Gardant Management Solutions continues to receive recognition for its extensive political outreach program.

The company has been an example for the LeadingAge Illinois Legislative Partners in Quality Program, which encourages assisted living communities to reach out to local, state and national lawmakers to discuss the benefits of the Illinois Supportive Living Program and other issues that are important to residents.

During a recent awards ceremony, Gardant dominated the outreach category with 19 of the 53 communities recognized being ones Gardant manages.

2016-political-advocacy-award-01The 2016 award recipients were:

Bowman Estates of Danville
Eagle Ridge of Decatur
Grand Prairie of Macomb
Heritage Woods of Belvidere
Heritage Woods of Benton
Heritage Woods of Bolingbrook
Heritage Woods of Charleston
Heritage Woods of DeKalb
Heritage Woods of Dwight
Heritage Woods of Flora
Heritage Woods of McHenry
Heritage Woods of Mt. Vernon
Heritage Woods of Ottawa
Heritage Woods of Rockford
Heritage Woods of South Elgin
Heritage Woods of Watseka
John Evans Supportive Living
Prairie Living at Chautauqua
St. Anthony of Lansing

Three communities also received the Political Advocacy Award during Gardant’s 2016 awards luncheon.

Heritage Woods of Flora Administrator Lucas Sigrist met with Sen. Kyle McCarter to discuss the Illinois Supportive Living Program.

Heritage Woods of Flora Administrator Lucas Sigrist met with Sen. Kyle McCarter to discuss the Illinois Supportive Living Program.

1st Place – Heritage Woods of Flora

The community works diligently to keep politicians in its district involved and educated about the work they are able to do through the Illinois Supportive Living Program and under Gardant’s management.

Their political visits this year included:

  • February – Administrator Lucas Sigrist and Marketing Director Valerie Bute visited with Sen. Kyle McCarter at the Golden Circle Nutrition Site in Flora.
  • March – Sen. McCarter’s campaign manager held a town hall meeting at Heritage Woods Flora and played bingo with residents.
  • April – Heritage Woods hosted an emergency medical provider luncheon that was attended by many, including Sen. McCarter.
  • August – Sigrist visited with U.S. Congressman John Shimkus at the Clay County Hospital in Flora. Jessica Slater, the nursing director at Heritage Woods, also visited with State Treasurer Mike Frerichs at an event in Olney, Ill.
  • October – Bute and Slater met with Rep. David Reis and Sen. Dale Righter at Richland Memorial Hospital’s Health Fest. Heritage Woods of Flora also partnered with the state treasurer’s office to host an I-CASH event.

2nd Place – Prairie Living at Chautauqua

The community has hosted and attended several events with political leaders, including:

  • A partnership with The Haven, a lodge on Crab Orchard Lake. Politicians of all party affiliations come together to support The Haven because it is designed to serve veterans. The Prairie Living staff took residents to The Haven three times this year, packing lunches and visiting with veterans during these visits.
  • The community participated in the annual senior health fair hosted by Sen. David Luechtefield and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry.
  • Rep. Terri Bryant visited Prairie Living to call bingo games. She also attended the elder law seminar offered at the community.
  • Prairie Living hosted a reception for new Police Chief Jeff Grubbs.
  • Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon stopped by Prairie Living for lunch and a tour.
  • Marketing Director Ryan Gurley educated seniors and referral sources on the importance of supportive living communities and the services they provide to seniors of all income levels.

3rd Place – Heritage Woods of DeKalb

The community made a point of reaching out to state and local lawmakers over the past year, including

Rep. Robert Pritchard
Rep. Pritchard visited the community in May.  He was able to take a tour and talk to residents about the importance of the Supportive Living Program. Residents and staff spoke with him about why it was important to vote against a proposal that would have increased the score that determines whether prospective residents need care at supportive living communities.

Mayor John Rey- City of DeKalb
Mayor Rey visited Heritage Woods a few times this year.  The community hosted a DeKalb Chamber of Commerce after-hours event in May where the mayor toured the building and spoke with staff about the level of care residents receive.  Mayor Rey was also invited to attend the first responders breakfast during Supportive Living Week.

Eric Johnson – Supervisor, DeKalb Township
Eric also attended the Chamber of Commerce event in May. He toured Heritage Woods and learned about the importance of the supportive living program. Eric, who also spends a lot of time in Springfield, has become an advocate for supportive living.

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Heritage Woods of DeKalb has been an active member of the chamber for several years.  Josh Waddle, the community’s marketing director, is a chamber ambassador and member of the public policy committee, which focuses on educating members on city, county, and state policy that directly affects local businesses. Each month, the ambassadors meet to network with other ambassadors, and Josh is able to discuss Heritage Woods with the group.

Throughout the years, Gardant Management Solutions has received several awards for its political advocacy, including a 2016 Best of the Best Consumer Choice Award, which recognizes innovative programs and services that are creating the future of senior living. Gardant’s Speaking Out for Supportive Living Program is designed to protect consumer choice through multidisciplinary, year-round political advocacy for the Illinois Supportive Living program.

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