Author Archives: Signature HealthCARE

Signature Spirituality’s STracker system, explained

Signature Spirituality has been recognized by McKnight’s with an Excellence in Technology Award for its use of the STracker system to document chaplain interactions and improve care and services with regard to spirituality, as well as how spirituality interfaces with other disciplines. Read more about STracker below.

What is the STracker System?
STracker is a technological innovation that is a SharePoint-based tracking system that is a shortened combination of the words (“spirituality tracker”).

What does the system do?
This system is designed to provide a universally accessible system of online reporting for the encounters that chaplains have week-to-week with residents and other individuals or groups (stakeholders, family and community members).

Why was it developed?
The system was developed with the intent of both tracking the inputs of chaplain care as well as directing chaplain services towards vital areas of need within a given facility.

How often are reports generated?
Reports are pulled from the system weekly and sent to all chaplains, administrators, regional vice-presidents as well as to senior team members.

What were specific benefits that were derived from this effort?
The Stracker system and it’s quick-turnaround reporting allow for chaplain care inputs to be captured and reported in a short time frame giving feedback to chaplains and facility partners on their work.

The system allows chaplains to better target their efforts particularly with regards to certain issues over time, so as to apply greater efforts where needed.

Who assisted in this effort?
The Stracker system was designed by the Signature Spirituality department in collaboration with the in-house Signature Information Technology Team. The line items and organizational structure of the system was laid out by the Spirituality Team where the SharePoint system programming, reporting modules creation and access point coordination with the field were all created by the Information Technology Team.

Signature HealthCARE presents study on workplace spirituality during national chaplain conference

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During this year’s annual conference for the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the Signature Spirituality team presented findings of a study co-created by Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs for Signature, and Meera Alagaraja, a professor with the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development.

Signature is a long-term care, health care and rehabilitation provider headquartered in Louisville with 126 locations in 10 states. APC represents more than 5,000 member chaplains and affiliates that are involved in chaplaincy care of all people, respecting diverse cultures, identities and beliefs. This aligns with Signature’s own Department of Spirituality, which delivers interfaith spirituality programming, education and support to all of Signature’s nearly 20,000 employees, and the residents and families it serves.

The theme for the 2015 APC Annual Conference was ‘Soul meets Data: Research & Technology in Chaplaincy Care.’ The conference featured numerous trainings, exhibits and speakers, including discussions on evidence-based chaplaincy care, ‘revolutionary’ planning for end-of-life care and the use of social media.

Signature Spirituality presented findings from a recent study it completed in partnership with Meera Alagaraja, Ph.D, a professor in the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development.

“We are excited to find, with our first-ever quantitative study, that workforce productivity, complemented with spirituality, drives creative and innovative thinking as well as emboldens self esteem,” said Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs for Signature.

The study, ‘Fostering the Work-Spirit Connection,’ examines the impact of spirituality in the workplace, particularly in a health care setting. Based on feedback from several hundred Signature HealthCARE employees, the research found that workplace spirituality provides a number of benefits, including a sense of relevance and purposes in the lives of workers, stronger work ethic, lower stress and a greater respect for diversity in the organization. It also found that workplace spirituality aids with creativity and organizational conflict.

“Employees who have a strong sense of inner well-being experience meaningfulness in work and are more satisfied with their jobs than those who do not,” Alagaraja said of the study’s findings. “These employees also find a strong connection with their department and the company itself. This is great news for employees as it encourages them to focus on ways that enhance inner well-being, or spirituality, as a way of dealing with everyday stress related to work.”

For more about Signature HealthCARE, visit LTCRevolution.com.

Supreme Court Prayer Decision Validates Signature’s Interfaith Spirituality Model

NDOP 2014-WEB-0398The U.S. Supreme Court struck another blow against the long-standing divide between faith and government last month when the court ruled by a narrow vote that the Constitution allows for prayer in town meetings.

A 1983 decision allowed prayers at the start of legislative sessions, but opposing sides in last month’s decision differed on whether town board meetings were significantly different from legislative sessions.

