Keep on Growing…Even When You Are Superman

“A Hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”     -Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve, an American actor, writer and director was widely known for playing the role of Superman in the 1978 film, Superman.  He also starred in the three Superman sequels.  However, on May 27th1995, he became paralyzed after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition.  His injuries left him needing the support of a portable ventilator and motorized wheelchair until his death in 2004 at the age of 52.

Did you know that Christopher got involved with horseback riding in 1985 after learning to ride for a role in a film?  At first, he was allergic to horses and had to take antihistamines just to be around them.  Later, he broke three ribs in a riding accident.  Yet his passion for horses was so strong he continued taking lessons, working with a trainer and growing his skills as an equestrian.  On the day of his accident that left him paralyzed, he was competing in eventing which is an equestrian event where a horse and rider must compete against other competitors in three disciplines; dressage, cross-country and show jumping.  He had just finished fourth out of 27 in dressage.  Christopher was about to compete in the next discipline, but was concerned about two of the jumps, but wasn’t very worried about a 3-foot jump that was very routine for his horse.  When his horse approached that fence, he quickly stopped causing Christopher to get tangled in the reins and fall from his horse. He landed head-first on the other side of the fence.

I share the story of Christopher’s accident for a couple of reasons.  First, because I live and breathe horses.  Even knowing the potential risk, I continue to take lessons and spend time with my horse as much as I can.  I’ve even been asked, “Why do you keep taking lessons and ride so much if you don’t compete?  Haven’t you been riding for most of your life? What else is there to learn?”  The answer in short is, “Everything”.  There is always something new to learn and the only way to grow is to keep practicing.  Secondly, I think Christopher’s story perfectly illustrates the Eden Alternative domain of well-being; growth.  Growth is all about developing, enriching, expanding, and evolving.  In the Superman movies, it was clear that Christopher had great physique.   He had to exercise, eat right and be quite disciplined to maintain.  As an evolving equestrian, he had to learn and develop new skills and abilities that were unique.  And, he had to also grow his relationship with his horse to be able to do the things they needed to do as a team.

Christopher could have given up after his accident.  In addition to the ventilator and the wheelchair, he required assistance and support from those around him.  It appeared that the man who was once Superman was now living with frailty.  Yet, Christopher survived surgery and extensive rehabilitation and continued to grow more new skills.   He went on to become a champion for people living with spinal cord injuries and lobbied for stem cell research.   He also continued to perfect his skills as an actor and as a writer.  If he had focused on his own decline and different ability due to his accident, we might never have had Christopher’s legacy of fighting for research or seen him appear in movies and TV episodes as an actor who lives with different abilities.

Never give up on your pursuit to learn and to grow.  Because, when we do; we begin to decline both physically and spiritually.  Our well-being and the well-being of those around us is dependent on having opportunities to learn new things and develop new skills even when we face the toughest obstacles. Over the past few weeks, I’ve absolutely loved seeing the pictures and videos from Elders, Stakeholders, family members, and volunteers who are participating in Signature’s Super Summer shared on social media.  There is so much creativity and growth to celebrate!  Keep on Growing! #SignatureSummer


Ryan Myracle, Culture Change Resources Coordinator, Signature HealthCARE

Focus On Strengths

During this Super Summer, the superheroes at Signature have all been assembled to meet the challenge of defeating three major villains that are wreaking havoc on our residents – Lady Loneliness, the Baron of Boredom, and the Harbinger of Helplessness!  But in order to defeat these evil foes, we must first start by identifying the unique and amazing strengths that all of us have, especially our wonderful residents!  Identifying strengths has less to do with physical capabilities, and everything to do with personality and spirit!  Are your residents funny, charming, appreciative, kind, caring, or clever?  Do they give welcoming hugs?  Do they have warm smiles?  What special skills or untapped knowledge do our residents possess?  What hobbies or interests do they have?  What victories or triumphs have they experienced?  All these things, and more, are often unrecognized strengths that they have.

Often in our industry, we operate from a deficiency-based model when we provide care to residents.  We focus on what residents cannot do, as ways to determine the care they require and even how we will be reimbursed for care and services rendered.  We document them as being “non-compliant with care”, “maximum assist x 2”, or “cognitively impaired”.  We tend to focus on what the resident is lacking, specific weaknesses and shortcomings, and problems that they may be experiencing.  From this model, as caregivers, we tend to relegate our attention to things we can fix or replace.  While this may seem a logical thing to do considering the industry in which we find ourselves, operating from this deficit-focused framework neglects to honor our residents’ strengths, ignores their resiliency, and can cause them to internalize feelings of shame, decreased confidence, declining independence, and decreased their competence.  Research and studies have found a positive link between strengths and self-esteem, noting that identification and usage of strengths correlates with higher self-esteem and more self-efficacy.  Instead of focusing on what residents cannot do, let’s change the game and begin to operate from a strength-based model, focusing on what residents CAN do!

