A top-to-bottom team effort has kept the 149-year-old Homeland Center at the top of its game. Wisdom, adaptability, and a “full commitment” will keep it there, leaders agreed at a recent annual meeting of the boards of Trustees and Managers.
In his report to supporters and staff, President and CEO Barry S. Ramper II pledged that Homeland has never compromised quality and never will, despite financial pressures and a “rapidly changing” regulatory environment.
“I will not compromise the goal. I will not compromise the quality. I will not compromise what we have a responsibility to achieve, no matter what the environment,” Ramper vowed. “Knowing that Homeland is entrusted with all or a portion of a client’s end-of-life care, clients have and deserve an expectation of quality.”
One way Homeland is meeting today’s challenges is by expanding its services to provide a “continuum of care’’ that addresses the needs of those living at home. Homeland began expanding its services with the introduction of Homeland Hospice, which includes the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospice.
Earlier this year, Homeland unveiled two additional services to help seniors at home. 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.
He called on everyone, including himself, to “step up their game,” even as the accolades and awards continue to build upon Homeland’s post-Civil War legacy of excellence. The center’s achievements and reputation are reflected in five consecutive “Reader’s Choice” awards in the category of “Best Long-Term Care Facility” by the 50,000 readers of Harrisburg Magazine. Homeland is also one of the few in Central Pennsylvania to repeatedly earn Medicare’s top Five-Star rating.
“It’s harder to hold this position than to attain it,” Ramper said.
Morton Spector, chairman of the Board of Trustees, joined Ramper in saluting the staff and supporters.
“They not only accomplished this [record of achievement] with positive attitudes and unswerving devotion to our residents but also complied with the essential budget restraints without compromising the quality of care,’’ Spector said.
Soon to be faced with a new U.S. president, the continued graying of the baby boomer generation, and new government funding strategies, Spector noted that much has changed since Homeland was established in 1867. But Homeland’s commitment to quality without compromise remains steadfast, he said.
“Homeland has demonstrated that it does not falter from such challenges and does not waver from its commitment to provide the highest quality of care in the most appropriate setting possible,” Spector said.
In keeping with its mission to serve those who need, Homeland in the past year provided almost $3 million in charitable care. Much of this is spent to bridge the gap between the actual cost of care and shrinking public reimbursements.
To ensure that Homeland’s tradition of never asking a resident to leave because of financial reasons endures, Homeland is in the third year of its goal to increase its endowment by $20 million by the year 2020. As part of this aim, Homeland established The 1867 Society to recognize individuals and couples who have made significant, tax-deductible commitments to the endowment.
Ramper expressed his hope that more donors will join the 60 charter members of the 1867 Society featured on the Wall of Honor in the Sixth Street lobby by making a major gift, including Homeland in their estate planning, donating property or insurance, or finding another way to give more.
Ramper recalled the words of late Homeland resident, World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Robert D. Hanson, Esq., who told him, “One cannot just exist. One must make a difference.”
“Homeland cannot just exist. We must make a difference,” he echoed.