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Presbyterian Village North (PVN) is pleased to announce a promotion and a new hire. With more than 40 years of experience in senior living, Michael Sims, MBA, LNFA, has been named associate executive director. Bridgette Scott, who has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry, has been named director of healthcare services. The executive director at Presbyterian Village North, Ron Kelly, made the announcements. Sims and Scott will work together to provide visionary leadership, fulfill administrative and operational duties and help manage teams to ensure excellent resident care. Both of them are both committed to staying informed about current policy changes and trends facing long-term care.


“We are delighted to welcome Bridgette to the team and to promote Mike so that he may continue serving our community in an outstanding way,” said Kelly. “They both have stellar track records and will ensure that we maintain our reputation for providing cutting-edge, evidence-based healthcare for older adults. Both are compassionate and caring and understand our mission to enrich the lives of those we serve by extending exceptional services in a faith-based culture. I look forward to working closely with them as we prepare to open a new state-of-the-art 60-bed transitional care unit next year.”


Prior to his role as associate executive director, Sims served as interim administrator at PVN. Sims has over 42 years of experience working in senior living and in continuing care retirement communities. Sims’s mother was a director of nursing at a community in Galveston when he was growing up, and he attributes her career to being the inspirational reason for choosing his own path in senior living. He has a bachelor of business administration from Lamar University and an MBA from Baylor University. In his role, Sims will oversee the day-to-day operations of assisted living and skilled nursing at PVN.


“I am looking forward to being a part of all the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for Presbyterian Village North,” said Sims. “Our existing services and amenities are fantastic, and we have a multi-million dollar expansion in the works that will make our community an even better place for residents. I really enjoy working with seniors on a day-to-day basis. I delight in hearing their stories, where they have been, what they have done and any advice they have to share. I look forward to leading and growing our successful team, in which everyone comes together to deliver quality and compassionate care to residents.”


For Sims, every encounter with each resident is of the utmost importance. He believes that building strong and positive relationships with residents and their family members is a top priority. He says it is essential to expand your knowledge, build your experience, listen well and cooperate with others. Sims is dedicated to bringing all the talents of his team together in one focused direction.


Scott has been in healthcare for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PVN, Scott served as the administrator for a continuing care retirement community overseeing senior housing, assisted living and skilled nursing. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in recreational studies from the University of Florida and an MBA in health administration from the University of Dallas. She is a Licensed Nursing Facility Administrator. Her background in recreation therapy and as a licensed nursing home administrator at a multi-level senior living community has provided her with clinical, managerial and operational insight to impact and serve residents holistically.


“My goals are to foster a culture of collaboration and respect and to communicate the overall vision and objectives of the organization to teammates in a manner that translates into measurable performance outcomes,” said Scott. “I have a passion for serving seniors through individualized, mission-based care. I am an active listener, am approachable and welcome concerns and suggestions. In addition, I make it a point to attend resident council meetings, have an open-door policy, make rounds daily to become a familiar face to residents, attend community-led events and  am a member of the Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Program, all of which help me grow to provide better leadership. I enjoy working at PVN because the commitment of the executive team to provide excellent service and quality care to residents is unparalleled. I also enjoy daily interactions with residents, who have unique life stories and experiences to share that demonstrate faith, perseverance, grace, joy and love throughout every phase of life. Their zest for an active, healthy lifestyle and personal commitment to self-directed quality of life inspire me.”


Director of healthcare services is a new role at PVN. Scott will be responsible for assisting the associate executive director in overseeing health care services. She will lead the community’s efforts to continuously improve patient and resident satisfaction in health care, especially as it undergoes a substantial expansion. Her responsibilities will include managing the admissions process, life enrichment, customer satisfaction and implementation of operational systems for efficiencies which includes full implementation of Electronic Health Record (EHR).

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For some veterans, attending one ceremony on Veterans Day each year is not enough. Some would prefer getting together with other veterans more frequently. Wanting to have monthly opportunities to meet and discuss veteran aviation history and have a time of camaraderie with likeminded people who have similar interests and life experiences, four World War II pilots started Happy Warriors in the mid-1980s. The group, which includes several Presbyterian Village North residents, now meets monthly at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field to discuss aviation military history, and the residents truly benefit from participating.


“The group is so popular that Presbyterian Village North arranges for transportation for residents to attend the meetings,” said John Luckadoo, former emcee for Happy Warriors and a resident of Presbyterian Village North. “The meetings are held on the fourth Friday of each month at 11:00 a.m. Attendees bring their lunches and we share stories while we eat, and at noon we head to the auditorium for a special program led by a fellow member or guest speaker. I have spoken on my aviation experiences at quite a few meetings. Happy Warriors has influenced my life greatly. Having led the group for many years, I recently passed the baton to Mike Ellis, an avid WWII history fan.”


Presbyterian Village North (PVN) is home to more than 85 veterans, plus another 55 ladies who are surviving spouses of veterans. There’s a gold mine of history within PVN. In addition to arranging transportation for veterans to and from Happy Warriors, the senior living community will host a special Veterans Day celebration which will start at 10:30 a.m. on November 11th. Colonel Robert Lanham, former Mayor of Fightertown, will be the guest speaker. Ron Kelly, executive director for Presbyterian Village North, and three veterans will also speak during the program. The JROTC from Franklin Junior High will be presenting the colors. More than 200 people in the Dallas area attended this event last year, and they expect higher attendance this year.


“As the years roll by, we are rapidly losing more and more veterans who served during WWII, and pretty soon we won’t have the opportunity to hear their stories firsthand,” said Luckadoo. “That’s why Happy Warriors and Veterans Day celebrations are so important. We are preserving living history; we are continuing to share the stories and let younger generations know of the sacrifices that were made to ensure the freedom they enjoy today. They have a great appreciation for what we did and delight in hearing our stories. We have given presentations to church groups, school children, Rotary Clubs and many more who wanted to hear about our service experiences. Happy Warriors is free and open to the public because of the Flight Museum’s generosity – for which we are eternally grateful. We welcome anyone who has experience with or an appreciation for WWII history. If you simply want to learn more about military history and hear captivating stories you have never heard before, we welcome you too.”


Luckadoo was a B17 pilot in the 8th Air Force in England during WWII, and he served for a little more than six years in the U.S. Air Force. He learned to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that when your country calls on you to serve, you are obligated to do so. He recalls being expected to put his life on the line, not having any say about his destiny and learning to acknowledge that whatever the circumstances dictated, you just had to respond. Luckadoo completed 25 missions, a rare feat seeing as the average lifespan for a B17 airman was 11 missions. Once he completed 25 missions, he was allowed to come back to the United States and became a flight instructor to help other young pilots learn how to survive in combat. He says that there was not any rhyme or reason for one person to survive and another to die. It was simply a matter of luck−hence Luckadoo’s nickname “Lucky.”


“Every time we went out on a mission we did not know if we were coming home,” said Luckadoo. “Your first time in battle is a sobering experience, as you instantly learned that you would face death on a daily basis. We were all around 21 years old, and we had to grow up and mature rapidly. These experiences change you, and you are never quite the same as a result. We went out every day in mass formation trying to prove the theory of strategic bombing, which was actually pretty foolhardy considering our formidable enemy opposition. We did not face good odds. Each mission I would watch my buddies die around me, and I kept surviving. I went through 25 missions dealing with this kind of pain. I had to convince myself that what I was doing was worthwhile, it was patriotic, and it was necessary because Nazi ideology could not be endured, and it was up to us to step up and end it.”


John Luckadoo has received a Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and last year, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his service. He has kept a scrapbook from his service with a number of pictures of his crew and his days spent flying in England. He also has photos of combat, as well as his flight jackets and flight suit. In 2012 he was invited to accompany 12 Air Force Academy cadets to visit the old U.S. Air Force airbases in England and then to Normandy for the 68th anniversary of D-Day. In 2014 he also attended the 70th anniversary of D-Day and was an honored guest in the household of a French family for nine days. He also participated in the Freedom Flight, hosted by American Airlines, which took 60 veterans and 60 school children to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII war memorials. Currently, Luckadoo volunteers at the Historical Aviation Collections at The University of Texas at Dallas, furthering his knowledge of military aviation.


Stories and experiences, both sobering and lighthearted, are shared at the Happy Warrior meetings. Around 100 to 125 people usually attend each meeting, though the rosters have exceeded more than 300 attendees in years past. During the 1990s, the Happy Warriors began meeting at Wyatt’s Cafeteria on Forest and Marsh when the organization’s membership grew hugely. The participants would go through the line, file into a private dining room and dive into WWII aviation history. When the cafeteria closed they began meeting in the Parish Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church on Hillcrest and Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway. Eventually the group ended up convening at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in 2005, as one of the members had a connection there and felt the location to be more appropriate for their large group. Luckadoo was the master of ceremonies for several years as the group has no formal organization, but has recently passed the baton to Mike Ellis.


“I was honored when John approached me about leading the Happy Warriors group,” said Ellis. “I collaborate with Chuck Hodge, an oral historian, to schedule programming and guest speakers. Since I took over we have decided to open the invitation for any enthusiast to join. A few of us are not veterans, but we have a true appreciation for what these vets have done. Their stories are both riveting and captivating. My father served in WWII and Korea, and he served as lead police escort the day President Kennedy was assassinated, so I can relate through his experiences.”


During its last meeting, the Happy Warriors talked about daylight high-level precision bombing using the Norden bombsight and how effective it was compared to the number of lives lost. Luckadoo and Harvey Cragon, author of How the Norden Bombsight Works, a book written on the Norden bombsight, and B17 bombardier Pat Spillman, led the discussion. For the October meeting, Carroll Glines, who has written more than 30 books on aviation and WWII, will lead the program. He is an official Honorary Jimmy Doolittle raider and was picked by Jimmy Doolittle to serve as his official biographer for the Doolittle Raiders group.


“To be able to sit down and visit with people who unselfishly served to maintain the freedom of this country is a very special opportunity,” said Ellis. “These vets are living military history, and their experiences can teach us how to face problems in the future. Honestly, the most rewarding part of Happy Warriors is the fellowship we all experience by spending time with quality, likeminded individuals. These men had to face devastating circumstances daily, and they did it with pride. It’s fun to “shoot the breeze,” and all kinds of stories get told. As we bring in other generations it is fascinating to hear how technology, design, training and policies have all changed in regard to aviation over the years.”


“Life is about little connections, and we recognize how meaningful it is for these vets and history buffs to come together to reminisce and swap tales,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “We coordinate a bus trip every month to make sure that residents interested in attending Happy Warriors have a stress-free way to attend the meetings. We enjoy hearing their stories, and we know others delight in hearing their experiences first-hand as well. We have more than 85 veterans who reside at PVN, plus another 55 ladies who are surviving spouses of veterans. There’s a gold mine of history within our community. We are eager to commemorate their service and celebrate their milestones at our annual Veterans Day celebration.”

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This fall, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) is hosting “Fit for the Fall,” a month-long employee fitness challenge. The challenge has started and teams are excitedly competing for Fitbits, glory and personal wellness goals. The program will run from October 5th through October 30th. Daily challenges and extra activities are offered for bonus points. While there is a personal component to the program, the team-oriented aspect helps team members encourage each other to stay committed, push themselves a little harder and keep up the good work. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper of Dallas’ Cooper Clinic says that briskly walking or exercising just five days a week for 30 minutes can increase your life expectancy up to nine years. Connie Scott, executive assistant at PVN, is an avid 5K participant, and she is putting in the extra effort to try to score a Fitbit.  


“I would love to win a Fitbit, so I’m doing all the bonus activities I can, and I’m pushing my team members to do so as well,” said Scott. “I’m excited that they gave us a schedule that is easy to follow and can be individualized. Here at PVN we’re fortunate because they give us access to the gym, employee fitness classes, nutritious food items and wellness trainers. I’m thoroughly impressed by our wellness department and have been using its amenities for quite some time. On Tuesdays we have personal time with trainers and get to partake in exercises such as Zumba, country western Zumba and strength training. The country western version was quite a spin! Once the expansion project is complete, our new wellness center will be quite a treat. The best is yet to come.”


Scott enjoys the toning classes in addition to the energetic Zumba ones. When she’s not at the gym or at work, she is walking a two-mile trail near her home or dancing at dance venues that cater to rock and roll and country or any place with a good live band. She was a cheerleader in high school and claims that the active lifestyle she learned then has kept her fueled her entire life. In addition to dance, Scott runs/walks at least one 5K a month. Coming up, she will participate in the Heroes Run with her two granddaughters, and they will dress up as Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl. She says that these 5Ks add an entertaining form of fitness to her life. Her favorite fun run is the Watermelon 5K in McKinney.


Scott is happy that the activities she enjoys earn her points for PVN’s fitness challenge. For each thirty minutes of exercise completed, team members receive five points. Employees are allowed to earn points for up to five days of exercise each week. If a participant exercises five times a week, he or she will earn 25 points for that week. If they exercise for 30 minutes on days six and seven, they will not earn extra points. However, for each bonus exercise written on the calendar, team members will receive one point. These include extra squats, lunges and pushups, all which go up in number as the challenge carries on. Each week, employees are eligible to earn a maximum of 30 points. Daily challenges include Muscle Monday, Try Something New Tuesday, Wellness Class Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday and Full Body Friday. There are different fitness activities teams can participate in together or on their own. Participants can also do their own form of cardio on their own as long as it is thirty minutes, and they are allowed to break it up throughout their day. Each team is allowed to have up to four members.


“My weekly workout routine is composed of three days of strength training, sometimes four, and then two days of walking a two-mile trail near my home,” said Scott. “It is so convenient getting to work out at PVN’s wellness center. I find that if I go home and try to do it there, I get distracted or start unwinding. If I can knock it out on my way home, it’s more likely to get done. Plus some of the residents and employees see me in there, and they encourage me and are inspired to spend more time working out themselves. When I get home I’m actually pretty energized from my workout and am able to get a lot more done around the house. I encourage my family to work out with me when they are able. My granddaughters enjoy doing the 5Ks with me, and sometimes my daughter will join me on the nature trail. As a family, we are pretty active. We plan camping trips every other weekend during the summer and enjoy canoeing or hiking while we are there.”


At the start of the program, each employee was given a wellness book with an area to write down short-term and long-term goals and a calendar to log or checkmark activities completed. The challenge will conclude on October 30th. Everyone who exercises five times a week for the full program will receive a Be Well PC&S shirt. Teams that complete all 30 points a week will be entered in a drawing for a Fitbit. PVN will be giving out 16 Fitbits.


“My goals are to stay at a healthy weight and to maintain my strength,” said Scott. “I want to be able to have fun the rest of my life and be physically fit to do so. We have some residents here in their 80s and 90s who have very fit physiques. I ask them how they are still so active, and they say it is because they never stopped working out. For people who haven’t really gotten into a workout routine, just take the first step and go with a friend. Sometimes you may fall out of it, but then you just have to get back in, tell yourself all the benefits and make it fun if you can!”


“We care about our team members and are happy to provide access to the wellness center and amenities on campus,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “Once the expansion project is complete, our new lifestyle fitness center will be open and will include an additional swimming pool, Jacuzzi spa, locker rooms and an expanded group exercise area.  This building will include a spa suitable for massages and other spa-type activities, a clinic for physicians and other clinicians and a café that will boast a light and healthy menu. The goal of this new building is to integrate the different aspects of wellness by creating a space that connects physical and social experiences with relaxation. We are really happy to provide these wellness amenities to our team members and residents. We can all inspire each other and work together toward common wellness goals.”

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Taking a proactive approach to helping residents stay balanced, fit and safe, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) offers educational and hands-on balance classes, programs and exercises. The community started “A Matter of Balance,” which is an eight-week program featuring balance classes held once a week for two hours. This award-winning program is free for residents and has been designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. Every fall PVN also kick-starts their “No Falls in the Fall” campaign, which gives residents the opportunity to learn helpful safety measures and makes them more aware of their bodies and their surroundings. In addition to these programs, residents celebrated Active Aging Week by participating in various fitness classes that assisted residents in developing and maintaining balance, strength and flexibility.


“According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries to older adults,” said Shannon Radford, wellness director at Presbyterian Village North. “Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable. That’s why we are taking a preemptive approach by offering balance classes, tutorials and more to help educate residents. We want residents to know that falls can be controlled and prevented. We were excited to offer A Matter of Balance for the first time this year.”


A Matter of Balance is held in various locations in Dallas County, one of which is Presbyterian Village North. This class is free for seniors and teaches attendees to view falls as controllable, set goals for increased activity, make changes to reduce fall risks at home and exercise to increase strength and balance. Seniors are encouraged to attend if they are concerned about falls, if they are interested in improving balance, flexibility and strength, if they have fallen in the past or if they have restricted activities because of falling concerns. The program is offered in partnership with Community Council of Greater Dallas and Area Agency on Aging.


“This program could not have started at a better time,” said Radford. “In conjunction with these programs and activities, we also celebrated Falls Prevention Awareness Day, a holiday put in place by the National Council on Aging. This day of awareness was recognized on the first day of fall, September 23rd. The event seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. This holiday kick-started a weekly program which we’ve dubbed “No Falls in the Fall.” Keith McCrate, director of rehabilitation at Presbyterian Village North, will lead the balance testing and tutorials every Tuesday.”


Residents may sign up for individual balance testing every Tuesday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the physical therapy clinic.  Since leading an active lifestyle and exercising are both important components of maintaining a balanced life and personal wellbeing, PVN has scheduled a myriad of exciting and fulfilling activities for the entire month of October in recognition of Active Aging Week, which ran from September 27th through October 3rd. Active Aging Week celebrates aging and active living. Presbyterian Village North is extending the celebration of active aging for the entire month of October. PVN residents are eager to live it up and have some fun in a safe, friendly and energetic atmosphere. 


“Staying updated with innovative classes and hands-on tutorials helps to keep residents savvy when it comes to wellness,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “We are giving them the tools they need to live fulfilled, safe and fun lives in their retirement. We pride ourselves on providing these opportunities for resident safety and are happy to hear that our residents feel more confident in daily living. These wellness initiatives bring peace of mind to their families as well. Programs and educational series such as these help us achieve five-star ratings from healthcare organizations and publications nationwide.”

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On Wednesday, August 26th residents at Presbyterian Village North (PVN) met with their favorite pooches to celebrate National Dog Day with a fun “Yappy Hour.” Knowing that having the companionship of an animal has positive benefits at any age, but is especially beneficial for seniors, PVN prides itself on being a community that is accommodating to the residents’ four-legged friends. In fact, Frank Pike, Nancy Pike and Joyce Forney all moved into PVN because of the dog friendly features of the community.


“We’ve had Annie for four years now, and she is a gorgeous dog with a personality to match,” said Frank. “The story of how we adopted Annie is a surprising one. One day we visited our vet and found out that Klark, our previous dog, needed to be put down. Later that afternoon, we received a call from our vet who wanted to see if we had free time the next morning. We did, so we drove up and patiently waited for the vet in the lobby. It wasn’t long until Dr. Charles brought out a stunning sheltie mix on a lead who walked past everyone with such poise. She walked straight to me, jumped in my lap, then walked over to my wife, sat in her lap and planted a kiss on her face. Her demeanor basically said, ‘Pet me, I’m beautiful!’ So how could we not? Dr. Charles took a final look at us, put her hand on her hip and said, “I guess that takes care of that.’”


It took no time at all for a strong bond to develop between the Pikes and Annie. She is their favorite dog to date, as well as the most loyal. Having come from a backyard where she kept the squirrels at a distance, Annie has taken it upon herself to keep the squirrels at PVN in check as well. In addition, she knows how to sit patiently if she wishes to be pet, and they have taught her to catch treats from a fifteen foot distance.


“She’s a very obedient dog, unless there is a cat around,” said Frank. “If I drop the lead, she stops, looks back at me and waits for me to pick it up. If I dropped the lead and a cat were around I don’t know that she would sit so still though. We go for about five to six walks a day – sometimes I will lead and sometimes she will lead the way. I’ve had eight to nine dogs over the span of my life, and I just love the companionship they provide. They’re fun to be around, always happy to see you and they keep you active by going on walks all the time. She snuggles in my lap when I’m home and sleeps in my chair when I’m not home. She’s the sweetest dog. We suspect that we get manipulated from time to time because Annie is not only sweet, she’s very smart.”


Annie is not the only smart dog at PVN. Joyce’s dog Lexi has also proven to be obedient and intelligent. Joyce keeps a coverlet on her living room sofa, so that Lexi can lounge on it as she pleases. However, Lexi knows that when Joyce pulls the coverlet off and plumps the pillows that company is about to come over. At that point, she’ll go in the other room to get cozy in her chair and won’t come out until the guests are gone. Joyce never taught her that, she just instinctively seemed to know. Joyce and Lexi have been a close-knit pair since she adopted her in 2005.


“Lexi was sent to Dallas after Hurricane Katrina passed through and left many animals homeless,” said Joyce. “I believe she is about 14 years old, and I cannot stand the idea of her getting any older. I had just lost my Lhasa Apso when my daughter called to tell me about a dog sale to find homes for these lost animals. She told me there was one dog that would definitely not be adopted that day and asked if I would come take a look to see if she would be a good fit for me. I went up there, and I could tell immediately which one she was. Lexi was scrawny, older, no beauty to behold, but she had a way about her that said, ‘If you take care of me, I’ll take care of you.’ I was sold.”


Joyce loves having her dog, Lexi, in her home, especially since she lives alone. When she moved into PVN, she and her husband had a dog. Being dog-friendly was a huge factor when they decided where to move. Joyce loves her walks with Lexi because it gets her out in the fresh air and encourages her to exercise. Even on days when it is bitterly cold, rainy or extremely hot she takes Lexi out for her walks.


Annie and Lexi both participated in the annual Dog Parade that was recently held at PVN on the Fourth of July. While Lexi tolerates the costume that Joyce adorns her with, Annie gives a haughty look to the Pikes. If Annie could talk, they think she would say, “I’m already wearing a fur coat in this Texas heat, you must be crazy!” More than 20 dogs participated, and some of their owners took them to see residents in Joyce Hall after the main walk to visit those who could not attend. In addition to visiting residents, both Annie and Lexi are very fond of Nancy, the head receptionist for PVN, as she keeps pepperoni treats in stock for all dogs who come to say hello to her.


“Having a pet reduces depression and helps prevent loneliness,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “It is a delight seeing residents walking the campus with their dogs. The dogs really do encourage more activity, and their happy-go-lucky spirits liven up anyone’s mood. We are in the midst of a $93 million expansion project that will include a new dog park for everyone to enjoy. The new park will be located by a community gazebo and stunning water feature creating a serene place for owners and pups to spend quality time outdoors. The expansion project is doing more than just adding residences, it’s about beautifying the campus too. We know how meaningful the dogs are to our residents, so we are excited to build a brand new dog park for them. We know many new, fun memories will be made there once it is open.” 

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Presbyterian Communities and Services is pleased to announce that its two senior living communities, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) and Grace Presbyterian Village (GPV), have received a five-star quality rating from in its Nursing Home Compare rankings. Both continuing care retirement communities are based in Dallas, offering seniors skilled nursing and healthcare services for seniors in need of higher levels of care. Its teams are excited to have received such phenomenal recognition by a national program. The Nursing Home Compare website allows consumers to compare information about nursing homes. It contains quality of care information on every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country, including over 15,000 nationwide. Nursing homes aren't included on Nursing Home Compare if they aren't Medicare- or Medicaid-certified. These nursing homes can be licensed by the state.


“The five-star rating is a reminder of the quality and service excellence that is such an important part of our mission,” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North.  “We are called to enrich the lives of those we serve, and we can most effectively do that through aspiring to and achieving the highest quality standards possible.  It thrills me to know that through the five-star rating, our community can acknowledge and appreciate the quality team that I see every day.  I love that our teammates can go home and tell their families, ‘I work for a five-star community!’”


Kelly attributes the community’s success and ranking to the compassionate and professional teammates. He also acknowledges that the ranking is the result of the excellent clinical leaders who have invested themselves to ensure that the team has the support they need. He feels a sense of pride and admiration for the entire team. 


“When you do something that you love, and you do it well, there is a natural tendency to want to grow that ministry,” said Kelly. “With the current expansion of our campus, we know that maintaining the highest levels of quality and service excellence will be even more important.  People are not as focused on how big you are; they want to know that they can trust you.  We will dedicate ourselves to earning that trust from the growing numbers of those we serve every day.”


