Celebrating Transformational Leaders!
Principle Ten of The Eden Alternative states that “Wise leadership is the lifeblood of any struggle against the three plagues. For it, there can be no substitute.” The Nancy Fox Leadership Award as a way to recognize those who embody leadership in thought, word and deed. For the 2014 Eden Alternative International Conference, the list of nominees for this award was, once again, very impressive. It is time to celebrate the spirit of leaders who are willing to challenge the status quo and transform the culture of care in their organization.
Mel Coppola serves Elders living in the community through her work with Griswold Special Care in Pineallas Park, FL. She takes the initiative to learn, grow, expand her knowledge and skills and then teach them to others; both those she works with and anyone she touches in the larger community. As an Eden Educator, she has stepped into a leadership role to help other Educators to grow. As an Eden Mentor she responds quickly when people need her wisdom and guidance.
Jennifer Dudley with the Greensleeves Homes Trust in London, UK has been integrating the Eden Alternative Philosophy and Principles into her organization since 2008. They have 17 homes they support and 10 are on the Eden Registry. She has made every effort to make sure that every single employee is taught the Principles. She is an Eden Mentor and Educator. Her organization has been recognized by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence as a Centre of Excellence in residential care.
Being a cheerleader for the Elders is something that Annie Galbreath does really well. She is with Signature HealthCARE of Rogersville, TN. She leads by example, making sure the Elders’ voices are heard first and foremost. She keeps the fires burning and the initiatives coming to promote ongoing growth of the organization. Her passion for Eldercare makes her a one-of-a-kind leader.
Gail Kahookele is an expert relationship builder at Clermont Park in Denver, CO. She has a unwavering commitment to transform the hearts and minds of the people who live and work in the community. She is constantly educating others so they can be their best.
Batsheva Katz was born into Eldercare, literally with her family caring for Elders all of her life. She grew up being with Elders and fulfilling a number of different care roles in the organizations her family operated. As a leader at Windsor Healthcare Management, based in Norwood, NJ, she guides, champions, acquires needed resources and is a servant leader for the teams at the various homes they support. Their organization now has four Eden Registry Members with more to come. She speaks to others about why transformation in Eldercare is needed and the benefits for the Elders, their care partners and the organization.
Kathy LeBlanc is another masterful leader at Clermont Park in Denver, CO. Kathy’s motto to the nursing team is to look at each individual holistically. She ensures that daily decisions are made close to the Elder and based on what is best for them. She is a Neighborhood Guide moving decision-making authority out of the hierarchy by teaching team skills to be Elder advocates and co-leaders in care.
Frasier Meadows Assisted Living in Boulder, CO has had a tough year with a flood that damaged their home. Out of disaster, arose a leader, Mary Nazzaro. She continued to lead by example, promoting person-centered care for the Elders regardless of where they have found themselves living while their home is being repaired. She knows how to nurture relationships and teach others to provide individualized care.
When you think of a quiet, unassuming leader, you might think of Jeanie Pettit with Mission at West Jordan in West Jordan, UT. She leads her team with a very clear vision of the future. When the team is in doubt about where to grow next, she simply reminds them of the great things they have accomplished and suggests new ways to improve on their success. She motivates and encourages others to get involved, be educated and empowered to put their ideas into action!
Erica Porter is a natural leader in the Eden Alternative journey. At Briarwood Care and Rehabilitation Center in South Amboy, NJ, she knows everyone. Her kindness, compassion and true desire to know everyone makes her an up and coming leader in her community.
Many might consider the CEO of a hospital to find little time or energy to really engage with daily care in their long-term care community. Mike Powers from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Fairbanks, AK is the exception. He has no problem finding time to spend at Denali Center getting to know everyone’s story. It is not unusual to have him stop you in the hall and ask about something happening in your personal life. He inspires a shared vision, excellence, teamwork, wellness and growth. He is also conscientious about sharing Denali Center’s successes widely. Mike promotes community-mindedness as well, with the Elders involved in projects that support the larger community of Fairbanks.
Jacque Rooks in a connecter! She works at Windsor Place in Coffeyville, KS where she supports a group of kindergarten children that spend their school day with the Elders. The connections they have with the Elders is powerful. She helps connect Elders with their past and present. She has even helped interested Elders engage in educating their care partners. She is a passionate leader that is making a difference every day.
A true servant leader, Carol Ruggles has been leading the culture change journey at Park Place Elder Living in Mt. Pleasant, IA since 1998. Carol worked with her organization to bring Dr. Thomas to Iowa. She invites local politicians and other leaders to come and learn about their journey. She serves on the Iowa Health Care Association Convention and Education committee to ensure their conferences include culture change presentations. She inspires laughter, she helps the Elders decorate their common spaces, changing the look regularly throughout the year, she is always calm and has more than enough time to sit down and listen if needed. She has hosted educational events in her home for Elder and employee care partners. She continues to bring Eden Associates across Iowa together regularly. She is a masterful gardener in her community and her state!
Jill Woodward was seeking an alternative care model for Elizabeth Knox Home & Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. She has grown over 120 Eden Associates in her organization preparing the next generation of leaders at the home. With Jill’s leadership, in all aspects of life in their home, from hiring, to meals, to the physical space, the Elders are the decision-makers. She even reaches out beyond her country’s borders to share their stories of success. Jill is a leader who is dissatisfied with the status quo and is creating a future that everyone wants to be a part of.
There is much more information that was shared about these extraordinary leaders. There are many more that need to be recognized, grown and celebrated. Changing the culture of Eldercare is hard work requiring wise leaders who are willing to show, not just tell, others how it can be different. Who is a wise leader in your life that deserves recognition today?