Homeland makes Father’s Day special


Bob Fultz taught his eight children many things. His son, Tim Fultz, learned the value of hard work while the family tended 10 acres of land, complete with gardens and livestock.

“We had pigs for many years,” he recalls. “We raised and sold them. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job.”

Bob Fultz is one of many dads whose accomplishments as fathers, inspirations, and friends were recognized by Homeland for Father’s Day. Working amid COVID-19 restrictions, the Homeland staff still made sure that Bob and 25 other dads received special recognition for their remarkable achievements in raising healthy families.

On the Friday before Father’s Day, Homeland held socially distanced socials for the dads in Homeland’s Personal Care and Skilled Care units. They enjoyed favorite treats like shrimp, old-fashioned root beer, cheese and crackers, pretzels, chips, and if approved, beer.
Activities staff led them in reminiscing about their families and answering trivia questions about dads and grandfathers.

In advance of Father’s Day, the Homeland staff decorated mugs with “Happy Father’s Day” messages and fun, manly images of bow ties, hats, and mustaches. On Father’s Day, they decorated a cart and pushed it around the rooms, delivering a mug filled with a few personal items, such as shaving cream and snacks, to each father in residence.

The two events helped Homeland’s corps of fathers celebrate Father’s Day, even without their families coming to visit in person, due to coronavirus restrictions. Some families held window visits. Bob Fultz’s family came for their window visit just before Father’s Day, with big smiles all around.

Bob Fultz and his wife, Shirley, were childhood sweethearts who would have been married 67 years before Shirley’s death earlier this year. Together, they raised eight children, teaching them to be independent, responsible, and entrepreneurial.

At home, the family did their farming and gardening. As the owner of his own electrical and construction businesses, Tim says his father taught all the kids, both boys and girls, the full range of building arts: “Hands-on, everything from the ground up. Putting footers in. Doing block work. Framing, plumbing, electrical, roofing.”

Their mother taught all the kids to cook, and through all of this the couple ran their own restaurant, named Bob & Shirley’s.

Sometimes, the kids were not happy to be pulling weeds, picking vegetables, or raising rabbits on their summer vacation days. Still, they watched their dad set a shining example of integrity and diligence. Inspired by his dad’s entrepreneurial example, Tim started his own construction business, restaurants, and lunch wagon.

“He just loved working for himself, even though he didn’t get rich on it,” says Tim, of West Hanover Twp. “One of his good friends told him, ‘You’re never going to get big in this business because you’re too honest.’ At least he could sleep at night.”

Bob, a Boy Scouts troop leader like his father, instilled his lifelong love of the outdoors in his kids. He took them camping, hunting, fishing and clamming in the Chesapeake Bay. They had fun, despite the occasional jellyfish sting.

“He’d always tell us, ‘Watch those things floating in the water,’” Tim remembers. “He had us out there when we were little.”

Tim passed that love of nature to his son, who is doing the same for his own boy.
“It brings closeness and camaraderie,” Tim says. “Helping each other as well as a sense of loyalty to our generations before us.”

Through it all, Tim’s parents weren’t shy about showing their kids their love for each other, holding hands or sharing a kiss. Even today, Bob tells Tim, “We had our ups and downs. We made it through. You just have to be able to work your problems out.”
Of all the values Tim learned from his dad, he cannot pick one that was the most important.

“I appreciate all of them,” he says. “I tell him every time I see him that he was a good dad. I could not have done it without him, all this stuff that I know. It makes him feel good. He always has a smile on his face and says, ‘Thanks.’”

Virtual visits bring peace of mind to Homeland residents and family


Julia Marburger was always the woman whose home was open to everyone.

“She raised five boys on her own, which is amazing,” says her daughter-in-law, Sharon Marburger. “Her home became the little hub of the neighborhood. Everybody was always at her house.”

In a virtual sense, Julia is still welcoming guests to her Homeland Center home, even with Covid-19 restrictions in place. Through meticulous planning and clever use of technology, Homeland Center is offering virtual visits, free of charge, that keep residents connected to family and provide peace of mind to loved ones.

“Our stress levels go down because we can see her, and we know how well everyone is caring for her,” says Sharon.

The virtual visits emerged from Homeland’s commitment to maintaining a sense of normalcy while strict COVID-19 containment procedures are in place. They started when Administrative Assistant for Strategic Projects/IT Alice Kirchner realized that Homeland Center had virtual-visit capabilities. She gathered and adapted 10 iPads and iPhones.

Working with Activities and Social work to understand the preferences of residents and families, Alice examined available applications and in consultation with IT settled on FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom (following proper safeguards and used only for family visits). Alice established accounts for each unit at Homeland Center and acquired cleaning materials, stands, chargers and adapters for the equipment.

Residents weren’t entirely familiar with the technology, but they caught on quickly.

“We have seen so much progress,” says Alice. “The first time one resident visited with her daughter, it was pretty stiff. Now, it’s a relaxed and enjoyable visit with no time spent on trying to figure out how it works!”

The Homeland Center Activities and Social Work offices coordinate with families to schedule the visits. Staff are trained to facilitate and log in to the different applications. Through

Notice the candle-lit cupcakes!

June, at least 260 Zoom calls had been conducted, including multiple 90+ year birthday celebrations.

Residents are excited to see their family members in one place, says Activities Director Aleisha Connors.

“It’s nice seeing the reaction on their faces – seeing them smile when they see their loved ones, knowing they’re still there and thinking about them,” she says.

Invitations go out to one or two family members, and they can invite others. Some visits have involved eight or 10 people, and pets.

“They’re raucous. They are loud. They are lovely,” says Alice. “They are multi-generational. I know of at least two groups that are four generations. It is wonderful.”

Homeland is “all about trying to balance protecting our residents with an equal commitment to caring for and about our residents” during the Covid-19 crisis, says Alice. “If we get a request for a virtual family visit, we do everything possible to honor that.”

In fact, the virtual visits have been so successful that “it’s hard to imagine that we will ever stop doing this to some degree,” says Alice.

Aleisha agrees. She envisions benefits for family members who live out of state or who go on vacation. The virtual visits offer an excellent method to stay in touch, she says.

Sharon Marburger loves the opportunity to connect with her mother-in-law and even bring virtual visits from Cocoa, her rescue dog. Cocoa’s visits to Homeland were a regular highlight for many residents before in-person visits were halted.

“These visits have allowed us to feel like we’re still part of the Homeland family,” she says. “It’s one thing for people to tell you that somebody’s OK. It’s completely different when you see that they’re OK.”

Sharon says she can see the effort Homeland’s staff puts into making sure that Julia “stays healthy and looks healthy.”

“Her hair looks pretty,’’ Sharon says. “She’s dressed nicely.”

The virtual visits with family at least twice weekly are less confusing for Julia than weekly visits with family standing outside her window, Sharon says.

“I think the visits make her feel like all is normal,” says Sharon. And for families FaceTiming or Zooming in, they are visual proof that all is well.

“It has helped us immeasurably to be able to see her,’’ she says. “It makes us feel connected.”

Lin Roussel’s donation drive shows her gratitude to Homeland


Lin Roussel (L) conducting a portion of the twice daily employee screening at Homeland Center

When the COVID-19 virus sidelined Lin Roussel’s work as a Homeland Hospice massage therapist, she became a temperature screener at Homeland Center, ensuring no incoming employees had a fever — a potential coronavirus symptom.

“I always heard from people that they love Homeland,” she says. “Now that I’m at Homeland Center, I’m meeting people who have worked here for 20 or 25 years. There’s a waiting list to work here. They have such a good reputation. I wasn’t surprised because of all the good things I hear from my patients.”

Since joining Homeland Hospice in May 2019, Lin has felt welcomed by colleagues, patients, and the entire Homeland organization. With her diverse experience in health care, social work, massage therapy, and teaching, she recognizes firsthand Homeland’s commitment to personalized care and unwavering excellence.

The move from Homeland Hospice to Homeland Center came from being in the right place at the right time. Unable to give massages because of the coronavirus, Lin asked about volunteer opportunities and was elated when she instead was offered the temperature screening position.

Wanting to give employees an extra boost when they arrived, Lin issued a request to her extensive network of massage therapists for goodies she could give out, and the response was tremendous.

“My gosh, in the first week, I think 10 or 15 people stepped up and said they’d like to donate candy or chips or comfort food,” she says. “A company I get samples from for my oncology massage and hospice classes donated 200 foot-massage cream packages. Everybody I’ve asked has been happy to donate.”

One donor makes facemask extenders that ease pressure on the ears.

“They go very fast,” says Lin. “They’re a hot commodity.”

