An interview with Paddy Moore, Board Chair, HAMV and Renee Lohman, CEO of Navigator Elder Homes of New England (excerpt from Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard Newsletter)
The long and winding road (thank you, John Lennon)
HAMV initiated an investigation of options for a long term care island roadmap in 2013, engaging other organizations in this journey of exploration and evaluation. As Paddy said “It’s hard to raise money for a dream”, and during those years, it was only pure persistence that kept this dream alive.
The ground kept shifting, due to changes in administrative leadership at the M. V. Hospital, changes in the size and composition of the older adult population on-island, and a continuing evolution of philosophy regarding nursing home care at the national level. HAMV’s conversations with Hospital and Windemere leadership were informed by our joint commitment to developing an economically viable solution, one that would recognize the values of Windemere, the need for workforce housing, and the challenge of retaining well-trained nursing staff and CNAs.
There were two pivotal points in this journey
First, HAMV decided to raise funds for and conduct a Feasibility and Marketability study in order to determine if the changing island population of older adults could and would support a new nursing home using the Green House model. Green House nursing homes have proved successful in other parts of the country, using a mix of Medicaid, Medicare, and private pay, with private payers willing to support higher fees in order to be assured of individual rooms and baths, more person-centered care, and a home-like rather than institutional environment. HAMV was fortunate to find two major anonymous donors to support the study, which was conducted by Chi Partners of California, started in the winter of 2017, and completed in 2019, with a very positive outcome.
Connecting with Renee Lohman, CEO of Navigator Elder Homes of Cape Cod was the second pivot point which occurred in 2018, initiating a journey that continues to include the M.V. Hospital, the town of Edgartown,and other supportive island agencies to fulfill the dream of building a Green House model skilled nursing home on the island. Renee has an extensive track record in creating new models of health care and brings a strong personal passion to this cause. Like many of us, she has navigated the world of long term care for family members and have found it lacking.