April 13, 2016

JGS Lifecare Holds “Topping Off” Ceremony for New Sosin Center for Rehabilitation

JGS Lifecare celebrated a major milestone today in the construction of the new Sosin Center for Rehabilitation with the ceremonial “Topping Off” of the steel structure. Construction workers, employees, residents, physicians, community members, elected officials, members of the Board of Directors, donors, and veterans gathered April 13 as the beam was hoisted atop the roof-line of the new rehab center, which is located next to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home at 770 Converse Street.

“JGS Lifecare is transforming the patient experience by delivering leading edge patient-centered care in innovative new facilities,” said Marty Baicker, FACHE, president and CEO, JGS Lifecare. “Partnering with The GREEN HOUSE PROJECT, we will implement the small house model of care in the Sosin Center, replacing hospital-like environments with real homes and greater engagement with those we serve.”

Research shows that a real home environment has significant benefits such as reduced medication use and re-hospitalizations, greater socialization and interaction with care givers, which can lead to faster recovery.

The ‘Topping Off’ ceremony is a long-standing tradition in construction, held when the highest beam of steel is placed atop a structure during construction. A small fir tree was also affixed; symbolizing the building will be everlasting. The American flag that was given to JGS Lifecare as a keepsake of the building’s benefactor, George Sosin, was attached to the beam and ceremoniously raised by officers of the Longmeadow Police. Sosin was a dedicated JGS Lifecare volunteer and supporter until his passing in 2013. His gift of $3 million represents the largest contribution in the 103 year history of JGS Lifecare. The building is named in Sosin’s honor as a testament to his unmatched philanthropic commitment.

Designed by Perkins Eastman, an industry leader in the planning and design of elder care facilities and short term rehabilitation programs, the two-story 24,000 square foot Sosin Center will contain two self-contained homes for up to 24 people. A dedicated team of staff will provide care and make the decisions that are important to daily life. Everything in this environment is designed to prepare patients to go home, because it feels like home, featuring private rooms and bathrooms, an open kitchen and family-style dining areas. Michael’s Café will connect the Sosin Center to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home, bridging old to new and honoring the late Michael Frankel, a former Chair of the JGS Lifecare Board of Directors, and ardent supporter of Project Transformation – A New World of Care.

“Evidence shows that people recover faster in a smaller community where they have direct opportunities for engagement with their physical therapist, with their physician, with their direct care givers, said Anne M. Thomas, vice president residential health, JGS Lifecare. “Because they are in a rehab setting, because they’re getting their rehabilitative services needs met in a small community, they actually encourage each other to get better.”

The eight-foot long ceremonial beam that was raised was placed in the lobby of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home March 16, 2016. Hundreds of people, including residents, patients, physicians, visitors, employees, board of directors, community and committee members, signed the beam and made their mark on history. This morning, several more honored guests added their signatures, including Springfield Mayor Domenic R. Sarno, Longmeadow Town Manager Stephen Crane and Longmeadow Select Board Chairman Richard Foster. In his remarks, Mayor Sarno spoke of his warm regards for the lifecare services we’ve provided his family, and praised JGS Lifecare for efforts to transform the care we provide.

“People are excited. They’re enthusiastic. They can really see the opportunities that Green House will bring to how we care for our elders, and they want to be part of it,” said Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of philanthropy, JGS Lifecare. “We are creating innovative and important programs that will change outcomes for our residents and patients for generations to come. It’s something the community can be very proud to be part of.”

Construction of the $11m+ Sosin Center project, part of the $20m Project Transformation projects, is supported in part by a $9m Project Transformation Capital Campaign. Project Transformation will introduce the Green House/small house model of care in the Sosin Center, followed by renovations in this model of two sub-acute units in the nursing home. Future plans will carry the model throughout the nursing home. The Sosin Center will be the only Green House certified facility in western Massachusetts. Construction is expected to be complete in late summer, opening in September 2016.