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Friends & Neighbors A Newsletter for the Acts Family - Summer 2021

Welcome to the summer edition of Friends & Neighbors, a digital newsletter for the Acts family!

Happy Summer, Acts Family!

We hope you are enjoying these beautiful summer days! It is so wonderful that our communities are once again bustling with gatherings and activities after more than a year of challenges, trials, and disruption to our daily lives. Our hope is that this season is refreshing to your body, mind and spirit as you reunite with friends and family, travel to favorite destinations, and partake in all of your favorite activities and traditions.

Since the pandemic’s onset, together we have overcome many obstacles and achieved many goals throughout this unprecedented journey. All of you contributed to our success with more than 9,600 residents and 5,000 employees now fully vaccinated representing 97% and 75%, respectively of those eligible for vaccination. All of our 26 communities have achieved resident herd immunity, and at this time 21 communities have reached both resident and employee herd immunity.

Please know that our highest priority remains the safety of our residents, staff, visitors and communities. Acts recently announced that all employees working in our OakBridge Terrace or WillowBrooke Court health centers or providing direct care to residents must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, 2021. All other employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021. Acts continues to monitor federal and local government mandates and directives and adjust our COVID-19 protocols as appropriate due to local increased infection rates.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all of our residents and employees for your support every day, and especially during this unprecedented experience. We are Acts Proud and Acts Strong!

We sincerely hope that your summer is spent with family and friends and is filled with hope, joy, and love. Thank you for being a member of the Acts family!

Acts Earns High Marks for Financial Health

We are pleased to report that the A- rating with a stable outlook for the Acts Obligated Group was once again affirmed by Fitch Ratings, one of the nation’s most recognized and respected credit rating agencies. This prestigious rating highlights several important fiscal strengths of Acts:

  • One of the largest and most geographically diverse CCRC providers in the nation
  • Healthy financial performance
  • Solid occupancy across the organization
  • Sound management practices
“We are pleased with the affirmation of our A- rating from Fitch and consider this validation of our actions and efforts throughout the pandemic,” said Susan Ahern, Acts Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. “The Acts family has stayed true to our mission and the long-term interests of the organization and the residents we serve. We consider the affirmation of our rating testament to those efforts.”

The A- rating from Fitch places Acts among the top five percent of senior living communities nationwide for financial health and stability. Great news and further confirmation that the future is incredibly bright at Acts!

*The Acts Obligated Group excludes the Acts affiliate communities of Integrace, Heron Point of Chestertown, The Evergreens and Westminster Village, which operate as separate legal entities of Acts.

Acts Communities Prepared for Active Hurricane Season

It’s that time of year again. Following an eventful 2020 hurricane season, which featured several ferocious storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is once again predicting that 2021 will deliver more hurricanes than average. Rest assured, the Acts communities prepare extensively for these unwanted events well in advance, with detailed checklists and communication protocols. If a storm threatens a community, our plans are initiated in tandem with our corporate leadership team members, who remain on site and provide support before and throughout the duration of the storm.

Here are some of the ways we make sure we’re a safe haven during storms:

  • Stock up on extra food, water and supplies
  • Hurricane Crisis Intervention Team meets before, during and after the storm
  • High powered back-up generators are tested and fueled
  • Emergency notification systems are used to communicate with residents, staff and family members
  • Satellite phones are in place in the event of power outages
  • On-site medical staff is available 24/7

While the impact of a hurricane can be devastating, residents and their loved ones can take comfort knowing that Acts is well equipped to assure our residents' safety, comfort, and security for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

Acts President's Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Acts President’s Award, the highest honor given in each region to recognize model employees who personify the Acts mission of outstanding service in “The Spirit of Loving-Kindness." Each year, the management teams from our Acts communities and regional support offices are invited to participate in selecting the winners based on the distinctive qualities of the nominees that are shared and demonstrated via a nomination video. The Acts President’s Award reflects our unique culture of service to our residents and team members and is one of our most highly anticipated employee recognition events held each year within the Acts family.