Lin’s journey to Homeland is a winding one. She started her career in nursing, discovering that she liked working in oncology and hospice. At age 30, she returned to school and became a social worker. For about 15 years, she worked with the homeless population of Lancaster city. An area hospice asked her to help create a program for homeless people and also sent her to massage school.

She also was motivated to learn the skill by a friend who was dying from melanoma and couldn’t find a massage therapist. The experience underscored the benefits of massage therapy for oncology and hospice patients.

“They taught me how to listen,” she says. “They taught me patience. Gratefulness. Compassion. I always wanted to make a difference, and I felt like I was making a difference.”

Lin says Homeland Hospice’s massage therapists help with symptom management – dealing with pain, stress, or anxiety.

Through the Society for Oncology Massage, Lin teaches courses for oncology massage therapists nationwide. Her classes often teach massage therapists to hone their compassion and patience: “Being able to take a breath and just be with the person, letting them control the environment and the massage. And listening. Listening is the most important thing.”

Outside of work, Lin, a Lancaster County native who lives in Lititz, enjoys hiking and antiquing with her husband, Jim. They have four grown children living in the area and, mindful of coronavirus, Lin enjoys socially distanced walks with her 14-year-old granddaughter.

Lin is passionate about the quality attention she says is Homeland Hospice’s hallmark.

“Everyone at Homeland Hospice is compassionate and caring,” she says. “They’re always on, no matter when or what time. Somebody’s always there to help.”

Homeland Center meditation sessions offer happy thoughts to banish stress


Dr. Roxane Hearn, Homeland Wellness Program Coordinator

“We’re going to the beach today,” Dr. Roxane Hearn told a group of Homeland Center residents.

Sure enough, the residents went to the beach. Mentally, at least, they wiggled their toes in warm sand.

More importantly, they created calm places for mental getaways and for replacing stressful thoughts with happy memories.

Welcome to “Calm My Mind Tea Time.” Dr. Rox, Homeland’s Employee Wellness Program Coordinator, began the meditation sessions as stress relievers for residents when the Covid-19 pandemic began uprooting cherished routines.

A walk on the beach

At first, the sessions lasted 15 minutes, but they quickly grew so popular that they are now 45 minutes long, twice weekly for first and second floor skilled care residents. Every session starts with an affirmation of gratitude, as residents repeat after Dr. Rox: “Thank you for another day.”

Before meditation begins, Dr. Rox plays an upbeat song, such as “All is Well,” by Karen Drucker. A resident suggested that Dr. Rox look up the singer, whose life-affirming messages suited the sessions. “All is well,” say the lyrics. “I can rest. I am safe. All is well.”

“I felt that was the most perfect song for the residents,” said Dr. Rox. “You can rest well knowing you’re taken care of. You’re safe here at Homeland. All is well.”

After the song, Dr. Rox opened the Simple Habit app on her phone, and the 10-minute meditation began. A man’s voice with a lilting brogue directed participants to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. The voice walked residents through a meadow, down three steps, and onto a “wonderful, golden, sandy beach.”

“You have this beach to yourself,” said the voice. “Just find a place where you can relax and let go and enjoy the experience of being on this golden, sandy beach.” Remember this place, the voice said, and when you need to be calm and centered, return to it.

Pleasant memories

After residents opened their eyes, Dr. Rox reminded them that in addition to their calm place, they can conjure up a happy place. To help residents recollect one, she played a familiar song – “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Did anyone have a happy memory to share?

One resident immediately piped up. At age 4, her parents took her to a baseball game in Chicago.

“I had a sister, but they only took me, so I had both of their attentions,” she remembered fondly. She was wearing her favorite pale blue coat but somehow left it behind. Her father, coming to the rescue, went back into the stadium to retrieve it.

When Dr. Rox looks around the room, she sees that residents love hearing each other’s stories. Sometimes, she sees secret smiles on faces, as residents recall memories that they don’t share. That’s okay, too.

Relaxed residents participating in Tea Time

“Just for that time, their mind is off the news or thinking that their loved ones can’t visit or worrying about their family getting sick or not working,” says Dr. Rox, who also is conducting Zoom meditation sessions for Homeland at Home staff. “During that time, we’re tapping into happy memories.”

This day’s session also featured Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes,” which prompted a resident to make everyone laugh with her story of a boyfriend who couldn’t dance unless he was on roller skates.

Every session ends with the playing of Celine Dion singing “God Bless America.” The anthem resonates deeply with every resident, as they all sing along.

“I feel like we have a Homeland choir,” marveled Dr. Rox at this Monday session. “I watch how it moves through you.”

Abundance of gratitude

Residents attending Tea Time say they have a lot to be grateful for.

“I am grateful for a nice clean place to live with friends that is virus free,” said Faye Dunkle.

“It’s like having family here,” said Ann Soder. “I enjoy the Story Time and Alphabet Trivia with Becky. I also am grateful for the aides who are patient with me.”

Ann added that she loves the music of Tea Time, which “puts the heart and mind in the right place.”

Vicki Fox loves “the energy in the room” that Tea Time creates. “Very calm and safe,” she noted.

The second-floor group agreed that the sessions take their minds off the stressful things going on in the world.

Every session ends with tea and Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. Before residents disperse, equipped with happy memories and calm places, Dr. Rox leads them in repeating another affirmation.

“Everything is well in this moment,” they say. “I am so blessed for everything I have. Thank you for another day.”

Homeland resident Clyde Johnson recalls a life of hard work and service


Personal Care resident Clyde Johnson

It wasn’t always easy for Clyde Johnson, but after a lifetime of service to community, church, and country, he is happy to be at Homeland Center.

“They treat me just like a king,” he says. “I can’t even describe it.”

Clyde, the fourth of 11 children, grew up in Reedsville, North Carolina, in the tobacco-growing country near the Virginia border. His parents were sharecroppers, obliged to give half of everything they planted to the landowner.

His grandfather owned his own land and may have been a slave before Emancipation, but Clyde doesn’t know for sure. That grandfather, who used to give Clyde piggyback rides, died from a crash at a county fair auto race.

Between his father’s meager earnings and a couple of dollars his mother made doing laundry for the local white people, “it was rough,” Clyde says. Flour, sugar, shortening and other staples from the Red Cross helped the family survive. So did a cow they kept for milk and butter – when the cow cooperated.

“The cow would get mad and stick her foot in the bucket,” Clyde says. “She would do it on purpose.”

Every Sunday, the family would walk three miles to church, where Clyde’s father taught Sunday school. Black children couldn’t enroll at Clyde’s local high school, so his cousin – a schoolteacher – helped him enroll in a high school in a nearby town.

Later, he drove a school bus, and that’s how he met his “sweet Cecilia.” Sometimes, his passengers would complain because he would get off the bus to walk her from the bus stop the half-mile to her home.

After he graduated from high school, Clyde was determined to leave sharecropping behind. With World War II raging, he joined the Army and initially served at Fort Bragg before transferring to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he helped guard the nation’s gold supply.

Following his discharge from the Army, he and Cecilia married and traveled around North Carolina, New Jersey and other states. For a time, they lived with Cecilia’s family after she became pregnant with the first of their two sons.

Clyde used the GI Bill benefits to learn bricklaying at night school and began working for contractors in Pennsylvania and the Washington, D.C., area.

Eventually, they settled in Bressler, where Clyde built the family home. He was active in his church, serving as treasurer and singing in the gospel choir.

Singing was always a big part of Clyde’s life. In his younger days in Reedsville, he was part of a gospel quartet called the Pearly Gates. For seven years, the group performed live on the radio every Sunday morning. They traveled to Chicago, South Carolina, New York, and Virginia to perform at churches.

Giving back is also important to Clyde, who is a 33rd degree Mason. His order – based in a former Steelton firehouse that he helped renovate – engages in a variety of community activities, such as preparing gift baskets for neighborhood residents at Christmas.

While Clyde was an active Mason, Cecelia rose to become Grand Worthy Matron of the Pennsylvania Order of the Eastern Star, a Masons’ auxiliary.

“I had to take her all over the state,” he jokes. “I was her chauffeur.”

Cecilia died in 2017, two weeks short of their 75th anniversary. At the hospital, before she died, Clyde held her hand and told her, “We have to make 75 years.”

“She squeezed my hand and smiled,” he said.

At Homeland, Clyde appreciates the excellent food and the attentive laundry for his sharp wardrobe, hanging neatly in the walk-in closet of his sunny suite.

“Everything they do here is very nice,” he says. “They really care about the people who live here.’’

Spiritual guidance, meditation and wellness keep Homeland staff in top form during crisis


Chaplain Dann (seated) visiting with a member of our staff and a resident

At Homeland, even the heroes on the frontlines and in core services need inspiration to get through hectic days. Fortunately, they have heroes of their own to turn to, in the form of four chaplains and a wellness adviser.

