The Wesley Community, under the guidance of the UMHH Board of Directors and The Wesley Community CEO Brian Nealon, has embarked on a strategic plan that will transform all aspects of the organization to address the changing demand for services and continue to meet the needs of the older adult population in the future.
More than two years of research and planning has resulted in the Embracing Excellence initiative, which features a four pillar approach that touches all aspects of the organization, from infrastructure investment to workforce development.
“The Wesley Community has evaluated its place in the industry and is proactively pursuing a multi-year strategic plan that will set our organization on a clear path to success,” Nealon said. “The Embracing Excellence initiative will position our organization for the future, while maintaining and expanding all of the services that The Wesley Community has established over the past several decades.”
A changing landscape for funding and policy regarding Medicaid managed care, along with changing preferences in long-term care solutions by consumers has created both challenges and new opportunities for organizations that care for older adults across the state and nation.
This long-term strategic plan will allow The Wesley Community to remain as one of the preeminent organizations in the area caring for older adults, both on its campus and in their homes. The plan has set the key goals of creating a culture of excellence; expanding employee engagement and wellness opportunities; renewal of infrastructure; and establishing new business development opportunities.
In order to effectively implement the Embracing Excellence initiative, The Wesley Community has restructured its senior leadership team as follows:
Shelly Amato, Chief Strategy Officer (former CFO)Dutch Hayward, Chief Operating Officer (former Administrator)Jessica Florio, Administrator (former Associate Administrator)Leslie Fettinger, Director of Employee Engagement (former HR Director)Katie Lahoff, Director of Finance (former Controller)Meghan Glowa was hired as the new Human Resources Director
“This leadership team will shape the future of The Wesley Community by collaborating on each piece of the Embracing Excellence initiative to make sure all of our goals come to fruition,” Nealon said. “These administrative changes will allow them to be able to help at a more strategic level and help expand the level of service we provide both on our campus and in the surrounding communities.”
The Wesley Community has not only been making changes to the leadership team but has also been investing in staff with more competitive salaries and educational programs at all levels which opens up career development opportunities within the organization.
The strategic plan has been designed to enhance all aspects of working at Wesley – from the overall experience of front-line staff all the way to directors. The Wesley Community is looking to further establish itself as a long-term career destination by creating clear pathways for current and future employees. It will also expand the available training opportunities to include more focus on employee hospitality, accountability, skill development and risk management.
“We are looking to build, educate and engage our staff to make sure we continue to provide strong quality care to both seniors and their families,” Amato said. “We want to truly elevate the skills of our staff and we are taking the necessary steps to create the champions of our industry.”
The Wesley Community is also looking to make several investments across its continuum of care campus in Saratoga Springs to better meet the needs of residents and staff. Some of those changes would include the creation of more private rooms, renovations to the existing facilities, home care improvements and equipment upgrades.
The leadership team at Wesley has also been noticing a societal transition where many aging adults now prefer to receive health related services in their home. As a result, Wesley previously acquired home care provider Senior Solutions to provide new services for both current and future patients.
Wesley Senior Solutions provides an alternative option beyond the traditional residential care currently available on campus and brings the same level of service to clients who wish to remain in the comfort of their own home. Nealon said due to both consumer demand and fiscal challenges he believes the home care model will experience the biggest growth in the senior healthcare industry over the next several decades.
“The landscape is changing for elder care and we need to make sure we are positioned to be a successful retirement community for both the current and future generations,” Nealon said. “We are aware of the increasing demand for more private rooms and in home services, which is exactly why we are taking the necessary steps today to create a better tomorrow.”