 2020 awards event were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nomination packets are available to download at https://www.thevillageatorchardridge.org/stellar7over70/. The Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards is the first program of this kind in the greater Winchester area and is dedicated to fight ageism and demonstrate that impact and community involvement are ageless. The awards celebrate the achievements of those 70 and older who are making a difference in the community and in the lives of others. Nominations are taken in seven categories:

  • Intellectual Growth
  • Fitness and Health 
  • Social and Community Involvement
  • Spiritual Expression 
  • Creative Engagement
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Vocational Connectivity 

“In a time where all of us in society have faced unprecedented upheaval, social isolation and change due to COVID-19, older adults have been hit especially hard by this pandemic. We’ve been inspired by older adults’ courage and optimism in facing this public health threat and continuing to find ways to be of service to their neighbors and fellow man,” says Event Chair Rebecca Lipscomb who also serves as sales director for The Village at Orchard Ridge. “We are thrilled to present the Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards once again in 2021 to highlight positive stories showing how adults are improving the lives of others in their communities.”

“Older adults represent the most at-risk population, yet they have faced the hardships of COVID-19 with tremendous courage, and if anything, have doubled down on their efforts to find new ways to continue to be of service to their neighbors and community in this time of need,” says Larry Bradshaw, president and CEO of National Lutheran Communities & Services, the parent organization of The Village at Orchard Ridge. “In 2021, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate older adults’ compassion toward their neighbors and the many ways they continue to show that impact is ageless – even in the face of a worldwide pandemic.”

John Loop, executive director at The Village at Orchard Ridge added, “This will be my first Stellar 7 Over 70 Awards with Orchard Ridge, however, I have worked in aging services for the majority of my career and have witnessed firsthand the dedication older adults have to their greater communities.” Loop added, “Older adults support their communities because they believe it is the right thing to do, not because they want recognition. I am proud that The Village at Orchard Ridge has prioritized recognizing service and inspiring people of all ages to pursue opportunities that enhance life for others in their communities.”

Due to the easing of local and federal COVID-19 restrictions, both the unveiling of nominees and the awards event will be held in-person. The unveiling of nominees will occur at The Chapel at Orchard Ridge, A Center for Faith and Community Life, on September 16, 2021. The award winners will be presented at a ticketed luncheon on October 14, 2021 at The George Washington Hotel.

All nominations must be received by Monday, August 2, 2021. Nomination forms are available for download at https://www.thevillageatorchardridge.org/stellar7over70/.

National Lutheran Communities & Services Names Cyndi Walters as President and CEO

Walters brings over 30 years of senior living experience to National Lutheran, along with a passion of expanding opportunities for older adults to age as they choose and for inspiring team members who have a heart to serve seniors

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is pleased to announce Cyndi Walters as the next President and CEO, succeeding Larry Bradshaw, who is retiring after 12 years with the organization. Although founded in 1890, Walters is only the second President and CEO and is the first woman to assume the role.

Walters has served at NLCS in varying capacities for nine years; first as a consultant before joining as chief operating officer in 2016. Cumulatively, Walters brings over 30 years of experience in the senior living industry including a strong background in strategically growing and diversifying the organization and an enhanced focus on operating as a senior-living system and leveraging its benefits and efficiencies. Prior to joining NLCS, she provided project management and advisory services to senior living organizations through Walters Advisors, LLC. She has also served in a leadership role at Presbyterian Senior Living in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, and during her 19 years at KPMG (a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services), spent significant time as a partner and leader of their National Senior Living Advisory Practice.

Walters is driven by NLCS’ mission to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Specifically, she is an advocate for “aging with choice,” which means providing needed resources for older adults to choose how they want to age – whether that means moving to a senior living community or bringing supportive services to those who want to stay in the home they have always loved.

Throughout her time at NLCS, Walters has spent time interacting with team members at every level, from the executive council to those on the frontlines. She says, “My passion goes much deeper than the mission of NLCS. It is also about the team we have built over the past several years. Our team embraces our culture and has ensured we remain a Great Place to Work®.” Walters continues, “I believe we have the best team in the industry, and I am just as committed to their experience with NLCS as I am the experience of residents and clients.”

