Resident Mary Jane Baum noticed that the birds in Homeland’s second-floor aviary seemed to appreciate their new

Kathy Kuchwara looks after Homeland's feathered friends
Homeland's "Bird Lady,'' RN Kathy Kuchwara, explains why birds love swings and millet to residents (from left) Mary Jane Baum and Peg Harnish.  


“They love the swing,” agreed nurse Kathy Kuchwara. “They’re probably like people and the way we love to rock. For birds, maybe it’s the same type of thing.”

Kuchwara has been a registered nurse at Homeland since 2005, full-time until retiring and part-time in 2015. And while she performs such nursing duties as immunization audits and teaching CPR to staff, she is also known throughout Homeland as “The Bird Lady.”

That’s because the avid birdwatcher brings her knowledge about birding and bird care to Homeland, which has aviaries in the first-floor gathering room, second-floor solarium, and Ellenberger dementia care unit.

Kuchwara, of Hampden Township, started working in healthcare at age 16. Homeland excels because “the quality of life is very good,” she says. “I’m very happy to be here. The staffing ratios are better, and activities are very, very attuned to residents’ needs. They work on getting resident input on activities offered. It’s a lot of fun. It makes it very special.”

Kuchwara’s lifelong interest in birds took flight around 2006. Since joining the Appalachian Audubon Society, she has developed a cadre of friends with whom she takes birding trips. She might go to the shore, balmy Monterey, Canada in February, or somewhere in Central Pennsylvania, where the birding is excellent. She once took a day for birding while in Guatemala, and just when she despaired of seeing the rare pink-headed warbler, one popped out of the greenery to show off its bright colors.

Another successful Homeland Center Summertime Fair dodged the raindrops – mostly – while offering fun for

Isabelle Smith enjoys Homeland's Summertime Fair
Homeland resident Isabelle Smith meets Bridget. Children and the fair got a real treat by riding Bridget and a pony named Pumpkin.  

residents, neighbors, and kids of all ages.

The 2016 Summertime Fair, held on a warm Saturday, offered games, food, pony rides, classic cars, and a hidden treasure sale, while it spotlighted Homeland’s commitment to the community and staff. The fair has become an annual tradition and a fundraiser for Homeland’s activity fund, which helps residents enjoy outings to shows, restaurants and stores.

The fair was held all around Homeland’s grounds. Classic cars, including a Chevy Impala convertible and a little red Corvette, lined the street. A reptile petting zoo outside the front fence offered the chance to touch a tarantula and a snake. Kids enjoyed the bounce house, video game truck, face painting station, and carnival games.

At the hidden treasure sale, Homeland resident Phoebe Berner admired a pair of spike-heeled shoes in zebra print. “I like my heels an inch higher,” she joked. The fair “really has some good stuff for folks to enjoy.”

“There are a lot of fun things to do,” she said. “I need to get some tickets and try my hand at the games.” After trying the basketball-shot game, she admitted to doing “horrible, but I tried.”


Contact: Betty Hungerford, Director of Development

Homeland Center

Office: 717-221-7727, Cell: 717-580-9139

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Barry Ramper receiving a proclamation from Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick regarding our new services

 1901 N. 5th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102


Homeland Center unveils two new services to care for seniors at home to address underserved need throughout central PA region

Expanded services come as Homeland celebrates 150 years

of caring for the Harrisburg area


HARRISBURG, PA (June 30, 2016) – With 29 percent of Pennsylvania’s population -- 4 million people – expected to be 60 or older by 2030, Homeland Center today announced two new services to help seniors remain in their homes while receiving the quality care they need.

 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.

 “By 2020, one in five Americans will be over 65 and many will be requiring assistance to remain in their homes,’’ said Barry S. Ramper II, Homeland’s president and CEO. “For 150 years Homeland has changed and expanded its services to meet our community’s needs, and we realize the growing and critical need for home-based care.’’

Homeland HomeCare services will be available starting July 5th and Homeland HomeHealth, in the process of receiving its state license, is expected to begin accepting clients in the Fall of 2016. Initially, both services will only be available to residents of Dauphin and Cumberland counties.

For more information about the new services contact:

Throughout her 96 years, Doris Coyne has kept her feet moving. Whether she’s kayaking in Fiji, peeking behind the Iron

Residents enjoy root beer floats
Doris Coyne, far right, enjoys a root beer float with fellow residents Betty Wise, far left, and Mary Anna Borke.  

Curtain in East Berlin, or serving meals to the hungry, she is always hunting for new experiences and the chance to stay engaged with the wide world.

“I need people,” she says. “I’m a people person.”

Coyne is among the many residents who bring a wealth of experience to Homeland Center, including two decades of volunteering with Homeland. When she shares her stories of travel to 29 countries and her still-active volunteerism, it’s as if a Chinese New Year dragon, a remote Alaskan hospital, and a picturesque state park in northeastern Pennsylvania all congregate under the Homeland roof.

Coyne was born in Scranton, the daughter of a coal company safety engineer and a homemaker. Her abiding love is water sports, starting with a canoe club on the placid waters of Lake Winola. She always loved the challenge of the water, so at age 75, she tried kayaking, not in a quiet stream, but in the Jersey Shore ocean waves.

“I no sooner was seated in the kayak than it flipped over,” she says with a laugh. “The only thing to do is get back in it.”

The weather outside was hot and stormy, but on a summer Friday afternoon at Homeland Center, residents were

Cheers to root beer floats!
"Cheers to root beer floats!" From left, residents Betty Wise, Mary Anna Borke and Doris Coyne.  

inside enjoying a cool and universally beloved treat.

As resident Doris Coyne put it, “Root beer floats, my favorite food!”

Every Friday at 3 p.m., Homeland Center’s personal care residents are invited to their own TGIF get-together. They convene in Homeland’s Gathering Room, the cheery space where Homeland displays its priceless collection of Hummel figurines and plates. There, residents converse and enjoy a treat. One week, Homeland staff might serve up fresh fruit. Another week, there could be cocktails.

“This is our happy hour,” said Director of Activities Ashley Bryan, while the music of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin played in the background. “It’s a chance for residents to say hello and catch up on the week in an informal way.”

Root beer floats, it seems, were created in Philadelphia, so they didn’t have to travel far to be enjoyed by Homeland residents at this particular TGIF gathering. Made with A&W Root Beer and vanilla ice cream hand-dipped by CNA/Activity Assistant Nina Wyatt, they were an especially popular happy-hour offering.


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