Connecting Communities


Trending news from and about UMA members


 Otterbein Transfers Land for Outdoor Sports Complex Project in Lebanon

 LEBANON – On Monday, October 2nd, Otterbein transferred 107 acres of their Lebanon land to Warren County for the long awaited outdoor sports complex. It is anticipated that there is a potential to start moving dirt this November.  This construction will mark the first development in the “Union Village” plan.

The goal of Otterbein’s long-term “Union Village” design is to create a high-quality village on the undeveloped 1,200 acres of land owned by Otterbein that preserves the very strong sense of community and values Otterbein holds, and safeguard against unplanned and undesirable developments. This project will be a planned community for all generations and associated educational, health care and entertainment opportunities.

For more information call: Gary Horning, 513-933-5448


Shell Point Retirement Community post-Hurricane Irma update from Martin Schappell, President

“we had power restored last night so our email capability is back!  Everyone here at Shell Point, residents and staff, are all doing well.  The team did an amazing job of keeping our residents safe and well cared for.  We are fortunate that there was no property damage other than a number of large trees down on the property.  All in all, we fared very well.  Thanks for your concern and prayers.”

Shell Point Retirement Community is an EAGLE Accredited organization.


United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation receives $1 million Capital Grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Chelsea, MI, September 14, 2017 – The UMRC Foundation has been awarded a $1 million grant from Maryland-based funder, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. This one-year Capital Grant will support a new addition to double the size and capacity of the existing Huron Valley PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) Day Health Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Huron Valley PACE serves low-income older adults in southeast Michigan, ages 55 and over, who are eligible for nursing home care, but are able to live safely and independently in their homes and communities with the help of PACE services.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation,” says UMRC Foundation President, Wendy Brightman. “The Weinberg Foundation is known nationally and internationally as a champion for vulnerable older adults. The support of the Weinberg Foundation highlights the important work UMRC and Huron Valley PACE are doing to increase the number of seniors we can serve and to broaden the services we provide for low-income older adults in Washtenaw, Monroe, and surrounding counties. We are pleased to receive this award which will name The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Day Health Center.”

Huron Valley PACE Executive Director Rick Bluhm adds, “Since opening in 2014, Huron Valley PACE has grown from seven initial participants to over 160 today. As the population of older adults continues to grow, it is critical that we increase access to the highly coordinated and comprehensive services PACE offers, helping them to live independently in their own homes and communities. We are grateful to the Weinberg Foundation for helping make this possible.”

PACE is a proven, cost-effective alternative to nursing home care, designed to specifically meet the social, medical, and supportive needs of low-income, nursing home eligible adults ages 55 and over. At the Huron Valley PACE Day Health Center, an interdisciplinary team of professionals provides participants with a “one-stop” shop model for all their healthcare needs.

“With everything that PACE offers to participants, who pay nothing out-of-pocket, it also saves the state of Michigan approximately 40% over traditional nursing home care,” says Brightman. “It is truly a win-win for older adults and our communities.”


Building on a foundation of more than 100 years of service, United Methodist Retirement Communities is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that promotes the wellness, dignity and independence of older adults, by providing high quality, innovative and compassionate senior residential care services across Southeast Michigan.|734.433.1000 

The mission of Huron Valley PACE is to enhance the lives and independence of our participants by providing state-of-the-art geriatric health and community-based services. Its vision is to serve as a local, regional and national resource in the provision of state-of-the-art geriatric health and community-based services that recognize the dignity, independence and quality of life for older adults wishing to remain in their homes.|734.572.5777 

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the United States and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enabling an individual to live as independently as possible. Within that focus, emphasis is placed on serving older adults and the Jewish community.|410.654.8500 


Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices Designated Employer of Choice by LeadingAge Ohio

Lebanon, Ohio — Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices was named an Employer of Choice by LeadingAge Ohio for 2017-2018. The award recognizes providers of aging services who demonstrate leadership in employee development and engagement and meet stringent workforce development criteria.

“It is an honor to be recognized for this award,” said Jill Wilson, President/CEO of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices. “Our partners [employees] are the life blood of our organization, critical in every way. I am glad we have provided a positive culture and commitment to excellence. When partners are happy our residents feel that and it creates a better experience for everyone.”

This is the inaugural year for the Employer of Choice program, which awards gold, silver, and bronze-level designations. Otterbein received awards in the Gold and Bronze levels. Gold winners are Otterbein St. Marys, and Otterbein Portage Valley. Bronze winners include Otterbein Cridersville, Otterbein North Shore, Otterbein Maineville, Otterbein Middletown, Otterbein Monclova, Otterbein Perrysburg and Otterbein Springboro. Most Otterbein locations received recognition with the exception of the newest facilities not open long enough for evaluation. There were no silver winners this year. In addition to Otterbein, two other organizations received the gold designation, while 23 others received bronze. Regardless of level, this recognition is very prestigious as it pools from the 400 plus Leading Age Ohio members.

“Through the certification program, we want to demonstrate our members’ commitment to being responsible, respectful employers who value their employees,” said Kathryn Brod, President and CEO of LeadingAge Ohio. “Our hope is that the Employer of Choice certification becomes a beacon to prospective employees, residents, and clients that our members strive for excellence.”