In support of the decision, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said prayer in both settings were “meant to lend gravity to the occasion and reflect values long part of the nation’s heritage,” according to a recent New York Times article.

But even dissenters were not strictly opposed to prayer in public meetings.

The New York Times article quotes Justice Elena Kagan as saying that the practices of the town in upstate New York that sparked the case could not be reconciled with First Amendment rights that every citizen, regardless of religion, has an equal share in government. But Justice Kagan went on to say that she did not propose banning prayer, only requiring officials to ensure that prayers are inclusive of different faiths.

This aligns with Signature HealthCARE’s interfaith approach to spirituality,

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not only in its facilities and offices, but also in the public sphere. Signature has long held or participated in faith-oriented public events, often involving government officials, including the National Day of Prayer celebrations held each May at its health care centers and the company’s home office in Louisville.

“We have a model that is not watered down, but not proselytizing either, in the sense that we meet people at the point of their need,” said Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs for Signature. “This is a true celebration, and really a validation of our interfaith model and adds credibility to our design as it relates to the First Amendment as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Prayer at town meetings, not based on religious profile but respecting religious preference, is powerful. This could bring prayer back into the schools based on an interfaith model. This is very exciting.”

Delores Patrick, Chaplain/Director of Spirituality for Laurelwood Care Center, in Elkton, Md., noted that both the city’s mayor and a city commissioner spoke during the center’s National Day of Prayer ceremony this year.

Patrick also said she favors the court’s decision.

“I embrace this ruling as a turn toward the intersection that our country was founded upon, inviting the sovereignty and wisdom of God into our meetings,” she said. “It’s a great start, moving us, as a country, toward the principles that made these United States great. In God, we do trust.”

SHC of Jacksonville brings faith community, others together for car wash fundraiser

We had an awesome time at our First Annual Signature HealthCare of Jacksonville Community Car Wash Concert fund raiser event on March 1, 2014. There was a lot going on that day. We had food, fun, fellowship and a great time. The community came together and really made this event one to remember.

Voice of Joy Family Worship Center started us off with some uplifting music, and their mime and praise dance youth ministry team really added some extra heartfelt moments throughout the day. Pastor Larry Lockley, from Vision Christian Ministries, blessed us with a brief word of encouragement that caused us to think about why we are here to serve, and to be a blessing to those in need.

Gospel hip-Hop artist Young King David blessed us with some tunes that moved us, and brought CDs to give away to the crowd. The Church 3:20 gave us a check for $250 and brought their youth praise and worship team of singers and musicians to carry us throughout the rest of the day.

Our local fire department even came out to help with the event. The kids had a great time with the big red fire truck and all of the equipment on it – they even gave us a couple of toots on the horn! SPARKLE, a local professional car-washing business, volunteered their time and services, and their bright, shiny truck, which added an extra attraction for this occasion.

A local radio station donated four days of free radio time to promote our event during peak hours and drive time. Two local high schools came to represent their school and help wash cars. We also had pomes, games and a whole lot of fun.

Our goal for this event was to promote awareness and need for skilled-nursing facilities and elder care. We also wanted to share what it means to help those in need in our community and to bring the community together to experience the reward and benefit of volunteering and coming together for a good cause.

The event raised almost $800 toward our Resident Council Fund and we believe all that was done throughout the day helped us accomplish our goals. From this event, we can be reminded of what it says in 2 Corinthians 9:11 – that you will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

– Larry Glover, Chaplain and Bob Eger, Director of Plant Operations

SHC Compassion Fund providing aid to Quebec nursing home destroyed in blaze

Signature Compassion Fund _LogoV1For its latest aid mission, The Compassion Fund is not only reaching beyond the walls of Signature HealthCARE, but beyond the borders of the United States.

Late last month, a fire ravaged the Residence du Havre, a senior living community located in the Quebec town of L’Isle-Verten. A total of 32 residents were found dead.

The Canadian Red Cross rushed to the aid of the nursing home, matching donated funds in the community which generated nearly $600,000 toward victim and relocated resident costs. But there are still many other needs.

