Brookline Assisted Living Facility Welcomes New Leadership, Initiatives

by Michael Martin Garrett

Angeline Hunter, 91, has lived through many changes in her life.

She’s seen State College and Penn State grow since she moved to the area in 1943, and after her husband’s death in 2008, she watched the evolution of the well-established Brookline Village retirement community.

Since moving to Brookline in early 2013, there’s been one more change she’s had to adjust to: Brookline’s acquisition by the national assisted living organization Juniper Village.

Sitting outside on Tuesday among Brookline’s handsome buildings and greenery – surrounded by friends, family and fellow residents – Hunter listened to Juniper CEO Lynne Katzmann lay her out her vision for the newly christened Juniper Village at Brookline facility at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“You all have welcomed us with warmth, generosity and open hearts and minds,” Katzmann said. “Thank you for letting us be a part of this community.”

Katzmann said Juniper Village had been aware of Brookline’s “legacy of excellence” before it ever acquired the facility. Though Juniper has a lot to live up to, she’s sure that the Brookline team and residents will be able to work together to continuing improving the lives of State College’s senior citizens.

She said some of Juniper’s priorities are keeping things exactly the same: many of the staff from before the acquisition are still at Brookline, and Katzmann has no plans to disturb the facility’s beautiful campus.

But, perhaps more importantly, she looks forward to bringing new activities and initiatives to Brookline. Katzmann says Juniper Communities was “green long before it was fashionable,” which continues to this day with a focus on recycling and environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Recently certified by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America as maintaining the rare distinction of “excellence in care” at its facilities, Katzmann says Juniper Communities is excited to increase the quality of care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients…

Anissa Ilie, director of community relations with Juniper Village at Brookline, says another major change will be updating all medical records to a digital format, which will make record-keeping and caregiving more efficient.

Another focus of the change in leadership was to “hit the ground running” and interfere with the resident’s daily lives as little as possible during the transitionary months, Ilie says…

Read Michael’s full article on StateCollege.com.

Native N. Huntingdon Resident Tierney Guarascio Welcomed as Director of Community Relations at Juniper Village Huntingdon Ridge

by Jeanine Genauer

Born and raised in the North Huntingdon area, Tierney Guarascio has been appointed the Director of Community Relations at the two building personal and memory care campus of Juniper Village at Huntingdon Ridge. The DCR role consists of sales, marketing and admissions.

“I am most excited that I was given this wonderful opportunity to help families in need and share Juniper’s vision of making the world a better place, a place where each of us can live fully throughout all seasons of life,” expressed Tierney. “I discovered my love for working with the elderly while in college and working in the dietary department of another senior living community. I then went on to work as the activities director for another long-term care provider, an all-encompassing role in which I planned and assisted with weekly activities and holiday events.”

In her prior capacity, she interacted with residents in independent living, assisted living, and memory care.  During this period she completed Ageless Wisdom Geriatric Sensitivity Training through the University of Pittsburgh, and became CPR certified.

Tierney’s day-to-day activities include regular contact with referral sources, tracking inquiry information and timely responses to inquiries, assisting families through the admissions process, and being involved with the community at large. “I am excited to be the face of Juniper as I work with external marketing and referral sources. Key components of this position are introducing families to Juniper Village during tours and assisting them through the admission process,” she said.

A graduate of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in Communications, one of her memorable experiences was assisting the Pittsburgh Steelers staff in organizing and overseeing their summer camp – Kids Experience Program.  She loves to sing and was one of the female leads in the musical Oklahoma at a local theater; she also tried out for Pittsburgh Idol. In addition, Tierney plays soccer and is a two-time Pittsburgh half marathon runner.

Juniper Village welcomes Tierney Guarascio and her energy and enthusiasm for seniors. “Tierney’s unbounded interest in making the lives of our residents better, and knowing the environs of N. Huntingdon and the surrounding areas in-depth, will bring a tremendous presence both inside and out of our buildings,” said Tammy Long, Executive Director of Juniper Village.