As part of this celebration, President Karen Christiansen personally presents the award along with some special gifts to each recipient at their home community or office location in a ceremony in front of their colleagues and family members. In addition, a plaque with the employee’s name and photo is displayed at their community/location throughout the year.

Congratulations to all of our distinguished nominees and this year’s recipients!

New Resident Referral Incentives!

Residents and employees – help keep your community strong, vibrant and filled with your favorite people, and earn at least $2,500 for every individual or couple who moves in in 2021! It’s easy to do. Simply write the name of a family member or friend on a referral card and submit it to your community Life Care Consultant. We’ll send them an information packet and encourage them to visit and experience our remarkable lifestyle firsthand. If your family member or friend moves into an Acts community this year, you will receive $2,500 if you are an employee or a one-time credit to your monthly fee of $2,500 if you’re a resident. On top of that, the individual or couple you refer will also receive $2,500 off their entrance fee! Some conditions apply and only referrals who have not contacted the community previously are eligible.

Stop by the community sales office for all the details about our new resident referral incentives!

Thanks for a Successful Acts Pennsylvania Golf Classic

Thank you for participating in our 29th Annual Pennsylvania Golf Classic – it was a wonderful day at Blue Bell Country Club with more than 240 golfers and 65 sponsors - a 35% increase over our pandemic-impacted 2020 Classic! We were glad to return to our traditional format, and this year was a great success as we brought together a wonderful group of residents, staff, board members and business partners to raise funds for the Acts Samaritan Fund supporting residents who outlive their personal resources.

Please visit our www.ActsGolf.org for photos of the day and for information about our Florida Classic in December 2021. On behalf of those residents benefiting from your participation, please accept our thanks. We look forward to seeing you in Florida in December or again in Pennsylvania in 2022!

Giving in the Spirit of Loving-Kindness

Over the past 18 months, members of the Acts family have expressed Loving-Kindness in the tradition of the Hebrew word hesed, which is doing something for another in need, something they cannot do for themselves in that moment. Through actions both great and small, loving-kindness has been evident which restores faith, offers hope and will have true lasting impact as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thankfully, philanthropic activities and events are now resuming. Most communities hold annual signature events in support of their community Samaritan Funds, or other needs specific to their community. Active participation in these important initiatives is a demonstration of loving-kindness in action, and raises awareness as well as funds for important community needs.

Residents also often express appreciation and loving-kindness through a planned gift in their will or estate. These individuals are celebrated through membership in the Circle of Loving-Kindness Honor Society and recognized during our donor celebration events held at each community. COVID-19 prohibited our donor celebration in 2020, and we are delighted to be able once again to welcome new members from 2020 and 2021 in the manner that they so deserve. Several communities have already held events, with others to come.

Check your community calendars for scheduled Circle of Loving-Kindness celebrations and other activities and events. It is the participation of all that will assure meaningful success.

If you would like more information about how to support your community, Foundation staff members can match your interests and wishes with important community needs through a variety of means. Please feel free to contact the Foundation at 877-287-0799 or Foundation@actslife.org to learn more

Acts Chaplains at Your Service

Acts is proud to have full-time chaplains on staff at each of our communities to serve as spiritual leaders, providing comfort and support for our residents and employees. Iain Crichton, Vice President of Mission Support and Spiritual Life, shares this message about the many roles of Acts' chaplains and how they are deeply involved in community life.

Welcome Aboard! New Executive Directors Join Acts Family

Catherine Leclerc

Congratulations Catherine Leclerc, our new Executive Director at Heron Point of Chestertown. Catherine has served 16 years in the senior living industry in multiple roles, including Manager of Social Services Programs, Director of Resident Life, and Director of Continuing Care. She is both a licensed social worker and licensed nursing home administrator. Catherine replaces Garret Falcone who retired in April after 46 years in health care, nearly a decade of those with Acts. Welcome, Catherine!