Nursing Home Compare was created because healthcare facilities vary in the quality of care and services they provide to their residents in healthcare and skilled nursing services. Reviewing health inspection results, staffing data, and quality measure data are three important ways to evaluate a community’s quality. This information gives you a "snapshot" of type and quality of care delivered to residents.


“To obtain this ranking, an organization needs to show that clinical staffing is above the norm, including an increased amount of coverage by registered nurses, and that quality such as wound care and fall prevention are tracked,” said Darrell Baltimore, executive director of Grace Presbyterian Village. “Hospitals and other care provider organizations look for this rating when determining placement for those patients who need recovery between their hospital stay and return home, while undergoing short-term rehabilitation for procedures such as hip or knee replacement. The focus all year has been on raising our level of care and the skill-set of our front-line employees. We’ve done this through “on the spot” in-service training as well as the monthly clinical training that is a requirement within the Presbyterian Communities and Services organization.”


Grace Presbyterian Village has established a Quality Assessment Process Improvement committee that requires each department to self-audit–to identify an area that needs focus and to report monthly on the progress toward improvement in that area. The medical director is a key member of the committee, and the community continually looks for opportunities to advance in other areas as well. The goal is to constantly raise the bar to ensure that the residents have the highest quality of care possible. 

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When we think of Father’s Day, the image of young children presenting a brand new grill to their father often comes to mind, but what about a seasoned relationship between a father and son who have years of shared experiences, advice and memories? To provide a different perspective, Dr. Paul Muncy and his father, Vern Muncy, wanted to share their history and reflect on their father/son relationship to showcase the importance of staying in touch and being with family as we get older. Vern recently relocated to Presbyterian Village North (PVN), located within the Lake Highlands community where his son also resides, and the two have been taking advantage daily of being within close proximity of each other. Paul’s advice for families in recognition of Father’s Day is for people to stay in touch as best as they can, because it is worth it. Vern advises people to take the time to tell their family members how proud they are of them and to make time for each other as much as possible.


“It is wonderful having my dad close to me again,” said Paul. “We have the ability to be together whenever we want, whether we are reminiscing through old photographs, taking trips to the lake or simply checking on each other in person or over the phone. Since he made the move to PVN almost a year ago, we have developed new traditions, like having a family dinner on Sundays. We mostly talked on the phone in the past, since we lived in different states, but now I can see him a few times every week. I use this time to tell him I love him as often as I can and that I am proud to be his son. Our relationship has really grown over the past year, and I really enjoy having him be a part of not only my life but the lives of my two daughters as well.”


Paul understands what it is like to be a parent and says that the most rewarding thing is watching your children grow and mature. He works to instill family values in his daughters by showing them that expressing love to your family and having fun with them are some of the most important values in life. He demonstrates this by spending time with them regularly and attending their events. He knows it makes them feel special, loved and important.


“I love my granddaughters, and I think Paul and I have done a pretty good job of passing our love for sports and our athletic abilities down to them,” said Vern. “I had Paul when I was 25 years old, and one of the first things I taught Paul was how to throw a baseball. When I was 45 and he was 20, we played on the same church league fast-pitch softball team. I played first base and batted cleanup, while he played shortstop and batted third. Paul and I used to play softball and baseball together all the time, and his athletic ability has always made me proud. I am also proud of his intelligence and truthfulness.  I find it important to spend as much time as I can with my family and tell them why they make me proud. While I do not live in the same state as my other son, Phil, who lives in Kansas City, and my daughter Barbara, who lives in Nashville, I still call them to catch up and tell them how proud I am of them too.  Having my children around me was the best Father’s Day I could ask for, and knowing my children are not only my children but close friends as well is the best feeling.”


“We have always shared a love of sports,” said Paul. “While we never really lived and died with the same team, we did go to a lot of Vanderbilt football and basketball games while I was growing up. One time when I was 14 years old, we made a special trip to the Rose Bowl.  We stayed up all night saving seats for the parade, and then went to the game pretty sleepy that afternoon. These memories are some of my favorites, and we continue doing things together to make new memories.”


Recently, Paul and Vern visited the Fredericksburg, Texas, Admiral Nimitz Museum of World War II in the Pacific to see a brick commemorating Vern’s service. Paul is extremely proud of his father for serving in WWII and for being a wonderful father and husband for so many years. Each year, the two take a special trip to attend the Marine Corp reunion, which is held in a different place each year.


“It is truly heartwarming to see families brought back together after living long distance for some time,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “We see that a lot here– residents moving to be closer to their adult children and grandchildren. We are happy to help them make the transition and provide a place in which new memories and family traditions can be made. To celebrate these familial relationships, we hosted a special Father’s Day brunch. My heart is always warmed to see how many father and son relationships are still flourishing.”

