Meg Hibbert Contributing writer
Richfield Living representatives cut the ribbon officially opening The Health Center, creating a happy and historic day for the residents who live there.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Chief Executive Officer Cherie Grisso at the June 24 event. “We are so proud to achieve a major objective of our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan in opening The Health Center – Salem Campus which provides a significant shift in the environment of long-term health care.”
She pointed out the new Health Center offers a unique home-like setting, with every resident having a private bedroom, full-service kitchens available and more choices in their daily living routines.
Grisso added it was amazing to see the impact already on the quality of life for long-term care residents.
The move toward today’s care began in 2008 when the Richfield Living Board had the vision to make changes to the former model, that included 315 beds in the nursing building, she said.
The new Health Center has 76 beds and four households, Health Center Administrator Andy Jones pointed out, with a dining room, four-season porch and laundry room available for residents who want to do their own laundry under supervision of staff.
The center is for residents who need a higher level of care.
“Our Health Center residents can control their own days,” Grisso said. “It helps them feel like they are in their own personal home instead of the former institutional model nursing home.”
Richfield Living is the first in Southwest Virginia to offer the household care model, the CEO said.
All Richfield team members are cross trained to run the household, Grisso added.
People could tour the Willow Household after the ribbon cutting. The average age is 82, Grisso said, and average stay three-and-a-half years.
Others who took part in the ceremony included Chief Operations Officer Esteban Duran-Ballen, Roanoke County Supervisors Chair Jason Peters, Roanoke County Catawba District Supervisor Martha Hooker, County Economic Development Director Jill Loope, Richfield Board Chairman Kirtesh Patel and several other board members, and Senior Chaplain Gary Kingery.
The Health Center is in a building that started out as the T. Stuart Payne Center for Assisted Living in 1990. Payne served as general manager from 1964 to 1981. The new Health Center is located at 3719 Knollridge Road in the Glenvar area.
Richfield is a not-for-profit community that is home to 700 residents and 500 employees including a Roanoke campus soon to open. It started in 1934 and was initially named Mercy House. There was a 280-acre farm which supplied fruits and vegetables, raised pigs and chickens and had a small dairy herd to supply milk.
For more information, contact Lisa Clause, Public Information Officer and Senior Director of Marketing and Philanthropy, at LClause@richfieldliving.com. (Last week’s article had a few errors. Here is the correct version.)