CEO Message Sept 2021

A few weeks ago, while beginning my work day at the office, a fellow employee came to my door and stated that the police were in our back parking lot questioning a man who had evidently weathered last night’s storm by hanging out under the bushes and the pavilion near our back door.  It turns out that he had been recently plagued with a series of inconsistent housing challenges and was in a transient mode and passing through our town.  I was just starting a series of back to back conference calls and didn’t give this much thought as I continued my focused morning.  To honor his privacy, I won’t use his real name, but will call him “Kevin” in this story.

By the time I was able to take a lunch break in the early afternoon, instead of being taken to the local bus station by the police, Kevin was a few hours away from arriving at his new residence, which is one of our assisted living communities.  While occupied in my series of meetings, several of our corporate office staff began engaging with Kevin and learning of his life’s story, including his recent challenges.  He was invited in and further connected with our staff over a meal, utilizing leftovers from a staff training session that we had from the day before.  Kevin later commented that he had eaten more that day than he had in the entire past week.

The Marketing Director and Nursing Director from a couple of our nearby assisted living communities were notified, and they stopped by to assist Kevin and our staff with much of the required review process and paperwork that is needed for a move-in to one of our assisted living communities.  A favor was called in and the State agency that performs a pre-screening process to certify Medicaid coverage was able to stop by and complete their process within a couple of hours.  Given that Kevin was a little younger than 65, there were only 2 age-qualified properties in our portfolio that he was eligible for, and he choose the one a couple hours away in central Illinois.  The Administrator at this community joined the planning discussion, and she immediately began collecting furniture and other necessities that Kevin would need for his apartment.  One of our training nurses who lived in that general area happened to be facilitating an educational session in our offices that day, and she didn’t hesitate in planning a slight detour on her way home that evening in order to give Kevin a ride to his new home.

I was able to visit with Kevin later that day before he headed out on his journey.  It was a near miracle that all the touch points in such a move-in process were able to be accomplished in less than a day.  We received updates over the next few days informing us that Kevin was thriving in his new home and a video was received from Kevin the following week thanking our staff for impacting his life in such a positive way.  This story further reinforces my belief that we are all connected to each other here on earth in many wonderous ways.  Why did Kevin choose our office building to dodge a storm versus the many other buildings in the area?  Was it by chance or due to the connections we all have as human souls?

Words can’t express how proud and honored I am to work with and be connected to all the people who impacted and influenced Kevin’s life not only that day but for his entire future.  Their actions weren’t guided by some formal job description….it was caring people being guided by the connections we all have with our fellow human souls!  When will your next opportunity appear to engage in one of these life affirming connections?