Families and Friends March 2021

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Green House Pandemic Response Makes National Feature

Families Friends

Throughout the pandemic we have been continuously blown away by the efforts of our employees to keep residents safe and happy. That is why it came as no surprise that St. John’s nurses Polly Boland and Jennifer DiSalvo were featured in an article by U.S. News & World Report to discuss the safety measures taken in a smaller, more intimate nursing home model such as the Penfield Green House Homes. Aside from just cleaning high touch surfaces like light switches, door knobs, and more, they mention how, “the staff has really taken ownership of the elders who live here.” They have put their all into making sure residents are well taken care of at the Penfield Green House Homes.

A Newsletter for St. John’s Skilled Services March 2021



Polly and Jennifer, whose dedication and clinical expertise set the standard and continue to raise the bar for those around them, are two of the many health care heroes who keep our St. John’s communities running smoothly.

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Read the full feature here: https://bit.ly/2NJf2gk


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

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Rochester, NY Permit #87

150 Highland Avenue Rochester, NY 14620

From Surviving COVID-19 to Becoming Fully Vaccinated

Families Friends

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Born and raised right here in Rochester, Terri McTigue is hardly new to the area or to St. John’s. She spent her working years as a nurse and always enjoyed working with seniors. This background helps her to feel right at home with residents of all stages of aging. Throughout the pandemic Terri notes, “the staff has been great.” Terri emphasized her feeling of safety and care living here throughout these crazy times; although she often misses her loved ones. Editor/Marketing Coordinator Devin Andrieu dandrieu@stjohnsliving.org

Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Lesinski jlesinski@stjohnsliving.org

Marketing Communications Manager Tom Harner tharner@stjohnsliving.org

President and CEO Charlie Runyon

Vice President of Skilled Services Nate Sweeney

Terri is an exceptional woman. She has always had a fiery determination about her, a quality which became clear as she explained her drive from Rochester all the way to California in her 20s with a broken gas tank. She just thought, “I can do that.” Being a cancer survivor, Terri is no stranger to a difficult diagnosis. That is why when she heard in November of 2020 that she had tested positive for COVID-19, she had little doubt that she would make a full recovery. Lucky for Terri, she had a lighter case of the virus. Aside


from a loss of taste and smell, she felt relatively okay. Today she is fully recovered and looking forward to the day when families are welcomed back into the building, as we all are. She is most looking forward to meeting her three-month old grandson and hugging all her loved ones. After some initial skepticism about the vaccine, Terri did her research and decided getting vaccinated was for the best. “After all, there’s a reason we don’t get polio or small pox anymore,” she says. Terri has since encouraged her sister and other family members to do the same whenever it becomes available to them. The distribution of the vaccine has become a beacon of hope for St. John’s residents and staff members alike as St. John’s strives to move forward into a brighter future. St. John’s anxiously anticipates the day when we can open our doors to families and volunteers. For more stories like Terri’s go to: https://bit.ly/2ORB9ld

Introducing Our New Dementia Resource Center Studies show nearly 1 in 5 Americans (19%) are providing care to an adult with health or functional needs. Twenty-six percent of these caregivers were caring for someone with dementia in 2020, rising from 22% in just 5 years. Unfortunately, many of these caregivers are taking on these duties without adequate financial, emotional, and physical supports in place.

from Nate

More than a year ago we recognized that our expertise from over 120 years as a direct care provider of skilled services for adults with dementia and the tools, best practices, and lessons learned through trial over the years, could help those caring for loved ones at home. St. John’s believed it could extend the reach of our support to the community of caregivers. Six months after behind the scenes development, St. John’s is pleased to unveil the first phase of this exciting project– an Online Dementia Resource Center, featuring free support to local, at home caregivers. The website offers articles, blog posts, videos, and other content based on St. John’s expertise to help at home caregivers get through the day (and night). Some of our own residents, who are themselves caregivers, appear in videos and our staff member experts author blog content and provide insight into the answers to questions we hear every day.

Holidays and Events

Vaccination Day

St. John’s is honored to be a partner to at home caregivers on what can be a very challenging journey. Together we will learn and grow—because experience is life’s best teacher. Visit our Online Dementia Resource Center at: dementia.stjohnsliving.org

Illumination of Love Donations Exceed 2019 Total At the holidays, St. John’s Foundation brings family and friends together for a tree-lighting to honor or remember special people in our community. This year’s Illumination of Love event was virtual, by which families and friends were able to safely watch a video of this special annual ceremony from the comfort of their own homes.

Centenarian Celebration

For those who have donated, St. John’s uses the money to fulfill special requests for those residents who have little or no personal financial means. In 2019, more than $10,000 was raised to help provide St. John’s elders with new clothes, shoes, iPads, visits to the beauty shop, and so much more. In 2020, 2,831 lights were illuminated in honor and in memory of loved ones. That’s $14,155 raised to help St. John’s residents in need. We are so grateful to everyone that donated to this year’s Illumination of Love . It will make a tangible difference in the lives of the elders. St. John’s would also like to extend a special thank you to our amazing sponsors! Learn more at: stjohnsliving.org/IOL/

National Wear Red Day

To view photos from these events and more, visit our Flickr galleries here: https://bit.ly/2XGIpim

At St. John’s Home the numbers 30-20-10 held a great significance for us this winter. Without much information ahead of time, in late December we learned that we would have our COVID-19 vaccine clinics on December 30, January 20, and February 10. The teams at St. John’s Home swiftly got to work to mobilize, adjusting for each new factor of the vaccine clinic as we got updates from our partners. However, these 30-20-10 dates were just part of the story of vaccinations across St. John’s. The entire organization came together to also plan the vaccine clinics for our Penfield Green House Homes, Hawthorne Assisted Living, and for the residents of Brickstone and Meadows. With different guidelines, different pharmacy partners, and ever changing information, St. John’s came together and leveraged resources. This included finding measures to assist across different campuses when a person’s health status delayed their ability to get vaccinated on the day for his/her campus. The vaccine story is still being written as we now continue to work towards ensuring a supply line of vaccine for new residents and new staff seeking protection from this terrible virus. There is another story, however, that desperately needs a conclusion. The separation of residents from their families and friends is a heartbreaking story that we have been living for far too long. We continue to advocate for a resolution that includes reunion. Vaccination is not the only answer towards changing the landscape of our lives, however, it certainly is a major factor. Distribution of vaccines to residents and the community must be considered a new element in the fight to reunite. The parade of seasons has marched by all year and we have marked holidays, commemorations, and anniversaries as best we can, finding every piece of tradition that can be pulled from our shared memories to our new reality. We know all across our country, and the world, people have had to change their traditions and celebrations, but few have faced as great of a break as the residents of nursing homes and each of you, their family members and friends. We will continue to be there for them, offering hands and hearts to them, but we cannot wait until we are all together again.


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