Homeland Center Board of Trustees welcomes new Chairman Donald E. Schell

Donald E. Schell

Donald Schell, Morton Spector and Barry Ramper

Homeland Center has reached the highest levels of quality care and is now mining its core values to succeed in the greater challenge of maintaining quality, President and CEO Barry S. Ramper II said at the Board of Trustees’ recent annual meeting.

The meeting marked a transition, as Donald E. Schell succeeded Morton Spector as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Spector will continue serving on the board as Immediate Past Chair.

“Mort Spector embodies the best qualities of Homeland,” Ramper said following the Sept. 20 meeting. “He focuses on the task at hand while building a vision for the future. Mort’s contributions to Homeland are priceless, and fortunately, we can hold on to him and his wisdom for a while longer because he has graciously agreed to continue serving as Immediate Past Chair.”

Homeland’s growth path has continued for 151 years through the commitment of staff and supporters to offering the highest levels of comfort and care, Schell told the trustees, Board of Managers, and staff members present at the meeting.

Homeland’s reach and philosophy of care are radiating beyond its Harrisburg facility and into 14 central Pennsylvania counties through Homeland HomeCare, which helps seniors with daily tasks, and Homeland HomeHealth, which provides doctor-ordered medical assistance, said Schell. Both were founded in 2016 to meet the changing needs of the community.

Schell noted a litany of major accomplishments marking Homeland’s continued progress. They include:
• Renewed designation as a CMS Five-Star Skilled Nursing Care Facility, the highest Medicare citation recognizing premier health care services.
• Providing almost $3 million in charitable care for residents, bridging the gap between the actual cost of care and shrinking public reimbursements.
• Recognition from Harrisburg Magazine Readers’ Choice 2018 as Best Retirement/Independent Living facility for the seventh consecutive year.
An Oct. 10 joint event with the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, with proceeds benefitting Homeland Hospice, as prelude to its 10th anniversary in 2019.

“There are many reasons for Homeland’s success – the facilities, the programs, our donors, our culture, but most importantly, our staff,” Schell said. “It’s what happens on the inside of these facilities and in patients’ homes that makes the difference. Our caregivers in every capacity are truly our most important asset.” Asking staff present to stand and be recognized, he said, “You make our Board of Trustees and Board of Managers very proud.”

Ramper thanked members of the Board of Managers, Homeland’s unique, all-woman panel responsible for residents’ quality of life. They are, he said, “the very essence of the women who founded Homeland at the beginning, and what they represent.”

This year Homeland is also welcoming Alicelyn Sleber and Elizabeth Stoner to the Board of Managers.

Board of Managers Chair Barbara Nagle said they are making sure that Homeland remains a welcoming home for the residents through recently completed and ongoing renovations.

Upgrades are underway in the Personal Care area and Main Dining Room. Improvements were recently completed in the Sixth Street conference room and the Muench Street entrance, renamed the John and Barbara Arnold Lobby.

Homeland’s unique ability to sustain quality stands on staff’s full commitment to those who trust their lives to Homeland’s care, Ramper explained. In the nation’s second-most heavily regulated industry, behind homeland security, it is also contingent on following the directions instilled into every Homeland procedure, and on making wise decisions.

“The founders did an outstanding job preparing us for the moment we are in,” he said. “We have a responsibility to see that also prevails for those who follow us in the future.”

Homeland’s legacy is its guiding principle, said Ramper. Since joining Homeland in 2000, he has kept a portrait in his office of Eliza Haldeman, president of the board of prominent, civically minded women who founded a home for Civil War orphans and widows in 1867.

“I knew when I arrived that I wasn’t just taking a job,” he said. “It was a heritage that had to be maintained and a responsibility to put a full commitment toward Eliza Haldeman and all those who shared her vision.”

Homeland’s commitment to charitable, uncompensated care stands as a resource for the community. A nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, Homeland relies on the generous support of our friends and neighbors to continue helping the less fortunate. To find out how you can make a difference, call 717-221-7900 or go to www.homelandcenter.org/giving