Pinnacle Award: 2012 Winners
November 11, 2011
ANN ARBOR, MI. – Nov. 11, 2011 — NuStep, Inc., the maker of the NuStep T4, T5 and T5XR Recumbent Cross Trainers, is pleased to announce that the Granite Reef Senior Center in Scottsdale, AZ and The Garlands of Barrington in Barrington, IL are the winners of the 2012 NuStep Pinnacle Award.
The Pinnacle Award, which was established in 1998, is an international award that recognizes excellence in whole-person wellness programming in senior living communities and senior centers. With a mission to advance health and wellness at all stages of life, NuStep started the Pinnacle to champion whole-person wellness programming for older adults.
As it relates to older adults, whole-person wellness – a multi-dimensional, interdependent model that promotes self-responsibility for achieving health and wellness in all dimensions of one's life – has been embraced by senior living communities and senior centers as a means to enrich, enhance and improve the quality of life of their residents and members.
Using the seven dimensions of wellness as judging criteria, as well as onsite visits, NuStep awards the Pinnacle to the senior living community and senior center that best demonstrate a culture of whole-person wellness throughout their organizations.
"At Granite Reef Senior Center and The Garlands of Barrington, whole-person wellness is not just a concept, it is a way of life," says Steve Sarns, vice president of sales and marketing for NuStep. "As a result, these organizations are infused with a sense of purpose and engagement that epitomizes active living."
Pinnacle Award winners receive a NuStep T5XR Recumbent Cross Trainer for their facility, international recognition for the organization and their team and exposure in industry publications. A representative from each winning organization receives airfare and a two-night hotel stay to attend the 2011 International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) annual conference Dec. 1-3 in Orlando, FL.
About the Winners
Granite Reef Senior Center – Scottsdale, Arizona
Affectionately called "The Greatest Senior Center on Earth" by its members and staff, the Granite Reef Senior Center is the winner of the 2012 Pinnacle Award in the senior center division. Administered through the City of Scottsdale within its Community Services Division, Granite Reef Senior Center is located in downtown Scottsdale and is part of a master planned senior community campus that also includes a senior apartment complex and retail stores. The 37,500 sq ft center, which opened in 2006, was the city's first Gold Medal LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building. With a mission to help seniors live meaningful lives of dignity, enjoyment and useful purpose, Granite Reef offers a wide variety of recreational, educational and health related programs and activities. The center also provides a full spectrum of supportive services and outreach that are geared to the diverse needs of the older adult population and managed by four on-site licensed social workers. Free transportation via a trolley system that runs every 20 minutes ensures that all area seniors can take full advantage of the center's offerings and services. Like many communities across the U.S., the City of Scottsdale – and by extension, Granite Reef – has not been immune to the effects of the economic downturn. And despite facing the dual challenges of budget cutbacks and a rising demand in social services for area seniors, Granite Reef remains a healthy and vibrant place; one that is considered a second home to many of Scottsdale's over 50 population. A number of factors make this possible, most notably: a dedicated team of employees (who were recently acknowledged by the city with a customer service award); a group of 300 volunteers who donate over 3,000 hours of service to the center each month and partnerships with local organizations and agencies.
"Being awarded the prestigious Pinnacle Award and earning national recognition for our active aging and health and wellness programming is a resounding and wonderful validation of our mission to enhance the quality of life of the seniors in our community," says Tim Miluk, Human Services Manager at Granite Reef Senior Center. "This is also a stellar moment that reinforces my belief in, and shows recognition and appreciation for, the phenomenal team and senior family members at Granite Reef Senior Center."
The Garlands of Barrington – Barrington, Illinois
If you could only use one word to describe The Garlands of Barrington, that word would be "engage" – which also happens to be the name of the community's award-winning wellness program. The 2012 Pinnacle Award winner in the senior living division, The Garlands of Barrington is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Barrington, IL, a suburb NW of Chicago. The "EngAGE" program, which won the ICAA Innovator's Award in 2009, was created to engage members (residents) with the staff and with each other and provide opportunities to strengthen mind, body and spirit. In the process, EngAGE has woven a sense of connection and purpose throughout the community. From an executive director (and former college baseball player) who pulls out a ball and mitt to play catch with male members, to a group of members who rolled up their sleeves and filled in for employees unable to get to work during one of the worst snowstorms in Chicago history to serve meals to members living in assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care, to members who partnered with a local elementary school to convert plastic shopping bags into "yarn" used to create sleeping mats for homeless shelters, life at The Garlands is all about engagement. The emotional connection between members and employees has proven to be a powerful component of the EngAGE program's success, and at The Garlands, that begins with hiring the right people for the job. To ensure this, each employee is interviewed by three different managers. At the completion of orientation new employees dip their hands in paint and put their handprint on the wall outside the employee lunchroom and are told, "You have a hand in our success." In an industry where employee turnover can average from 50-100%, The Garlands defy that standard with a turnover rate of 15%.
"The Garlands is honored to be the 2012 NuStep Pinnacle Award winner," says Thomas Herb, President and CEO of The Garlands at Barrington. "Since we opened ten years ago, our focus and ongoing commitment has been on creating a culture in which overall wellness thrives. This award affirms our commitment to offering an engaging lifestyle for our residents and is a real testament to our employees who work daily to support and help improve the lives of those we are privileged to serve."
About the NuStep Pinnacle Award
The NuStep, Inc. Pinnacle Award was established in 1998 with a dual purpose in mind: to recognize senior organizations with outstanding whole-person wellness programming and to advance and promote the concept of active living. From helping to maintain or improve physical function, to staving off depression and cognitive decline, to facilitating greater participation in life, whole-person wellness programs are proving to be a vital tool in helping older adults age successfully. By spotlighting senior organizations achieving success with whole-person wellness programming, NuStep is a catalyst in encouraging senior organizations to adopt and integrate whole-person wellness into their programming.