Juniper Village at Huntingdon Ridge Now Has Four Certified Dementia Practitioners on Campus

by Jeanine Genauer

Juniper Communities is proud to announce that there are four new professionally certified dementia practitioners on the Juniper Village at Huntingdon Ridge campus in North Huntingdon, PA.


The four certified practitioners include:

  • Tammy Long, Executive Director
  • Michelle Charlton, Director of Wellness
  • Muriel Myers, Wellspring Program Director
  • Brittany Coulter, Wellspring Connections Director

The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioner (NCCDP) provides Certified Dementia Practitioner certification to demonstrate achievement of specialized training in the areas of Alzheimer’s and Dementia care.  Specifically, the Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) is the earned credential that recognizes the highest standard in Alzheimer’s and Dementia education.

The benefits of CDP training are numerous and significant.  Most importantly, the above Huntingdon Ridge certified practitioners have completed comprehensive training essential for today’s healthcare professionals.  Key aspects of training include communication techniques, disruptive behavior interventions, and tools for addressing wandering, aggression, poor nutrition, and sexuality.  Additionally, these Certified Dementia Practitioners will work to enhance the use of new methods, theories, and tools related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia care practices.

“We congratulate these Huntingdon Ridge Certified Dementia Practitioners who have taken the added steps in learning and understanding the Dementia resident and complications that arise with this diagnosis. Certification demonstrates their commitment to working with the growing Alzheimer/Dementia sub-population.  These CDPs and the entire Huntingdon Ridge staff are able to provide enhance psychosocial support to their residents and their families,” commented Linda Donato, Regional Director of Operations.

Spread Your Joy: September Events

by Tara Williamson

September signifies the end of summer with Labor Day celebrations and the Autumnal Equinox on the 23rd. In this last month of our “Stay Connected” series we aspire to connect with our friends and embrace the theme of Spread Your Joy.

The Mayo Clinic tells us that friends are good for your health. They can help you celebrate good times, provide support during bad times, prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost happiness, reduce stress, and improve your self-confidence and self-worth. Friends can also encourage you to increase healthy habits – it’s always better to walk, run, swim or exercise with a friend. And friends don’t always have to be of the human kind either! Several studies have shown that heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without.

Our fabulous activity offerings this month include our 15-Year Anniversary Luau in Aurora featuring delicious Hawaiian cuisine in a festive atmosphere complete with traditional music and floral decorations on September 4th from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm; our Grandparents’ Festival in Mount Joy featuring character juggler Chris Ivey plus music and delicious refreshments on September 7th at 2:00 pm; our September 11th Remembrance Event in Williamstown paying tribute to those who were killed during the terrorist attacks and the first responders who risked their lives to save others on September 11th at 3:00 pm; our Cooking Demonstration with Lisa in Cape Coral making authentic Hawaiian cuisine using traditional fragrant herbs and spices on September 17th at 2:30 pm; our Senior-Student Connections program at the Monte Villa Inn in Monte Vista linking elders with your people in our community on September 18th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm; our Seniors for Safe Driving Course in Forest Hills to help equip elders with the skills they need to safely navigate the roads and remain behind the wheel on September 23rd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; or our Juniper Village at Brookline Float in the Penn State Homecoming Parade showcasing our newest community as well as our signature programs and unique approach to aging on September 26th at 5:00 pm; or any of our Villages’ other activities (see each Village’s Newsletter for a complete listing – all times listed here are local time for that community).

Please look through our calendars and join us for any events that can help you stay connected, cultivate friendships and Spread Your Joy!


Juniper Communities takes up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a Big Way!!

by Cindy Longfellow

Juniper Village at Lebanon began the trend for Juniper Communities as residents dumped pitchers of ice water on employees’ heads as they participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge on Thursday, August 21, 2014, as you can see in the photo at left. (For more photos visit the Juniper Village at Lebanon blog.) They then nominated Juniper Village at Meadville.

Juniper Village at Meadville was nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Juniper Village at Lebanon, which they completed on Friday, August 22, 2014. They decided to keep the love going in the Juniper family and nominated Juniper Village at Shenango and Juniper Village at Williamstown! They also nominated their local Meadville City Police Station. I’m sure they will be super excited. Technically you are supposed to have 24 hours to complete the challenge but I think 24 business hours would probably be ok! Juniper Village at Meadville is going to take a collection among their associates to donate money to as well. (To watch their video visit the Juniper Village at Meadville blog.)

On August 28th, Juniper Village at Williamstown accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Juniper Village at Meadville. They challenged Jennifer Harris, our new Regional Director of Operations, Juniper Village at Brookline, and Juniper Village at Chatham.  You have 24 business hours! (To watch their video visit the Juniper Village at Williamstown blog.)

On August 29th, Juniper Village at Brookline took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to a whole new level with a REALLY big bucket!  Note, that they challenged the home office team. We have to think of something good for when we are all together!  But, I am not sure there’s any way to top this. (See their outrageous video on the Juniper Village at Brookline blog.)

Gary Handley Selected as Executive Director of Juniper Village at Naples

Lynne Katzmann, President and Founder of Juniper Communities announced that Gary Handley is the new Executive Director of Juniper Village at Naples. Gary Handley has over 25 years of experience leading organizations, with 13 years of experience in senior care.  He is driven by a passion to improve the lives of others, especially for Veteran’s and their families. Prior to coming to Juniper Village, he served as the Executive Director of HarborChase of North Collier. Gary also worked as the Managing Director of Bosjöstrand, a private senior care facility in southern Sweden.  He has experience in assisted living, rehabilitation and memory care.

Linda Donato, Vice-President of Operations for Juniper stated on his hiring, “Gary brings a unique background to his new position at Juniper Village.  The combination of his exemplary military service, overseas senior living experience, and knowledge of the local community and Florida regulations really brings a fresh approach to our community.  In just a short time, he has embraced Juniper ‘s vision, mission, and philosophy and has added that to his already strong skill set.”

“I am very proud to be a part of Juniper.  It is an organization that truly puts the residents first.   I am very impressed with the quality of care from our Associates,” expressed Handley upon the announcement. “I hope to make a positive difference in the lives of our residents, their families, and to continue the tradition of excellence for which Juniper stands.”

Gary entered the healthcare business after he left the Army.  He and his family moved to Sweden where he began working in the business office of a senior healthcare community.

A native of Manchester, New Hampshire, he completed his undergraduate studies at Norwich University then obtained a Master’s in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.  Gary retired from active military service as a Major in 2000, after 21 years in both the United States Marine Corps and United States Army. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is involved in several local community organizations.

Married for 27 years, Gary and his wife Yvonne are blessed with three amazing children. Kevin and Bryan are fulltime university students in Sweden and their daughter Korynne attends high school in Florida. He is an avid fisherman and loves the outdoors.