While Homeland Center’s stringent actions are protecting residents from COVID-19, leadership also is safeguarding the well-being of employees. Meditation and spiritual guidance are equipping staff with the endurance to maintain Homeland’s renowned quality of care.

Even Homeland residents are joining the effort, with meditation sessions that tap into their sense of gratitude.

“Homeland is doing very well with all the physical precautions needed to prevent infection, but we also make sure that people’s minds and hearts stay strong,” says Homeland Hospice Chaplain Reynaldo Villarreal.

Physical protections, mental wellness

Homeland’s strict containment measures include prohibiting entry to all but essential staff (with exceptions for end-of-life situations), mandatory health screening of staff, and maintaining social distancing.

But there is another aspect to protection — the well-being and emotional resilience of staff. Homeland is helping all employees perform at their best through:
• Spiritual and emotional support from Homeland Hospice chaplains.
• Five- and 10-minute meditation sessions.
• Meals provided daily for Homeland Center employees – another step to seal the physical facility from encroachment of the virus.
• Purchase of two cloth face coverings for each employee to wear outside of work and remain protected at all times.

“When employees feel appreciated and supported, it reflects in everything they do,’’ says Homeland Director of Human Resources and Corporate Compliance Nicol M. Brown. “We look at the whole employee — mind, body, and spirit.”

Reflections on togetherness

Chaplain Rey can sense Homeland Center’s calm efficiency when he walks in the door.

“The character of Homeland’s leadership, their uplifting spirit, and their determination really is amazing,” he says.

Homeland’s chaplains – Dann Caldwell, Mark Harris, and John Good, along with Villarreal – had been offering prayers during Homeland department-head meetings. The devotions were so well received that the chaplains extended the opportunity to staff. During shift changes, the chaplains visit nurses’ stations and stand with those who choose to gather. Each chaplain says a prayer, and they offer time to anyone who wants personal prayer.

Chaplain Rey often shares a message of togetherness.

“This is a team effort, and you can’t do it on your own,” he tells listeners.

Sometimes, residents join in. So do staff who don’t consider themselves religious.

“They’ve told me that they feel a tremendous change in the atmosphere,’’ Chaplain Rey. “Words of encouragement are given.”

The chaplains submit encouraging thoughts for the internal employee newsletter and created fliers with uplifting texts and scripture. They also set up an email account for direct contact, and wrote a questionnaire allowing staff to self-check their mental well-being that includes resources to contact for any help they need.

“We call ourselves the beacon of hope,” says Chaplain Rey. “There are different ways of sharing hope. For some people, hope is getting through this with somebody. For others, it is knowing there is a rainbow at the end of the storm. We’re all going through the storm, but the storm passes.”

Easing stress with Dr. Rox

Dr. Roxanne Hearn leading a relaxation session.

Five or 10 minutes. That’s all it takes to “Relax, Relate, and Release with Dr. Rox.”

Employee Wellness Program Coordinator Dr. Roxane Hearn leads Homeland Center staff in mid-day meditation sessions. These allow staff to relax from the bustle of the day, relate to everything going on around them, and release any anxious thoughts.

“The sessions are about calming the mind, which helps staff focus on providing quality care for residents,’’ says “Dr. Rox,” as she’s known around Homeland. A 20-minute Zoom version is launching for Homeland at Home employees.

The positive response from the staff inspired “Calm My Mind Teatime” sessions for skilled-care residents. Residents affirm the positives in their lives, meditate on what makes them grateful, and discuss their revelations over tea and Lorna Doone shortbread cookies.

Residents say they are grateful for three meals a day, the attentiveness of Homeland staff, and the fact that even though loved ones can’t visit, they can still drop off items.

“One resident was happy for her new pink slippers,” says Dr. Rox. “It made her day.”

Dr. Rox has always witnessed the compassion of Homeland staff, but that empathy has heightened during the challenging times.

“The level of compassion I see through all this warms my heart,” she says. “It’s like chicken soup for my soul.”

A positive atmosphere shields Homeland residents from stress during crisis, says Chaplain Rey. The chaplains are doing their part.

“That beacon of hope is where our heart is,” says Chaplain Rey. “People can look toward the lighthouse and find there is hope in the storm. Somebody has to hold that lantern.”