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Grace Living Centers is pleased to announce that several of our homes earned the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's top rating in the most recent Focus on Excellence report.

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Madine Hill Recognized for 50 Years of Service

“The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want.” ~ Psalm 23  

"Mama Hill" | 50 Years and Counting

Grace Living Centers' President Don Greiner Presents Madine Hill With A Plaque Recognizing 50 Years of ServiceShe’s described as a Godly woman who has inspired, uplifted and mentored hundreds of people throughout her life. At 82 years young, Madine Hill – known as Mama Hill to all of her co-workers – has spent the past 50 years as a housekeeper at Grace Living Center Northeast. While the community’s name has changed over the years, one thing has remained the same: Mama Hill.

Grace COO Will Griffin, Madine Hill and Grace Regional Director Bryan Baskin“I came here in 1968. I spent all my younger life here,” shared Madine. “As I was growing up, I wanted to be a missionary then I became a mother and I had to take care of my family. So, I came here. The longer I stayed here, the better I loved it. Then I said, 'well this is my calling. God wants me to be here.' So, here I am.”

Close-up of Outstanding Achievement AwardMadine feels cleaning is her way to help minister the Word of God to those who are at times, in their darkest moments. “Keeping their rooms clean and everything.... That’s my great way of ministering to them and I love each and every one of them.” 

Besides her kind heart, Mama Hill has been gifted with a face that never ages. By looking at her, you would think she’s in her 50s, not 82. “Everyone tells me that,” she shared. When asked about the secret to her youthful appearance, she replied, “treating people right and God. God is my savior and the best thing in life is to treat your neighbor and fellow man right. Do right by others as you would have done unto you. You’ll be surprised how well things go.”

Mama Hill has no plans of retiring anytime soon and offered up these words of wisdom for the younger generations. “When I was growing up, they didn’t have computers and they didn’t have TVs or none of that. So now they have all these things they can use. My words for my young co-workers are to reach up and learn all you can get and get it while you’re young.” This is great advice from a hard-working woman who’s seen a lot of change during her five decades on the job. As for her personal life, Madine is the mother of seven: five girls and two boys. She has nearly two dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When she’s not busy sharing God’s Word, Madine is in her garden. “I just love flowers. I told my children, give me my flowers while I’m here. Don’t pile all those flowers on me when I’m gone: give them to me now.” 

Mrs. Hill,

Through the years, your talents and efforts have helped our success. Together, we take pride in your accomplishment and your commitment to excellence.

Congratulations on your anniversary! Thank you for your 50 years of loving service! 

Grace President Don Greiner, Madine Hill and Grace Northeast Administrator Mary PeacockMadine Hill with Grace President Don GreinerMadine Hill with her Award




Cherished Memories: An Afternoon of Reminiscing

I was about 6 years old and my aunt dressed me up like a cowgirl. 

They are stories that show a glimpse in time. A time, some would say, when things were much simpler but, for Ms. Wasserbeck, a resident at Senior Village for the past seven years, they are times she deeply cherishes. 

Sharon Francis Wasserbeck was born at St. Anthony hospital in Oklahoma City on September 3, 1941. Francis, as she goes by, was not an only child. She had a brother named Joe who she’s remained close to all of her life. The family resided in Downtown Oklahoma City for the first 15 years of her life then moved to southwest part of town. One of her more memorable moments from her childhood involved a cowgirl outfit that she still has the photo of to this day. “My mom put me in a beauty contest and I won it. I was about 6 years old and my aunt dressed me up like a cowgirl. I had on boots and a little pink dress,” she shared.  

Also as a little girl she has fond memories of being in Campfire. Her troop leader was Ms. Young who was an Art teacher at Roosevelt High School. One of the memories she shared was about her first camping trip to Camp Cimarron. “We went hiking and I remember we didn’t have enough covers. It was in the winter time and we didn’t have enough covers, but we had some newspapers. And, she (Ms. Young) told us to spread them in between the blankets and we would keep warm. That’s what we did and we stayed warm. We were in a cabin and it cut out the wind. We had a fire place in the center where we cooked our meals. We had fun!”

One of her favorite stories to tell from yesteryear is about her Uncle meeting Will Rogers. “I didn’t know my uncle, but he met Will Rogers out in California and they had their picture taken with him. And my aunt had her picture taken with all of the movie stars out there at that time. We found it when we went through the pictures and my brother said that’s Will Rogers and that’s your uncle,” she shared. Francis kept the photos and years later sent them into OETA to be showcased on the air. The photos were shown twice on OETA, according to Francis. As an adult, Francis worked at John A. Brown’s Department store in Downtown Oklahoma City for 22 years before retiring to take care of her mother. She’s the proud Aunt of three nieces and nephews. Francis loves to reminisce and has many scrapbooks with photos, newspaper clippings and other knick knacks from years that have passed.  


Nurses Week 2018: A Nurse's Story

And what nursing has to do in either case, is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him. ~ Florence Nightingale 

Short-Term Resident Rudolf Lense and LPN Mike HammackIt’s a week long celebration dedicated to those who work tirelessly to save lives, provide comfort and quality care. This year’s Nurses Week theme is “Inspire, Innovate, Influence.” National Nurses week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. She is the founder of modern nursing. Over the week there will be several events across the nation to honor nurses for the work they do, and to help educate the public about nurses’ roles in health care. As a tribute to all of the wonderful nurses we wanted to shine a spotlight on one of the incredible members of our nursing staff, Mike Hammack, LPN and a PPS Case Manager, who’s been at Grace Living Center Edmond for the past decade. He is known for his compassion in helping families worry less while helping to comfort their loved ones. 

