SPECIAL TO THE LEDGER
LONGMEADOW — Senior administrators, staff and directors of Jewish Geriatric Services (JGS) as well as legislative, business and community leaders gathered Tuesday, May 5 to break ground for a 24,000-square-foot short-stay Rehabilitation Center which will transform the way rehabilitative care is delivered at JGS.
The $11.4 million center will carry the name of George Sosin, a JGS volunteer, family member, former resident and supporter who left $3 million to JGS in support of the center, the largest contribution received in JGS’s 103-year history.
The Sosin Center for Rehabilitation is set to open in the summer of 2016 and will feature 24 private rooms for each resident, with full bathrooms and a community environment complete with an accessible kitchen, family-style meals, communal living room, large dining room, and screened porch.
“George Sosin recognized the importance of ensuring the compassionate care we provide here would continue for seniors and their families well into the future,” said Martin W. Baicker, FACHE, JGS president and CEO. “The Sosin Center for Rehabilitation continues a journey of culture change at JGS, as we enhance, build and expand services and facilities to improve health outcomes, and enhance resident dignity, independence and quality of life.”
The Sosin Center for Rehabilitation will introduce the Small House model of care to JGS. Small House combines the best of a home-like setting with excellent rehabilitative care. “As a physician, I am convinced of the positive healthcare outcomes, and improvements in the quality of life, under this model,” said Robert Baevsky, MD, chair of the JGS board of directors.
JGS has engaged the architectural firm of Perkins Eastman to design the two-story structure that will contain two “small houses,” each with 12 private rooms, and a dedicated team of staff, who will be trained by Small House expert Judith Rabig, Ph.D.
The Sosin Center for Rehabilitation is one of five Project Transformation initiatives to enhance person-centered care at JGS. The $20M Project Transformation also includes renovations to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home in the Small House model of care, in addition to other planned upgrades in the home; a $1 million makeover at Ruth’s House, the assisted living residence at JGS, and expansion and relocation of the Wernick Adult Day Health Care Center in a later phase of the project.
Funding for the initiatives comes from bank financing, an investment from JGS reserves, and a $9 million capital campaign, publicly launched Tuesday by Co-Chairs Susan B. Kline and Stephen N. Krevalin, longtime JGS volunteers and supporters.
“For more than a century, JGS has been the proud caretaker of our local community, including my own family,” said Krevalin, a managing partner at Bacon Wilson, PC. “Project Transformation helps us to replace outdated infrastructure and to continue to meet the healthcare needs of the people we serve.”
George Sosin’s $3 million gift represents half of the $6 million raised to date in the campaign.
“We are so grateful for George Sosin’s generous support,” said Kline, a corporate consultant and trainer on writing and speaking skills. “He was a quiet, humble man who lived his entire life in Springfield. He got involved with JGS when his sisters became residents of the nursing home.”
Sosin visited JGS often, enjoying the community spirit of the home. He made gifts throughout his life in support of maintaining the Jewish values JGS was founded on. Sosin was a major donor to JGS, supporting the 1998 Regeneration Capital Campaign and other major gift initiatives that followed. He was an annual supporter of the JGS Annual Membership appeal at the Winner’s Circle (leadership) level, and he was a member of the JGS Legacy giving society, the Circle of Honor. He lived a modest life and indulged in helping others through his death in 2013, and into the future with his legacy gift. Greg Traub, personal representative for the estate of George Sosin said, “George didn’t talk a lot about doing a good deed. He just did it.”
Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of Philanthropy, JGS added, “George Sosin did things because he felt it was the right thing to do. He supported JGS because it gave him pride to be part of such a meaningful organization. He believed in Project Transformation and Small House because he understood we would create a place people would feel comfortable calling ‘home,’ and he made his amazing gift in support of that vision. While he never sought recognition for his support, we feel naming the center in his honor will elevate the status of the facility by demonstrating the importance and impact of one individual’s devoted philanthropic support of quality, person-centered care.”
Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon is also a significant contributor to the Project Transformation campaign, committing a $500,000 challenge grant from the Grinspoon Foundation that will be matched to all new gifts as well as increased gifts to the campaign.
“We are proud of the response we’ve received so far, and pleased to inspire community support with this matching gift opportunity,” said Kline. “JGS is here today because of the generosity of the people before us, and now it’s our turn,” said Krevalin. “We are grateful for every gift, regardless of amount, because with our community’s help we will lay the groundwork for our future,” they added. n
To learn more about Project Transformation:
A New World of Care, contact Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of Philanthropy at 413-567-6211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.