Tag Archive for: Spotlight Member
Value First is a group purchasing organization (GPO) that provides free, no obligation services for senior living communities. We help to reduce their operational costs through discounted pricing and rebates on food, medical, environmental and office supplies, as well as capital equipment. We are honored to be the exclusive GPO for Masonic Communities and Services.
Value First is owned by LeadingAge and 25 state affiliates. Value First was created by LeadingAge and is the only GPO that’s truly focused on serving the purchasing needs of LeadingAge members based on our extensive experience and knowledge of senior living communities.
As a free benefit for senior living providers, we will conduct a thorough supply chain cost analysis comparing their current monthly spend with Value First’s negotiated pricing. We have contracted vendors in many categories including Food, IT, Maintenance, Medical Supplies, Landscaping, and Environmental Services to name a few. Click on the image below for a summary list of our current suppliers and distributers.
See our other Business Member Spotlights on our News Page!
The challenges and complexities of the U.S. health care and senior services system are real. Trying to navigate the system during a difficult time in one’s life can add additional stress to patients, residents, and their families. To alleviate those pressures, Masonicare, our Connecticut membership branch, created CareConnect Navigator Services.
What are Masonicare’s CareConnect Navigator Services?
Masonicare’s CareConnect Navigator Services — a complimentary program — was designed to help guide you through the process of acquiring the care and services you need. Masonicare strongly promotes freedom of choice and gives recommendations so you can make the most informed decision about where you receive services.
Our CareConnect Navigator, Audrey Grove, can walk you through your financial commitments, insurance coverage and transitions of care. If your relative is the one who is entering the health care system, Audrey can help you understand where your loved one belongs in the array of health and wellness options.
Audrey has dedicated her career to working with older Americans as they transition through retirement and senior living. She facilitates support groups and coordinates a statewide educational program for seniors, working with community partners to help craft better resources and opportunities for them.
Who is Eligible for the CareConnect Navigator Services?
Like all Masonicare services, this program is open to all. From referrals and recommendations to education and support, the CareConnect Navigator is available to assist you with accessing the services, care and support you or your loved one needs.
What’s Next for Masonicare?
The MasoniCARECONNECT app is launching this September for residents in our Wallingford Independent Living community. The app offers streamlined access to the Masonicare continuum as well as the ability to easily take advantage of social and wellness programs.
Plans are already in place to expand the app to other locations/communities, as well as give access to families, employees and future residents.
In the meantime, you can contact our CareConnect Navigator directly at 888.332.0033 or via email at CareConnect@masonicare.org.
For information on Masonic Membership, visit our Membership page.
Meet our Member Spotlight of the Month, the Texas Masonic Retirement Center! With an expansive and comprehensive campus and plenty of programs to keep our seniors healthy, happy, and comfortable, we’re proud to have members like them. Read more about their No Mason Left Behind Project and about life at the Texas Masonic Retirement Community below.
Texas Masonic Retirement Community
Luxury High-Rise, Cottage Duplexes, or Cozy Apartments
At Texas Masonic Retirement Community, you’ll enjoy the finest accommodations with pricing and payment options to fit your lifestyle. We also offer a special Nursing Care Area to all qualified Texas Masons, relative of Masons, and affiliated Masonic Organizations.
All residents enjoy our expansive array of services including delicious meals, weekly housekeeping, onsite activities, offsite entertainment, shopping excursions, and more. All amenities and services are offered to every resident, regardless of the choice of living arrangements.
We’re proud to offer luxury high-rise living with a variety of floor plans for one-bedroom, two-bedrooms, and efficiency apartments. The high-rise buildings are conveniently connected by enclosed hallways to the dining area and community rooms. No need to get out in the weather to enjoy meals and activities with other residents.
We also offer a wide variety of apartments in our Historic Main Building. These cozy and convenient units are the most affordable option and provide direct access to the dining area and community gathering rooms.
