Willamette Valley Healthcare Workforce Survey

In an effort to assist employers in the healthcare sector of our area, Willamette Workforce Partnership has created an industry survey specific to our region (Marion, Polk, Yamhill, & Linn Counties). We hope you have a few minutes to complete it and can share it with partners and providers you work with. The link is open through 5pm on November 18th. The results will help inform the partnership work addressing workforce shortages.  You may access the survey by clicking the image below, scanning the QR code with your smartphone, or by clicking here.

The goal of this survey is to identify challenges in recruitment, retention, and finding workers who have the needed skills. Through this project, WWP hopes to:

  • Identify the skills needed and local conditions that may make hiring difficult
  • Provide information about the “how and why” behind workforce demand signals
  • Engage the full network of stakeholders needed to identify and solve workforce problems

Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon hosts adaptive fashion show at the World Forestry Center

Beaverton, Ore., October 28, 2022 – Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO) will host its first fashion showcase and luncheon, Patterned for Parkinson’s, at the World Forestry Center on November 3, 2022, to celebrate innovative, accessible designs created for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Parkinson’s Resources, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing support and services to people with Parkinson’s disease, sponsored a design contest to solicit adaptive designs from area students that will make getting dressed easier for people with movement disorders.

Parkinson’s Resources selected University of Oregon’s Sports Design Program master students Kylie Everill and Maria Edwards to provide designs and create clothing and footwear that is easy to put on and adjust for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

“To be perfectly honest, one of the biggest struggles in my day is putting on and taking off clothes and shoes. There are days I’m reduced to tears,” said Michelle Garratt, a 57-year-old working professional with Parkinson’s disease. “I’m really grateful that established and emerging designers recognize the need for inclusive design and come forward with ideas to help us all feel and look great!”

Living with a chronic disease has enough challenges; getting dressed shouldn’t be one of them. Often for people with neurological movement disorders, the simple act of getting ready for the day can be a stressful, emotionally taxing experience.

Parkinson’s Resources sponsored this first-ever Patterned for Parkinson’s design contest and fashion showcase to bring solutions for common problems that people living with Parkinson’s disease struggle with daily. The innovative designs created by two University of Oregon students will offer people with Parkinson’s disease clothes that streamline the process of getting dressed without compromising function or fashion.

We want people with movement disorders and agility issues to feel confident they can find adaptive options today with clothing, shoes, and accessories that help make getting dressed easier. Adaptive clothing features open-back functionality in tops, side-open designs in pants, and hidden magnetic snap fasteners instead of conventional buttons. Adaptive clothing is designed to be more comfortable and functional for people with disabilities and their caretakers without sacrificing style. Adaptive clothing and footwear can also help caregivers who assist in the process of getting their loved one ready for the day or for bed. Companies like Zappos Adaptive, Billy Footwear, Reboundwear, and many other retailers offer designs that make movement and getting dressed easier.

November 3rd event is a celebration of the creative and innovative student designs from the University of Oregon and the resilience of our local Parkinson’s community.

Event information: For more information about the event, please visit


Social Media: For more information about Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon, please visit the following social media channels.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ParkinsonsResources

Instagram @pdpronw


About Parkinson’s Resources:

Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (PRO) is a donor-supported nonprofit with the sole mission of advancing the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s, their families, and caregivers. With three locations, hundreds of volunteers, and dedicated leadership, PRO provides direct care and support to thousands of families in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Working to address issues faced by Parkinson’s patients and their families, we can significantly improve the quality of life for all touched by this disease.

To find out more about PRO’s services or to support our programs, go to: www.parkinsonsresources.org


Media Contact: Kristin Whitney
Board of Directors, Vice Chair

The Tuesday Night Dance Series at Gresham Senior Center

At the Gresham Senior Center every Tuesday night!

– Doors open at 5:00pm
– Live music from 5:30-7:00pm
– Admission – $6 per person
– Sponsor this fun evening for the center! The sponsorship is $150.00 each week and covers the cost of the Band. Sponsors can come that evening and talk and leave information about their company.

*Must be fully vaccinated.

Location: Gresham Senior Center
600 NE 8th St Room 130, Gresham, OR 97030


Dhrasti Patel Named Executive Director of The Springs at Sherwood

Sherwood, Ore.  June 15, 2022 — Dhrasti Patel, LPN, has been appointed the executive director of The Springs at Sherwood in Sherwood, Oregon. In this role, Patel will oversee all aspects of community operations to optimize resident experience for independent living, assisted living, and memory care services.

“Dhrasti brings strong interpersonal skills to this position,” said Brenda Connelly, chief operating officer of The Springs Living. “Her experience in delivering quality personalized care, coupled with an investment in team building, are exactly what we were looking for in a leader of this community.”

