Summertime Fair celebrates the Homeland Center family and community


Another successful Homeland Center Summertime Fair dodged the raindrops – mostly – while offering fun for residents, neighbors, and kids of all ages.

Homeland resident Isabelle Smith meets Bridget. Children and the fair got a real treat by riding Bridget and a pony named Pumpkin.

The 2016 Summertime Fair, held on a warm Saturday, offered games, food, pony rides, classic cars, and a hidden treasure sale, while it spotlighted Homeland’s commitment to the community and staff. The fair has become an annual tradition and a fundraiser for Homeland’s activity fund, which helps residents enjoy outings to shows, restaurants and stores.

The fair was held all around Homeland’s grounds. Classic cars, including a Chevy Impala convertible and a little red Corvette, lined the street. A reptile petting zoo outside the front fence offered the chance to touch a tarantula and a snake. Kids enjoyed the bounce house, video game truck, face painting station, and carnival games.

At the hidden treasure sale, Homeland resident Phoebe Berner admired a pair of spike-heeled shoes in zebra print. “I like my heels an inch higher,” she joked. The fair “really has some good stuff for folks to enjoy.”

“There are a lot of fun things to do,” she said. “I need to get some tickets and try my hand at the games.” After trying the basketball-shot game, she admitted to doing “horrible, but I tried.”

The Summertime Fair, with many free and low-cost events for people of all ages, is Homeland Center’s way of thanking the community for its steadfast support. Here, two neighborhood girls have fun decorating birdhouses at the crafts table.

Deb Benna, attending with her best friend Barbara Cox, said they looked at many nursing facilities before deciding Homeland was the place for Cox’s mother.

“We just love it here,” she said. “We like the care. We like the friendliness of the employees and the cleanliness.”

Resident Rosa Walker and her daughter Beverly were soaking in the atmosphere from Homeland’s front porch, which happens to be Rosa’s favorite spot. The idyllic site overlooking the gardens and fountain “is beautiful, and very peaceful,” she said. “It’s scenic, and it’s a quiet area.”

When a pony named Pumpkin and a gray horse named Bridget arrived, children lined up for a chance to ride. Five-year-old Maliah Sumpter, daughter of Homeland Activities Assistant Gillian Lawrence, climbed on Pumpkin without hesitation. When she learned her pony’s name, she said, “That’s what my mom calls me, Pumpkin!”

“She saw the ponies and said, ‘It’s time to get on the pony,’” said Maliah’s dad, Marcellus Sumpter. The fair “is nice,” he added. “The kids wait for this every year.”

Over at the lineup of classic cars, Jesse Evans was taking his mom, 99-year-old resident Geraldine Evans, for a stroll. Geraldine was enjoying the warm day, even as a few raindrops started to fall. She loves getting outside, even in the winter, she said.

“It’s nice to get out,” she said. “When it snowed, I made my first snowball.”

The classic cars reminded her how much she also loved to drive, she said. Her son concurred, recalling their old Dodge Dart.

“She’d like to take one for a ride, if she could find the keys,” he said.

Homeland Center “is a wonderful home,” Jesse said. “If I have to go anywhere, I’m coming here. This is the best place my mom can be.”

Homeland Center unveils two new services to care for seniors at home to address underserved need throughout central PA region



Contact: Betty Hungerford, Director of Development

Homeland Center

Office: 717-221-7727, Cell: 717-580-9139

1901 N. 5th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102



Homeland Center unveils two new services to care for seniors at home to address underserved need throughout central PA region

Expanded services come as Homeland celebrates 150 years of caring for the Harrisburg area


HARRISBURG, PA (June 30, 2016) – With 29 percent of Pennsylvania’s population — 4 million people – expected to be 60 or older by 2030, Homeland Center today announced two new services to help seniors remain in their homes while receiving the quality care they need.

Homeland HomeCare will assist seniors with daily tasks such as meal preparation and transportation, while Homeland HomeHealth will provide doctor-ordered medical assistance, ranging from providing intravenous therapy and other medications to physical therapy.

“By 2020, one in five Americans will be over 65 and many will be requiring assistance to remain in their homes,’’ said Barry S. Ramper II, Homeland’s president and CEO. “For 150 years Homeland has changed and expanded its services to meet our community’s needs, and we realize the growing and critical need for home-based care.’’

Homeland HomeCare services will be available starting July 5th and Homeland HomeHealth, in the process of receiving its state license, is expected to begin accepting clients in the Fall of 2016. Initially, both services will only be available to residents of Dauphin and Cumberland counties.

For more information about the new services contact:

“Homeland is the recognized leader in providing high quality care for our community’s seniors,’’ Ramper said. “As our population ages and the demand for home-based services increases exponentially, we want to be there for the families who have always trusted us to care for their loved ones.”

Homeland Hospice, which serves 13 counties, last year became the only service in central Pennsylvania to offer a dedicated pediatric hospice program. Homeland Center is one of the few skilled nursing care facilities in the region to repeatedly earn Medicare’s top Five-Star rating.

