Friday, June 7, 2013

Facing the Future Together

The following comments were made by Redstone President & CEO John Dickson (pictured above) at the annual Chairman’s Appreciation Luncheon. This event honors those who give of their time, talents, and treasures to Redstone. We thought that you would enjoy reading his words and then watching the special video that follows:

You don’t have to be much of a student of pop culture to know that American Idol has been a cultural phenomenon for twelve years. In case you don’t know, American Idol is a singing competition program that starts with millions of young people auditioning for a spot on a TV competition, and ends with one winner being voted as that season’s American Idol.

Last season’s winner was a 22 year old from Georgia, named oddly enough, Philip Phillips. In usual American Idol style, he released a single record immediately after winning the competition. His song, simply entitled“HOME” – has broken all kinds of records. It has sold over 4 million copies, more than any other coronation song from an American Idol. Within a week of its release, it was number 10 on the Billboard 100. Amazing.

So what was it? Was it Philip Phillips himself with his smiling, boyish good looks and friendly personality? Is it the snappy upbeat catchiness of the tune? Or is it the lyrics within the song…

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home.

I can’t help but think that the 4 million people who have bought the song, and the millions more who have enjoyed listening to it on the radio, are touched by this basic message. HOME means something. And making a place a home, means everything.

There was a time, when the word HOME carried a negative connotation within seniorcare communities. The COUNTY HOME evokes images of a place where those with nowhere else to go would be placed – often against their will. Moving mother to “the home” was not a thought met with much enthusiasm. It’s sad, isn’t it – that the beautiful concept of HOME came to take on such a negative meaning.

Ironically, in today’s culture change movement and emphasis on person centered care in communities like Redstone, a primary goal of the movement is to create a sense of HOME. Home in the best sense of the word. The place where we share in common community. The place where people are loved and cared for. Joys and sorrows are shared. And we are a family. Last fall residents across our three campuses were asked to describe Redstone in one word… and their most common response probably will not surprise you… the word was HOME.

Making a home doesn’t just happen. It isn’t just about bricks, mortar, management or staff… although all of those things are part of it. For a place to be home, there needs to be a heart at its center. And you – our dear friends– provide that heart. You have given generously of yourselves in many ways. You have given of your financial support and for that we thank you. Your gifts help make the benevolent care that we provide to those in need, possible. You have given of your time through your volunteerism and this has changed the lives of our residents. You have given of your final legacy – by naming Redstone within your estate plans… sending a message to us and to the world that Redstone is very important to you. And for this statement of love and support, we thank you. These gifts, this giving…came from your heart. And in giving your heart, you have helped make Redstone a place that many feel blessed to call HOME.

In the coming months, we have improvements planned across our campuses. We are always making changes and doing renovations that will both improve the quality of life for our current residents and help us attract the next generation of residents. In addition to the “normal” updates, there will be exciting enhancements to our public spaces at the Harbor Skilled Nursing Facility in Greensburg. We will be reconfiguring the front reception area, adding a market bistro that will provide exciting dining options for residents and visitors, renovating our beauty salon, and adding a wellness clinic with additional spaces for rehabilitation and fitness. These enhancements come because of the success of the first phase of our Promises Kept Campaign. We look forward to future phases that will bring a new elevator and admissions and discharge area to the nursing center, and the physical renovations necessary to transition to the Neighborhood Concept of care as part of our ongoing commitment to person centered care and culture change.

All of these improvements will make Redstone an even better place to call HOME. This will only be possible with your ongoing support and commitment, and we know that we can count on you. We face the future together. We can continue to make Redstone a VERY special place to call HOME.

In the popular words of that American Idol Philip Philips, “Know you’re not alone. We’re gonna make this place your home.” Thank you for being our partners in achieving this goal.

We made a video to the "Home" song with photos of Redstone residents and staff. View it at: