COVID-19 and senior care: Why senior living solutions are needed now more than ever

We asked 250 Caregivers and seniors about their thoughts and plans regarding Independent Living (IL) or Assisted Living (AL) looking forward in the next 3 years. The results reveal a lot of truths about the needs and fears of both caregivers and their senior loved ones. The data also suggests that getting the process started early is key so that your loved one doesn’t miss out finding a senior living solution. It also reveals the importance that quality of care, transparent pricing and value play, especial against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some things to think about that can help you make informed choices:

 

 

 

Stephanie Hess Promoted to Senior Vice President of Senior Living Operations

We are pleased to reveal Wallick Communities promoted Stephanie Hess to Senior Vice President of Senior Living Operations. Stephanie will continue to oversee the Company’s senior living sector and maintain her current responsibilities as she transitions from vice president to SVP.

“Stephanie has a long history with Wallick Communities,” said COO Amy Albery. It has been exciting to witness her grow and advance as she adopted multiple roles within our senior living sector over the past several years. Stephanie has the heart to ensure the group’s future destination is with a focus on our residents and the experience to continue to lead Senior Living Operations to the next level.”

Stephanie has over 25 years of long-term healthcare experience. Her career at Wallick Communities began in 2009 when she served as the executive director at Eaglewood Village, a former Wallick-owned community for seniors. For several years, Stephanie oversaw operations at Eaglewood, choosing to remain at the community after it was acquired by another company. During her brief hiatus from Wallick Communities, Stephanie also held leadership roles at Diversicare and AdCare. In 2017, Stephanie returned to Wallick as regional director of operations, being promoted to vice president the following year.

Stephanie received a bachelor’s in long-term health care administration and a master’s in health care administration, both from Ohio University.

Leadership Transition Announcement

Today, with great excitement and anticipation, we are very happy to announce forthcoming leadership changes at Wallick Communities!

Amy Albery is being promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective September 1. This is an interim role for Amy as she prepares to become Wallick’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the fall of 2021.

Amy is uniquely qualified to lead Wallick Communities. She embodies and exudes the values and culture that are central to our organization. In Amy’s nine years at Wallick she has led two of our five business units and has held a leadership role in a third, most recently leading Affordable Housing Operations. She is incredibly bright, an empowering leader for our associates, a consummate team player and has established strong relationships across our industry. Wallick is fortunate to have Amy to guide us into the future.

Wallick is making this transition at a time of strength, with our high-performing leadership team successfully implementing the company’s business strategy and growth plans. Amy’s elevation to the COO position will involve a transitional realignment of the senior leadership team, beginning with those focused on operations and on driving operational efficiency.

Reporting to Amy in her role as COO will be:

  • Paul Koehler, Chief Administrative Officer, who oversees Talent & Culture, Information Technology, Marketing, and Project Management Office (PMO)
  • Stephanie Hess, VP, Senior Living Operations
  • Sarah Malone, SVP, Asset Management
  • Leader TBA, Affordable Housing Operations

Tom Feusse will continue to serve Wallick as its CEO, and then, when Amy becomes CEO, Tom will become Chairman, maintaining his ownership position for the foreseeable future.

Continuing to report to Tom over the next year are:

  • Amy Albery, COO
  • Troy Rambo, CFO (also guiding Wallick’s acquisitions program)
  • John Leonard, SVP, Development and Construction
  • Bill Hinga, Senior Consultant

“I’m excited about this upcoming change for our business. After being in my chair for nearly 15 years, I am delighted that we have the opportunity to promote a proven leader from within the firm. Amy will infuse fresh thought and renewed energy in collaboration with our proven leadership team. Amy is clearly the right person to step in. She always starts with what is most important, an intense focus on our customers – our residents – and on our associates. Then she allows the economics to follow,” said Tom Feusse.

“When I joined Wallick, I was drawn to the idea of working for an organization that could change people’s lives through housing, which affects all aspects of a person’s life. What I found was so much more than what I’d ever imagined. Wallick’s associates are strong, caring and make a difference. I want to make sure we continue to bring out the best in our associates while growing our organization, furthering our mission and maintaining our values,” said Amy Albery.

Wallick’s mission, values and strategy remain unchanged. In their new positions, Tom and Amy, working seamlessly with our talented and dedicated senior leaders, will continue to grow the company, act on our values and fulfill our mission and commitments to all of our residents, associates and investors.