Patel brings her previous senior living and health care experience to the position. Prior to joining The Springs Living, she was a memory care manager and then health and wellness director for Leisure Care’s The Ackerly at Sherwood, where she conducted routine inspections, carried out improvement plans, recruited, hired, and trained staff, and communicated effectively with families. She has also worked as a charge nurse at Avamere Rehab of Lebanon in Lebanon, Oregon.

Patel anticipates earning her master’s degree in business administration from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon this summer. She has a Bachelor of Science in health care administration from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon and a diploma in practical nursing from Sumner College, also in Portland, Oregon.

About The Springs Living

Based in McMinnville, Oregon, The Springs Living owns and operates 18 senior living communities in Oregon and Montana, offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. Two additional communities are under development in Happy Valley, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. In 2021, The Springs Living was recognized on Fortune’s Top Ten list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services.

Media Contact:

Tracy Darchini, Communications Director, The Springs Living

Bob Riler Community Service Award Committee Meeting

  • Matt did an outstanding job on the wording for the nomination forms. (see below) Thank you, Matt
  • We chose the individual plaque for award recipients – diamond impress acrylic in silver. (aka Bekky with a K)
  • I will get more info on the perpetual plaque. We decided on one with space for a picture of Bob, but need to find a larger size than 10.5 x 13. It will have an excerpt from the wording that Matt put together for the nomination form.
  • We came up with a logo- smaller shooting star from a larger star. I will ask our new member, image 360, if they can make the logo or go to Fivrr. As soon as I have a mock-up, I will send to all committee members ,via email, for feedback.
  • The nomination form is going to be the same as Allstar Caregivers, so it will be ready by our next meeting (just waiting on logo). Emilee will add a QR code to link to the form on our website.

Our timeline moving forward:

-July 14th – nomination form ready to distribute/market
-Sept 30th – nomination due
-October 13th – Committee votes
-November 10th – Winner announced at meeting

  • We agreed that the winner gets to pick a charity to donate to (added to senior centers and charities chosen by members). Amount same as other charities that year.
  • Characteristics we will be looking for from contenders:

Service oriented, positive contributor, community involvement, selfless, represents underserved, voice for voiceless, kind, organized

Nomination form wording:

“The Bob Riler Community Service Award recognizes an individual or group that demonstrates an enduring commitment of service to the senior and disabled residents of Pierce County. This award honors the memory of Bob Riler, who worked at the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center for over twenty years. During his distinguished career, Bob worked tirelessly to support the senior and disabled population in Pierce County to remain healthy, safe, and financially stable in their homes. Bob’s skill at building community partnerships made the work that he did even more beneficial for the people that the served. This award provides recognition to those individuals and groups that have carried on Bob’s legacy in their daily work.”

Milwaukie Community Center Foundation 33rd Annual Italian Dinner

Mark your calendars for the 33rd Annual Italian Dinner for a festive drive-thru station at the Milwaukie Community Center that allows you to easily and safely pick up your delicious, authetic Italian meal prepared by local chefs. All proceeds benefit the Center’s programs, including Meals on Wheels. Add a bottle of wine to your meal or purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win Italian-themed gift baskets. Raffle tickets may be purchased online or at the Center Gift shop.

– $15 per person

– Optional wine $12 a bottle

– Raffle tickets – 2 for $5 or 15 for $20

As a special promotion, if you purchase 2 tickets by April 24th you will receive a complimentary bottle of red or white wine to go with your dinner. Tickets are $15 each and all of the proceeds help to fund valuable Center programs like the Meals On Wheels program which has seen a huge increase in demand these past few years. Tickets will be sold through April 26th.

Find more information here.



Lumina’s Dr. Helen Kao honored as American Geriatrics Society’s 2022 Clinician of the Year

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today named Helen S. Kao, MD, as its 2022 Clinician of the Year. Dr. Kao, who is Medical Director of Clinical Innovations at Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care, and Adjunct Professor at UCSF School of Medicine, will be honored at the AGS 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, May 12-14 in Orlando.
“Our 2022 Clinician of the Year, Dr. Helen Kao, is an exceptional physician who provides exemplary care through many different care settings with a holistic, patient-centered focus,” said AGS President Peter Hollmann, MD, AGSF.
Dr. Kao, a board-certified physician in internal medicine with certificates of added qualifications in geriatrics and hospice and palliative care, has created programs to serve older adults with advanced and terminal illnesses. In her current role at Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care in Corvallis, Oregon, Dr. Kao continues to develop and provide palliative and geriatrics services by overseeing a growing palliative case management program. Previously, she directed UCSF’s house calls program and was responsible for tripling its capacity to serve older adults. 