 

Juniper Village at Brookline Participant in Benchmark Study on Dementia and Delirium

by Jeanine Genauer

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Village at Brookline is continuing its participation in a major study on dementia and delirium out of the College of Nursing at Penn State University.  The study is called Reserve for Delirium Superimposed on Dementia and Brookline has been an active participant in the study since its inception in 2010.  This September, a presentation was made at Juniper covering the research results to date on the general evaluation and management of delirium.

The purpose of the RESERVE DSD study is to test the efficacy of cognitive stimulation for resolving delirium in persons with dementia subsequent to a hospitalization. The research is testing a non-pharmacological intervention for delirium in the form of recreational activities. The ongoing, five-year clinical trial will conclude in 2015. Dr. Ann Kolanowski, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN and Dr. Donna Fick, PhD, GCNS-BC FGSA, FAAN received a grant to conduct the research from the National Institute of Nursing Research in the amount of $2,405,344.

“Juniper Village is pleased to provide support for this very important research whose eventual findings will benefit our residents by allowing us to better identify those suffering from delirium. The findings will then help us to best treat those residents, enriching their daily quality of care,” explained Janice Whitaker, RN, BSN, NCSN, M.Ed., Juniper Village Rehabilitation and Skilled Care at Brookline Wellness Director.

Currently, 35 residents of Juniper Village at Brookline have participated. At the time of a resident’s move into Juniper’s rehabilitation and skilled care community, residents who seem a good fit for the study, are referred as potential candidates. If the resident – including family members who might be the decision maker – decide to participate, release forms are completed and forwarded to the College of Nursing. They then contact the resident and or family member, and enter them into the study. Student nurses engage with these residents and track their progress throughout their stay.

“Juniper Communities has been committed to innovative dementia care for more than a decade.  We are so proud that our programs have been nationally recognized but more pleased that we have positively impacted the lives of those we serve and their families,” stated Lynne S. Katzmann, Ph.D., President and Founder of Juniper Communities.

Check out local news video for more on this story.

Show Your Colors: October Events

by Tara Williamson

October brings forth vibrant color in our foliage as well as our sports teams. Our high school football teams will be in full swing and hockey season will prepare to fill the stands with team colors and spirit. Juniper Communities will also be honoring our colors with many sports-themed activities and events. We will be enjoying the changing colors of the season as we transition from summer to fall and the crazy costumes of our annual Halloween celebrations.

While showing our colors we not only focus on our team colors, but also showing our true colors. We recognize that working together as a team, results in better coordination of care, better quality of care and as a result better lives for our residents. This is evidenced by our excellent clinical outcomes data. We are happy to see the results of collaboration resulting in decreased re-hospitalizations and better quality of life for our residents.

Our fabulous activity offerings this month include our Harvest Health Fair at the Shenango Inn featuring Primary Health Network and Walberg Pharmacy staff to discuss the Flu, symptoms, treatments, and vaccines with a light meal and giveaways on October 7th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; our Community Celebration Open House and Ribbon Cutting at Brookline to warmly welcome the newest member in the Juniper Communities’ family providing senior living, rehab/skilled nursing, and memory care with our uniquely successful programs and activities on October 14th from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm; our Senior Olympics in Meadville where you can be the cheerleaders as residents from various senior communities compete in a variety of events on October 16th at 2:00 pm; our Family “BOO” Luncheon in Naples where you can put on a bed sheet and come on down for “Spooktacular” food at the best Halloween Luncheon in town on October 22nd from noon to 1:00 pm; our 4th Annual Chili Cook-Off Competition in Louisville with our annual chili giveaway of a fantastic basket filled with goodies, along with famous people per request of the fire department who will be on hand to judge which chili is the best on October 24th from noon to 1:30 pm; our Sorcery in the Bible Discussion in Chatham that looks at the Biblical prohibition of sorcery and its ramifications as well as a look at specific times that sorcery was performed in the Bible on October 29th at 10:00 am; or our Halloween Open House and Safe Trick-or-Treating at Brookline where ghosts, goblins, and ghouls will have a fun-filled time trick-or-treating across our campus so join in on the fun as we will be celebrating in our costumes and passing out tasty treats on October 29th at 5:30 pm (see each Village’s Newsletter for a complete listing – all times listed here are local time for that community).

Please look through our calendars to celebrate the spirit of autumn with us and Show Your Colors!