“What our residents need are warm hearts who can say, ‘we hurt with you, and you are not alone,’ ” said Residence du Havre Director, Michel Léveillé.

The Compassion Fund is the nonprofit arm of the Signature Spirituality Department that provides financial assistance to SHC employees and other community members who have suffered unexpected catastrophic events. Funds are primarily derived from Signature employees’ payroll-deducted contributions.

The Fund has now launched a new initiative called the ‘Compassionate Closet,’ designed to provide forms of relief other than monetary.

“Nobody knows when the next disaster will strike,” said Compassion Fund Director Vonnie Coleman. “But we want to be ready with open arms, soft hearts and something real we can put in the hands of the suffering.”

The Quebec nursing home disaster is the first Compassionate Closet initiative. A task force has been organized to manage the effort, and they are launching a drive to collect the following items:

  • Lap and shoulder blankets
  • Prayer cloths and prayer cards blessed by SHC chaplains
  • Compassionate greeting cards signed by SHC stakeholders and residents
  • Stuffed animals (cleaned and fluffed)
  • Care bundles (zip-lock bags of non-perishable goods)

The company has responded similarly during other recent tragedies, such as the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the super typhoon that ripped through the Philippines, both last year.

“We’re taking our mission of compassion across borders, to every corner of the world,” said Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality. “As always, our goal is to identify points of great need and engage them directly, to find out how they would best benefit. That’s just what we’ve done here.”

For more information on how you can contribute, contact Vonnie at vcoleman@signaturehealthcarellc.com or (502) 568-7754.

The simple sacrifice of time has profound impact on patient, family

Doug Hornsby, CEO of Signature affiliate Silver Angels Home Care Services, shares a story about the simple sacrifice of time as a display of compassion and faith…

I want to tell you a story, a love story, one full of magic, simple magic, the magic of love of one person to another with true unconditional love.

Often in life, we are so busy with our own wants and desires that we only get passing glimpses of how God really intended us to live our lives with one another. We lose focus on what really counts in the journey of life. Of course this happens to all of us but I feel it’s a responsibility of all of us to always help each other get back to the way God intended us to live. He wanted us to give and love each other as our highest priority. In fact, in the Christian faith, Christ commands it. He places emphasis that giving and love are the most important commandments.

In July 2010 we took on the responsibility of caring for Ms. Gertrude Gilley of Mountain City, TN. She received all of our services as Shirley Potter became her caregiver. Ms. Gilley has a small family and Shirley quickly became one of them.

Shirley provided her daily care but went above and beyond the care plan. Ms. Gilley had a love for flowers and sunshine. They were very important to her.  Shirley took time to make sure Ms. Gilley had a flower bed well maintained and in full bloom. In the beauty of her flowerbed, Shirley would have a place for Ms. Gilley to sit under her umbrella enjoying both sunshine and the blooms of her roses. When you look at the pictures above, you’ll see Ms. Gilley enjoying both with a smile.

Shirley gave Ms. Gilley the most important thing anyone can give another – time. Not just time, but time where it was only about Ms. Gilley. She let nothing interrupt their time with each other. She gave Ms. Gilley the feeling of being special this way. This is a rare thing today as people only give you glances of time, as they manage their phones and computers while pretending to be with you.

What makes this story better is that Shirley had given herself to Ms. Gilley when she had completed this journey of life and passed on to the next. The story goes this way. Teresa Clark, the Area Director, came to me and said she wanted me to travel to Mountain City and attend Ms. Gilley’s funeral. Teresa was concerned, due to the small size of Ms. Gilley’s family, that there would not be many people there.