Brent Ramsey

Congratulations Brent Ramsey, our new Executive Director at Azalea Trace. Brent is a licensed nursing home administrator who has worked in the for-profit arena in several states. While working in Colorado, Brent transitioned to CCRCs and served as an executive director for a national for-profit organization and most recently, for a not-for-profit community in Columbus, GA. He replaces Brenda Basford who retired after 40 years of dedicated service to our residents. Welcome, Brent!

Acts Residents Expand Their Social Circle with Virtual Connections

Acts residents in five communities participate in virtual educational programming.

Acts residents are using technology as never before to participate in virtual programming to expand their knowledge of history, culture and make new friends across the globe! Five Acts communities - Buckingham’s Choice, Cokesbury Village, Indian River Estates, Heron Point of Chestertown, and Normandy Farms Estates - participate in educational programming to enhance lifelong learning.

“That’s the silver lining from this pandemic,” said Theresa Perry, Corporate Director of Hospitality and Wellness Services. “Our residents truly embraced technology, from virtual programs to Zoom video chats, and this virtual engagement is here to stay. I’m so proud that our residents embraced this opportunity to grow and adapt.”

Residents are leading discussions, engaging in educational lectures and creating new friendships from the comfort of their living rooms. Read the full article on the Acts website here.

Matthews Glen Awarded Coveted 'Best Over 55 Community'

Patrick Picciocchi, Executive Director of Matthews Glen

Acts is proud to announce Matthews Glen, in Matthews, NC, took first place for Best Over 55 Community. Readers of Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly voted for their favorite businesses in its annual Best of the Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

"We are thrilled to have been voted by the residents of Matthews and neighboring towns the 'Best Over 55 Community' in our area," said Patrick Picciocchi, Executive Director of Matthews Glen. "The residents and team at Matthews Glen strive to fulfill our company mission of Loving-Kindness, and this honor is an example of how our mission is being noticed."

Picciocchi accepted the award on behalf of Matthews Glen at a June 24 reception at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Charlotte. Read more about the award here.

Westminster Village Awarded 'Best Retirement Community'... Again!

Congratulations to Westminster Village, proud recipient of the 2021 Nappie Award for Best Retirement Community! This is the third consecutive year the Spanish Fort retirement community earned this prestigious honor. Nappie Award winners are voted by the readers of Lagniappe Weekly which covers all of Baldwin and Mobile Counties.

Azalea Trace Wins First Place for Pensacola's Best Crab Cake!

For the second year, Azalea Trace has received the highest honor at the prestigious Arc Gateway Crab Cake Cook-off 2021. Competing against the most renown, highly-rated coastal seafood restaurants, Azalea Trace took home the Judge's Choice award for first place, and the ultimate bragging rights to Pensacola's best crab cake! Read more here.

Team Azalea Trace ranked #1 in Crab Cake Cook-off.

St. Andrews Estates Applauded for 'Delicious, Different and Distinctive' Menu

The Senior Dining Association featured St. Andrews Estates for its initiative to provide residents with everyday cook-to-order menu options and monthly special-themed events. Chefs pride themselves and strive to plate each meal in a beautiful presentation.

"Our residents love food and most of all, they love good food... we try to find the most authentic recipes and use the three D’s approach, making food that is delicious, different, and distinctive.” - Walter Lubin, Sous Chef, St. Andrews Estates

You can read the full article, which includes the recipe for Chef Lubin's popular Italian Shrimp and Scallop Risotto, here.

Kayaking Queen of Heron Point

Ginny Newton celebrates her victorious kayaking outing.

At 101 years young, Ginny Newton of Heron Point of Chestertown is a rising kayaking star! Residents went on an adventurous paddling outing with the Sultana Education Foundation and Ginny became the most experienced paddler the Foundation says it ever hosted! You'll find more photos on the community's Facebook page.

Acts 2020 Annual Report is Now Available

The Acts 2020 Annual Report is available for viewing on the Acts website and the MyActsLife resident portal. The annual report provides a financial overview of the Acts organization and significant accomplishments of the past year. We hope you find this annual report informative, inspiring, and reflective of our dedication to meeting our mission.

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