It’s Thanksgiving in Cincinnati! Here at Episcopal Retirement Services, we’re thankful for the many blessings we’ve received in 2016 that have enabled us to continue to serve seniors living in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
It’s a Thanksgiving tradition to recount the things you’re thankful for. Today, we’d like to share with you our top 10 for the year:
1. The opening of Walnut Court
One of our most pressing priorities has been to meet the Cincinnati area’s demand for affordable senior living space. With our rapidly aging population, the Tri-state faces an acute shortage of available apartments for older persons of limited means.
To meet that need, we’ve launched Affordable Living by ERS, which partners with developers and economically challenged neighborhoods to refurbish existing historic buildings into senior living communities, or redevelop previously blighted properties into brand-new, mixed-use apartment buildings that cater seniors on limited and fixed incomes.
“Part of our obligation is to fulfill growing community needs, and clearly this is a growing need,” said ERS President and CEO Doug Spitler. “With our development expertise, our knowledge and service for older adults, [Affordable Living] is a good fit for us to extend our mission and serve this growing population.”
This past June, we cut the ribbon on Walnut Court, which is contributing to the renaissance of Cincinnati’s historic Walnut Hills neighborhood.
2. Our new name
We used to be Episcopal Retirement Homes. No more. This year, we launched a name that more accurately reflects the wide variety of roles we play for Cincinnati’s senior community.
We’re Episcopal Retirement Services. We’re still a premier provider of senior living solutions in Cincinnati.
But we’re also providing community-based services, like Deupree Meals On Wheels, Parish Health Ministry and Living Well Senior Solutions. We’re growing outside our traditional base in Cincinnati, extending care to older people in other Ohio communities, in Kentucky and Indiana.
3. The groundbreaking on Marlowe Court
This past summer, we and our partners (including The Model Group) broke ground on Marlowe Court, an $11.1 million redevelopment of a previously blighted block in the heart of the neighborhood’s business district.
This new Affordable Living by ERS community will bring 53 new senior apartments into the market and help to spur the ongoing rejuvenation of College Hill’s downtown.
4. Affordable Living Came to the Bluegrass . . . at Trent Village
In one of our first moves outside the Cincinnati beltway, we this year opened our doors at Trent Village, in Lexington, the heart of the beautiful Bluegrass region.
Trent Village offers 41 affordable living one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments for qualifying senior residents of limited means. It features a campus-style setting, safe walking and beautiful landscaping, all located in a friendly neighborhood.
Our renovations even included a new community center where residents and neighbors can gather and socialize!
5. Dr. Henry Heimlich’s heroics
Dr. Henry Heimlich, the physician who developed the lifesaving maneuver used to render first aid to choking victims, is one of our very own Deupree House residents. And we’re certainly lucky to have him!
Back in May, he was eating in the Dining Room when he noticed another resident was choking. Even at 96 years old, Dr. Heimlich rose to action and used his own namesake maneuver to save his Deupree neighbor’s life!
6. Our new partnership with Episcopal Church Home
Just this past month, Episcopal Retirement Services agreed to a new partnership with Louisville’s Episcopal Church Home, one of the largest retirement care providers in Louisville. Episcopal Church Home features 245 senior living units, including its 62 independent living apartments in Dudley Square, plus 53 memory care apartments, long-term care and rehabilitation wards and more.
“Episcopal Retirement Services has been a good friend to our organization for many years, and most recently has been assisting us with management services,” Mark Lewis, board president of Episcopal Church Home, told the Cincinnati Business Courier.
“In this ever-changing health care environment, we decided to create a formal partnership with ERS so we can continue to benefit from our shared leadership and collaborative planning,” he said.
7. Doug Spitler’s long service
Earlier this year, our longtime CEO and president, Doug Spitler, announced his retirement. He will step down at the end of 2016. Although we’re sorry to see him go, we know that, if anyone deserves the rest and relaxation, he does.
Spitler has accomplished much in his 34 years with ERS. Since assuming our organization’s presidency in 1987, he has confidently and competently steered us toward tremendous growth, while ensuring that the quality of care we have provided has never diminished.
In recognition of his meritorious service, Spitler was honored back in May with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Venue and LEAD Magazine’s annual C-Suite Awards Banquet.
Of Episcopal Retirement Services, Spitler’s always said, “There’s something special going on here.” He’s right. And he’s a big reason why that’s so. We’ll miss you, Doug.
8. Our new CEO, Laura Lamb
At the same time, we’re excited to introduce you to our new CEO, Laura Lamb. Following a national search to name Spitler’s successor, the ERS Board felt that Lamb’s 22 years of service to ERS and lifetime of service to Cincinnati’s senior community made her uniquely suited to take the reins.
As her tenure begins, Lamb will oversee a $39 million annual budget supporting a robust, growing Midwestern constellation of retirement communities, Affordable Living apartment communities, community-based services and thousands of residents, employees and volunteers.
“I am both excited and honored to be chosen by our board to lead this incredible organization, especially during a time of unprecedented change and growth in our industry,” Lamb said. “We have an amazing team at ERS consisting of our residents, employees, board of directors and business partners, and with their help I am looking forward to creating our bright future together.”
9. The success of Refresh Your Soul 2016
Our Parish Health Ministry’s annual Refresh Your Soul caregiver conference enjoyed record attendance this past spring, as hundreds came out to hear the keynote speaker, Dr. Lisa Genova, author of the best-selling novel Still Alice.
The conference was such a tremendous success that, in 2017, it will be expanded to a two-day event, to be held at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. The keynote speakers this year will include On Fire author John O’ Leary, Being My Mom’s Mom author Loretta Anne Woodward Veney and perennial audience favorite, Positive Approach™ to Care developer Teepa Snow.
The event this year will also feature the first-ever Dementia Care Summit, presented in partnership with Xavier University.
You can find out more about Refresh Your Soul 2017 right here. Don’t wait — early bird registration opens Nov. 30!
10. The opportunity to continue to serve Cincinnati and Tri-state-area seniors
Most of all, we’re thankful to all the Tri-state seniors and families who entrust us with their retirement care, short-term rehabilitation care, independent and assisted living, memory care and nursing care.
We’re thankful that we’re able to continue meeting the needs of Cincinnati seniors aging at home, through community-based services like Deupree Meals On Wheels and Living Well Senior Solutions.
And we’re thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given to continue advocating for Cincinnati and Tri-state seniors’ unique needs. We’re looking forward to continuing this important work in the new year . . . and for many years to come!