August 21, 2023

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare COO Betsy Mullen Presented at Prominent Eldercare Conference

Steve McAlilly and Betsy Mullen

At the first joint Green House Project-Pioneer Network conference in Pittsburgh, COO Betsy Mullen reflected on creating and opening Leonard Florence Center for Living, the first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility in the country, over thirteen years ago. This year’s conference theme, Ready to Impact, brought together members from both the Green House Project and Pioneer Network under the new Center for Innovation banner. The four-day event consisted of networking opportunities, informational sessions, inspiring speakers, and special events, including a powerful musical about living with dementia.

Betsy was one of five distinguished key visionaries on a panel who discussed the past 20 years of Green House Homes. Other members included Steve McAlilly, president and CEO of Methodist Senior Services who started the first Green House 20 year ago; John Ponthie, founding Member of Southern Administrative Services, the first for-profit and largest operator of Green House homes; Jeff Shireman, CEO of Londonderry Village, the only PA provider of Green House Homes and Jill Wilson, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Otterbein Senior Life.

The COO explained why Chelsea Jewish Lifecare is different from other nonprofits. “We provide a real home and real family for seniors and individuals living with neurodegenerative and other debilitating conditions,” stated Mullen. “In essence, we overcome challenges by giving our residents and our employees experiences that they would not have otherwise.”

Susan Ryan, now CEO of The Center for Innovation, summed up the significance of the conference which included international attendees, many of whom had visited Leonard Florence Center for Living. “The overarching goal of this general session was to feature Green House leaders who have pushed through the challenges to seize the moment and the model that has impacted the world,” stated Ryan. “We are at a pivotal moment where demographics are shifting and the status quo can no longer be maintained or accepted.”

Betsy also addressed the fact that Chelsea Jewish Lifecare was able to retain its workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic without utilizing outside staffing agencies through its commitment to enhancing the lives of their employees. The company grocery store, started more than fifteen years ago on the Chelsea campus and now on three campuses, provides free groceries to employees each and every week. Family trips are an integral part of the workplace culture, with destinations now such as Great Wolf Water Park, Encore, and past trips to Disney World and Las Vegas. The organizational culture has always been to appreciate staff and their families; this is more important than ever in the post-COVID world.

The conference was extremely meaningful to Mullen. “This was an amazing opportunity to collaborate with eldercare thought leaders throughout the world,” said Betsy. “It’s exciting to envision and be part of the growth and innovations in aging care services and in workforce development. The possibilities are endless!”