During this first week of our Super Summer challenge, let’s help them identify their amazing strengths and empower them to become special superheroes!

Jasmine Wadkins, MSSW, CSW, CDP, BF-CMT, CCTP

Are You Faster Than A Speeding Bullet?

If you hear the names Clark Kent, Superman, Man of Steel, Princess Diana of Themyscira, Diana Prince, Wonder Woman, Steve Rogers, Captain America, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, or The Hulk; what comes to mind? You guessed it, Superheroes! Whether you are a Marvel or DC Comics fan or not a comic fan at all, I bet these names conjure up visions of these well-known heroes and their superpowers. This week at Signature HealthCARE, we began forming a Signature Superhero League to defeat the villains of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom that COVID-19 has left in its wake! We ask everyone to join our elders in a summer-long initiative to create your own personal superhero identity!

Identity is defined as being who or what a person or thing is. Therefore, without identity, nothing would exist. Our names were given to us at birth or shortly after. They become the very foundation of who we are, and our names are often the first exchange when we meet someone. When you think of Clark Kent or Steve Rogers, you may begin to visualize their alter egos, appearance, abilities, strengths, alliances, and so on. Just as you imagine so much more than the names Clark Kent or Steve Rogers, our identities are made up of so much more than only our names.

The traditional medical model quickly identifies people by their diagnoses, needs, and titles and often focuses on what a person cannot do well. Think how crazy it would be if Superman introduced himself by saying, “Hello…red suns, high gravity, and Kryptonite are huge problems for me.” Granted, we know right away what things we should keep him away from. Yet, we lose sight of him being the Man of Steel who is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap buildings in a single bound.

We know and love Superman for his strengths and abilities. Person-directed care is all about relationships and knowing each other well. When we value individual identity and invest in getting to know each other’s strengths and what we have to offer, we become stronger together! What are your superhero powers, and how are you using them?



Ryan Myracle, LAPSW, LNHA


The Narrow Way

“The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 HCSB

I’ve really been struggling lately in how to handle a certain situation. It’s one of those “darned if you do-darned if you don’t,” type situations. One, if I’m not careful, my heart full of emotion could lead my mouth in a direction to a point of no return. So, I’ve prayed. And prayed. And prayed. As soon as I read today’s verse, I knew I’d received my answer but I didn’t like it.

“Wait a minute, Lord, but you don’t understand. I need to…” You see, even though I’d been praying for the Lord’s guidance, I’d really kind of already made up my mind how I was going to handle the situation. This is where disciplined obedience comes into play. Am I going to heed God’s warning through scripture or ignore it? I think my prayer for today is now, “God give me your strength to carry out your will.”

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Maybe you are right there with me this morning….wanting to go your own way instead of HIS. The Lord never said HIS way was going to be easy….

Matthew 7:13-14(NKJV)

The Narrow Way

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Have a Tight-Lip Friday! Avoid destruction and remain in HIS footsteps which will lead us through that narrow gate. Pray for me as I will you.

Melanie Kern

Kind Words

Sacred Six: Compassion Message

 Kind Words

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

Proverbs 17:28 NIV

Have you ever allowed your mouth to run on your emotions rather than your head and heart controlling your tongue? I have just recently. The Lord knows me so well.

I emailed another teacher for the first time ever about a homework assignment which was given to my son over the weekend. After four hours into the assignment,  which contained incorrect websites he was to use to complete the project, I could feel the anger building up. Rather than stopping to pray about it, asking God how to handle the situation, I sent the email. In my mind I justified everything….”I’m being respectful and tactful with my words. I’m talking one teacher to another. I’m advocating for my son. She needs to know about the time constraints and mistakes on the assignment.”

While all those things may be true, the guilt, in whether or not I handled the situation appropriately, is still there. Here’s my point….had I actually calmed down enough to pray about it with my son ahead of time (a valuable teaching opportunity wasted), we both would have known without a shadow of a doubt if I’d handled it correctly or not.

