Senior Paradigm Shift

Cedar Sinai Park Chief Executive Officer David Fuks recently announced several promotions and additions to the CSP management team. This growth at the executive level reflects the growth in scope and services that began almost 10 years ago and today is moving forward at a significant pace.

To long-time Portland residents, the Robison Jewish Health Center was always simply “The Home.” While some people went there for temporary rehabilitation, many of our parents and grandparents ended up at The Home when they grew old and fragile. The care was top-notch, the food was kosher and sometimes good, and the people were really nice, but the percep- tion remained: Life as you knew it was over when you went to The Home. And one day we would end up there, too.

The addition of the Rose Schnitzer Manor in 1998 expanded the residential options to people who were, by Robison standards, pretty healthy. For many, it serves as an apartment with benefits: meal and maid service, activities and friends, all optional … and all with the security of knowing Robison is just across the street. It also grew the number of residents served from 130 to 250 a year, an increase of more than 90%.

Today Cedar Sinai Park is building a new facility and renovating the aging Robison to better implement an innovative model of nursing care. Called the Social Household Model, it builds on the patient-centered care that is already in place at CSP. Rather than the traditional hospital design, these will be more like individual residences. Single bedrooms will surround a living and dining area with its own kitchen. Studies show resi- dents in homes like these are happier and healthier. Whether for short-term rehabilitation or longer-term care, it will feel more like a real home than a hospital or nursing home.

The sea change, though, is that Cedar Sinai Park is rapidly accelerating the rate at which it provides or facilitates care to those who do not live on the Raleigh Hills campus. It began in earnest in 2000 when CSP added Adult Day Services, an activity program for adults who need supervision because of physical or mental challenges. While some participants live at Cedar Sinai Park, this was the first major foray into providing services for people whose home is not at CSP. This program, paired with the opening of the Shlim Wing of Rose Schnitzer Manor, brought the number of people served to almost 300 a year.

The growth continued in 2007, when CSP collaborated with Jewish Family and Child Service to create Sinai Family Home Services. This new agency was an important next step to providing care for those who choose to stay in their own homes as long as possible. It is a separate entity, but both founding organizations still play an active role, bringing another 40 people a day under the CSP umbrella.

In 2007 CSP also purchased the Clay Apartments downtown, now renamed Rose Schnitzer Tower, adding 233 apartments for approximately 250 low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. This dramatic expansion of CSP’s scope and reach was only possible, says David Fuks, through “the huge generosity of the Schnitzer family and the extraordinary time and expertise of Jim Winkler.” Harsch Investments continues to provide management services and advice, but CSP has primary respon- sibility for the operation.

The 2012 purchase of three additional downtown apartment buildings for low-income seniors and disabled adults was a real turning point for Cedar Sinai Park for several reasons. CSP could now service 570 residents in 540 downtown apartments. With the elderly population swelling and the economy still such a challenge, offering affordable housing is the right thing to do, according to David Fuks. Quality Section 8 affordable apartment buildings like Rose Schnitzer Tower, Park Tower, 1200 Building and Lexington Apartments have long waiting lists, and he hopes those in our community who may want to live there eventually will put their names on the list now. Another key element is the development and expansion of services for those in CSP buildings as well as for people who stay in their original homes. “We have excellent residential and nursing facilities for those who need it,” says Fuks. “It is our hope, though, that people will be able to stay home, wherever that is, for as long as they want to.” For that to happen, agencies like CSP, JFCS and others will need to collaborate to be sure high-quality, affordable services are available. That cooperation is already starting to happen.

Four sites with eight entities, an ever-growing number of programs to serve them, the construction and management of Kehillah housing at CSP for adults with disabilities, collaborative efforts with community partners to help seniors age in place, the complex paperwork and protocols involved with government subsidized housing, the capital campaign’s community launch this spring … and the subsequent construction of the new nursing facility. It is no wonder the CSP board approved some expansion in the executive offices. “We are so delighted that we are creating a wider range of services and a new, innovative level of care,” says Fuks. “We have put together a strong, cohesive management team and the best support staff in the business to make it happen.”

With Lesley’s leadership as Robison’s Administrator, it is now my privilege as Chief Program Officer to engage in work focused solely on creating, enhancing and sustaining holistic quality of life for those who work, live with and are served by the Cedar Sinai Park family. Serving my friends’ grandparents and my grandparents’ friends, giving back to the community that raised and taught me the values of love and healing the world are the highest honors.

Kimberly Fuson: Chief Program Officer, formerly Robison Jewish Health Center Administrator
Bill Stinnett: Assistant CEO, formerly Chief Financial Officer and part-time Assistant CEO

Lesley Sacks: Robison Jewish Health Center Administrator
Richard Horsford: Chief Financial Officer
Jane Duck: Director of Nursing
Ali Reis: Admissions/ Social Services Coordinator

I’ve been at Robison for eight years as the admissions coordinator and social services director, and it’s an honor and privilege
to continue to serve our residents and community in this new capacity. With all of the exciting changes going on at Cedar Sinai Park, and the hugely anticipated new nursing facility in the coming years, it was a perfect time for me to step into a leadership role where I can continue to move the nursing facility into the philosophy of person centered care and household model. Being a native Portlander, I have strong ties to the Jewish community and have had many relatives throughout the years at Robison. It creates special meaning for me to continue the reputation of excellence that Cedar Sinai Park represents, and serve the elder community of today and the future.

Liz Rabiner Lippoff is a Portland freelance writer and medical marketing specialist at Liz, ink: She also serves on the board of directors of Cedar Sinai Park.

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