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On June 2, 1980, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) opened in Dallas, ready to transform the lives of seniors through excellent service. After 35 years, the senior living community is still thriving because it has created an environment where residents enjoy an active lifestyle full of ease and quality recreation. To ensure that PVN continues to provide the most sought-after retirement experience, the community is undergoing a $96 million expansion that includes the addition of two independent living buildings, assisted living units, memory care apartments and services, a lifestyle fitness center, a transitional care unit, a chapel and a central park with a water feature and a pavilion. To celebrate the past 35 years and the bright future that lies ahead, the community hosted a series of events and guest speakers in May and June. As part of the festivities, the community celebrated current residents by showcasing award-winning artwork in an inspiring art exhibit that was open for four days. Janice Bentley, a 76-year-old resident at PVN who has lived at the community for eight years, was responsible for putting the art exhibit together and  showcased one of her own pieces that just won a state award. There was even a special Q&A with the artists. 


“The art exhibit was a beautiful way to celebrate the residents’ talents and lift them up,” said Bentley. “It was such a vibrant visual, and it is amazing to see how much talent is within this community. I gathered more than 50 submissions, which included oil paintings, watercolors, cross stitching, knitted sweaters, quilts, crazy quilts, pillows, baptismal dresses, ceramics, baskets, Christmas stockings and more. We included a story about each piece on a display card, as well as the name of the piece and who made it. One lady is put in a gorgeous Christmas stocking that she created for her daughter when she was young. Two residents submitted handcrafted a baptismal dress that their family passed around to ensure that all grandchildren wore it on their special occasion. Another resident has submitted a crazy quilt that won best of show in Austin in 2011. The pieces were remarkable and stunning.”


Bentley showcased a quilt that recently received acknowledgement in the LeadingAge ArtsInspire contest, whose theme was “Art is Ageless.” Her piece is titled “A Pineapple for My Garden,” and she feels honored to have won first place in the Soft Crafts: Sewing competition. Fellow PVN residents also entered and won. Carol Zoller received second place for “Peacock in a Pear Tree” in the Soft Crafts: Decorative category. Judith “Judy” Logan received third place in Soft Crafts: Decorative for her piece “Viking Ship” and was a finalist in Mixed Media for her piece “Zentangled Gourd.” Zoller’s piece and Logan’s mixed media piece will also be on display during the show. These winning pieces were just on display at the state capitol during mid-May. Some of the artists have been practicing their skills their whole lives, while others picked up their hobbies in retirement.


“I have been quilting since 1999,” said Bentley. “I had always admired quilts and decided to pick it up in my retirement. I have easily made more than 100 quilts since I started. Even though I have given many of them away, I have quilts all over my home. I use them for tablecloths; they are hanging in the game room and in the dining room; they are on the wall and draped over the sofa. They’re everywhere! My first piece I entered in the Dallas quilt show was a stained glass quilt, which I made 12 years ago when I first started quilting.  I received an honorable mention for that quilt. Over time I kept submitting different pieces for shows in and around Dallas and have received awards and honorable mentions for more of my work. Once you take home two blue ribbons from a major show, such as the one in Dallas, you achieve the title of “Master Quilter.” I am happy to have achieved that title and look for new methods of quilting to challenge myself.”


Bentley’s first blue-ribbon quilt was a Christmas-themed quilt covered in poinsettias and red berries. It took her two to three months to make the 608 berries that cover the quilt. She received recognition at the Plano show and the Dallas show for that piece. She made her other blue-ribbon quilt three years ago. It is titled “Magical Medallions” and is hanging up in her living room. Bentley has enjoyed sharing her passion with fellow residents at PVN and was happy to help lift up others and showcase their artwork as well. She is grateful for these opportunities provided to her through PVN.


“I was so excited to be a part of the celebration of such a phenomenal community,” said Bentley. “They work very hard to please us and make us happy, and that is a comforting feeling. There are also many opportunities for involvement and building friendships with your neighbors. I host the Sew and Sew group at my house every Tuesday, and we make items that we donate to charity. Retirement at PVN is a pleasurable experience because we get to pursue our passions and spend time doing things we enjoy with great company.”


“When residents choose to spend their retirement in our village, we make a commitment to deliver excellent service, build compassionate relationships and maintain a community that is a backdrop for new memories and experiences,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “We work hard to deliver a community of connectedness filled with an abundance of choice. PVN’s founders have acknowledged that we are fulfilling the very mission we set for our community 35 years ago – we are a ministry of people here to serve people. We have the same passion and drive as our community’s founders, and we have changed over time to ensure that we accommodate the needs and desires of today’s seniors. When I envision this community 35 years from now, I see someone in my shoes having the same conversation, and I know this team will be striving to fulfill the same mission.”

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Despite the stereotype that claims that seniors are easily frustrated with technology, they have actually expressed great interest in learning about technology and are eager to become more tech-savvy and stay in the know. To help get residents better acquainted with technology, Presbyterian Village North (PVN) recently hosted an iPad tutorial. During this class, residents learned more than just how to turn on the iPad; they learned how to download and play brain exercises, communicate with family and friends via messaging and social media and edit pictures and videos. These tech tutorials are being offered on an as-needed basis and cover a variety of programs and new devices. This is the third iPad class that PVN has held for residents and is back due to popular demand. During the first class, staff members went over how to send emails, how to take pictures, how to search for and download applications and other basics. During the second class, PVN team members led a tutorial about applications that would help stimulate brain health and increase mental acuity such as Elevate, Lumosity and Unblock Me.


“Residents at Presbyterian Village North love staying active and are always eager to learn new things, especially as it pertains to technology,” said Letty Valdez, event coordinator for PVN. “We design the classes and tutorials so that we can move at a pace that is good for everyone. We have two or three instructors for each class for one-on-one interactions, which ensures that everyone understands and gets the personal assistance they need. This way we can slow down for those that have difficulty with certain aspects of technology, as well as show more advanced tech users additional features that they can use once they’ve mastered the basics. I just love seeing the residents get excited when they have accomplished something new and are applying the knowledge we’ve shared with them. The iPad class has been really successful because technology and mobile devices keep residents engaged with friends and family, expose them to stimulating apps that encourage mental acuity and help them record life’s special events via pictures and video.”


Two or three years ago, PVN began offering Microsoft Office classes. To meet the residents’ changing tech needs, the senior living community decided to focus on iPads, as many of the residents use those or tablets now. The community also gets other organizations involved with technological tutorials. Just last month, North Dallas Bank shared a presentation on online banking. In the future, the community is planning to host a Skype/FaceTime tutorial to show residents how they can communicate with their families and friends via video.


“We offer residents opportunities to get engaged in topics and activities related to technology, current events, brain teasers, fitness, nutrition and cuisine, films, history, Bible studies, book reviews, creative writing and even happy hours,” said Valdez. “Just because we get older does not mean that we lose our curiosity or desire for exposing ourselves to new things. Fellow PVN team members and I listen to what residents are interested in, and technology has been a major topic of interest. Residents wake up every morning and the first thing they do is to sit down with a cup of coffee and look at the PVN calendars to decide amongst everything available to them what they would like to do the most that very day. It is a rewarding feeling knowing that I help make these opportunities available to them.”


Offering these tutorials is timely, as the increase in the number of seniors who use technology is growing exponentially. According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of older adults (defined as those ages 65 or older) are internet users, 77 percent have cell phones and 46 percent use social networking sites such as Facebook. Knowing that these numbers will gradually increase, PVN is designing programs to help residents interact more with technology.


“This summer we have a lot of fun, engaging activities planned for residents,” said Ron Kelly, executive director for Presbyterian Village North. “People come to PVN because they see the fellowship of the community and the abundance of choices available to them in an environment of connectedness. Being involved helps them get the social stimulation they need, and we are happy to serve them by providing boundless opportunities for social engagement and classes that help them better themselves by giving them something to work on or work toward. It is inspiring to see people expanding their understanding of the world around them during retirement.”

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Eight residents of Presbyterian Village North (PVN) just returned from an active and exciting weeklong cruise aboard The Navigator of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship. The residents enjoyed breathtaking views aboard the ship, as well as top-notch food, entertainment and amenities, and they explored during stops in Cozumel, Belize and Honduras. The trip was planned by Lisa Englander, independent living life enrichment manager at PVN, along with Celebration Magazine and Celebration Senior Travel. This was the first time that PVN planned a cruise for residents to partake in an invigorating adventure together. The trip furthered the community’s goal of embracing new and exciting activities to engage residents.


“It was just so refreshing to get away with some of my friends,” said Mary Bonno, resident of Presbyterian Village North. “The shows and stuff like that are what I remember the most. The entertainment at night was really good. Of course, the food and the atmosphere were spectacular. Lisa did such a phenomenal job planning this for us.”


This was the first trip Bonno has taken in 10 years. A frequent traveler in the past, her husband Frank had gotten to a point where he didn’t want to travel anymore. After his passing, she reconsidered travel and because of the ease of having the trip planned for her with a departure from Galveston and not having to take an airplane, Bonno decided to go. She especially enjoyed a bus tour of Cozumel and spent time walking the decks of the ship and the promenade on the ship, which offered lots of shops and places to stop and visit.


Bonno was able to share a cabin with a good friend from Presbyterian Village North, Shirley King. The two stayed in a balcony room where they could admire the beautiful views from the ship. Bonno was not seated at the same dinner table as her friend, but that allowed her to get to know a couple from PVN whom she really enjoyed, as well as to meet some new friends.


“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves,” said King. “It was wonderful to experience this trip with others from PVN. And it was such a treat that Lisa made all of the arrangements. We just got to show up and have fun! It’s hard to choose my favorite part since everything was so nice.”


King frequently travels with her family, and while she has taken many cruises in the past, this was her first one without a family member. She had a wonderful time with Bonno and many other friends. She would consider taking another trip with the community in a few years. In the meantime, she plans to stay busy traveling with her family and participating in the variety of activities that PVN has to offer.


“We are thrilled that our residents took a spectacular cruise together,” said Ron Kelly. “I’m thankful for creative team members like Lisa, who are always looking for ways to engage the residents and provide amazing opportunities. I look forward to hearing more about the residents’ travels, and I’m sure we will offer more trips like this in the future.”