“Providing care that is equitable, ethical, and socially aware is at the heart of Dr. Kao’s clinical practice,” says Elizabeth French, Lumina’s Executive Director. “Dr. Kao demonstrates a strong belief that aging, or life-limiting illness, should not strip someone of their rights, choices, and dignity, or their ability to live as full and healthy a life as possible,” says French. “Dr. Kao continually looks for ways to make care accessible to marginalized populations, often exploring new technologies and other innovations. Her commitment has a positive influence on her team and a ripple effect throughout the community.”
Promoting diversity in geriatrics is an essential aspect of Dr. Kao’s career. As Chair of the Residential Ombudsman and Public Guardian Advisory Board (ROPGAP), she advocates for Oregonians with disabilities and helps elevate the caregiver workforce which is predominantly made up of women and BIPOC individuals. In this role, Dr. Kao helps shape the advocacy priorities of the board, which focus on protecting the rights of people with dementia, mental health conditions and intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Invited to present to scores of regional and national meetings and symposia, Dr. Kao has authored or co-authored textbooks on topics in geriatrics, and her articles have been published in leading peer-reviewed medical journals.
An AGS member since 2007, Dr. Kao received her BA cum laude from Harvard and her MD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where she served her residency in the Program in Residency Investigation Methods and Epidemiology (PRIME) Internal Medicine and fellowship in Geriatrics. She has been honored for professional excellence by some 20 prestigious awards—including UCSF’s Council of Master Clinicians and, most recently, the Elizabeth Wessinger Award, recognizing people who make a difference for end-of-life care in Oregon and across the nation.


About Lumina

Founded as Benton Hospice Service in 1980, Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care is an independent, non-profit community resource providing clinically excellent responsive care for those nearing the end of life. Lumina ensures in-home comfort, compassion, and control for every patient throughout their remaining days—wherever home is.

For more information about the Clinician of the Year Award or Lumina Hospice & Palliative Care please contact Angela Hibbard at 541-757-9616 or angela.hibbard@luminahospice.org

The Springs Living Becomes First Company to be Awarded Fitwel Certification in Senior Housing for Occupant Health & Wellness

The Springs Living is the first company to earn a Fitwel global health certification under the newly created senior housing scorecard. The Springs at Greer Gardens in Eugene, Oregon, was awarded Fitwel certification after meeting stringent health and wellness requirements regarding its design and operations. Fitwel, the healthy building certification system operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), provides a blueprint of evidence-based guidelines for supporting better health and wellness outcomes at senior living communities. The senior housing scorecard was developed with input from several leading senior living operators, including The Springs Living.

“The health and well-being of everyone who lives and works in our communities is our top priority, so I am very excited to be the first Fitwel certification using the senior housing scorecard,” said Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO of The Springs Living. “This has taken a lot of coordination and collaboration by our teams to create this great living environment. We take pride in being an innovator and responding to what our workforce and this generation of older adults value.”

Fitwel certifies the health and well-being credentials of multi-use residential, single tenant, commercial, industrial, retail, and senior housing buildings and their surroundings. Certification is based on criteria that includes operational policies for indoor air quality, cleaning practices, design strategies, access to green spaces, and amenities such as fitness centers and walking trails.

“The need to provide a healthy living space for seniors has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need to provide owners with a strategic starting point to promote health through the built environment,” said Joanna Frank, president and CEO, Center for Active Design. “We were thrilled to work closely with our long-time partner Harrison Street to develop a clear set of guidelines for senior housing, and we appreciate The Springs Living’s dedication to becoming the first Fitwel certified project using the senior housing scorecard.”

Fitwel’s senior housing scorecard evaluates more than 70 evidence-based design and operational strategies to enhance buildings by addressing a broad range of health behaviors and risks. These strategies are broken down into 12 sections encompassing seven impact categories that an organization must meet: impacting community health; reduced morbidity and absenteeism; supporting social equity for vulnerable populations; instilling feelings of well-being; enhancing access to healthy foods; promoting occupant safety; and increasing physical activity.

The Springs at Greer Gardens earned 106 points (out of a possible 144), qualifying it for a rating of two out of three stars for 2022. The community is eligible to apply for a new rating after three years. The Springs Living has several other communities that will be seeking Fitwel certification in the near future, including The Springs at Happy Valley, a 210-unit community in Happy Valley, Oregon that is scheduled to open in autumn 2022.

“The Springs Living’s involvement in the development of the senior housing scorecard with Harrison Street and The Center for Active Design exemplifies their dedication to being an innovative industry leader,” stated Jill Brosig, chief impact officer for Harrison Street. “This certification further enhances their commitment to supporting positive long-term health outcomes of their residents and employees. We are proud to celebrate this achievement with The Springs Living.”

About Fitwel®

Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design (CfAD), a global not-for-profit organization, maintains the Fitwel standard and conducts objective third-party assessments that lead to certified projects. CfAD’s new business unit, Adai (pronounced “a-DAY”), is charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market, administering the program while providing best-in-class customer service and technical support.

