Yesterday we tuned-in to Hutchinson Consulting’s free weekly video web series called “Coffee With the Coaches”. The topic for the day was “Resilience” – the ability to manage and recover from conditions of stress and anxiety. Certainly, current circumstances surrounding Covid-19 have been fueling such conditions and proves a timely subject for discussion, coaching and mentorship.
Principals Michael Tompkins and Kristine Huffman both offered personal experiences and insight into managing stress in their own lives while Kristine expounded upon effective tactics and practical techniques to foster resilience and harness recovery.
Among these, Kristine articulated the ABC’s of remedial actions:
Acknowledge – the circumstances and influencers of stress and anxiety.
Breathe – to seize immediate relief and containment of agitating conditions.
Convert – to change the situation and contributing factors.
D – Follow the “Do’s and Don’ts” to manage and mitigate the experience.
Hutchinson Consulting represents a wealth of experience serving the Hospitality / Spa Industry and more recently the Senior Living Industry. The resource outlets they represent for additional information and education surrounding Health & Wellness are noteworthy as well.
TheHeartMath Solutionendorsed by Kristine during this third installment of the series is a notable example of the synergy our specialty alliance with the Hutchinson team represents – where shared interests, awareness and experience in cutting-edge healing science can be explored through practise and transform the health and well-being of our planned community residents in the process.
As our project plans and partnership announcements advance, we will be offering more specific information about the data integration efforts underway. In the interim, please explore the HeartMath Experience while it is still complimentary and consider downloading their Inner Balance App to experiment yourself.
We thank Hutchinson Consulting for this series and encourage joining as it continues. Our own participation was a prescription for relief – promoting reflection while offering some valuable tips!
In developing a strategic framework for our planned pipeline of Wellness Communities, LifeCenters’ has been intentional about assembling a cross-sector team of Rock-Star executives.
The Wellpoint brand, and its “W” mark, literally symbolize (with its four strokes) the realty/operating partnerships that define our prototype: (1) Senior Living, (2) Healthcare/Wellness, (3) Hospitality and (4) Food & Beverage. Of course there are critical other verticals as well and that is why our formative mantra is “Where It All Comes Together.”
Charter Senior Living represents the first (of our four) Operating Partnerships for Wellpoint at Hampton Cove. Today we are delighted to finally announce our second collaboration with Cerner, where they will be delivering a wide array of medical, wellness, educational and data-focused services through the Via Center for Well-Being.
As they (Cerner) say, “Healthcare is too important to stay the same.” We agree and are committed to revolutionizing the role that our built-environment plays in supporting people as they live, work, play and age well – together.
Cerner Corporation is teaming up with LifeCenters, a planned wellness community development company, to provide primary care, pharmacy and fitness programs to senior-living communities across the country. Known as VIA Centers, residents will have access to primary care physicians and specialists including dieticians, chiropractors, fitness and health coaches at their Wellpoint properties.
Wellpoint Combines Hospitality and Healthcare for a New Experience
April 23, 2019- Huntsville, Ala. – Wellpoint Community at Hampton Cove has officially broken ground and phase one is projected to be complete by May 2020. Wellpoint will be the first senior living community of its kind developed with a proactive approach to wellness over illness, and personal connection over solitude.
Wellpoint will offer a new model for senior living designed to engage and interact rather than rest and react. Wellpoint plans to redefine the future of aging in its communities.
“We offer a lifestyle that couples hospitality and healthcare,” says Joseph McCarron, CEO of LifeCenters Communities representing the project sponsor and developer. “It’s a planned environment that’s connected to the broader community by offering engaging programming for all age groups. We envision this as a place where people want to live; not simply that they are destined to spend their remaining years as so many other senior living communities are often structured.”
The master planned development will include a progressive integrative wellness center, a boutique hotel, and a residential campus which will include freestanding villas, townhomes and senior living. This new concept revolutionizes how local populations live, work, and play as they grow and age well together.
The first phase will be the senior center consisting of 114 independent living apartments, 50 Assisted Living Apartments and 26 Memory Care Suites. Construction of the new 185,000 square foot senior living community has commenced and is projected to be complete in May 2020 bringing more than 100 new jobs to the local community and a $40MM economic impact.
Charter Senior Living, one of the nation’s leading senior living management firms, was selected as the new management team for the senior living component of this new community based on its past experience and success.
