David Reimer, Others to Travel to Beirut for 2017 Lebanese Interfaith Elder Care Conference

In April 2017, Palm Village CEO and President, David Reimer will travel to Beirut with four other Americans to participate in the second Lebanese Interfaith Elder Care Conference.

Here is the history of the organization and the Lebanese Interfaith Elder Care Conference:

In April 2012, Joyce Eid visited Palm Village Retirement Community (PVRC), to meet the residents and worked with staff and senior management for education and preparation to open Moadieh Evangelical Center, the first faith-based assisted living center for senior adults in Beirut, Lebanon. The connection between Joyce and PVRC was made through the Mennonite Central Committee and the National Evangelical Church of Beirut.

Three months later, at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Center, the Board Chairman announced that all faiths and groups would be welcome as residents, another first in the country where it is difficult to approach the topic of retirement due to stigma and family values and traditions.

As a result of Joyce’s visit to Reedley, David Reimer, CEO and President of PVRC, became even more committed to serving senior adults, regardless of where they live. David traveled to Lebanon in 2014, to visit the Moadieh Evangelical Center and tour the Beirut area and meet the country’s people.

Shortly afterwards, as the Moadieh Center became known for being very welcoming to people of all faiths including Muslims and Druze, they received a request from a prominent Druze leader and politician, to meet and discuss a possible collaboration to communicate with senior and healthcare leaders in the government. He eventually arranged a meeting between Joyce and the COO of a Druze Nursing Home.

David, Joyce and the late Ken Enns, PVRC Board Member, organized the first Lebanese Interfaith Elder Care Conference in Cyprus in September, 2015. Managers of 12 different Lebanese long-term care centers representing Shia, Sunni, Druze, Evangelical Protestant, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths attended.

Topics in the conference included: “Technologies to Support Older Adults and their Caregivers”, “Treatment of Diabetes, Today and Tomorrow”, and “Collaborations and Affiliations."

“The participating leaders, representing unique organizations rooted within various religious traditions, demonstrated a remarkable capacity to suspend differences and find common cause and extend trust to one another. They were able to name and claim their common sense of ‘sacred’ call to serving older adults with love, compassion, and dignity. They recognized that through extending trust they could begin to build friendships through which they could advance common interests in policy and resource development. It was an honor to serve and learn with them,” says Rick Stiffney, CEO of Mennonite Health Services.

Since the Cyprus Conference, the Lebanese attendees have continued to meet monthly, with each member hosting the rotating schedule at one of their Centers.

Interest in Lebanese Elder Care has grown significantly because of the collaboration and the second conference is scheduled for April, 2017. Five Americans will travel to Beirut to tour the Centers for two days before meeting with the Lebanese leaders at a conference center outside of the city.

The topics to be presented are: “Design Considerations for Today’s Seniors: Planning for Wellness, Not Sickness”, “Service Delivery Models for Seniors”, “Technology and Innovations in Senior Services”, and “The Board/Executive Relationship”.

The Lebanese Interfaith Elder Care Group has not only significantly increased the awareness of the need for improved care for the Elders, but also brought together many religious sects working towards peace.

Jim Higbee is New Executive Director at Palm Village

Jim Higbee recently became a new member of our administration. With the sudden passing of Ken Enns, who made so many meaningful contributions to our Village, we knew we needed to make a thoughtful change in our management structure. Jim has been selected to become the new Executive Director at Palm Village Retirement Community, and will lead the Community’s management team, continuing our 75-year history of providing compassionate senior residential care with our remarkable staff.

As a licensed California Nursing Home Administrator with over 15 years of progressive experience, Jim has a strong financial background, and maintains a “resident-centered” philosophy while specializing in long-term care and assisted living management, regulation and reimbursement.

I will remain in the role as President and Chief Executive Officer, with duties including communicating with bankers, attorneys, insurance companies, government officials and governance matters to the Board of Directors. I will also continue as President and CEO of Peer Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Palm Village Retirement Community.

“Elder Care has been a focus in my life, as my Uncle owned several care centers and I worked there as a teen, along with several other members of my family,” replied Jim when asked about his motivation for working at Palm Village. “I am blessed to have lived around Seniors for so long and I am excited about this new opportunity.”

Jim’s substantial experience in the financial elements of Senior Living Center administration will bring strong leadership to several important aspects of Palm Village’s management. His thorough knowledge of accounting practices, billing processes, quality assurance, HIPAA compliance and Medicare reimbursement will continue to keep our Village in its current strong financial position, while he works to evaluate all of the community’s operations to protect and improve the high level of care and quality of life for residents.

Jim stated “I’ve already met so many wonderful people at Palm Village, and feel they possess the qualities from one of my favorite Aristotle quotes – We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is then, not an act but a habit.”

Please join me with a warm welcome for our new Executive Director as we look forward to continuing in excellence.

David Reimer, President and CEO
Palm Village Retirement Community

Senator Vidak, Others Meet at Palm Village for Legislative Community Coffee

On June 6th, about 70 residents and guests met at Palm Village to hear California State Senator Andy Vidak, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Reedley Chief of Police Joe Garza speak on a number of issues.

The Senator spoke briefly on water issues facing the State, while Sheriff Mims updated the audience on what Fresno County is doing to fight the increasing use of drugs in the county. Chief Garza spoke on RPD's efforts to clean up gang activity in the city. After about 40 minutes of presentations, refreshments were served and the speakers talked one-on-one with visitors and residents until all questions were answered.

Also in attendance were other dignitaries, including Reedley's Mayor Ray Soleno, two City Council members, Reedley College President Dr. Sandra Caldwell, and local school board members.


PV Resident Marilyn Chappell Organizes 'Dress A Girl' Event

Girls of all ages love dresses. Most young ones are given dresses from the time they are infants. So it probably isn’t often that we give much thought to those girls throughout the world who don’t have a dress because of circumstances of poverty. On April 24th, Palm Village Patio Home resident, Marilyn Chappell organized a Dress A Girl Around the World event at Palm Village to prepare the parts of the dresses for sewing by others and then given to girls in Portugal via missionaries, Otto and Marjorie Ekk. View a short video about the event below or read the full article here.

St. Patrick's Day Visit from Community Youth Ministries

On St. Patrick’s Day, Palm Village was visited by a group from the Community Youth Ministries afterschool program at Great Western Elementary. The children came to have a party with our residents, and brought bags they had made to give away as gifts to the residents. The children also brought coloring pages and crayons to do as an activity and letters they had written to the residents. One of the goals was to seek out pen pals for the students to create an ongoing relationship between younger and older. The event was a hit for all ages and the children were thrilled when they received return letters from our residents.

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