April 2013

In This Issue
Notes from The Green House Director: Achieving the Triple Aim of Long Term Care: Quality, Health, Affordability
Safety, danger and risk: The environment as crucible for lifelong development
Visiting Mt. San Antonio Gardens, The First Green House project in California
Going Home: Ron Yoder, VMRC, and THE GREEN HOUSE® Project
Stories of Love and Family from Boersma Cottage
Environments for Aging, Impact of Community based Green House homes
Staff Highlight

Celebrating 10 Years of Leading a Legacy



On May 5, 2013 Mississippi Methodist is hosting a block party to celebrate 10 years since they opened the first Green House homes in the country!  In honor of this milestone, we want to party to extend beyond Tupelo, MS!  Send us a photo with 3 words about why Green House homes are so special.  We will compile these to celebrate the Tupelo as the spark that led to a National movement!!    


Upcoming Events


June 19 - 20



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Recently, I was honored to speak at the Michigan LANE (Local Area Network for Excellence) conference in East Lansing that was attended by close to 300 dedicated leaders of skilled nursing facilities.  It was there that I was reminded of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Triple Aim -


1.) Improve the persons' experience of care - both quality and satisfaction

2.) Improve the health of people and the community's health

3.) Reduce the cost and wasteful spending


I feel confident that The Green House Model addresses all three of these goals.  And we have a significant amount of independent research to support this feeling.   Thanks to the support ofThe Robert Wood Johnson FoundationThe Weinberg Foundation and AARP, model is spreading and Green Houses nationwide have the outcomes that hit these marks and outpace traditional SNF's.



As many of you may already know, Bill Thomas and I came up with the notion of "surplus safety" in 2009 during a class in theErickson School Master's degree program to characterize the result of a culture of safety that does harm by preventing people from achieving future development that comes from taking risks and learning from the resultant success/mistakes. Since then, we and others have been working on the concept to refine the concept, catalogue its many manifestations, the roles of various stakeholders, and how current regulations and practices frame the issue and potential solutions.  



Visiting Mt. San Antonio Gardens, The First Green House project in California 



Visionary leader Randy Stoll, CEO of Mt. San Antonio Gardens, and his dedicated team have been toiling away for years to navigate California's complex regulations in order to introduce the very first Green Houses to the state. As we toured the construction site, you could see the home taking shape - the fireplace, the kitchen, plenty of windows and the 10 bright, private bedrooms with private baths and showers. At the end of the tour I thought - the day the elders move in, these two homes will immediately become the top two places to receive skilled care in the state.


Ron Yoder has a deep memory of being a young child and, every weekend accompanying his parents to visit his grandfather, who had suffered a debilitating stroke. Ron remembers him in a bed in the living room, being cared for by the family. He remembers him in his home...and dying in his home.

Years later when Ron's father got older and sick, the family got to a point where they couldn't care for him anymore and eventually his father was transported to a nursing home. Ron was four hours away by car. His father died there. It felt different.


While attending a Green House Conference, one of the main things that was discussed was "The Story". The Story as they say has a beginning, middle, and an end, it can be a sad story, a happy story one with lots of twists and turns or it can be a very simple story. My story, or rather, our story, is all of the above and more.


Green House Chief Operating Officer, Susan Frazier, joins SWBR architect, Rob Simonetti, to present, "A Community-based Green House Approach-Development Goals, Opportunities, and Outcomes" at the upcoming Environments for Aging conference in New Orleans on Monday, April 8 | 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m (we are exhibiting: BOOTH 103).  This seminar will explore the unique development opportunities available to providers and developers collaborating to provide healthcare via a decentralized community based approach. Presenters will explore the objectives of (re)integrating elders into their hometown communities in lieu of a centralized healthcare campus.
Charlie Runyon
Charlie Runyon


Highlighting the Green House Project Team: Mary Hopfner-Thomas, Project Manager
mary  As the saying goes "when one door closes-another will open for you."  That was certainly was the case for Mary.  After 19 years in corporation communications, a company merger meant a large scale layoff, and sent Mary in search of a new career opportunity. Working with Elders had always interested her, but she had no  idea that interest would translate into a new career track and a decision to return to school and obtain her Masters degree in the Management of Aging Services.   
Continue Reading


Anna Ortigara
Mary Hopfner-Thomas
Rachel Scher

Published monthly to share information with providers, elders and others about THE GREEN HOUSE® Project, a new and innovative approach to long-term, skilled nursing care. To learn more, visit www.thegreenhouseproject.org.

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Working in a Green House home or organization? Join the Green House Forum! For more information visit our Web site or email greenhouse@ncbcapitalimpact.org.