So, off we went and as we arrived and entered the funeral parlor, I heard beautiful piano music and someone singing like an angel. When I looked up, it was an angel; it was Shirley, a Silver Angel. Not only was she playing the piano and singing, but entertaining Ms. Gilley’s great grandson. As she would play, he would hit an occasional key and look to Shirley for approval. As the service progressed, the funeral staff and family directed Shirley to her place among the family. As the service ended, we all stood while the family began to exit. Then there was Shirley, walking out with the family behind the casket en route to the grave yard. I stood there so honored and proud to be a member of Silver Angels and a team member of Shirley’s. So, as Ms. Gilley started her new journey, Shirley was there on her own time, singing, making music and entertaining her great grandson.  She was there, standing with the family as Ms. Gilley’s new journey of life began.

Think about it: if Silver Angels never existed, what would have happened to Ms. Gilley? This is one of many stories we have but are often lost or not told.

My belief is that we honored not only Ms. Gilley, but as my faith sees it, we honored Him by loving Ms. Gilley unconditionally. In the end, Shirley gave Ms. Gilley her unconditional love and time. This is just the beginning for Ms. Gilley. What a blessing it is to give and to be a part of a group that puts the mission and vision that we have into action.

Faith, along with action, equals everything that is right about life.

– Doug Hornsby, CEO, Silver Angels

SHC of Terre Haute accepts ‘God and Country’ Award

20131105_131306The Terre Haute chapter of the National Exchange Club recently honored SHC of Terre Haute with the ‘God and Country’ Award for the facility’s commitment to serving others.

The award is given to organizations in recognition of their hard work promoting community service to the nation’s youth, military and senior community. As the country’s oldest service organization, the National Exchange Club sets out to promote the needs of local communities and “exchange” ideas with local businesses.

SHC of Terre Haute is the first long-term community in Terre Haute to employ a full-time chaplain, Steve Wendler. Signature’s pillar of Spirituality is reflected in Wendler’s constant compassion and service to both the facility’s staff and residents.

“After learning that all Signature HealthCARE facilities are equipped with a full-time chaplain, the club set out to award SHC of Terre Haute for promoting spirituality in the daily lives of our residents,” Wendler said. “Blessings upon our leadership for emphasizing the importance of spiritual care in the lives of our residents, families and staff.”

Wendler, who joined SHC of Terre Haute in July, spoke to 50 members of the club explaining the interfaith Spirituality Department’s mission: to integrate spirituality into the healing process in Signature HealthCARE communities.

“This is a very proud moment for our facility,” said Admissions Director Shelly Watson.

– Virginia Washbish, SHC Intern

Spirituality and Recruiting partner to create International Day of Peace

Signature’s Spirituality and Recruiting Departments partnered today to host a special ceremony in honor of the International Day of Peace, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 21.

Special activities and celebrations will take place worldwide during this weekend, 2013 Peace Day Weekend. The International Day of Peace was created in 1981, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by unanimous vote.

Between 60 and 70 employees from Signature’s home office attended the event as a reminder and to promote concepts of peace, reconciliation and harmony throughout our community, company and the world.

Crafts made by residents at SHC of Memphis were specifically created for the event and sold, with proceeds benefiting the Compassion Fund. A liturgy was also passed out to participants. Attendees were then encouraged to select a stone upon which they visualized their wishes and prayers for peace, and the stones were cast into a circle as a symbol of those wishes.

For more about the International Day of Peace, click HERE. To read the liturgy from the ceremony, see below.

WELCOME:      Linda Howe

(All are welcome to join in the responses where indicated.)

OPENING PRAYER

Tiffany:           We gather here as a community to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

Hollye:           We are reminded that we are all part of one global human family living together in a world that is often broken or divided.

David:             We join together today in hopes that the universal desire for peace may be realized.

Vonnie:          We ask for help in recognizing the call in each one of us to commit ourselves to the goal of helping to create a true and lasting peace in the world.

Stephen:        We each stand forth today to shine the light of the hope for peace on the world around us.

All:                   For all of this we pray.

INVOCATION:

Tiffany:           Spirit of Wisdom,                 ALL:                 Guide Us.

Hollye:           Spirit of Truth,                                  ALL:                 Enlighten Us.

David:             Spirit of Reconciliation      ALL:                 Empower Us.

Vonnie:          Spirit of Hope                                   ALL:                 Fill Us.

