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Live with Purpose - August 31, 2022
by Kathie Miller
It’s a familiar theme, one you might remember from grade school. As young students return to classrooms, teachers try to get them back into the swing of learning. And so students face the classic assignment: write an essay and present to the class on the topic of “How I spent my summer vacation”.
As we look back on the summer we’ve had at Goodwin Living, we have lots to tell you about! In case you missed any of these exciting happenings, we thought we’d offer a quick recap of some major highlights.
As we entered August, a month that often brings a slower pace to the D.C. area, we were just getting started welcoming The View Alexandria’s retirement community into our organizational family.
Located across the street from Goodwin House Alexandria, The View Alexandria was formerly known as Hermitage Northern Virginia. Launched thanks to the same land donation that helped Goodwin Living get its start in 1967, Hermitage Northern Virginia also shares a similar faith-based, not-for-profit history as Goodwin Living. We also share the same passion for and commitment to caring for older adults. The campus sits atop a hill and is home to more than 100 residents. We also gained more than 100 team members who have an average tenure of nine years working there demonstrating immense loyalty to the residents.
We look forward to showcasing The View Alexandria in more detail in future blog posts. For now, we remain focused on ensuring a smooth transition for residents and team members. We feel incredibly excited to have them join us and we are grateful to be able to learn and grow together!
Just as summer was kicking off, we shared super exciting news. We announced a major rebranding effort, one that resulted in our evolution from “Goodwin House” to “Goodwin Living”. The name reflects the ways we have grown as an organization since we first opened GHA in 1967.
While many have come to know us through our two Life Plan Community campuses, Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, our mission has consistently and steadily called us forward. Over the years, we’ve added many more options for older adults, including Goodwin Living At Home, Goodwin Home Health and Goodwin Hospice. Today, we extend the same quality of life enjoyed on our campuses to those who might prefer to stay in their own homes. Today, we offer older adults more choice and greater peace of mind that comes from finding someone to support you throughout your entire aging journey, wherever it takes you.
Many of you have reached out to share your enthusiasm for this new name, and we are thrilled to hear that you embrace it and us as we continue to grow and do more.
Not long after the news of our new name, we learned that our staff yet again voted us a Washington Post Top Workplace. 2022 marks the fourth consecutive year that we have enjoyed this honor.
And while we appreciate the mention and notice from The Washington Post, including being part of a feature that explores what local employers are doing to keep team members happy, what matters so much more to us is how we achieved this ranking.
Every year, Top Workplace honors are awarded solely based on employee surveys that are conducted by a third-party research company. We feel humbled by the support our team members provide us. They inspire us to keep going to do more and be more for them, every day.
Supporting and uplifting team members has always been a cornerstone of the Goodwin Living mission. One very unique way we do that is through our U.S. Citizenship program which is one of many employee programs funded by the Goodwin Living Foundation.
Due to the unique nature of this program, it garnered attention from The Washington Post and Voice of America. This national media notice led to other organizations reaching out to us to ask if we might share tips for how they can start programs of their own. Hearing from organizations around the country, we found inspiration to develop and release our Citizenship Playbook, making it available for free to anyone who wishes to download it.
All this activity over the past year led to increasing momentum and attention to the workforce concerns we face in senior living and healthcare. What’s more, news media started taking note of the importance of showcasing members of the workforce themselves.
In July, Politico published a profile of Goodwin Living team member, Momah Wolapaye. Momah took time to speak with the reporter and meet with a photographer, welcoming them into both his work and private life. His story is poignant. He exemplifies the dedication we see from team members throughout Goodwin Living. The pride they take in their jobs. The profound sense of dedication and love they feel for older adults under their care. This is the true definition of hero.
We cannot stress enough the important role immigrants play in the field of senior living and healthcare. While we see it every day throughout the Goodwin Living organization, many Americans have little to no exposure to it. Our team members represent an entire group of individuals throughout the United States who bring their hard work and compassion to deliver professional care and service to older adults. Goodwin Living is humbled by their work, and we are honored to be able to amplify their voices through media opportunities such as this one. We hope that we can continue to bring attention to their challenges so that we might raise greater awareness that leads us to better outcomes and support for these incredible team members.
At Goodwin Living, we celebrate and encourage lifelong learning, yet there is something special about that period of discovery that tends to occur in high school and college. Perhaps it’s the combination of continuation education at the time when we come into our own as young adults. Perhaps it’s the youthful enthusiasm. Whatever it is, it provides a wonderful time for young people to explore future career options, and for organizations to benefit from their wide-eyed perspectives.
This summer, we gained a great deal from the eight great individuals who chose Goodwin Living for their summer internship. We featured all of them in a blog post last month, and three of them shared their own unique talents and perspectives by writing articles about dementia care, legacy residents and perspectives gained.
2022 marks the first year we’ve had a summer cohort of interns, and it is just the beginning of a more robust offering of intern opportunities with the organization. We are committed to bringing even more students in to experience first-hand how rewarding a career can be in senior living and healthcare.
Were we returning to school after this summer, we would be buzzing with excitement and itching for our time in front of the classroom to share these wonderful highlights of the past few months. And we have even more to look forward to in the months ahead, because we’re not slowing down when it comes to finding new ways to expand our mission and touch the lives of more older adults.
You won’t have to wait until the end of next summer to hear about what we do… just keep reading our news here on the blog. We’ll be glad to keep you posted on all our latest happenings. You can also keep up with even more events and fun at our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
As Corporate Director of Marketing & Communications, Kathie Miller provides strategic guidance and tactical support for all areas of Goodwin Living. She writes, edits and manages The Good Life blog and newsletter. Kathie joined GHI in 2014 after nearly 15 years at NPR, where she honed her skills in brand and reputation management, content marketing and internal communications. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kathie has slowly come to realize she’s lived in Arlington for more than half her life and should call herself a Virginian. She enjoys the outdoors and brings her rescue dog, Remi, to work every day.