“I never really thought about getting into nursing, but my brother was going to go to nursing school and he wanted someone to go to nursing school with. That’s how I ended up going to nursing school,” shared Hammack. At first, he and his brother wanted to work in the Emergency Room at a local hospital, but it wasn’t meant to be. So, he ended up working at a long-term care community in Louisville, Kentucky where he lived at the time. This twist of fate helped him find his niche and passion for caring for his elders. “I was pretty new, a year or two in and there was a lady on the hall I normally worked for long-term care. She didn’t have kids or anything and we formed a bond. She was kind of like a grandmother to me. I took care of her. She actually went to the hospital, came back skilled and they moved her to the skilled unit. She threw a fit and demanded that they move her to the other unit because I wasn’t there to take care of her. She’s really the one that has stuck with me,” said Hammack. Now, around 14 years later since nursing school Mike can’t imagine doing anything different because he loves his job at Grace Living Center Edmond! Mike has been happily married for 19 years and is the proud father of two teenage boys. He’s been able to use what he’s learned on his feet caring for the elderly in his home life. “A little more compassion because I’m a little rough around the edges. It’s softened me a little bit,” said Hammack. 

Long-time staff members Vern Davis, Kevin Shaw and Mike HammackHe shared these words of wisdom for anyone looking at getting into the nursing field. “If you’re going to get into nursing make sure you have a caring personality because if you are just getting into it for money, it’s not going to be enjoyable at all if you’re just coming to punch a clock.” We salute all the nurses this week for your hard work and dedication to quality care.

Thanks for all you do each day! 



Get Your Wishes In Writing

“National Healthcare Decisions Day. Your decisions matter.”  

On April 16, You're Encouraged To Begin "The Conversation"

There are hundreds of excuses to avoid talking about advance care planning or end-of-life care. The top ones: "it’s uncomfortable" and "there’s never really a right time to talk about it." However, it’s one of the most important conversations you or a loved one can have when it comes to following through on medical related wishes. Dr. James Lackey, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has delivered more than 6,000 babies and is also the Medical Director for Utilization Management for Integris, has seen this unthinkable scene play out during his years of practice. “Our goal is for people to think about what they want and to communicate that to the people who will be taking care of them.” 

To help get the conversation started, April 16th has been named National Healthcare Decisions Day. It’s a national initiative to encourage adults of all ages to make plans ahead of a health crisis. When people make decisions ahead of time and put their wishes in writing, it helps bring peace of mind to you and the rest of your family. It also helps to avoid the difficult situations that are so common when a person becomes seriously ill and your family is left guessing on decisions of life and death. “It’s a gift to the people who love you. When we get to the end of our days and are often unable to communicate making a bad situation worse for loved ones and it can be made better with some advanced planning,” shared Dr. Lackey.

There are two key advance care planning forms: a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney form. The Living Will is used to used to help direct the person in charge of your care to make decisions on future medical treatments if you were to become incapacitated, typically at the end of life. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is used to appoint a person to make medical decisions upon your behalf if you are incapacitated. Both forms are recommended and don’t expire. The only costs that are associated with these forms are for attorney or notary services. 



Building Bonds Through Books

“I’ve just really been impressed with the relationships my students have built with the grandmas and grandpas.”

The Book Buddies Program at Grace Living Center Jenks 

Building bonds and cherished memories through books is just one of many shared moments between students and their elders throughout the weekday. A nearly two decade long partnership with the Jenks Public Schools has helped bridge the generations through a intergenerational school located inside Grace Living Center Jenks. 

AT LEFT: Book buddies Nancy Reeves and Henry taking part of #ReadAcrossAmerica in honor of Dr. Seuss Day!


The Book Buddies Program at Grace Living Center Jenks works by pairing students each morning with a grandma or grandpa, as the students lovingly refer to them as, to read a book. Not only are they able to talk and share stories and let their imaginations run free, but this time also helps these small students learn more about how to hold a book, turn pages and gain confidence to read aloud. “Book buddies has really helped grow my students as readers because a lot of them now have gotten to where they have the confidence to go and read the book to the residents. This has been really great because there are some residents who can’t see the words so those residents can still come and interact with our students and my students can read to them,” shared Kindergarten teacher Katharine Wilson.

However, it’s just not about books, these special bonds build character within the kindergarteners and pre-K students while helping to bring joy to their elders. “I’ve just really been impressed with the relationships my students have built with the grandmas and grandpas. When we go to do something with them and they’re not there, they’re asking where they are. They are worrying about where they are. They really are really good friends with them and really have a great relationship with them,” shared Wilson.

A similar program, Reading Buddies, is also helping to connect young students and their elders while adding some whimsy to everyday life at The Springs. Now, in its fourth school year, a partnership with the Muskogee Public Schools has helped build many memorable bonds through an intergenerational school located inside The Springs. These positive experiences are not only helping to build character, but memories our elders and their littles will cherish for a lifetime! “It thrills me to see how at the end of life you can still make such a big difference with our students. And, that’s something that will last with our students for the rest of their lives. You know how tolerant they are and just understanding,” shared Benjamin Franklin Stem Academy’s Principal Donna Pillars. 


AT RIGHT: Reading buddies times two with grandfriend Connie Davison at the Springs!