Walters’ appointment as President and CEO was voted on unanimously by the NLCS Board of Trustees. “We are extremely excited that Cyndi will be stepping up to the CEO position and building upon the amazing visionary and quality-focused ministerial leadership NLCS has enjoyed under Larry’s leadership,” commented Donna Duss, MSN, RN and NLCS Board Chair. “Since being founded in 1890, our organization’s goal has been to seek the best and the brightest at all levels of the organization, and we have done just that in naming Cyndi our CEO,” Duss added.

“National Lutheran Communities & Services will be in very capable, skilled and dedicated hands under Cyndi’s expertise and vision. She understands and lives the NLCS ministry of keeping quality care at the focus of our day-to-day operations and mission,” retiring CEO Larry Bradshaw stated. “I am incredibly pleased by the Board’s decision, and look forward to continuing to hear wonderful things about new accomplishments and mission-focused service. I wish the organization the best always, and applaud the outstanding efforts of my fellow team members who will be carrying on in support of Cyndi’s leadership,” he added.

Walters will assume the President and CEO role on August 1, 2021.

Impact1890 Announces Special Rapid Response Grants

Grants awarded to three Lutheran congregations to help ease social isolation of older congregation members

Impact1890–A National Lutheran Program is pleased to announce that it has awarded three “Rapid Response” grants totaling $10,325 to St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, VA; Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg, VA; and Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Moneta, VA.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has lengthened, many older adults have found themselves cut off from one of their greatest sources of companionship and comfort, their regular worshipping communities. Executive Manager Kathryn Baerwald stated, “With funds made available after all staff travel and in-person meetings were canceled, we informed synods of the availability of the grants. We received three nominations and after reviewing the proposals, the Board of Directors decided to award grants to all three.”

Baerwald continued, “Although congregations are offering on-line worship services, some older adults need additional support in order to access these worship services. In other situations, normal recognition of the importance of older adults in congregational life may need to be done in different ways, such as small gatherings with appropriate distancing or continuing regular programs but modifying them to fit current circumstances.”

Impact1890 conducts periodic needs assessments to identify areas of critical need facing seniors who are aging in their homes. All grants must address at least one of the six areas of needs. Since 2014, the number one, most critical area of need has been social isolation. Older adults who are aging in place, whether in an apartment or a house that has been home for many years, have long faced the issue of being alone. However, the pandemic has caused increased social isolation which can lead to declines in both mental and physical health.

The 2020 rapid response congregational grant recipients are:

Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia
$4,000
To gather the stories of their older adult members to recognize their lives and then honor these members in a socially-responsible way

St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Virginia
$2,325
To upgrade the sound system to enable older adults to better participate in remote worship services

Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta, Virginia
$4,000
To assist their 18 geographically-based ministry groups which support, in particular, socially isolated older adult members.

In 2019, Impact1890’s grants supported approximately 20,000 older adults. To read stories about the work of these grant recipients, please visit https://www.impact1890.org/impact-2/impact-stories/.

 

The Legacy at North Augusta Recognized for Infection Control Efforts Amidst COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Legacy at North Augusta–A National Lutheran Community adopted the strictest of infection control methods to protect their residents and team members. The effort shown by residents, team members and their families has kept residents totally free from COVID-19 – a significant feat during this time.

For their efforts, The Legacy was recognized by the Virginia Department of Health. Stemming from an infection control survey by the Department of Health, show The Legacy excelled in three areas — clear signage and screening process for arriving visitors, frequent screenings of residents and staff members, and a rigorous mitigation program.

In addition to the infection control survey, The Legacy was featured in the News Virginian. Read here.

While the recognition is wonderful, Executive Director Cherie Powers said “This has all been about keeping our residents and team members safe and healthy and we are very grateful everyone has stayed healthy during this pandemic.”

National Lutheran Communities & Services’ COO Cyndi Walters Joins International Council on Active Aging Task Force to Lead Senior Living Transformation After COVID-19

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) Chief Operating Officer, Cyndi Walters joins more than 160 industry thought leaders as they prepare to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID-19 era. 