LeadingAge Ohio is a non-profit trade association that represents approximately 500 long-term care organizations and hospices, as well as those providing ancillary health care and housing services, in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities. The continuum of care reflected by the member organizations serve an estimated 400,000 elderly Ohioans annually and employ more than 35,000 persons statewide.

Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices is a faith-based non-profit health and human services ministry related to the East Ohio and West Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church. Otterbein has five full-service retirement communities, nine skilled nursing and rehabilitation neighborhoods, a home health agency, and hospice care.


Facebook Update from The Methodist Home for Children and Youth

Our friends from Florida headed home today. Thank you to each of you who blessed us with donations. They were able to attend the Mercer game as well as enjoy a dinner at Nu-Way.

We were honored to not only bless the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home this weekend but also each of our campuses as they sheltered in Macon during the storm. We were also able to help feed our neighbors at Magnolia Manor today for lunch as they are also without power. Praying for safety as we begin the cleanup process!

Tuesday, 9/12/17: MAGNOLIA MANOR

Magnolia Manor Corporate Office, Americus, GA, September 12, 2017, 4:00 pm – We are pleased to report that all residents who evacuated to our other campuses are doing well. Now we are turning our attention to repatriating everyone to their campus homes on the coast.

Reports are that our Richmond Hill campus seems to have been spared damage. Unless we discover otherwise, residents should be able to return after 1:00 pm tomorrow (Wednesday).
The logistics of returning everyone to St. Simons Island and St. Marys will be as challenging as the evacuation. At this time, both are without power. After power is restored and we have been notified by authorities that it is safe to return, we will send teams to assess the damage. At this time, we have no idea when that might be.  Read more here.

To our evacuees and family members, know you have been in our thoughts and prayers. We will continue asking for God’s blessings and protection for you in the days ahead.


Storm Updates: Hurricane Irma

We continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Shell Point still does not have electricity. We are waiting for FPL to restore power. There is no indication, however, when service will return. Lack of electricity is our number one issue at this time. Fortunately, we have electrical generators in our assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

Thursday, 9/7/2017: Florida United Methodist Children’s Home

Facebook Update from Florida United Methodist Children’s Home

After much contemplation and planning, and considering the unprecedented nature of Hurricane Irma’s size and strength, we felt it best for the safety of our children to evacuate our Enterprise campus. Our long time friends and partners at Methodist Children’s Home South GA, located in Macon, have opened their hearts and homes to our children. Our children, along with plenty of staff, are en route now and should be arriving later this evening. Our thanks go out to everyone at Methodist Children’s Home for being there when we needed them!

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, car, shoes, outdoor and nature


Irma and a place of Sanctuary

“We are blessed to be able to help our neighbors and share our home… The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home is en route in a 22 vehicle caravan to our Macon campus. We will shelter and serve 122 children and staff over the next five to seven days.  It is “all hands on deck.”  Our support staff are willing to work extra hours to help prepare, feed and care for our special guests over the next week or so.

Additionally, we will bring our boys and some staff up from our campus in St. Marys to shelter in Macon.  If our Valdosta campus needs to evacuate, they will go to our Home in Americus.

Certainly, we appreciate your prayers and support.”

Thursday, 9/7/17: MAGNOLIA MANOR 

Press Release – Magnolia Manor to evacuate coastal facilities ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Magnolia Manor Corporate Office, Americus, GA, September 7, 2017– Out of an abundance of caution and as part of our emergency plan, residents of Magnolia Manor’s Richmond Hill, St. Marys, and St. Simons Island campuses are beginning the evacuation process. Shortly after Noon today, four trucks will head to our coastal campuses to load up necessary equipment and medical supplies. Independent Living (IL) and Assisted Living (AL) residents at Richmond Hill, St. Marys, and St. Simons Island will be evacuated tomorrow. Nursing Center residents at St. Simons Island will evacuate Saturday morning.

Richmond Hill residents will be evacuated to our Americus campus; St. Marys residents to our Moultrie campus; St. Simons Island IL and AL to our Americus campus; and St. Simons Island Nursing center residents to our Americus, Columbus, and Buena Vista campuses. All will remain until weather conditions improve and it is safe to return.

Family members are being contacted by Magnolia Manor staff to provide details of the evacuation and where their loved one will be transported. Additional family member contact will be coordinated through Magnolia Manor of Americus at 229.924.9352, extension 4053.

More details are located on this Hurricane/Press Release page.

Wednesday, 9/6/17: MISSION CENTRAL

Hurricane Relief and Preparedness

Many in our UMA and UMC ministry families have been heavily involved in hurricane relief and rescue efforts in Texas and Louisiana. One UMA member, Mission Central, prepares year- round to assist in disaster response and is now making a significant contribution to relief efforts by providing hygiene kits and cleaning buckets.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and in advance of Hurricane Irma, Rob Visscher, Executive Director of Mission Central, says this ministry and its staff is working hard and continues to be “focused on operating in readiness”.

Mission Central is the mission warehouse affiliate of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. They have a network of 38 HUBs in operation, where volunteers assemble hygiene kits and cleaning buckets throughout the year to be distributed by UMCOR in the greatest areas of need. To find out more or to make donations to their disaster response, mission outreach and education ministry, go to their website:

Trivia: There are 36 cleaning buckets to 1 pallet, and 52 pallets to a truck, for a total of 1872 buckets. Small things come together to make a big difference, in the name of Christ!