January 21, 2020 —Each year the LeadingAge Ohio awards program is a celebration of members who are focused on quality, mission-driven service in a field that can attract some of the most compassionate and caring individuals. The awards program recognizes and honors those exceptional individuals and programs that provide care for residents/patients/members and their families at a critical point in their lives.
This year Kendal at Home’s executive director, six Kendal at Oberlin residents, a staff-initiated program and two individual staff members were honored. The breadth of this recognition, from the highly respected Leading Age Ohio speaks volumes for the Kendal organization. The honors were awarded at the Annual Leading Age Ohio Conference in September.
Lynne Giacobbe Outstanding Executive
A quote by John Quincy Adams was used at the awards ceremony. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. It was suggested that these words could not better describe the leadership that the staff of Kendal at Home experience every day under the direction of Executive Director, Lynne Giacobbe.
Lynne has served as Kendal at Home’s Executive Director since its inception in 2003. Her pioneering spirit has taken the continuing care at home program from a local program, now statewide and soon, nationally. It’s not merely the expansion of the program, but accomplishments like the development of a nationally recognized clinical program for the continuing care at home model and her promotion of technology in the field of aging that continually broadens Lynne’s vision, with benefit to her staff and the nearly 300 older adults they serve.
Don VanDyke: Excellence in Volunteer Service
Don VanDyke is a Founding Resident of Kendal at Oberlin and an extraordinary volunteer. If Kendal constituents, community citizens, and area nonprofits were asked what individual comes to mind with no task too small, too large or too complicated the answer would be Don VanDyke, a retired ophthalmologist who has resided at Kendal at Oberlin since opening in 1993.
After Don’s retirement, he found many organizations needing him, most of all, Kendal at Oberlin. Kendal has been the center of his generous service for 28+ years including pre-opening years. Don is truly a Man for Others, and attends every day to Kendal’s needs as an unsung hero, by practicing “life through a million acts of kindness” – serving residents, staff, and board. He fulfills the City of Oberlin motto “Live, Learn and Lead” by his engagement.
He has 25,000 volunteer hours conservatively tracked by Kendal, though such records are not important to Don. At 91 years of age, he shows no interest in “retiring.” His devotion and service to Kendal, and the community has made a better place for all generations to age.
Kendal at Oberlin Night Team Stephens Care Center: Excellence in Service
Kendal at Oberlin’s night shift interdisciplinary team of staff, through their own initiative as a team goal began publishing “Heartstrings”. This newsletter, created by nurses, aides, housekeepers and maintenance staff, gives tribute and remembrance to those they cared for until death and a way to mend saddened hearts. It has been a healing resource for not only retirement community staff but for residents who have become part of it by their own personal contributions, bringing a special bonding for the community.
In 2014, Kendal at Oberlin experienced more deaths than in any previous year. Many of the original founders who established the community in the early 90’s and both residents and staff were struggling with hearts broken from the loss. The past two years of quarterly newsletters are now an invaluable collection of contributions bringing comfort to readers. The newsletter provides an opportunity for education about the death and dying process and also a chance to learn about and from the night team.
Leading Age Foundation Scholarship Awards
Kim Preston, Kendal at Oberlin Social Services Associate was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for her college level nursing classes.
Ashley Krueck, a staff member of Kendal at Oberlin’s Creative Arts Department was awarded the $2,500 Clark Law Management Scholarship for gerontology studies.
Leading Age Ohio Resident Artist and Writers State Awards
Kendal at Oberlin residents are prolific in creative arts, as evidenced in the following awards. Don Parker’s “Railroad Man,” was awarded 1st prize in fiction in the 2016 LeadingAge Arts and Writers Resident Forum. Marjorie Porter won 2nd place for the non-fiction account of her father, “A Country Doctor.” Lal Arora, for his poem, “My India,” was awarded honorable mention.
Artist Paul Schwaegerle won 3rd place for his computer art, “Cate’s Flowers at Breakfast.” Eleanor Helper’s “Fruit Still Life” took honorable mention in the same category.
LeadingAge Ohio is a nonprofit organization that represents approximately 500 long-term care organizations and hospices, as well as those providing ancillary health care and housing services, in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities. The continuum of care reflected by the member organizations serve an estimated 400,000 elderly Ohioans daily and employ more than 35,000 persons statewide.