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Grants Awarded to FSA Members for Employee Innovations During Pandemic

Last week, 11 senior care organizations across the United States, including seven FSA members, received Innovation Mini Grants from Friends Foundation for the Aging. These grants were created to recognize problem-solving efforts and ideas of front-line staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

FSA congratulates members Broadmead, Chandler Hall, Friends House Retirement Community, The Hickman, Kendal at Home, Kendal~Crosslands and Medford Leas. Please read the full press release below for details on their efforts. 

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Being Community

Pennswood Village Transportation Department: Values in Action

 

The transportation staff at FSA member Pennswood Village in Newtown, PA, used to fill most days with upwards of 50 scheduled trips. They’d drive the organization’s residents to doctor’s appointments, cultural events, shopping excursions—wherever they wanted to go. As COVID-19 safety precautions became increasingly strict, the number of rides dropped to a mere 1-2 per day for emergencies, but a number of other needs surfaced. Mail and package receipt and delivery, employee screening and campus monitoring became essential duties, among other adjustments.

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Quakerism and African American History

In honor of Black History Month, we took a quick peek at Quaker History to better understand Quakerism’s role in abolitionism. Quakers were some of the earliest citizens to rebuke slavery in the colonies, going so far as to petition the U.S. Congress to abolish slavery in 1790. To put this into perspective, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which abolishes slavery, was not ratified until almost a hundred years later, in April of 1864.

Women also played a vital role in the pursuit of a more equal America. Lucretia Mott, a Quaker suffragette, was a vocal abolitionist, going so far as to boycott the use of cotton, cane sugar and other goods produced by slaves. Mott also founded a women’s abolitionist society. In addition, Quakers were a vital part of the Underground Railroad. John Hopper, a Philadelphia Quaker, was one of many who hid slaves in various safe houses, and was known for finding loopholes to win court cases to help free slaves.

To read more about Quakers and African American History we recommend: Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice by Donna McDaniel and Vanessa D. Julye.

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Member Buzz

We polled staff at each and every FSA member organization to see what stood out for them most last year. The answers varied, but one thing was for certain: staff members sure are proud of what's happening at their organizations! Below are some highlights.


Tell us about an act of kindness you witnessed at your organization.

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What The Lion King has in common with FSA Peer Groups.

What The Lion King has in common with FSA Peer Groups.

“Pink pajamas penguins at the bottom. Pink paja-“

Oh... you mean those aren’t the words to the song at the beginning of The Lion King?

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FSA Happenings 2020

The end of year is always busy: projects come to a close and new ones are dreamed up. Here’s a quick recap of recent happenings, and a look to what’s ahead…

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Warm Holiday Wishes from FSA

Happy Holidays from your friends at FSA!

Values Ignited at Foxdale Summits

Values Ignited
Foxdale Village Summits Reinvigorate Personal Connections to Core Values

 

Community. Inclusion. Engagement. Acceptance. Caring. Stewardship. Fulfillment. These are the seven core values of Foxdale Village Retirement Community in State College, PA.


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Diversity Peer Group

Earlier this month, a group of FSA members gathered with co-facilitators Marsha Wesley Coleman and consultant Michael Gagné to talk about their organizations’ efforts to implement diversity programming. Gagné presented the following guidelines to assist organizations.

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"The More You Do For Me, The More You Take From Me."

The Montessori Approach to Dementia Care, in Action at Rowntree Gardens

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FSA is now Friends Services Alliance

Dear FSA Members, Partners and Friends,
IT'S A BIG DAY FOR FSA!

I am thrilled to announce that, effective today, Friends Services for the Aging has a new name: FSA | Friends Services AllianceThis change has been a long time coming. Updates to our strategic plan and various measures have been in the works so we can reposition FSA as the organization it truly is:  A growing collaborative of organizations that serve seniors: Rooted in Values. Driven by Excellence. 


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FSA Internship Program Leads to New Career Path

Emily Vassoler was on track to work within the hospitality business. As a Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management major at Penn State University Park, she had gotten some experience working within her chosen field. And she was frustrated.

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Member Stories: If you give a horse a haircut...

Who would have thought that a horse could change a life? Andy Switzer did. Though he’s been Director of Health and Wellness with Broadmead for three years, it was at his previous job where he first saw the benefit of involving residents in Equine Therapy. So, when the opportunity presented itself for Broadmead to begin working with horses, the organization collaborated with John Hopkins University to develop an individualized Equine Therapy program.

Now, in partnership with locally based  Rose of Sharon Equestrian School, Broadmead runs five-week therapy programs in the spring and fall. Residents who are diagnosed with Dementia or another cognitive impairment are chosen because of their interest in or experience with horses. Residents’ families are involved in the decision-making process in conjunction with a sign-off from Broadmead's Medical Director.

Participating residents get the opportunity to participate in the care of the horses with a focus on groomsmanship: one resident even got to give a horse a haircut! During their time in the program, each resident gets to work with one particular horse for the duration of the five weeks and receives a photo of their horse to take home with them. Those who are wheelchair bound, or those who may have trouble standing for long periods of time, get to work with one of the program’s two mini-horses.

According to Andy, the most exciting thing about the program is seeing evidence that patients are benefiting. In the two years that Broadmead has been running the program, Andy noted the vibrancy of the residents who participate. He shared the story of a mostly non-verbal gentleman who became more verbal when he was with the horses, including sharing details of memories from working with horses earlier in his life. The gentleman’s wife was particularly astonished as they were details she herself hadn’t heard. This experience was not limited to this gentleman alone, Andy remembered another woman who was non-verbal who began to smile more, put sentences together, and remember the horses' names during her time in the program.

If you give a horse a haircut – the residents might benefit!

Values in Action: Chef Steve & Stewardship

Chef Steve Plescha is not afraid to try something new. A highly ranked graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in 1977, he has been bringing his culinary innovations to Pennswood Village for the past 13 years.  Anyone who has dined there would have no doubt of his technical ability, but his passion cannot be quantified. After speaking with him for just a moment, Chef Steve’s passion for his work is evident – his robust sustainable fishing program is bolstered by his knowledge, local connections, and the support of the community in which he works.

To ensure the quality of the seafood he serves to residents, Chef Steve takes a number of things into consideration. While being mindful of habitat, the effects of weather, and trends, he works locally with Samuels and Son, a Philadelphia based restaurant-quality supplier. “They have someone on the boat telling me the quality of the fish, the conditions in which they were caught, and how many they brought in.”

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Meet the Board: Dan Murray, Board Chair

Meet the FSA Board

Dan Murray, FSA Board Chair
CEO, Pennswood Village

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