Stephen:        Spirit of Unity                                   ALL:                 Transform Us.

REFLECTION:

Tiffany:           Peace is not merely the absence of conflict.

Hollye:           Peace is not brought about by avoidance or surrender.

David:             Peace stems from justice and respect.

Vonnie:          Peace is made real by one person treating another with dignity.

Stephen:        Peace is a sacred occurrence which everyone is entitled to experience.

Tiffany:           One of the most effective ways of bringing about peace is through the process of reconciliation.

Hollye:           Reconciliation is like the fountain from which the life giving water of peace erupts.

David:             Let us call forth within ourselves these sacred qualities of peace and reconciliation.

Vonnie:          Let us recognize the dignity of all people.

Stephen:        Let us promote decency, fairness and justice for all.

ALL:                 Let us work for peace, not just in our communities and our country, but throughout the entire world.

RITUAL

Tiffany:           As a means of expressing our desire for peace and reconciliation, we call forth all who wish to join us in symbolizing this sacred desire for peace.

Hollye:           Those who feel so inclined are invited to come forward and select a stone from the container in front of us.

David:             This stone is meant to be a symbol of our own wishes, our own desires, and of our own prayers to be applied to the places that we ourselves feel peace is most needed; either for ourselves, our friends, our families, our country, our world – for anything we might wish.

Vonnie:          We ask that you take this stone and in your mind fill it with all of these inner desires for peace and place it on the ground in the circle in front of us, either now or at any time throughout the day today in a manner of your choosing.

Stephen:        We do this as a living symbol of a most sincere desire for peace – for reconciliation – for harmony – in all the many places where it is needed.

 

(All Leaders come forward and place their stones in the circle and return to their places
as all those assembled who wish to do so do the same.)

CLOSING PRAYER

Tiffany:           On this International Day of Peace, we remember the need for peace and justice that still exists in this world.

Hollye:           We ask you, oh God, to help us hear your voice which counsels forgiveness, compassion, patience and dialogue.

David:             Help us to heighten our awareness of the needs of others so as to create an environment where harmony may flourish.

Vonnie:          Help us follow the paths of mercy, compassion and reconciliation in all that we do.

Stephen:        And help us to always act on behalf of peace, not only for today, but for all of the days of our lives.

ALL:                 We ask this for all those in need – both now and forever. Amen.

CLOSING AND DISMISSAL:     Dianne Timmering

Signature launches interfaith ‘Blessing of the Hands’ series

In honor of Labor Day, Signature HealthCARE’s Spirituality Department has launched a weeklong series of interfaith ‘Blessing of the Hands’ ceremonies for those who choose to participate in order to honor the daily hard work of Signature’s valued caregivers.

Signature Chaplains consulted with administrators at their centers before developing plans for the ceremonies, which conclude Sept. 7.

Today, Clif Smith, Chaplain at The Bridge at Bay St. Joe, in Port St. Joe, Fla., posted available times for stakeholders who want to participate in the five-minute ceremony. He will make himself available to each shift.

“Last year, there were positive comments not only from nurses, but some residents,” Smith said, “concerning their appreciation of our company making available a public exhibition of faith at work in the lives of residents and stakeholders – centered on the tremendous care provided by our Nursing Department.”

Terry Lynch, Chaplain at The Bridge at Ridgely, also will offer two ceremonies on each Sept. 5 and 6 in order to serve both day and night shifts.

Meanwhile, Tim Hill, Chaplain at SHC of Nashville, will partner DON Lori Urell to host a Blessing of the Hands Day on Thursday, Sept. 5. The team will meet at the chapel twice that day, from 6:30-7:30 a.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m.

“This will cover all shifts and invitations will be given to those working that weekend to come and join us,” Hill said.

During the ceremony, oil is placed on the hands of participants as prayers are offered to bless the work of the caregivers.

“The idea here is to bless the beauty of our people in their dedication every day,” said Signature Vice President of Spirituality Dianne Timmering. “We have the best caregivers, and this is simply to honor them.”