Guest Columns

Giants of community are not forgotten

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Diane Timmering
Diane Timmering

I love rural Indiana and the way that it feels. I love its flatness and breath of color in every hue, partly because the corn is ripe, or has been plowed, mingled with the cool October air. Recently, I had a chance to experience this landscape when Signature HealthCARE President and CEO Joe Steier and I traveled to the Signature HealthCARE Hall of Fame celebration in Muncie, IN.

The ceremony in Muncie was part of our annual, company-wide Hall of Fame induction celebration. Launched more than a decade ago, the purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor the contributions and lifetime achievements of nursing home residents, staff members, volunteers and other community members. The celebrations nearly always promise to be emotional affairs, with generations of family, friends, facility staff, fellow residents and many others joining to recount the honorees' achievements and present them with a special plaque as a token of appreciation.

In Muncie this year, we honored three long-term care residents in our communities, and one community member who has given legal advice and hope to the elderly for years.

The first resident was well-known for the civic creation of theatrical joy he brought to the Muncie community. The second was a devout Republican woman.

Finally, there was the quiet industry leader who helped build the UPC code, who touched every neighbor as his friend, who gave advice and love and cared for each encounter. The spiritual, policy and business were all well represented by these Hall of Famers.

These were just a few examples of folks who are honored through the Signature HealthCARE program. Honorees at other buildings included former professional athletes, Purple Heart recipients and a lady who was hair stylist to country music stars.

The town of Muncie has felt the footprint of these residents, and the world benefited from their legacy.

Our company's President and CEO, Joe Steier, recounted high school days spent as a nursing home volunteer, and the sense that these legacies of greatness, and so many lessons, could be forever lost.

“You just felt like you really knew them, and they were part of your family,” he told the crowd in Muncie. “And every time you'd lose one, you'd just grieve. You felt like the story wasn't told, that we didn't capture it.”

He said our dream with the Hall of Fame was to make sure we capture every story. And while there are still so many more who are deserving of attention, we have managed to share some: more than 2,700 have been inducted to date, and over 400 were honored this year alone.

The Hall of Fame is where where sacred stories are told, remembered and imprinted on our hearts. To see bios or learn more, click here.

Dianne Timmering is the Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs at Signature HealthCARE.

Guest Columns

Guest columns are written by long-term care industry experts, ranging from academics and thought leaders to administrators and CEOs.