“The senior living industry thrives upon the unique and successful collaboration of like-minded partners striving for excellence in quality, care and innovation,” said Keven J. Bennema, CEO of Charter Senior Living. “We celebrate this partnership with the Wellpoint Community at Hampton Cove in providing the seniors and families in Huntsville with an exceptional and unprecedented senior living and memory care experience.”
Intergenerational engagement will be achieved in a variety of ways through specialized wellness programs, building a community infrastructure, and at the anchor of the community the VIA Center for Well-Being. The wellness center will offer a comprehensive range of medical, preventive care, health, fitness, nutrition, and spa services designed to improve overall well-being.
The VIA Center is the only place of its kind to offer a coworking space and lifestyle education to promote health and happiness for all ages. The Enterprise Center- a coworking space located in the VIA Center for Wellbeing will be a community incubator where various generations can come together and learn from one another, advance technology and create opportunities. The Enterprise Center will also serve as a place of research through partnerships with the community, healthcare providers, biotech companies, local medical schools and universities. Hutchinson Consulting, the leading hospitality, marketing and recruiting firm based in St Louis, MO assisted in the creation of the new Wellpoint product and securing the strategic partners for VIA Center.
Wellpoint has partnered with nationally recognized medical and wellness providers to operate VIA Center. Residents will have access to primary care physicians rooted in functional medicine as well as specialists including nutritionists, chiropractors, and wellness coaches. Custom programs will be designed for each patient as the healthcare providers will work together to utilize alternative therapies such as cryotherapy, salt rooms, infrared saunas, and more. By taking an integrative healthcare approach along with functional medicine, the focus at Wellpoint is on longevity and meaningful, participatory golden years.
Situated on 20 acres in the picturesque mountain valley of Hampton Cove and adjacent to a Robert Trent Jones golf course in Huntsville, Alabama, Wellpoint at Hampton Cove will be the first of a series of planned communities in the United States. The planning stages have already begun for three additional communities in Tennessee, Florida and New England.
“Wellpoint Community at Hampton Cove will celebrate healthy living through a revolutionary concept that combines innovative wellness, learning, meaningful engagement with the wider community, new technology and most importantly, the freedom to choose what works for you,” added Bennema. “This integrated concept of wellness and living will lead to creating the best life for all of us, even as we age.”
Wellpoint is a partnership between LifeCenters Communities, LLC, Charter Senior Living, and the Hutchinson Group.
LifeCenters is a real estate development company with extensive executive and associate experience in the Senior Living, Spa, Hospitality and Coworking Industries. Our formative emphasis is on the emergence of Planned Wellness Communities anchored by the confluence of senior living, integrative medicine, boutique hospitality and residential neighborhood interests. For more information, visit www.lifecenters.net.
ABOUT Charter Senior Living:
Based in Chicago, Ill., Charter Senior Living is a caring and compassionate leader within the senior living industry. Whether it’s a new development, expansion or repositioning of an existing community, Charter specializes in the growth of senior living communities with the depth and breadth of experience to handle the everyday details and nuances of developing, building and growing occupancy to capacity of a senior living community. Charter manages 13 senior living communities throughout the U.S., offering independent living, assisted living and memory care services, with an additional four senior living communities in development. A family-owned business with an executive team with more than 100 combined years in the senior housing industry, Charter Senior Living’s mission is to preserve the legacies of their resident with outstanding personal service and recognition of the dedication and commitment of its family of staff. For more information, visit www.charterseniorliving.com.
About Hutchinson Group:
About Hutchinson Consulting: For more than 25 years Hutchinson Consulting has been the hospitality industry’s leading executive search and recruiting firm, matching the best candidates with the finest resorts, spas, senior living and wellness centers. In 2018, under new ownership, Hutchinson Consulting expanded their services to offer development, marketing and operations guidance to a wide variety of top brands. For more information visit www.hutchinsonconsulting.com.
ABOUT DMK Development Group:
DMK Development, based in Louisville, KY., is a regional leader in senior housing solutions, providing innovative planning, financing, design and construction services from idea to execution. DMK represents a valued resource associate having extensive expertise in both healthcare operations and building services, with over $1 billion in combined development experience. Leveraging such industry experience and recognition, DMK has become one of the fastest-growing senior housing developers in the nation. For more information visit www.dmkdevelopment.com.
