Four United Church Homes Communities Receive Top Honors

A Glenwood resident enjoys a delicious dessert.

This article, by Catherine West, originally appeared in the United Church News news feed. It is reprinted here with permission.

Four United Church Homes (UCH) communities recently were voted “Best of the Best in the 2021 Readers’ Choice contests sponsored by local media groups. The awards covered numerous categories.

Two Marietta, Ohio, UCH communities were readers’ top choices by The Marietta Times: the Pines at The Glenwood Community was named the best assisted living community; The Harmar Place Community was chosen as the best skilled nursing and extended care community in the Washington County area for the third consecutive year.

Mid-Ohio Valley residents have participated in The Marietta Times Readers’ Choice contest for more than 15 years. Readers submit completed ballots which are tallied, with winners named in a special section of the newspaper. The Marietta Times publisher said the annual tradition is one that shows the social return on investments each business in the community makes.

“We’re honored to be voted the best assisted living community in the area,” said Glenwood Community Senior Executive Director Linda Dailey. “We take great pride in our community and in the quality of care we provide to our residents. It’s gratifying that members of the local community recognize and appreciate that commitment.”

“The care we provide is person-directed, and our staff focuses on residents’ individual preferences and needs,” added Harmar Place Administrator Sue Boulton. “Staff have close relationships with our residents — we’re like family here. A large percentage of our staff have worked here for many years and their familiar faces offer comfort to our residents.”

A Parkvue resident and her daughter prepare for a sleigh ride.

The Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio, was voted the best senior or assisted living facility in the Readers’ Choice contest sponsored by Tandem Media, the Sandusky Register and the Norwalk Reflector.  For the first time the Sandusky and Norwalk communities combined their annual contests for the Firelands region.

Readers from throughout the Firelands community of northwest Ohio selected the top three candidates, then voted to determine the Best of the Best. More than 12,000 voters collectively cast 160,000 votes across 20,300-plus nominations.

“Earning the top spot shows that the community recognizes and appreciates the quality of care we provide,” said Parkvue Community Marketing Director Laura Nemeth. “It’s been such challenging times throughout the pandemic, but every member of our team has continued to provide outstanding personal service to our residents. We’re grateful to our community and proud to have earned their trust and appreciation.”

The Pilgrim Manor Community in Grand Rapids, Mich., earned top honors in the Health & Wellness Assisted Living in the West Region category in the Michigan’s Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest sponsored by MLive Media Group. Nearly 30,000 votes were cast for winners and finalists in three regions: West, Northeast and Southeast Michigan.

“Our dedicated employees are what makes us stand out,” said Pilgrim Manor Director of Marketing Belinda Werner. “They go above and beyond every day. I volunteered to work in the kitchen one holiday weekend and was so impressed at how staff recognized and honored residents’ personal preferences. I think our community understands the quality of the care and personal support we’re dedicated to providing.”

“One of our residents told us she’d lost her eyeglasses,” added Mara VanOrder, Pilgrim Manor’s assisted living director. “One of our staff members found them in the trash, sanitized them and helped the resident establish a routine to avoid a similarly frustrating incident in the future. We all serve residents with that same level of caring and personal attention, doing the little things that make such a difference even when no one is looking.”

That story exemplifies the spirit of United Church Homes. It’s all about employees understanding what the organization stands for and each employee knowing it’s up to them to make a difference in residents’ lives. It’s truly about contributing to a culture of community, wholeness and peace for UCH residents.

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