Was I a fool or amongst the wise? I’m fairly certain after reading today’s verse…I was a fool. It didn’t appear by accident….it was God’s way of communicating with me. HE was telling me to learn to bite my tongue and I would’ve looked smart and not foolish amongst those involved in this particular situation.

Thank you, Lord, for always pointing me back to you.

Have a Thoughtful Thursday and think carefully about your words but better yet, PRAY about them before we use them!

 Only by HIS grace,

 Melanie Kern

Daily D on Positivity: Promises Just For You

20For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2 Corinthians 1:20

This morning I want to share with you some promises found in the word of God that will help you not only in your facilities, but in your life. I pray that you apply these wonderful promises and share them with individuals that you encounter. Blessings.

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:6-7

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. Numbers 13:31

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Jere 1:6-8

For verily I say unto you that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23

If ye shall ask any thing I my name, I will do it. John 14:14

The grass withereth; and the flower fadeth, but the word of God shall last forever. Isaiah 40:8

Trust in the Lord will all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Chaplain Robert Lee White III

Signature Healthcare at Tower Road

Marietta, Ga 30060


Here to Help

Matthew 8:5 – “When Jesus entered Capernaum; a centurion came to him, asking for help.”

As some of you know I am a fan of the old black and white versions of the Andy Griffith Show. I get a great chuckle out of Barney and when I think of the typecasting that was done for that program they couldn’t have found a better person than Don Knotts to play the part.

One of my favorites, because I have many, is the cave in episode where Helen and Andy go into a cave. There is a landslide and Helen and Andy, in the mind of Barney and the others, are trapped inside. The part of recall the most is when Barney is standing out in front of the cave and has his bullhorn. He states over and over again, “Now is the time for all men to come together and help their neighbor.”

 Doesn’t that sound like some good advice for all of us today? Throughout the Scriptures we read of Jesus coming to help of individuals. It doesn’t matter if they are young or old, male or female, Gentile or Jew, or rich or poor, Jesus is there to help. As stakeholders, I would hope that all of us have that same mindset. God has given us the responsibility of those that we work with and work for. May we be willing to step up to the plate and help.

Chaplain Mark E. Brodbeck
Signature HealthCARE of Coshocton
100 S. Whitewoman Street
Coshocton, OH 43812
(740) 622-1220

There is more than one way to do morning staff devotions.

Of course prayer and scripture reading are the old tried and true ways, but what about a change up once and a while?:

A song.  |Why just last week the entire Leadership Staff sang the , “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to emphasize perseverance,

Meditation.  Why not just sit in silence and breath deeper that usual for about a minute?

Circle Fun.  Turn to the Leader on your right and tell them something good about themselves.

Stand Up Comedy.  I did two minutes of “Someone Walks into a Bar” jokes.  The Leaders laughed, faintly. See pics of Chaplain doing Stand Up  “A horse trots into a bar and the barkeeper says, “Why the long face?”

Exercise. March in place for a minute, better yet, turn on the music and dance like you are back in high school; love God with all your strength!

Larry Limbaugh, Chaplain
Signature Gainesville

Blessing of the Hands 2017

Building Bridges in the Communities We Serve

January has been a very fruitful month for networking here in the Spirituality Department. This month I have attended several University of Kentucky County Extension meetings from different facets of the organization here in Casey County to build bridges within our community. I am delighted to say that the results have been wildly successful. As a result, I have had the honor of being asked to serve as a Family and Consumer Sciences Council Member as a Signature Representative and representative of the elderly and aging population of Casey County. Photos from last year’s first and highly successful trellis garden sparked great interest and gave us a fair amount of credibility amongst the members of this agricultural county. Already the extension office has blessed us by involving us in the planning phase of forthcoming special projects from the Homemakers Club this spring. They include providing participation and sweets for our Spirituality Department Valentines Tea, making royal robes for our Valentines King and Queen Valentines Party, bringing birdhouses to assemble and paint, and making personalized wheelchair and walker caddies for our residents. A Petting Zoo Day is also in the works when the weather breaks as we link with the Casey County 4-H Department to continue our intergenerational connections. Because of this new networking opportunity, our home has also been invited to participate in collaborative community service efforts with the Community Garden Share Program, Seed Exchange, Community Safety Program, Community CPR Training and Grandparents Day. At each of these events, we have the opportunity to show off our “wares” and give back to the community. Many of these events will be taking place here at our home in Liberty. here at It’s all so exciting! The Revolution continues!
Dominic R. Gordon,
Chaplain Signature HealthCARE of Liberty