Susan Cooper A Message from the President & CEO

Susan C. Drabic on COVID-19

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Susan Cooper

A Message from the President & CEO

In all that we've been through over these last months, March 2020 seems like a distant memory. It was at that time we introduced many restrictions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading within our communities. Over one weekend (I will never forget), we put together a COVID-19 Daily Crisis Management Team to deal with the myriad of changes and precautions that needed to happen immediately. We closed our communities to all visitors and halted the movement of residents and staff between our different styles of living. In short, we changed every aspect of the way we've worked so hard to perfect the delivery of services to the residents living in our communities. We closed dining venues and our hair salon, we canceled group events and activities, we discouraged travel for vacation and we re-directed our housekeeping and maintenance services to focus on frequent deep disinfecting and sanitizing of high touch surfaces.

Overnight we developed our own grocery shopping and delivery service for residents, we invested substantially in PPE and in the installation of isolation materials and equipment to construct isolation areas for safety precautions. We conducted exercise classes in hallways outside of resident apartments and we delivered happy hour fun, games and refreshments to our residents living in our cottage community. We also invested in a lot of new technology to bring employee team meetings online and allow those who could work remotely from home to do so. And we restricted access to our community to one designated area where screening of all employees for symptoms and possible COVID-19 exposure is completed before any team member can enter our buildings to work.

Thankfully, our vigilance and early implementation of restrictions at both of our communities paid off. While there has been a lot of negative national publicity about nursing homes throughout the country where COVID-19 has spread like wildfire, we've been doing everything possible to prevent the spread of this virus in our communities. We've had minimal cases of employees and residents in residential living and personal care test positive for the virus. And we are so grateful that we've had no cases of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable population of residents who live in our nursing home. And that isn't the result of good luck, good fortune or happenstance…it's the result of a dedicated team of professionals working together towards one common goal…to protect the health and safety of our residents who we care about deeply.

As we entered the month of May, we quickly realized this pandemic wasn't going to be resolved anytime soon. That meant we needed to begin planning for how we were going to create a "new normal" at Morningstar Living. To make that happen, the COVID-19 Daily Crisis Management Team evolved into what we call our "New Normal Transition Team" (NNTT). This team works together every week to develop, implement and communicate detailed plans to move our communities forward again, toward some semblance of a "new normal." One of the most beneficial aspects of living your life in a community is the ability to socialize, engage and be connected with others. And this virus was forcing us to keep residents from doing this. Additionally, residents could not see family members and friends for months, and this was really hard on them. And so, in May for Mother's Day, and then again in June, for Father's Day, we planned and orchestrated "drive-by" visitation parades of cars with family members and friends for our residents.

As we enter the final months of summer 2020, the NNTT is no longer thinking about "post-COVID-19." Instead, this team is now focused on developing ways to adapt our operations to living safely with the threat of COVID-19 until there is a vaccine or other treatment. We've already developed and implemented a phased strategy for re-starting services and re-opening various amenities at our communities. And as we continue to follow the recommendations and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the PA Department of Health (DOH), the NNTT has developed and communicated safe, limited and cautious in-person visitation policies and procedures for resident visitation. A strict masking policy is in place. We continue to screen visitors, staff and residents for symptoms and possible COVID-19 exposure. We've re-purposed some of our office space for designated visitation areas where physical distancing can be achieved. And we continue deep cleaning and sanitization of all touch spaces. And what a joy it has been seeing our residents reunited with their loved ones again!

In spite of all of the fear and negativity surrounding this pandemic, I've had the unexpected joy of witnessing the very best of humanity at work. Residents and their families have extended so much support and patience to us as we put some very restrictive plans into place. And employees have put their own fears aside and showed up for work, placing their concern for our residents ahead of their own families. We have a banner on the front of our administration building that reads: "Heroes Work Here." And that is truly an understatement. And it is truly evidence of the commitment and dedication to the mission and core purpose of Morningstar Living…

"Making a difference...by enriching life's journey for all we serve."

Giving is a Community Tradition. At Moravian Hall Square, Giving is a community tradition.

Home Giving is a Community Tradition

 

Charitable support of Moravian Hall Square makes a positive impact on the lives of all within our community.  As part of Morningstar Senior Living, Inc.  we are grateful for the heart of giving that pulses through residents, families, volunteers and employees. This vitality of giving is evidenced in daily acts of compassion and commitment to the core purpose of enriching lives.

Your charitable gift helps us achieve our mission and core values each day as we honor the lives of those entrusted to our care.  Please feel free to advance to enjoy event photos, donor recognition, listing of appeals and ways you can be a part of this giving tradition.

For a snapshot view of Morningstar Living Foundation, view our profile recently featured in Lehigh Valley Business’s Giving Guide.

This year’s Harvest of Friends dinner was fit for royalty!

The event was held at Woodstone Country Club and featured the theme of Downton Abbey.  Guests arrived in glittering finery – many women wearing fringed flapper evening wear!  Patrons enjoyed a cocktail reception and perusing the Wining and Dining certificates available for purchase.

Dinner was delightful and important messages were shared by President & CEO Susan C. Drabic, Foundation Chair, Darrell Crook and Gala Chair, Richard Solliday. 

The success of the evening is owed to all who offered their support through service, donations and patronage.  The event achieved the highest level of donations in its history!

Thank you doesn’t seem a bold enough phrase to express my gratitude for the success of this year’s event.   Please know that each gift and service supplied helped to achieve the fundraising success for benevolent care of residents who can no longer pay in full for their care at Morningstar Living. 