Participants in the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force include representatives of for-profit, not-for-profit, and affordable housing — organizations providing active-adult and independent living, continuing care retirement communities/life plan, assisted living, long-term care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation Participating industry associations include, among others, LeadingAge, American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), Argentum, American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), Pioneer Network, National Council on Aging (NCOA), The National Association Directors of Nursing Administration in Long-Term Care (NADONA), and the American Society on Aging (ASA).

Walters stated, “COVID-19 has truly ushered in a new normal for senior living providers. Our normal from four months ago cannot exist anymore. I am honored to join other leaders in the industry to work together on how to safely continue providing care, engagement and support for residents and team members, while continuing to safeguard communities from COVID-19.”

“The health, wellness and quality of life of our residents and staff are paramount as we chart a path forward in the midst of uncertainty,” said ICAA founder and CEO Colin Milner, who conceived the initiative. “The Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to plan for a new post-COVID era.”

Milner will co-chair the task force with Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th US Surgeon General, Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch, and psychologist/gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, PhD, best-selling author, founder and CEO of Age Wave.

“Organizations need to make their way through the pandemic and have a game plan to come out of it,” Milner said. “Importantly, all key stakeholders are coming together as a group to address COVID-19’s impact on the industry, and help ensure that organizations will continue to be viable and meet residents’ expectations and desires while also ensuring their safety now and into the future.”

Task force members and panelists at the May 27 and May 28 sessions addressed fundamental issues such as social distancing and its impact on the built environment, infrastructure needs and engagement.

About National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS)
Based in Rockville, Md., NLCS is a not-for-profit, faith-based ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods, serving people of all beliefs. With 130-years’ experience, NLCS honors, inspires and supports choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Entities sponsored by National Lutheran include The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md., The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Va., The Village at Orchard Ridge and myPotential at Home in Winchester, Va., The Village at Augsburg in Baltimore, Md., The Village at Providence Point in Annapolis, Md., subject to Maryland Department of Aging approval, and Impact1890 in Rockville, Md. For more information, visit www.nationallutheran.org

About the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force
ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID era. This includes, but is not limited to, the impact of the built and virtual environments, social activities and food/beverage services, technology, education and security that impacts the health and well-being of staff and residents; challenges to current and future business models; and approaches to build confidence in living in and visiting senior living properties.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
www.icaa.cc
ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging-an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness-and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.

 

 

The Village at Rockville Volunteer Alexis Bentz wins an Extraordinary Teen Award from “Bethesda Magazine”

Recently, “Bethesda Magazine” recognized Thomas S. Wootton High School Senior, Alexis Bentz, as one of the winners of their annual Extraordinary Teen Awards. Her journey to this award started when she was just 12 years old. Inspired by her close relationship with her grandparents, Alexis wanted to create a column called “Generations Together” to bridge the gap between older adults and teenagers, creating relationships of mutual understanding. She pitched her idea to the editor of “The Beacon” newspaper, an area publication for adults over 50 in Washington, D.C. region, and her column was born.

However, Alexis did not stop there with her mission to bridge the generational gap. She also became a long-time volunteer at The Village at Rockville—A National Lutheran Community, where she founded the Generations Together club, an intergenerational group of older adults and middle school aged children that meet on a regular basis to socialize and learn from each other.

When Alexis began her volunteer work at The Village at Rockville, she was a student at Robert Frost Middle School. She became so passionate about serving older adults in her community that after she began high school at Thomas S. Wootton High School, she founded a second chapter of Generations Together. Alexis’ passion for cross generational understanding resulted in 30 students and two teachers from Alexis’ former middle and high schools making a difference in the lives of residents and guests until a few months ago when the groups had to stop volunteering at The Village at Rockville due to COVID-19. Plans were even underway to host an intergenerational prom that has been postponed.

Volunteer coordinator, Isabel Bouchard says she’s not surprised that Alexis was recognized as an Extraordinary Teen. “Alexis is a very mature, well-organized, compassionate and detail-oriented young lady. She understands the aging process and the importance of one-on-one engagement – that’s something she came to The Village at Rockville with, not that we instilled in her. The fact that she had that vision to put an intergenerational program together for us is absolutely amazing.”

