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Opportunity to Stop ‘N’ Shop

David, Manager at Stop n Shop.

David Singer, Manager at Stop ‘N’ Shop.

Whether it is birthday cards, tissues or a candy bar we all have an excuse to Stop ‘N’ Shop. Near the lobby at the Rose Schnitzer Manor you can find a small convenient shop to meet all your needs. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 2:00pm – 3:30pm.

David Singer, the charming manager and buyer, welcomes you with a smile and willingness to help. David has lived at Rose Schnitzer Manor for 12 years and began as a volunteer at the Stop ‘N’ Shop two years ago. He says cookies and toothpaste are  the top sellers. There is an impressive snack and greeting card selection at very reasonable prices. All of the proceeds go to the Employee Recognition Fund which gets divided evenly among all Cedar Sinai Park employees once a year.

Please pick up your next snack or holiday cards at the Stop ‘N’ Shop!

Stop n Shop Tioletries

Stop ‘N’ Shop Toiletries

Stop N Shop Greeting Cards

Stop ‘N’ Shop Greeting Cards

Thank you PSU interns!

graduationLast week we said goodbye to our wonderful Portland State interns. This year we had three people join us from the master’s in social work program to learn about what social workers do in a nursing facility. They provided hands on assistance We have been working with interns for many years and are known to be one of the best placements. This could be due to the fact that people can tell that we put our residents first by deeply caring about them.

Elizabeth, who graduated this past week with a certificate in gerontology, valued her experience with Cedar Sinai Park. Elizabeth declared that she “learned a lot including new medical terminology, systems, and applying the skills I’ve learned throughout my program. I feel more confident about looking for a job in the field and being prepared.” Portland State is the only accredited social work program in Oregon and is highly competitive. We are honored to be able to provide Mentorship to the students who will be doing important work in our community.

One Elizabeth’s last day, she lead a “timeslips” activity for our Robison Jewish Health Center residents. It is a creative process that encourages individuals to unleash their imagination. The room was filled with laughter as our elders took their turn telling their story. A fun image of a woman jumping in the air on a beach was passed around and each participant shared their interpretations. Our residents are creative!

We are grateful to our interns for all of their contributions. We look forward to having more friendly faces around next fall. Congratulations to everyone who graduated from all levels of education this last week!



Singing the Song of Life at Cedar Sinai Park

Final Pre-Summer Break Rehearsal, RSM 062711 (7)

All-Star volunteer Barbara Slader, right, leading the Rose Schnitzer Manor Choir's final pre-summer break rehearsal, 6/27/11

The Rose Schnitzer Manor Choir may be on summer hiatus until after Labor Day, but the members’ love of music is everlasting. Choir Director and long-time Cedar Sinai Park volunteer Barbara Slader summed it up nicely: “The Choir gives us all great joy and energy. Everybody feels younger and zippier after rehearsals and performances. People made new friends, we’re a real team and a wonderful community.”

The Choir started at the Manor in mid-2005 after Barbara ran into a pen pal and fellow choral music lover, Malca Muskin, who had just moved to the Manor. They joined forces with volunteers Judy Sibelmann and Sheryl Chomak; Barry Lavine offered to volunteer as a pianist; and Assistant Choir Director Susie Gouz provides an energizing presence.

“Barry plays brilliant jazz piano and makes our music sparkle,” Barbara said. “Susie helps every singer participate and keeps us all energized and smiling.”

Music plays a major part in Barbara’s life: she’s been a singer a choir director for many years and she founded and directed the Jewish Community Chorus.

“I miss the Choir,” Barbara said. “I love music, I love making music with people, and I love helping people sing together. We enjoy singing the great songs of 1930’s and 1940’s, and we’re working up into the 1950’s. We throw in a rock and roll number every once in a while, we’ve sung Muppets songs, the Beach Boys and the Beatles… And we also like to spice it up with something new and exciting, dramatic or theatrical, or something with props, too. The Choir is the high point of the week for all of us. Singing together makes us feel great!”

All-Star Volunteers? They Sing With Us.

Directing the Choir is only one of Barbara’s charges as a Rose Schnitzer Manor volunteer. She also leads the weekly Torah Study group and various services, including the recent Bar Mitzvah for resident Mike Mogell (Barbara is an invested cantor), and her volunteer commitment at Cedar Sinai Park includes spiritual care (chaplaincy).

Though staff and residents have tremendous appreciation for Barbara’s tireless work, resident Jack Straus said it for all of us, “I don’t know how she does it.”

For her part, Barbara has an apt response: “This is the most meaningful, fulfilling, and rewarding work I’ve ever done.”

The Choir’s Monday rehearsals and performances start again the first Monday after Labor Day. Meanwhile, Barbara said, “New singers are welcome!”

Volunteer Keeps “Employee of the Quarter” Alive

Bob Weinstein with Robison resident

Bob Weinstein with a Robison resident at a recent outing to Skamania Lodge, WA

The Employee of the Quarter program at Cedar Sinai Park started with a returned bill. Volunteer Bob Weiner’s mother-in-law and then-Robison Jewish Health Center Rhea Weinstein had given a few dollars to an aide as reimbursement for beauty supplies she used on Rhea. A head nurse brought the money back, saying staff don’t expect or take anything from residents. In an effort to acknowledge the good work of Cedar Sinai Park employees, Bob joined forces with his wife Marla and brother-in-law Steve Weinstein to endow the Rhea Weinstein Employee of the Quarter Fund.

“We wanted to do it to give thanks,” Bob said. “It’s like a family here.”