Please join us in congratulating, and supporting, Amy and Tom on their new roles.

Our Response to Racism, Diversity & Inclusion

Sadly and ashamedly, we recognize and acknowledge racism still exists in our society.  We have many Black people working at Wallick and living in our communities.  Many of our associates, residents, and their family members are victims of racism.  They live in fear for themselves and for their children.  However, at Wallick, we are all family.   

For the owners and leaders of Wallick, we believe that we have all been created equal, regardless of where we were born, regardless of our gender, and regardless of the color of our skin.  This belief is ingrained in our values.  And all of us are committed to walk our talk every day.   

We can’t fix this problem alone, but we are committed to being part of the solution. Our first steps within our organization are to listen, understand, and most importantly have more conversations about systemic racism to ensure we take an active role in pursuing equity for all. At our core, we help those in need. Together we will work equally hard to make Wallick a safe place to live and work, now and always, without prejudice.  

OHFA Awards Wallick over $827,000 in Tax Credits

Wallick Communities received $827,540 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) for the financing of Fenner Village Apartments located in Hillsboro, OH. Fenner Village will offer 56 one, two, and three-bedroom units targeting working families in Hillsboro and the rest of Highland County. The $10 million project will offer fully equipped kitchens with dishwashers and garbage disposals, washer/dryer hookups, spacious closets, patios/ balconies, and exterior storage. Project amenities will consist of a playground, ample green space, and a separate community center with a kitchenette, exercise room, computer center, sitting area, and covered patio.

In addition to Wallick, only 36 other developments throughout Ohio were awarded tax credits by OHFA.

Ashford on Broad Hosts Parade for Residents

These past few months have been trying to say the least. Especially for those who are a part of the at-risk population, such as our senior residents. To be safe, many of these residents have had to be apart from their families since March, and if they have been fortunate enough to see a loved one, it was from a lobby window. These unprecedented times are not yet over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find creative ways to support each other and give a little boost to someone who may need it.

On Wednesday, The Ashford on Broad hosted a parade to support its residents during these tough times. Friends, family members, and associates showed off their decorated cars and signs as they cruised through the community, honking and waving at those who live at Broad.

Wallick Gives Frontline Staff Hourly Bonus, Extends Sick Leave

Wallick Communities announced on Thursday, April 9 that it is giving a bonus to all of its frontline, hourly associates who work at its affordable housing and senior living communities.

The hero bonus is from April 4-May 3. It includes maintenance, property management, LPNs, PCAs, housekeeping, food service and other associates caring for Wallick residents. Associates will receive the $2/hour raise for regular, overtime and guaranteed work hours.

“We so appreciate what our frontline associates are doing to care for our residents! It is a tough time for everyone right now, and with everything else going on in their lives, these associates continue to answer the bell, day-after-day. We wanted to say thank you in a more tangible way, and hence the Hero Bonus,” said Wallick CEO Tom Feusse.

In addition to the hero bonus, Wallick continues to create a safe environment and protect its associates and residents during this pandemic by enhancing sanitation practices and adjusting office hours and visitor policies.

Wallick is also amending its associate sick leave policy and new associates’ insurance eligibility due to the pandemic. Associates who are absent due to a COVID-19 infection will receive 75% of their regular pay for up to 10 of their normally scheduled workdays. Newly hired associates will become eligible for health, dental and vision insurance coverage on the first day of the next pay period following their date of hire.

Learn more about Wallick and its career opportunities at www.wallick.com/careers.

Beth Loomis Receives OALA’s Honoring Excellence Award

We are proud to announce Housekeeping Supervisor Beth Loomis from Oakleaf Village of Columbus was recognized by the Ohio Assisted Living Association (OALA) as an Honoring Excellence winner.

This award is given annually to outstanding associates that demonstrate vision, innovation, leadership and compassion in their role by OALA, which represents over 550 licensed Assisted Living Communities. Beth won the award as an Outstanding Housekeeping Supervisor and represents the values the Ohio Assisted Living Association looks for in Honoring Excellence nominees.

“Beth’s career at Oakleaf Village of Columbus began almost 24 years ago in the dietary department. Beth is a team player. Beth does whatever it takes to care for the residents, their apartments, the community as a whole and her co-workers. Care, Character, and Collaboration are Wallick Communities Core Values and Beth works by them daily,” says Dawn Nero, Executive Director at Oakleaf Columbus.

Winners of the award are nominated by their community and selected by a committee of the Ohio Assisted Living Association Board of Trustees.

Associates Volunteer for LifeTown Columbus

LifeTown Columbus is a realistic indoor “city” where students with special needs can learn and practice important life skills in a safe, friendly environment. On Thursday, fourteen associates helped over 60 students K-12 make purchases and interact with LifeTown’s 10 venues, which includes a movie theater, bank, medical center, marketplace, and salon. Students also practiced pedestrian safety using real traffic lights and volunteer police officers.

One of only two in the U.S., LifeTown is a unique opportunity for children with special needs to learn, grow, gain confidence, make choices, and sometimes mistakes, in a safe and supportive environment.

Through Wallick’s volunteer committee, Heart of Service, each associate has one paid day off every year to volunteer at a service event of their choice.

Tidwell, Ashford Residents Join Heart of Service’s Annual Backpack Drive

It’s more than a backpack. It’s a fresh start. 

Wallick’s volunteer committee Heart of Service held its annual backpack drive, but with a twist. In August, the committee had over 1,000 school items delivered to The Ashford on Broad, where residents eagerly awaited to help stuff backpacks for 200 children that live in Wallick’s affordable housing communities. The crew was also joined by associates from Tidwell Group, the company’s financial consulting partner, who donated half of the supplies.  

Heart of Service’s backpack drive is about more than giving kids a pencil and paper to bring to school. Possessing the essential tools to learn establishes the tone of the school year, and possibly what’s left of a student’s academic career. Therefore, to impact those left out of summer back-to-school drives, Heart of Service will deliver the backpacks and school supplies to children at the end of this year.

Thank you to everyone who made the backpack drive possible!

Sturbridge Featured on Good Day Marketplace

Cast and crew from FOX 28’s show Columbus Good Day Marketplace popped over to The Ashford at Sturbridge on Thursday to capture footage for an upcoming segment. Reporter Cameron Fontana had the chance to chat with Stephanie Hess, VP of Senior Living Operations, about how The Ashford at Sturbridge works to provide quality care and living arrangements to seniors in Hilliard, OH.

Wallick Expands Presence to Iowa

In May, Wallick Communities closed on the acquisition of Wapello Woods Apartments, a 46-unit, Section 8 multi-family community in Ottumwa, IA. Wapello Woods is the company’s first community in Iowa and Wallick has partnered with Young Management Corporation, which will oversee operations at the apartments.

Only a short car trip from the Des Moines River, Wapello Woods has a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments and is nestled on a scenic four acres of land.

Congressman Stivers, Senator Kunze Among Others Attend Sturbridge Grand Opening

 

On Tuesday, The Ashford at Sturbridge in Hilliard, OH opened its doors to nearly 100 community members, residents, and business partners for its grand opening celebration. Several state and local officials were in attendance as well.

  • Senator Stephanie Kunze, The Ohio Senate
  • Congressman Steve Stivers, US House of Representatives, 15th District of Ohio
  • Kevin Boyce, Franklin County Commissioner
  • Mayor Don Schonhardt, City of Hilliard

After an official ceremony and ribbon cutting, guests were welcome to tour the new building and meet The Ashford at Sturbridge team.

The Ashford at Sturbridge is Wallick’s third affordable assisted living community. Located on the same campus as Sturbridge Green, one of Wallick’s affordable senior apartment communities, The Ashford at Sturbridge has 124 studio and one-bedroom suites and will serve as an affordable option for seniors in central Ohio searching for a value-driven community where they are not only cared for but cared about.

 

Check out Columbus Business First’s recent article about The Ashford at Sturbridge.

Kentucky Housing Corporation Awards Wallick $1.43 Million in Housing Credits

Recently, the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) awarded Wallick $1.43 million in 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Of those tax credits:

  • $780,000 will be used to develop Cornerstone Crossing, a soon-to-be 50-unit, new affordable senior community in Elsmere, KY.
  • $650,000 will fund the redevelopment of Liberty Manor, one of Wallick’s multifamily affordable communities in Liberty, KY.

Overall, 41 applications were submitted to the Kentucky Housing Corporation and only 18 of those applications received tax credits. In total, Wallick submitted two applications to the KHC in late 2018—both were awarded housing credits.