Isabel says due to Alexis’s initiative, the Generations Together group meets either every Wednesday afternoon to visit residents in the memory care neighborhood or once a month to visit long-term care residents. Residents are always delighted to see and spend time with the students and look forward to the day they can visit with the students again.

“I have worked with a number high school children, but Alexis is particularly mature,” Isabel adds. “I think her insightfulness and passion for others is definitely going to carry her far in life.”

Congratulations to Alexis from the entire team at The Village at Rockville.

The Village at Rockville Clear of COVID-19 Virus from February Low-Risk Exposure

The Village at Rockville—A National Lutheran Community announced on Saturday, March 14, that they have completed the symptom screenings required by the Maryland Department of Health following a low-risk exposure of COVID-19 that occurred when one of the three positive Montgomery County residents attended an event at The Village at Rockville on February 28, 2020.

“I am pleased to report that our community has remained free of COVID-19 symptoms and that The Village at Rockville had no positive tests for COVID-19,” said Kyle Hreben, executive director at The Village at Rockville. “We appreciate that Governor Larry Hogan offered testing to those individuals, both staff and residents, who attended the February 28 to ensure The Village at Rockville remained free of the virus.” Hreben also praised the Maryland Department of Health for their collaboration with The Village at Rockville over the past week, as well as the team’s efforts to protect residents and each other.

“Our primary focus is to maintain the highest level of wellbeing for our residents and team members,” said Karen Sroka, director of clinical services for National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS), the parent organization for The Village at Rockville. “In this rapidly-changing and evolving world health crisis, we will remain vigilant in safeguarding our residents and team members with precautions of visitation limitations and continued education on best practices for the prevention of spreading any illness.” Sroka said. The Village at Rockville and NLCS will continue to collaborate with the state and federal agencies to reinforce their recommendations.

Earlier this week, The Village at Rockville modified visitation to essential visits only in the Health Center (assisted living and skilled nursing neighborhoods). Essential visits are defined as those visits to residents or guests who experience a significant change in medical condition. Symptom screenings continue for essential visitors and team members as they enter the Health Center. Virtual visits have been implemented using Skype and FaceTime to ease the burdens of visitor restrictions.

“We have a qualified team of health care experts, and I am grateful for each of them as they have demonstrated their continued dedication and the utmost professionalism throughout the past week,” Hreben said. “They daily deliver on our mission by living out our values in the care that they provide to the residents, not just in the past week, but all the time.”

Low-Risk Exposure of COVID-19 Reported at The Village at Rockville

The Village at Rockville—A National Lutheran Community was notified by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) late this afternoon that a Maryland resident who tested positive for coronavirus attended a public event at The Village at Rockville on Friday, February 28 from noon to 6 p.m. Earlier reports incorrectly indicated the event was on Saturday, February 29.

The MDH has expressed that the risk of potential exposure during this event was low. However, taking the best practice in precaution, The Village at Rockville is working closely with the MDH to follow their recommended procedures for monitoring conditions of residents and team members who attended the event through March 14, 2020. There are no residents or team members at The Village at Rockville who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus nor are any exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

“Our primary focus is to maintain our highest level of well-being for our residents and team members,” said Kyle Hrebren, executive director at The Village Rockville. “We will remain diligent in taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our community and the greater Rockville community.” Prior to this notification, according to Karen Sroka, director of clinical services for NLCS, The Village at Rockville has been diligently educating residents and staff members weekly and following both the CDC and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommendations.

As this event also included guests from the greater community, the MDH also requested that those guests contact their health care provider or the Maryland Emergency Agency Call Center at 410-517-3720. These individuals will also continue to be monitored for symptoms through March 14.

“The MDH has confirmed that those who attended the event do not need to be self-quarantined unless symptoms of a fever, cough or a respiratory illness occur,” Hreben said. Additionally, the MDH has also confirmed that those who did not attend the event do not need to self-monitor.”

In an abundance of caution, The Village at Rockville has postponed all gathering and public events until March 14. Additionally, visiting hours will be restricted hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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