While Homeland HomeCare and Homeland HomeHealth are two distinct services, they will work together based on an individual’s needs. In many cases a client discharged from the hospital may need medical assistance for a period of time and then require additional daily assistance on a permanent basis.

A main difference between the two services is that home health care requires a doctor’s order and is usually covered by the individual’s insurance or Medicare. Care is provided by skilled nurses and other medical professionals. Home care, providing help with everyday activities, is paid for by the client, either directly or through long-term care insurance.

“With the addition of these services, Homeland will be able to help seniors as their need for care increases,’’ Ramper said.

“In some cases a husband or wife may need the skilled nursing care provided at Homeland Center while their spouse will remain at home with help from Homeland HomeHealth Care,’’ Ramper said. “Homeland Hospice is available to provide care at the person’s home, a nursing facility or wherever they are residing.’’

Homeland Center Board of Trustees Chair Morton Spector said the creation of Homeland Home Care and Homeland Home Health is a continuation of Homeland’s mission to identify and meet the community’s medical and social needs.

“Homeland Center has changed since it was founded 150 years ago to shelter the area’s women and children whose husbands and fathers had died in the Civil War,’’ Spector said. “But our mission to provide for the needs of our community and deliver quality care has never changed.’’


Since 1867, Homeland has provided quality care to the residents of Central Pennsylvania. In addition to offering skilled nursing and personal care services, Homeland Hospice offers care for adults as well as providing the region’s only pediatric hospice program. For more information, go to  or

Barry Ramper, President & CEO of Homeland Center, announces the launch of two new service offerings – HomeHealth and HomeCare at a press conference on June 30th, 2016, at the John Harris-Simon Cameron  Mansion, Harrisburg.  While planning for the introduction of HomeHealth and HomeCare, Homeland wanted to offer options to individuals seeking care – with the high quality care that they are known for when they need it and at an affordable cost.

Homeland’s HomeHealth and HomeCare services will be managed by (from left to right) Lora Bierce, RN, Susan Minarik, RN and Debra Weigel, BSN, RN.  Susan, the Director of Home and Community Based Services, Lora and Debra – both Assistant Directors – HomeHealth and HomeCare, each have more than 20 years of experience in the home care services field.

Resident Spotlight: Doris Coyne brings the world to Homeland Center


Doris Coyne brings the world to Homeland Center!

Doris Coyne, far right, enjoys a root beer float with fellow residents Betty Wise, far left, and Mary Anna Borke.

Throughout her 96 years, Doris Coyne has kept her feet moving. Whether she’s kayaking in Fiji, peeking behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin, or serving meals to the hungry, she is always hunting for new experiences and the chance to stay engaged with the wide world.

“I need people,” she says. “I’m a people person.”

Coyne is among the many residents who bring a wealth of experience to Homeland Center, including two decades of volunteering with Homeland. When she shares her stories of travel to 29 countries and her still-active volunteerism, it’s as if a Chinese New Year dragon, a remote Alaskan hospital, and a picturesque state park in northeastern Pennsylvania all congregate under the Homeland roof.

Coyne was born in Scranton, the daughter of a coal company safety engineer and a homemaker. Her abiding love is water sports, starting with a canoe club on the placid waters of Lake Winola. She always loved the challenge of the water, so at age 75, she tried kayaking, not in a quiet stream, but in the Jersey Shore ocean waves.

“I no sooner was seated in the kayak than it flipped over,” she says with a laugh. “The only thing to do is get back in it.”

Coyne’s husband, whom she met while ice skating at Rocky Glen State Park, was a AAA domestic travel manager. They were fortunate to be married for 35 wonderful years, traveling as a couple and as a family with their two children. After his death in 1981, at age 58, Coyne knew she didn’t want a 9-to-5 job, so she worked temp jobs and ran her own small travel agency.

She also joined Friendship Force International, the travel group promoting personal interaction among people worldwide. Living in host-family homes, from apartments to palaces, Coyne dove into local cultures. In Taiwan, she witnessed a Chinese New Year’s parade and its dozens of men carrying the dragon. In Turkey, she rode on a circa-1905 Russian train. In West Berlin, her host’s home overlooked the Berlin Wall, patrolled by soldiers with dogs. She even got a pass to cross into East Berlin, giving up her passport for the day.

“Then you really knew what it felt like to be in a controlled country,” she says.

Coyne and her husband moved to Harrisburg in 1975. She immediately loved the area and started giving back – ushering for the Harrisburg Symphony, serving meals for the homeless, taking mission trips to support an isolated Alaskan hospital.

Through her church, Pine Street Presbyterian, Coyne began visiting Homeland Center residents in 1981. She then joined the Board of Managers and served several terms over 20 years.

“It was a wonderful, wonderful opportunity,” she says. “I enjoyed the employees and the warmth of their responses.”

As a resident, Coyne remains engaged in Homeland life, joining everything from picnics to crafts to bridge to chair Zumba. She credits her parents and her church for instilling strong values and the desire to give back.

“I love anything where you’re active but having fun doing it,’’ she says. “It isn’t selfish to have fun helping people.’’