Saint_John's Community Partners

As Saint_John's celebrates 150 years, we are Looking Back at our person-centered service to our community, and Looking Forward to an exciting future as we add to our remarkable and unique history.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

The visionary founders of Saint_John's On The Lake established a mission of outreach and service to older adults, and this focus continues today both on our campus and in the greater community. With 150 years of experience, Saint_John's knows the importance of investing in, and sharing of, lifelong learning, aging well, diversity and inclusion.

As shown in our latest Community Impact Report, this broad spectrum of interests is intentional for maximum benefit and impact.

The Community Partners below are integral in our efforts to achieve this type of outreach.

 

In year three of Aged To Perfection (ATP), an undergraduate college course imbedded on our campus, the class was fully subscribed at 25 students and had a waiting list. For 2018, an online course is projected to also be offered. In partnership with the Center for Aging & Translational Research (CATR) of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the course was carefully designed, based on research, to encourage students to choose careers working with older adults by understanding successful aging and experiencing it firsthand. Continued demand is escalating for care service professionals with specialized training in aging. The class, offered each fall semester, is a requirement for students pursuing a certificate in Healthy Aging.

  A program at James Madison High School Academy of Health Sciences offers work internships...

 

A program at James Madison High School Academy of Health Sciences offers work internships leading to employment in the health sector. Donna Spars, our Vice President of LifeStreams, is co-chair of the Advisory Board and Angie Titus, LifeStreams Coordinator, is a board member. Together they support the efforts with participation in a career fair and field trips. In addition to Donna and Angie, 10 other staff members and residents have been involved with James Madison, speaking in classrooms and offering feedback, encouragement and coaching to students on their year-end projects.

 

Chaplain Jana Troutman-Miller, a board member for the Association of Professional Chaplains as well as Chair of the APC Commission on Certification and president of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee Commission on Ministry, recorded three webinars for the national Association of Professional Chaplains. She presented at a national symposium on resources and research to strengthen spiritual care. She also spoke locally to chaplaincy residents about providing spiritual care to those of varying ages and stages of spiritual growth.

  Chaplain Jana Troutman-Miller, a board member for the Association of Professional Chaplains as well...

Filling open positions in today’s employment climate requires creativity. Our former HR Director Kim Huntley collaborated with five of her peers and MATC to design a career path for employed certified nursing assistants (CNA’s – we call them Resident Assistants) to become Licensed Practical Nurses. MATC Foundation provided a grant, MATC faculty created a curriculum and a schedule for working adults, and the retirement communities fashioned policies and provided the balance of the tuition for their student employees. Mimi Wilson, who has worked for 19 years in laundry and became certified to help out when we’re short staffed, Jennifer Ezell, a 4-year employee currently in concierge, and Nick Young who’s worked on Stratford as a Resident Assistant for the last year, applied and were accepted to the program. In an interesting turn of events, several residents are supporting the students by tutoring; it really does take a village!

In support of Dementia Education, Research and Those Living with Dementia…

Saint_John's Sparklers, the team participants of the Alzheimer’s Association Annual Walk, raised $3,000 for research and education. Additional support of $500 was contributed through the sale of Tank’s Tasty Treats (dog snacks) along with Saint_John's event sponsorship. Angie Titus, LifeStreams Coordinator, is also a leader in the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project being developed here with plans to extend an invitation to the wider community, and administers Memories In The Making which uses art as an expressive outlet for those individuals with dementia. Saint_John's is the monthly site for the gathering of the Alzheimer’s Association’s local support group, offering a place to talk about caregiving challenges and share a cup of coffee.

 

  SPARK! is a cultural arts program using hands-on activities, art exhibits and field trips...

 

SPARK! is a cultural arts program using hands-on activities, art exhibits and field trips to art museums to engage persons with dementia and their caregivers in meaningful interactions. In this third year of sponsorship, Saint_John's welcomed 16 participants, both residents and community members, who engaged monthly with the assistance of staff and volunteers. Angie Titus was a presenter at the annual  Spark! conference, “Connecting Communities” hosted at the Milwaukee Art Museum; bus transportation was provided by Saint_John's.

Saint_John's Communities Foundation stewards a Fund for the Visually Impaired which promotes grants to local agencies whose mission is to serve older adults with vision challenges. In 2017, four organizations received awards totaling $8,200 to continue their work offering supportive vision services in the Milwaukee community.  Recipients included:  ABLE: Audio & Braille Literacy Enhancement provides alternative ways for people with print-disabilities to read.  Center for Deaf-Blind Persons provides services needed to minimize the devastating effects of a combined vision and hearing loss upon the individual and family Eye Institute at the Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to the study of age-related macular degeneration. VisionFORWARD (formerly the Badger Home for the Blind) serves to empower, educate and enhance the lives of individuals impacted by vision loss through all of life’s transitions.

