Heroes Live Here: A Letter from ERS President & CEO Laura Lamb

Heroes Live Here: A Letter from ERS President & CEO Laura Lamb

Heroes Live Here: A Letter from ERS President & CEO Laura Lamb

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DH_Banner_Heroes Live HereMarch 16, 2021, marked the one-year anniversary of when Deupree House and other Episcopal Retirement Services’ (ERS) communities closed their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

It’s been a challenging year. But, through it all, our residents have remained strong and resilient. ERS team members also rose to the occasion to continue providing the best, most engaging, and safest care. 

We’re not out of the woods yet, but as more and more people get vaccinated, things are looking up! Notably, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Cincinnati, OH., and the surrounding communities have dropped significantly — close to pre-surge levels. That, alongside the high vaccination rate among our residents and our staff, has caused ERS’s incidence rates to go down, too.

What does that mean for the Deupree House community? 

Life at Deupree House 

A lot has changed over the past few months — and they will continue to change. 

Now, I can happily report that residents in independent living and skilled nursing care who are fully vaccinated are able to leave our campus without having to quarantine when they return. 

That’s a big deal. Throughout the pandemic, if residents left the campus — either to go to a wedding, take a trip, or something else — they needed quarantine for 14 days when they got back. But, with the newest Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and CDC guidelines, that restriction has loosened quite a bit. 

Slowed community spread and high vaccination rates at Deupree House also mean we can start having some indoor visits. That’s a huge step as far as reuniting residents and families. 

We have continued to find innovative ways to engage residents and connect with loved ones while adhering to  health and safety guidelines. On February 12, 2021, for example, we held the first “Hug Hut” at Deupree House and our other premier retirement communities. At the event, residents could stand in our disinfected Hug Hut and safely embrace their loved ones for the first time in months.

Watch this short video to learn more about the ERS Hug Hut on February 12, 2021. 

This event brought so much joy to our residents, families, and even staff. 

I’m thrilled to see how we can continue to expand visitation options as vaccinations increase and positive COVID-19 cases decrease. 

Stories of Strength 

In April 2020, we started the ERS Linkage Podcast as a way to share how our residents are continuing to Live Well Into the Future during this challenging time. 

Nearly every episode features an interview with a resident from either our premier retirement communities or one of our affordable living communities. Hosts Kristin Davenport and Bryan Reynolds learn more about each guest’s life and about how they’ve been staying engaged and keeping their minds sharp. 

In Episode 10, “It's Never Too Late To Try Something New,” we hear from Deupree House resident Kay Hauer. Kay is a resident volunteer at the support office who always has a fun, positive attitude. 

In her time at Deupree House, Kay has started jump roping, an activity she used to love when she was ten years old. But that’s not all. Not only has Kay begun jump roping again, but she’s also added in a new challenge: jumping backward! 

Kay also enjoys keeping her mind active and is a frequent visitor at the Deupree House library. She says she sometimes heads to the library in the middle of the night if she can’t sleep. During the pandemic, she’s learned how to use Zoom, so she can stay engaged and active.


Pictured: Kay Hauer celebrates her 90th birthday in light-up shoes and a custom t-shirt.


Kay isn’t the only Deupree House resident who has stayed active during the pandemic, though. I encourage you to listen to ERS Linkage podcast for even more inspiring stories of strength and resilience! 

We’re in This Together  

We’re all undoubtedly feeling optimistic right now. However, we have to remember that there’s still work to be done. 

We have to wear masks. We have to social distance — even those of us that have been vaccinated. We have to take care of ourselves, our bodies, and our mental health.  

If we do all that, then we can hope that this summer will be very different than last summer. That’s my hope for sure.


Laura Lamb
May 03, 2021
Laura joined Episcopal Retirement Services in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Cincinnati and received her Master’s degree in Health Administration from Xavier University. Her thesis on Organizational Design in Healthcare was completed while working as an intern with ERS. Since beginning her ERS career, Laura has held multiple roles in operations and support services, most recently as Executive Vice President. As CEO, Laura provides strategic and organizational leadership to ensure delivery of ERS' mission and successful business results. Laura championed the Person-Centered Care efforts that have led to the cultural transformation of ERS’s communities from an institutional setting to communities with a home-like feel. Laura Lamb was appointed to the LeadingAge Ohio Board of Directors in 2011 and was approved as a CARF surveyor in 2012. In 2013, she and the Council for Lifelong Engagement (CLLE), a program she developed which is dedicated to ending ageism while imparting the wisdom of elders to school children of all ages, were honored by LeadingAge Ohio as a recipient of the Innovation Award and by LeadingAge as the recipient of the Hobart Jackson Cultural Diversity Award. She is also a Fellow of the LeadingAge Leadership Academy. In 2015, Laura graduated from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Leadership Cincinnati Class 38, a highly competitive leadership development program. In 2017, Laura created Dementia Inclusive (DI) Cincinnati, which gathers public, private, and non-profit organizations with a goal to gain acceptance for people living with the disease, and, by 2025, establish Cincinnati as the most dementia-inclusive city in America. The goal of DI Cincinnati is to create welcoming and safe places for those living with cognitive loss and their care partners. In 2019, Laura and ERS were recognized for this innovative work by being named the Leading Age Ohio Recipient of the Aging Impact Award.

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