The UMBC Erickson School’s 7th Annual Memory Care Summit in Orlando delivered on i`ts promise “to transform thinking about memory care.” This year’s program theme of “connections,” was inspired by Dr. Judah Ronch’s presentation surrounding brain science and neural network mapping. His message was clear. Each of us are entirely unique by virtue of both the memory formation and retrieval processes. In fact, even a singular memory becomes layered with individuality as it is compounded by recollection. We left the conference focused less on the hard science of 3D brain scan imagery and more on the natural rhythms of engagement – and how active awareness and recognition of this process can lead to higher states of order. Whether we are talking about people, projects or memes themselves – multiple associations will always create resiliency. This continuously programmable framework helps to either sustain or redefine our elusive and ever-changing concepts of “self” and “other.”
While recapping the conference in prior years, we have always emphasized the intentional bookends crafted by The Erickson School. Dr. Ronch launched the first day by reflecting upon the concept of the “connectome” and how its lessons can help us to improve and expand upon the culture change movement that is still underway. In essence, person-centered or person-directed care is not just a good idea – it is an elevated approach that honors the power and persuasiveness of partnership.
If you are not familiar, the Human Connectome Project represents the scientific moonshot of mapping the neural pathways in the brain of healthy adults. Sebastian Seung’s popular 2010 Ted Talk, “I am my connectome” introduced this concept to a mainstream audience:
Did you know that our connectome is presumed to be as individual as our genome? If you want to learn about the staggering complexity of this mapping project and where we are collectively in the research process, please find time to view the “Cartographers of the Brain” panel from 2017’s World Science Festival:
Our biology is so incredibly (and infinitely) complex, as each of the panelists attest, that any expert worth their salt is humbled by its study. Nothing we have created to date can compete with the technology of nature. In a time where man-made technology is revered, it is important to acknowledge how little we know about everything.
Designing with Intention
The Disney Institute’s Program Facilitator, Mark Matheis conducted a behind the scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom for us after an introductory presentation. When you learn about the Disney Culture, it is always emphasized that they have “learned to be intentional where others are not.” While walking down Main Street, we were educated on how this philosophy manifests in practice. All design elements work together to reinforce a positive experience for guests of all ages and backgrounds.
At the surface level of Main Street, every architectural and operational detail influences our behavior and engagement with the environment. Literally, just beneath the surface, a vast network of infrastructure sustains the quality and nature of that street-level experience. Disney understands what people of all ages hold in common, but they also strive to capture and account for our uniqueness. This is accomplished by combining cultural and psychological influences and establishing something that appears to be uniform but has been aggregated from the broadest spectrum. For example, the building facades borrow something from architectural styles around the world. Wherever you’re from, it is possible for you to feel at home on Main Street.
In a standout session led by Erickson graduate Donna Poole and her daughter Jessie, we were introduced to their personal experience connecting caregivers with the lessons of improvisational theater. If you are already familiar with this coupling, please share it broadly. We would also recommend reading Yes, And, and viewing the 2018 NIC Talk by Kelly Leonard:
There was a palpable change in the audience during this particular session because of how impactful it was. We were all intensely moved by their story and its delivery. The quality of observations from attendees during the Q&A seemed to affirm that we had all literally been uplifted – especially in our collective thinking. When we first started talking about the “connectome”, we were looking at images of the brain alone. Someone suddenly made a loose (almost transcendent) comment about the presence of memory outside of the brain for the first time since the Summit began. As Deepak Chopra consistently relays,
“Instead of conceiving reality from the bottom up, moving from tiny building blocks to larger and larger structures, one could do the reverse and create a top-down model. In other words, the starting point would be the whole, not the parts. So what do we know about reality as a whole?”
It is legitimate to focus on the brain and its immediate connectome, because we must start somewhere. Let’s just not forget that we have mountains to climb! There is a larger question about consciousness and the nature of “mind” that needs to be addressed.
A Call to Mind
We view the founding Erickson mission of combining aging, management and policy as being more timely now than ever before. Recalling that enduring progress does take time, there is finally a clear opportunity emerging from the groundswell of interest and legislative traction related to the Age-Friendly Movement. Whenever keywords surrounding the World Health Organization’s Network, Livability or up and coming building/occupant performance standards like, WELL or Fitwel surface, we are both excited and disheartened. Excitement exists because we believe in the power of shared and comprehensive frameworks to transform culture. We are disheartened because we also recognize the power of babel. There are so many competing standards and movements in our industry alone – let alone in and across other sectors and geographic boundaries. If we really want to “connect,” a unifying banner is imperative.