Since the inception of this Fund in 2005, a total of $104,456 has been awarded to give support to the operations of qualifying agencies.

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Saint_John's is a promoter of United Way’s Annual Campaign. In 2017, Saint_John's was awarded the “Game-Changers” Status for the high achievement of new donors to the Community Fund which offers support to older adults among other populations. A total of 60 employees and 68 residents were generous contributors of more than $162,000.

 

An emerging nonprofit organization, the Milwaukee Arts Project, brought an additional opportunity for Saint_John's involvement with a diversity initiative in the Sherman Park neighborhood. A plan was established to use a sequence of hand-painted murals in the neighborhood with an end-goal of connecting and educating visitors about the rich history of the area. Contributions from residents and staff, as well as Saint_John's, funded one-half of the costs of the first mural; further, volunteer hours were invested in the first paint date.

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  We believe strongly in equality for all, and are one of the few retirement...

 

We believe strongly in equality for all, and are one of the few retirement communities in Milwaukee to openly embrace couples in same sex relationships and marriages. LGBTQ older adults often face challenges finding housing and exercising control over their health care decisions because of non-traditional relationships. Saint_John's provides financial support to organizations invested in breaking down barriers so that all may age well.

 

On the road again Saint_John's resident Holger Petersen delivered a total of 848 pounds of food (canned goods, rice, cereals, etc.) to the Riverwest Food Pantry in 2017 from items collected in the box in our Bistro. In addition, well over 1,000 pounds of boxed snacks were donated to the Cathedral Square Women’s Shelter for children staying at that facility.

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Each week, Saint_John's resident Jim Ballard hears “Hallelujah, Brother!” as he drops off gently used clothing, bedding and towels at Repairers of the Breach, a daytime shelter and resource center for the homeless. Donations for this worthy effort can be made at the Central and South desks.

 

 

Saint_John's Resident Susan Ploetz continues to be the conduit to route unsold furniture and household items from our Thrift Shoppe to the International Institute of Wisconsin. This agency assists refugees who are seeking to establish households and new lives in the Milwaukee area.

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  The Knit Wits met every Tuesday in 2017 with an average attendance of 12...

 

The Knit Wits met every Tuesday in 2017 with an average attendance of 12 resident knitters for 3 hours or 1,871 annual hours. They contributed 426 items (hats, mittens, scarves) to MPS in support of homeless families and an additional 35 items to Arlington Court  (subsidized seniors).

 

 

A holiday giving tree provided 30 S.E.T. Ministry participants with gifts to celebrate the season.

    A holiday giving tree provided 30 S.E.T. Ministry participants with gifts to celebrate...
    VJS Construction Services regularly transports lightly used cabinets, countertop and appliances to Habitat for...

 

 

VJS Construction Services regularly transports lightly used cabinets, countertop and appliances to Habitat for Humanity to be repurposed in homes being constructed in the inner city for low income families.

Our Next Generation (ONG), an after-school (and summer) program headquartered at North 35th Street and West Lisbon Avenue, has a special relationship with Saint_John's On The Lake. It’s a two-way, crosstown relationship. On Tuesdays during the school year, the Saint John’s bus carries dedicated resident volunteers to participate in ONG’s Homework Club, which is located in what ONG president and CEO LaToya Sykes describes as “the heart of one of Milwaukee’s most challenged neighborhoods.” On Mondays, third-graders from ONG ride over to Saint John’s to participate in activities designed to boost the students’ interest in reading, and learning in general.

Eastside Senior Services helps older adults in the neighborhood remain living in their own homes...

Eastside Senior Services helps older adults in the neighborhood remain living in their own homes in a safe and dignified manner. By providing direct support to older adults – i.e., volunteer-driver-provided transportation for appointments, grocery shopping and errands; home visits; advocacy and information referrals; etc. – we help seniors in our neighborhood continue to live independent lives. 

 

Saint John’s is a member of LeadingAge – both the national and Wisconsin chapters – because they serve as a trusted voice for advocacy, education, and formulation of collaborative strategies to advance the fields of long-term care, assisted and retirement living. We look to them as a community partner and connector to solve problems and create new opportunities to better serve an aging America.

In her second term on the Board of Directors of LeadingAge Wisconsin, Renee Anderson, President and CEO of Saint_John's On The Lake, serves as the Vice President of Operations.

Saint John's is a member of LeadingAge - both the national and Wisconsin chapters - because they serve as a...

The Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority (WHEFA) assists all eligible Wisconsin non-profit institutions to obtain and maintain access to tax-exempt financing in order to finance or refinance their capital improvements and expansion needs.

Renee Anderson, President and CEO of Saint_John's, was appointed by Governor Scott Walker to serve on the Board of Directors of WHEFA in September, 2017.

WHEFA fulfills its mission by providing prompt, user-friendly services including communication, education, and advocacy directed towards borrowers, lenders, government, the public, trade associations, and financing team participants.