About The Springs Living

Based in McMinnville, Ore., The Springs Living owns and operates 18 senior living communities in Oregon and Montana, offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. Two additional communities are under development in Happy Valley, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. In 2021, The Springs Living was recognized on Fortune’s Top Ten list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services.

About Harrison Street

Harrison Street is one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets. Since inception in 2005, the firm has created a series of differentiated investment solutions focused on demographic-driven, needs-based assets. The firm has invested across senior housing, student housing, healthcare delivery, life sciences and storage real estate as well as social and utility infrastructure. Headquartered in Chicago with offices in San Francisco, London and Toronto, the firm has more than 210 employees and approximately $44 billion in assets under management. Clients of the firm include a global institutional investor base domiciled in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Harrison Street was awarded Best Places to Work by Pensions & Investments for seven consecutive years (2014-2020) and was named 2020 Global Alternatives Investor of the Year by PERE.

Media Contact:

Tracy Darchini, Communications Director, The Springs Living

Soft Landings, Solutions for Seniors in National News Reaching and Educating a Wider Audience

Theresa Pritchett, Founder of Soft Landings, Solutions for Seniors, reached a national audience concerning downsizing and senior move management.

She was recently featured in a column, Smart Moves, written by prize-winning newspaper and magazine writer Ellen James Martin, titled “For Seniors: How to Jump-Start Your Home Sale.”

Soft Landings is very excited about this national article. It allows more seniors and their families to understand the nuances of making that last big move into retirement living. Families and elder parents don’t have to be overwhelmed with the process. Theresa gives several tips on how to be successful in downsizing and moving.

We hope you enjoy the article, link below, and gain a wealth of great information.

View Full Smart Moves Article.

Media Contact:

Phyllis Peabody

Candice Marcks Named Senior Director, Sales & Marketing for The Springs Living

McMinnville, Ore. (Feb. 14, 2022) – The Springs Living has announced promotions within its sales and marketing team to support the company’s senior living communities in Oregon and Montana.

“This team not only offers a fresh approach to our sales and marketing efforts, but they also come to the table with a rich diversity of experience. Their creative concepts and energy have made an immediate impact, said Brenda Connelly, chief operating officer for The Spring Living. “They understand the importance of relationships and connection to the consumer of today, and tomorrow, all while elevating our brand experience and further propelling our organization forward.”

Senior Director of Sales & Marketing Candice Marcks
To best align sales and marketing efforts, Candice Marcks has been promoted to the senior director of sales and marketing. In this role, Marcks brings over 25 years of senior living experience, overseeing the relationship between marketing strategies and lead generation to best meet sales goals.

Previously, Marcks worked as the regional director of sales for the company, recovering six of the nine percent decline in occupancy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021. For the prior three years, Marcks was responsible for all aspects of lease-up sales of The Springs at Lake Oswego in Oregon leading up to its opening in January 2020. She joined The Springs Living in 2010 as the community relations director at The Springs at Tanasbourne in Hillsboro, Oregon. Since beginning her career in senior living in 1996, Marcks has worked in a variety of areas of senior living, including life enrichment, resident relations, sales, community relations, and business development for organizations around Oregon.

Director of Creative Design Zach Fletcher
Leading The Springs Living’s creative design needs, Zach Fletcher has been promoted to the company’s director of creative design, following three years as its creative design coordinator. In this role, Fletcher leads the company’s graphic design, photography, and video services for all internal and external marketing and communications.

Before starting at The Springs Living in 2018, Fletcher served as director of marketing for Apple Roofing and Pioneer Roofing in Nebraska for four years. Previously, Fletcher worked as a production assistant for Hawaii 5-0 (CBS-TV) in Hawaii where he supported the television show’s director and production team. Fletcher earned a degree in television production from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and holds a certificate in digital marketing from Brigham Young University – Hawaii.

Director of Marketing Matt Stubblefield
Matt Stubblefield has been named director of marketing. In this role, Stubblefield is responsible for driving The Springs Living’s marketing strategy, brand awareness, and digital marketing efforts. Previously, Stubblefield served as a marketing project manager for Pendleton Beef, overseeing the branding and marketing launch. An avid traveler, he worked in sales and marketing at start-up TrovaTrip after working on The Springs Living’s digital marketing team from 2019 to 2020. Previously, Stubblefield contributed sales and marketing support for the opening of two Springs Living communities. His prior experience includes working in a variety of other positions, including recruiting and community relations. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and general business from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Springs Living.
Based in McMinnville, Ore., The Springs Living owns and operates 18 senior living communities in Oregon and Montana, offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. Two additional communities are under development in Happy Valley, Ore. and Vancouver, Washington. In 2021, The Springs Living was ranked as a top ten company on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services list.

Media Contact:

Tracy Darchini, Communications Director, The Springs Living