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Village Shalom Wins Two LeadingAge Kansas Awards of Excellence

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Village Shalom has garnered top honors in two competition categories sponsored by LeadingAge Kansas, an association of 160 not-for-profit senior-care facilities throughout the state. LeadingAge Kansas will present the awards at its 23rd annual Quality First Awards of Excellence dinner and ceremony on Oct. 1 in Wichita.

Matt Lewis, President and CEO of Village Shalom (center), informs Linda Salvay, communications manager (left) and Dick Greenberg, resident, that they will receive awards from LeadingAge Kansas. Salvay was responsible for the two projects that received the Excellence in Consumer Education award; Greenberg leads the semi-weekly resident discussion group that earned him the Faye McCoy Positive Aging award.

Village Shalom resident Dick Greenberg will receive the 2013 Faye McCoy Positive Aging Award for his active approach to aging. After his move to an assisted-living apartment at the continuing-care retirement community in early 2012, Greenberg learned that a fellow resident was no longer able to read his daily newspaper. So Greenberg read it to him. Taking the project a step further, he initiated a twice-weekly current-events discussion group called “S’Up?” – short for “What’s Up?” – that engages dozens of residents in keeping up with the news while experiencing valuable social interaction and an opportunity to voice their opinions.

“Today, the focus in aging services is on person-centered care and giving our elders choices that allow them to live with dignity,” said Debra Zehr, CEO and president of LeadingAge Kansas. “This story of Dick Greenberg touches my heart. He’s staying healthy and vibrant while helping others to do the same.”

The annual award is named for its first recipient, Mary Faye Berthoff McCoy, and is presented to an individual who lives in or receives services from a LeadingAge Kansas member organization and who sets a positive example of aging in the community.

Village Shalom also will receive the 2013 Excellence in Consumer Education Award for its 132-page centennial book entitled To Provide a Suitable Home: 100 Years of Village Shalom and its “Village Shalom – The Place I Call Home” music video.

The book, which commemorates Village Shalom’s 100th anniversary in 2012, highlights the role of the Kansas City Jewish community in creating a home for older adults who could not pay for suitable care. It serves as an informative historical account of the organization’s evolution as a leader in the field of senior care and its vital role in the community.

The music video, a parody of the popular 1940s song “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” increases awareness in another way – by emphasizing the many positive aspects of current-day resident life at Village Shalom. Posted at www.YouTube.com/VillageShalom, the video has been viewed more than 2,200 times online.

Village Shalom Communications Manager Linda Salvay was largely responsible for the writing and design of the book as well as the concept and lyrics of the music video, in which she also performed.

“I’m so glad that Village Shalom took the time and resources to put together this excellent book and video, commemorating the collective history of their founders and residents,” commented Zehr. “May they continue to provide high-quality care to Kansas seniors for the next 100 years.”

This is the first time Village Shalom has won two awards in the same year from LeadingAge Kansas (formerly known as the Kansas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging/KAHSA). Previous awards include “Caregiver of the Year” for staff members Eileen Miller (2008) and Paula Carpenter (2011), and “Excellence in Innovation” (2012) for its inventive campus-wide education program, Village Shalom University.