Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rose Villa getting Culture Change Right

Imagine my surprise when I went to meet a colleague for a tour, and walked into a room full of people.  My first thought was, “Oops – wrong room!”  But my colleague quickly grabbed me and showed me to a seat.  Someone else placed three cups full of mystery fluids in front of me.  The meeting was clearly well underway, with lots of spirited interaction.  It took a good 5 minutes for a lull to occur long enough for my colleague to introduce me to the group and clue me in on what I was observing.

I had wandered into an active “Culture Change” meeting with the full team at Rose Villa, one of the first Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the Portland, Oregon area.  Serena Lewis (below left), a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist was creating fruit smoothies while Erin Cornell (below right) from Human Resources was demonstrating how easy it is to make tasty juice from raw veggies.  The topic of the day was food, and the group not only tasted the smoothies and juices, but also discussed ways to improve the appeal of pureed foods, ways to implement a realistic finger-food diet, and the use of “Dining Scarves” in place of the old-fashioned bibs to protect clothing during meals.  Everyone in the room contributed; everyone was respectfully listened to and supported.

It was clear that this is a group that takes Culture Change seriously.  They don’t just talk about it; they actively pursue it in their work with residents.  They set aside time to meet, try new things, discuss problems and come up with solutions. 

With so many nursing facilities still operating the same old way, it was tremendously refreshing to see that the team at Rose Villa is not just talking about culture change – they’re living it.  Kudos to the entire team:

Vassar Byrd, CEO
Ellen Burns, RN, DNS
Lynn Cikara, OT
Jill Getty, PT
Janes Pagtama, CNA
Kay Girsberger, Director of Health Services
Rachel Rushing, MSW
Serena Lewis, TRS
Erin Cornell, HR
Marianna Iverson, CNA, Rehab.
Christi Morris, Housekeeping Supervisor
Brian Quinn, Director of Dining Services


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Sharon! Feel free to come visit Rose Villa again anytime!

  2. Elsie.Don EcklerJuly 19, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    This is the place for me since I must grow old sometime. I'm looking forward to my golden years with these energized people.

    Don Age 73, Current and active Rose Villa Resident

  3. Don - I hope you live a long, rich life enjoying Rose Villa! Thanks for taking the time to be a part of this discussion - Sharon