Since 2002, the program has honored many caregivers and other staff at both Robison and at Rose Schnitzer Manor. The Cedar Sinai Park official policy states the program recognizes “employees who have made substantial contributions to the organization or who have otherwise contributed or performed in a manner which will reflect favorably on the individual and Cedar Sinai Park”.

Each Employee of the Quarter receives a number of perks to acknowledge their work:

  • Plaque of Honor, prominently displayed at the entrance of each building; past Employees of the Quarter are added to a list running next to the plaque;
  • Check for $150.00; and
  • Assigned parking space for three months or a 3-month Tri-Met pass

All staff are eligible to be nominated. Additional qualifications include a 6-month longevity; being dependable, consistent, and willing to help; having a positive attitude, no absences or tardiness; and demonstrating a positive attitude.

Nominate an Employee

We invite everyone to nominate an employee for the award.

According to Bob, who visits Cedar Sinai Park frequently as a volunteer, “Staff do such nice things for residents all the time. It doesn’t take much to nominate. ”

Anyone can nominate an employee, including staff, residents, guests, and family members, whose nominations we particularly encourage. Blue nomination boxes are located at each building entrance, and another alternates between the main business office and the Robison time-clock nook. The online nomination form for Robison is here [pdf], the form for the Manor is here [pdf].

In addition to the initial endowment, the Fund accepts contributions by community members. If you’d like to help the program grow, call Chief Development Officer Debbi Bodie at 503.535.4303 or email her.

Survey Demonstrates Effects of Robison Care

Robison Jewish Health Center FrontAs part of their work with Cedar Sinai Park, interns Nancy Knopf and Matthew Powers conducted a small survey to find out whether discharged Robison Jewish Health Center residents entered hospital care within 90 days. The survey found that while 7, or 18 percent, of survey respondents did go to the hospital, none did for the reasons related to their reasons for coming to our nursing home care.

The “Resident Discharge Disposition Survey” helps us prepare for the impact of the health care reform: the new Accountable Care policies will affect organizations whose discharged clients experience hospitalization within three months of discharge. The survey’s promising results will also help us  take advantage of the resulting opportunity to work more collaboratively with our acute care partners, such as hospitals, and to collect information on services we could provide to help prevent the return to the hospital.

Asked to summarize her experience conducting the survey, Nancy said, “I felt good about the fact that the information we received was generally positive. The survey shows how we [Robison Jewish Health Center] help people avoid going to the hospital. It made me feel good about the services there and it further confirmed the good work everybody does.”

The interns mailed 94 survey questionnaires to residents discharged between May 2010 and April 2011. Thirty-nine, or 41% of discharged residents returned their questionnaire or completed it in a phone interview. Two of the 7 re-hospitalized discharged residents passed away in the hospital from causes unrelated to their reasons for coming to our care. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software.

Both Nancy and Matthew graduated from PSU as Masters in Social Work on June 11th. Their Cedar Sinai Park supervisor, CEO David Fuks, participated in the hooding ceremony. Congratulations, Nancy and Matthew, and thank you for your great work!

Contribution credits: Robison Jewish Health Center Administrator Kimberly Fuson – copy, 2010-2011 Administrative and Social Work Interns Nancy Knopf and Matthew Powers – survey 

Volunteer Gerel Blauer Beautifies Robison Gardens

Volunteer Gerel Blauer

Volunteer Gerel Blauer in the Miriam Suite Garden, Robison Jewish Health Center, 6/16/11

For Gerel Blauer, volunteering as a gardener at Cedar Sinai Park is personal. Both her mother and cousin lived at Robison Jewish Health Center and she’s a gardening evangelist.

Gerel’s first encounter with Cedar Sinai Park took place in 1986 when her mother stayed at Robison; the second when she’d visit her cousin here in 2000. Both times Gerel felt the building’s entrance area could be more welcoming.

“Unless this place looks inviting, nobody would want to stay here,” she said.

Convinced she could help, she asked Administrator Kimberly Fuson and Community Program Director Kathy Tipsord whether they’d be interested in  the Home — Robison Jewish Health Center used to be called Robison Jewish Home — being beautified. As is Cedar Sinai Park’s philosophy, they said yes, provided Gerel would take the lead.

Gerel answered the bell: she’s been taking care of the six Robison gardens for over 10 years now. She tends to plants, flowers, and shrubs, some of which she brought from her own garden.

A few years in, Gerel realized the job is too much for one person. Since 2005, she’s had occasional volunteers help with the work. She said additional volunteers are always needed and welcome, needing only energy, strength, and interest in exercise. Her volunteer recruitment strategy mirrors Cedar Sinai Park’s and is simple: “When a family member or a friend comes by and they notice something needs to be done, I accept no complaints, I accept volunteer help.”

On the day of the interview, new Rose Schnitzer Manor Queen Lois Poplack’s son was helping Gerel spread bark mulch in the Zidell Garden, underneath the 100-year old heritage tree. He said, “You just can’t say no Gerel. I’ll help whenever she asks me.”

Still, Gerel does most of the work. So much, in fact, that she cannot estimate the number of hours she puts in every week.

“When the spirit moves a volunteer,” Gerel said in general terms, but referring to herself, “and the volunteer has the time, the volunteer volunteers as much as she can give.”

The sense of satisfaction Gerel derives from her volunteer work is palpable to anyone who talks to her. She said, “There’s the satisfaction of providing a pleasant environment, making the Home a more beautiful place, and knowing I helped others.”

Just then, a daughter of a Robison residents walked by, glanced at the Zidell Garden, and said, “Looks beautiful!”