Juniper Village at Lebanon Welcomes Christine Heibel as Director of Community Relations

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Jeanine Genauer

Christine Heibel has joined Juniper Communities as the new Director of Community Relations at Juniper Village at Lebanon. Born and raised in Lebanon, Heibel spent a short time in Georgia and Florida. However, she says, “Lebanon has always been home.”

As DCR, Christine Heibel will consult with potential residents and their family members to help them make decisions regarding their needs for personal care. She will work with the local hospital, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers to ensure they are familiar with Juniper’s services and work together in assisting the residents or future residents. Additionally, she will act as the community liaison between Juniper and Lebanon, making sure everyone understands who Juniper is and the wonderful services they provide.

“Christine brings an abundance of energy and new ideas to Juniper. We are thrilled to have her as part of our family,” expressed Joan-Marie Norman, Executive Director of Juniper Village on Christine’s hiring.

A Q & A with Christine Heibel:

What makes you most excited about working at Juniper Village?

I really enjoy working with, and helping the residents and their families. I have met so many wonderful people already and they have welcomed me to the “family”.

Have you worked at a personal care community before?

This is the first time I have worked in the personal care environment. I previously worked in county clubs, city clubs and most recently, our local Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have held various positions from member relations and development to marketing and communications. I also have experience in planning and conducting programs and events for people of all ages, of all sizes.

What made you interested in working with the elderly?

I’ve always enjoyed working with people of all ages, but recently have been drawn in wanting to assist seniors. My family went through a tough time taking care of my grandmother in her last few months of life, so I thought I might be able to help others by working in a personal care home. This way, their families don’t have to go through the ordeal that my family encountered.

Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit – Well Deserved for Your Service to Our Country

by Tara Williamson

Did you know that being a Veteran entitles you and your spouse, or a surviving spouse, to certain benefits that help offset the cost of Assisted Living? This often overlooked financial program may make the difference for how well you can live your life. It’s called the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance Benefit.

This post will explain the basics, but for more information you can go directly to the VA website at

What is the “Aid and Attendance” benefit?

A veteran or a veteran’s spouse or a veteran’s surviving spouse with low income who has been determined by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to need the aid and assistance of another individual may be eligible for monetary support through the VA’s “Aid and Attendance” program.

Who is eligible for this benefit?

To be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, the veteran:

  • Must have served 90 days or more of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war. Periods of war are defined as follows:
    • WWI – Apr. 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918
    • WWII – Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946
    • Korean Conflict – Aug. 27, 1950 to Jan 31, 1955
    • Vietnam Conflict – Aug. 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
    • Persian Gulf War – Aug. 2, 1990 to date yet to be determined
  • Must have been determined by the VA to be in medical need of the regular aid and attendance of another person. Most individuals who currently reside in a personal care/assisted living residence or nursing home meet the VA’s criteria for medical necessity.
  • Must have been determined to be of low income and therefore in financial need of the benefit. The financial requirements typically include possessing no more than $80,000 is assets. A person’s home and car are not included in the calculation until they are sold. Income limits also apply, dependent upon personal expenses. When calculating your monthly income total, rent in an assisted living/person care home may be deducted from the monthly income total. For example:
    • $3000 current monthly income
    • $2000 monthly personal care home rent
    • $1000 adjusted monthly income
  • The veteran or his/her spouse must be living in a personal care/assisted living residence to receive the benefit.

What amount of compensation could I expect?

Compensation amounts vary and are dependent upon each applicant’s asset and income level. The total amount received does not typically exceed approximately $1,554.00 per month for veterans or approximately $1000.00 for a veteran’s spouse or $1,843 for both the veteran and their spouse.

How do I apply?

An application must be obtained and sent to the VA for approval. Applications can be obtained from a Juniper Village staff member or by accessing the Veteran’s Administration website at Juniper Village staff members can assist you with completing this application process or direct you to services available to help with the application process. Notification for approval may take 4-6 months and once approved, the monthly income will be retroactive from the date the application was submitted.

Learn more from Juniper Communities about Making Care Affordable.

Residents of Juniper Village at Williamstown Warm-heartedly Welcome Visits by Students Attending Rowan University

by Jeanine Genauer

Through a wonderful partnership, approximately 25 students attending Rowan University visit residents living at Juniper Village at Williamstown several times throughout the year. The students interact with the residents, listen to their stories, talk with them, engage them in activities, and play games such as bingo and charades.

The partnership began in 2011 when Teasha McAllister, Connections Director for Juniper connected with Andrew Perrone, Rowan’s Volunteer Coordinator and subsequently Alexis Johnston, his team member at Rowan Volunteers. Perrone and Johnston took it upon themselves to facilitate and create a wonderful Inter-generational program between Juniper’s residents and Rowan University students. It was the beginning of what has become the enjoyment of a mutually successful relationship.

The most recent visit by the Rowan students was to hold Rowan Bingo Day for the residents.  David Shanks, age 27, who is working toward his Masters’ Degree in Higher Education commented on the volunteer work, “Find the joy in every moment and share it. Bingo is my lingo!”

Other comments by the students involved in the volunteer effort included:

“I love the joy of being welcomed back each time as family.” Alexis Johnston, age 22, Graduate Masters’ Degree Student, MBA Management

“I love sharing the gifts placed inside me with others in need.” Nabria Allen, age 20, Sophomore, Bachelors’ Degree Law and Justice

“I love enjoying memories and creating new ones.” Stephanie Gomez, age 21, Senior, Bachelors’ Degree Education and Math

The students visit with the residents for about one and half hours. “The residents love when the students visit. They connect with them; and, the students themselves are absolutely wonderful,” expressed Teasha McAllister on the partnership.

Celebrating the Juniper Journey

by Jeanine Genauer

New York SmartCEO announced that Lynne S. Katzmann, President and CEO of New Jersey headquartered Juniper Communities, is one of the 40 powerhouse female business leaders to be recognized in SmartCEO’s 2014 Brava! Awards program.

The Brava! Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 40 of Greater New York’s top women business leaders. This year’s class collectively generate more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue and employ over 49,000 individuals. This year’s winners are profiled in the September/October issue of SmartCEO magazine and were celebrated at an awards ceremony on September 23, 2014.

According to Rick Crane, regional president of SmartCEO Media, Brava winners possess the utmost qualities in a leader: vision, passion, compassion, dedication, perseverance. “Every one of this year’s winners exhibits these qualities in running their business, their families and their philanthropic activities. They give 110 percent of themselves,” he stated.

Lynne Katzmann, is Founder and CEO of Juniper Communities, a privately held, long-term care company. Juniper is the only woman-owned company among the largest 40 US assisted living companies. It is ranked #12 by Crain’s NY Business on its Top 50 listing of women-owned businesses for the NY area.

Lynne launched the company with 6 years of business experience and a PhD in Health Economics from the London School of Economics, following receiving her BA from Tufts University. Then 32 years old, she initially raised $440 thousand from investors and had a plan to build her company with a triple bottom line: purpose-driven, socially responsible, and profitable. Today, the company employs 1,200 people and during its first quarter century has served over 10,000 families.