For the first half of the Summit, the Age-Friendly movement surfaced a few times as a talking-point. After Donna’s session, we started to make open reference to its all-inclusive nature. Just as the mind, memories and our personal identity transcend the physical brain, Age-friendly is not about “Older Americans” alone. It is (at least we hope) about being “mindful” of how to integrate everyone within an intentionally supportive community infrastructure. As the lead for WHO’s network in the United States, we commend AARP for positioning this standard as “livability” – with relevance to all ages. We should not have to visit Disney World to experience the magic of Placemaking or Building Healthy Places!
The State of Emergency
On day two, newly appointed Secretary of Elder Affairs, Richard Prudom, enlightened us about the scope of planning and coordination undertaken by the State of Florida for disaster planning. Together with Kathryn Hyer, Ph.D., representing the Florida Exchange Center on Aging, we witnessed a compelling case study surrounding the state and local collaboration responsive to recent hurricane disasters.
Emergencies are local and so too are the resource needs responsive to them. While considering the relevance of this program to the Memory Care Summit, the analogy emerges. Our industry is replete with diverse and disparate resource outlets represented by a myriad of constituents. Leadership influences are required to “connect the dots” and marshal alignment responsive to our own State of Emergency – the Future of Aging. If we want to support and augment critical public services, we should strive to become more familiar with their delivery frameworks and actively seek opportunities to leverage common language and structure.
A Quixotic Quest
A Hallmark of the Memory Care Summit is the final book-end of a human interest story – typically a first-person account from someone living with a Memory disorder. These stories are often heart wrenching and reinforce why we are in the business we are in. More importantly, the heart strings pulled remind us that this is not really a business alone – but more of a societal journey where we are all on a heroes’ quest of sorts together.
Brian LeBlanc is an International Dementia Advocate. In his own words, his personal mission is to act as a voice for those who are no longer able to speak. Brian allowed us to look inside his own experience with early-onset of dementia. He juxtaposed the active eloquence of his delivery and poise in speaking to us with a recent and personal video recording that captured an airport episode of what he characterizes as a fog – when the symptoms of his dis-ease are being expressed. The contrast between the energy of the gentleman presenting to us and the man we could observe being lost on screen was stark beyond words. In his closing, Brian read the Impossible Dream to us and asked that we listen through a particular lens – What if a Cure for Alzheimer’s was the Impossible Dream?
The Impossible Dream lyrics: Lyrics by Joe Darion In this song, Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it … in doing so, he captures the essence of the play and its philosophical underpinnings. (For me, it
Catalyst for Convergence
In reflecting upon the theme of the Memory Care Summit, we consider the broad implications this has on our industry at large. The Summit, with its diversity of program content and participants, proves a stellar example of research, education and practitioners coming together and making connections. This seemingly proves the formulary for moving forward – where we recognize and embrace the individuality of all stakeholders in this journey and the value proposition represented by all knowledge and experiences – taken together and appropriately combined. While connecting the dots seems daunting, coming together and collaborating on the opportunities and obstacles ahead is undoubtedly the prudent path of achievement. This is the essence of integrative thinking that is championed by the Erickson School and its programming. The Memory Care Summit is perhaps the microcosm illustration of this universal solution. As before, the Summit fuels our own thinking and continues to inform our own direction.
Systems and processes that we design with creative intention are the true enablers of engagement and progress – but they don’t create impact overnight. The Disney Organization and its Institute have been fine-tuning and memorializing their own leadership best practices and operational expertise for decades. Any attempt to model the end-result of all their learning would be quixotic absent a commitment to do the work!
What would the world look like if we could live, work, play, stay and age well in States of America that were truly United? The first step is to embrace a “Yes, And” mentality. The gears of policy, management and aging will not turn on their own – and certainly not in isolation. The Memory Care Summit induces our thinking about the value not just of creating relationships but also on cultivating them with purpose and humility. Connections – like the teeth in a cogwheel – make forward motion possible one increment at a time. Programs like The Memory Care Summit help to pave the way!
 Chopra, D. (2019). Can There Be a Science of Consciousness?. [online] Deepakchopra.com. Available at: https://www.deepakchopra.com/blog/article/5791 [Accessed 4 Feb. 2019].
Even though weather has not been cooperating, we have been able to level the area where the construction and marketing trailers will be set. The construction entrance from the main street has also been installed.
PROJECTED CO: TBD
PROGRESS NOTES BY TRADE:
Earthwork – Weather permitting, the construction and marketing trailers will be placed next week. The excavators have staked the land and are ready to move dirt once the ground dries up from the heavy rains. They will be grading out the berm section as well.