Harvest of Friends Grand Sponsors

Rex Level                     The Philadelphia Trust Company

Duke & Duchess       Clover Advisors and Phoebe Pharmacy

Marquis                       Citizen’s Bank and Darrell & Linda Crook

Count                           Owen M. Bastian, Brown Design Group, CMG of Easton, Susan C. Drabic,
                                       Deb & John Esposito, Shirley Flagler, Margaret Krawiec, Murray Insurance, 
                                       RLB Accountants, Richard & Linda Solliday, Wagner Family,
                                       Chestnut Hill Landscaping

Lord & Lady               Blue Valley Builders, Cathee & Karl Butz, ET&T, Guylai Family,
                                       Hanover Engineering, Hoch Accounting, Sue & Don Kirts,
                                       Beth & Leo Kowalski, Lewis & Walters, Northampton Community College,
                                       Dean & Barb Sandbrook, Mollie & Rick Santee, Marc Sigal & Gail Wagner,
                                       Gordon & Susan Sommers

Barony                        Bath Supply, Marilyn Brewster, Robert & Shirley Carle, Cantelmi Long
                                      Funeral Home, Jane Florenz, Chas. Hoffman & Sons, Shirl Kilpatrick,
                                      Audrey McAbee, Linda McMeekin, Trident Care/Mobilex

Event Donors            Working Dog Press and Nazareth Floral Design

Prize Donors             Green Pond Country Club, Inn at Jim Thorpe, Broadway Tavern, 
                                     Olde Homestead Golf Club, Mycalyn’s Floral, Reading & Northern RR,
                                     Sodexo, Viking Cruise Lines, Woodstone Country Club, Paxos Restaurants,
                                     The Beam at Steel Club, Apollo Grille, Landis Store Hotel, McCarthy’s Red Stag
                                     Pub, Melting Pot, Prime Steak House, Tony Stella’s Encore, Vivo Italian Kitchen,
                                     Anthony’s, The Art Café, Bayou, Beck’s Land & Sea, Bonefish Grille, Brick Tavern,
                                     Carrabas, Cherry Hill Hotel, Mountainview Drive In, Pizza Joe’s, Point Phillips
                                     Hotel, Sicily’s, Stonewood Tavern, Taps Tavern, Youell’s Oyster House and…

                                     Members of the Harvest Friends Planning Committee, Morningstar Foundation
                                     Board Members and Morningstar Living Board Members.

Current Look at Gifts of Time and Money

Shared by Mollie Santee, Executive Director of the Morningstar Living Foundation

In the May edition of a trade magazine called Advancing Philanthropy,  information was shared under the heading “Generous, but Not Financially Savvy?”

Despite the financial uncertainties that many Americans face, generosity is surprisingly a top consideration.  A report from Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis found that 61 percent of Americans said they would rather be called generous than financially successful.

Other findings in the 2015 Money Mindset survey –

  • Only 27% of Americans are very confident they are making the right decisions with their money, and the same percent admit they currently live above their financial means.
  • 71%, (including 79% of Millennials) think they are more generous than the average American.
  • 59% think donating time makes a bigger impact than donating money.
  • 64% regularly volunteer for a non-profit organization, with the largest percentage at churches and/or with organizations that help those in poverty.

At Morningstar Living, gifts of time and treasure are needed and celebrated.  We are grateful for the generosity of spirit for those who volunteer and enrich the quality of life for our residents.   It is also a great blessing to receive memorial gifts and charitable support for benevolent care and other program needs within our organization.

Estate Giving is not just for the wealthy!

Charitable organizations need financial assistance from people like you to continue their work. More than 80 percent of Americans contribute to the nonprofit groups of their choice throughout their lifetimes.  According to research conducted in the early 2000’s, only around eight percent of people chose to continue this support through a charitable bequest.

By making bequests and other planned gifts, you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community.

What better way to thank the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life than to contribute from your estate through a bequest?

Make sure you have a will. This is a tool for you to direct your assets to your loved ones and the causes important to you. What are the most important components to decide?

  • Choose an executor and an alternative executive or administrator. Notify the person as you update your legal documents.
  • Discuss with your financial planner or trusted advisor the best plans to transfer assets through your will. Consider tax implications, business interests and be sure to keep a current listing of all owned assets (titled property, vehicles, accounts, insurance policies, collections) and have the list accessible to the named administrator. A safety deposit box is not always easy to access.
  • There are MANY types of trusts and planned giving vehicles that allow the estate proceeds to provide income to named beneficiaries. Discuss these with your trusted advisor and include in your directives.
  • Make sure your will is up to date. Have some named beneficiaries passed away? Review documents to assure that the people and organizations named still exist and that the names are as current as possible. You might consider alerting charitable organizations that you have included them in your will so that they can suggest appropriate language and fulfill your desired direction.

You have control and choice when you thoughtfully consider your estate plans. Your legacy is the result of your life decisions.  For more information on planned giving, please contact Mollie Santee at Morningstar Living.

There are many ways that donors may express their support to our community with gifts. Please explore the fund options and ways to give to learn how you might engage in direct support through making a financial gift, service or something unique. Mollie Santee, Director of Resource Development, would love to speak with you directly. Contact her at 610.746.1002 or by clicking on her email giving@moravian.com.

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Some of the staff has been here for twenty years, I know them all very well.