Looking for a choice more like a personal residence? Consider our Cottage Duplex accommodations. These homes are just steps away from the dining area and all activities–yet give you added options like a garage and patio.
No Mason Left Behind Project
We like to share stories of our residents helped by this program in order to help you understand the tremendous difference your donation makes for those who may be facing desperate poverty, unsafe living conditions, or other difficult choices. Read Judy’s story below.
Mother of a Mason Helped By Donations Like Yours – Health Problems, Cannot Live Alone, Unaffordable Housing
Judy, age 80, answered a phone call from her frantic daughter two years ago.
“Mom, I’ve called over and over! Your personal alarm paged me and an ambulance is on the way. What is going on?”
“I had completely blacked out,” explains Judy. “We figured out later that I had gotten up in the night, fallen, and hit my head on the shower door. Just before I became unconscious, I must have pressed my personal alarm button.”
However, the alarm service routed the ambulance to a wrong address. With directions from Judy’s daughter, first responders eventually arrived and transported Judy to the hospital. After a few days recovering from the ordeal, she learned the new direction her life would take.
“The doctor told me I couldn’t live alone any longer. It was just too dangerous. I looked into senior living in Florida. The prices were far beyond anything I could afford. Then my son, Charles Powell, a Master Mason living in Mansfield, Texas, said, ‘Well, mother, I know you need a safe place to live. Let’s see if we can get you into the Texas Masonic Retirement Community (TMRC). They accept relatives at no charge, if you qualify for eligibility.’ ”
With approval of her application, Judy moved into TMRC in November 2020. If she chooses, Judy may live the rest of her life in her cozy private apartment at no cost. This includes all meals, activities, medical care, and more.
“I’ve had two strokes since I’ve been here,” says Judy. “They’ve taken great care of me through it all.”
A woman of strength and purpose, Judy raised three children. She added to the family income as a waitress, cook, and in other food service positions. With her children grown and settled, Judy decided to see the world—as a semi-truck driver.
“I bought my own rig and worked as an owner/operator pulling 18-wheeler trailers up to 53 feet long. I drove in 48 states and Canada. People here love to hear my stories!”
Although she has significant health care challenges, Judy zips around on her scooter with a bright smile.
“I get up every morning and thank God I have place to call home. I go and I do. Tomorrow night we’re going to Cleburne for a Marananth meeting. It’s great living here!”
The No Mason Left Behind Project helps provide older Texas Masons and their qualified loved ones with all-inclusive 24 hour a day/7 days a week accommodations at Texas Masonic Retirement Community–including medical services and nursing care. The cost of these benefits exceeds $2.5 million annually.
Want to make a donation to the No Mason Left Behind Project?
You can use our secure online donation service or print out and mail in a donation form. We look forward to paying tribute to your kindness and benevolence. A complete list of recognition awards and amenities is included at YourTMRC.org/donate.
Check out more of MCSA’s incredible Member Spotlights on our News Page!
Whether 1,000 or 100,000 Freemasons are on the roster, fulfilling the Masonic obligation to care for members of the Masonic Family is the heartbeat of Freemasonry, even if it looks different across jurisdictional lines. The partnership between The Grand Lodge of Oregon and The Order of the Eastern Star has endured for over a century, displaying a committed dedication to members’ well-being. Their shared objective of providing comprehensive care and support to the aging population has evolved to address the changing needs of seniors, younger members, and their families.
For over a century, the Masonic and Eastern Star Home of Oregon, now known as The Jennings McCall Retirement Community, has been a source of comfort and care for the Masonic Family. Throughout the years, it has transitioned into a more modern facility and the original Home now serves as a local boutique hotel, benefitting the community as well as the Oregon Masonic charities.
As the need for additional care options arose, MasonicAid was launched in 2010 to provide personalized support and promote holistic well-being. This includes outreach services such as in-home care, resource referral, case management, and financial assistance. While The Jennings McCall Retirement Community is now open to the public, MasonicAid continues to play a crucial role in extending support to the Masonic Family no matter where they live. Through forged connections with local organizations, medical professionals, and community partners, MasonicAid ensures clients have access to the right care and support they require.
In this regard, the hybrid model emerges as an exceptional approach that blends the best of multiple worlds. It is a shining example of what organizations with a shared vision can achieve, empowering members to live with confidence, security, and a strong sense of belonging.
To learn more about MasonicAid and the other branches of the Masonic Communities and Services Association, fill out our contact form on our website.
At the Masonic Homes of California, our Member Spotlight of the Month, a period of rapid growth has the organization poised for a bright future.
A Need for Change
Back in 2018, Gary Charland, the president and CEO of the Masonic Homes of California, packed each member of his board of directors into golf carts and took them on an impromptu tour of the senior community’s campus in the East Bay town of Union City. It wasn’t pretty. “I specifically made sure we hit every bump in the road,” Charland says with a chuckle, and there were plenty to hit. He also pointed out the things that were missing—namely, sidewalks and walkways for pedestrians. On a campus known for its natural beauty, there wasn’t an easy way for residents to enjoy the outdoors, and Charland made sure board members noticed that, too.
Then, he brought them inside, where he pointed out cracked tiles and wasted space – he was unsparing in his tour. Finally, he turned to the challenge of caring for an aging population and what it meant for the Masonic Homes of California for the next 10, 20, or 100 years. In fact, Charland returned to a phrase he’d learned from several past grand masters: “The Masonic Homes is the jewel in the crown of California Freemasonry. Since its founding in 1898, the clinical care, culture, and support services offered through the Masonic Homes have been among the finest in the industry. But all that good work depends on infrastructure. And that needed major upgrades; the jewel needs polishing.”
Efforts Paid Off: A New Masonic Homes of California
Now, as Charland steps down as CEO and the Masonic Homes celebrates its 125th anniversary, the shine has most definitely returned. Charland’s retirement this summer comes on the heels of the completion of a long-gestating capital improvement plan to not only modernize the organization’s two senior community campuses in Union City and Covina (in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles), but to recalibrate its service offerings for the current and future needs of the membership.
This summer’s double milestone is also an opportunity to reflect on just how much the Masonic Homes of California have evolved under Charland’s decade-plus stewardship. Among the notable changes since he took over have been:
- The opening in 2022 of the Pavilion at the Masonic Homes in Union City and the planned opening this fall of the Covina Health Center, both of which feature 32 beds designed for those requiring skilled nursing or memory-loss care. By providing those services on-campus for the first time, couples living at the Masonic Homes will never need to be separated if one of their health needs require specialized care. Both projects were made possible through a three-year “Let’s Write the Future” fundraising campaign by the California Masonic Foundation.
- The completion of a five-year, $115 million Campus Master Plan in Union City, which included the complete renovation of the northern wing of the Adams Building (independent and assisted living) and Wollenberg Building (assisted living and memory care), the construction of new roads, walking paths, the repaving of the Sedam Plaza, and landscaping throughout the campus. Thanks to the recently completed renovations, the Union City campus has raised its capacity by 52 beds, most of which are dual-licensed for independent or assisted-living. The campus has also increased its share of beds set aside for memory care from just eight to 46 and, systemwide, there’s been a 58 percent increase in capacity.
- The exponential growth of the Masonic Center for Youth and Families, a mental health and wellness service that has grown from serving approximately 150 clients per year in 2015 to more than 1,000 per year, nearly all remotely, during the pandemic. In addition to its work with Masonic families and members of the Masonic youth orders, MCYAF also partners with several school districts and other public agencies to provide services for young people and – thanks to a recent Medicaid approval – now offers mental-health programs to seniors living at the Masonic Homes.
- The founding of the Lodge Outreach Program, beginning in 2011, in which members of California Masonic lodges are trained in the fundamentals of social work to reach out to their membership to help connect them to services available through the Masonic Senior Outreach Services (MSOS) or Masonic Family Outreach Services (MFOS) programs. The Lodge Outreach Program now has representatives in every Masonic district of the state, helping connect hundreds of California Masons and their families with referrals, advice, care management, and in many cases temporary emergency funds.
- The opening in 2020 of a new Shared Housing option for seniors in Covina, open to Masons aged 60 and up and able to live independently. The low-cost cohousing arrangement provides much-needed housing for those on a fixed income.
- The development of the Transitions rehabilitative services program in Union City—the first offering from the Masonic Homes to be open to the general public as a fee-for-service. Transitions offers those recovering from surgery, heart attack, or other serious medical issues with 24-hour skilled nursing in a setting with hotel-style amenities including private bathrooms. In 2022, Transitions was named a top rehab facility by U.S. News and World Report.
- The founding and growth of a first-of-its-kind, five-part Stepping Stones memory care program. Through Stepping Stones, residents at the Masonic Homes have access to memory care programs designed for every step of memory loss—including the very earliest stages—that have been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia by years.
- The opening in 2011 of the Acacia Creek retirement community in Union City, a market-rate, sister organization of the Masonic Homes offering high-end senior independent-living apartments to the general public.
Under Charland’s leadership, the Masonic Homes has also become a much more visible fixture in the local community. Seniors at the Masonic Homes and Acacia Creek regularly volunteer off-campus, and the campuses are open to the public for yearly events including SummerFest and HarvestFest and a beloved holiday tree-lighting.
Turning the Page: Terry Quigley, the New CEO
Beginning July 1, Terry Quigley, MSW, NHA will begin as chief executive officer and president. Quigley comes to the Masonic Homes with an extensive background managing mission-driven human services organizations and CCRCs, including through Episcopal Communities and Services in Southern California, where she oversaw assisted-living and affordable housing communities serving more than 700 residents. Quigley has also led operations at Shea Family Care and the Cloisters of La Jolla Skilled Nursing Facility in San Diego.
As the Masonic Homes of California celebrates its sesquicentennial and salutes Charland’s decade-plus of service to its mission, it looks to a particularly bright future.
Meet Our June Member Spotlight, Three Pillars Senior Living Communities!
Masonic Villages has a variety of different campuses across the US with specialties that serve our senior communities. Our Wisconsin Masonic Home’s Three Pillars Senior Living Communities span across Dousman, WI with 5 different residence centers that each focus on unique care plans. These centers include:
- Independent Living – Village On The Square
- Assisted Living & Memory Care – Riverside Lodge Assisted Living
- Rehabilitation – Hickory Suites
- Skilled Nursing – Masonic Health Care Center
- Catered Assisted Living – Compass Point
An Exciting Expansion
Just recently, it was announced that Three Pillars Senior Living Communities will be adding 8 new residence centers to their neighborhood in a variety of garden home, courtyard, loft, and villa styles centered around a Town Center. All living centers and residents will have access to the Town Center, which will include:
- Casual Dining
- Supper Club
- Performing Arts Center
- Social Connection Spaces
- Walking/Biking Trails
- Fitness Center
- Dog Park
- Bark River Access
This campus expansion seeks to take the change in the needs of the retirement community in stride and meet them as they come with the same high-quality services delivered by trusted, compassionate staff and volunteers.
To learn more about the upcoming groundbreaking in the Fall of 2023, as well as the other recent modernizations and additions that have been made to the other existing neighborhoods, you can attend one of Three Pillars’ Informational Sessions or download their brochure via their website!
These healthcare-based living residence centers are part of the Masonic Community’s efforts to deconstruct the stereotypes surrounding age, care, and the options that are available outside of the traditional retirement living sphere. Learn more about Three Pillars Senior Living Communities on their website under their “Our Story” tab, with the History,News, and more at the click of a button!
Want to become a member of the Masonic Community? See about a membership!