HARRISBURG, PA (November 16, 2016) – Homeland Center received a perfect 5.0 score in U.S News and World Report’s Best Nursing Homes 2016-17 released today and available at http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes/area/pa/homeland-center-395475 

According to U.S. News, only 13 percent of the more than 15,000 nursing homes evaluated nationwide achieved "Best" status by earning a rating of at least 4.5. 

“We are honored to receive this recognition from U.S. News & World Report, which is a testament to our dedicated and caring staff,’’ said Barry S. Ramper II, Homeland’s president and CEO. “Next year Homeland will celebrate its 150th anniversary, and this recognition underscores the commitment we have to provide the highest quality care to our community.’’ 

Mary Yanich min
As she nears her 100th birthday, Mary Yanich credits hard work for her longevity. She has owned a grocery store, sold shoes, been active in her church, and even helped her family's bootlegging business as a girl during prohibition.  

Friendliness and hard work help Mary Yanich reach her 100th birthday!

What’s the secret to living 100 years? Homeland Center resident Mary Yanich credits her devotion to hard work – even when that meant tending her father’s moonshine still during Prohibition.

“I loved to work,” says Mary. “I asked my mother once why she always asked me to do things when there were other brothers and sisters around, and she said, ‘I know, but when I call for Mary, Mary jumps.’”

Yanich’s birthday on Oct. 27, 2016, represents 100 full years -- upholding the traditions of her parents’ native Serbia, raising a family, supporting her church, and working inside and outside the home.

Mary, who had six siblings, was born in Farrell, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Midland, Ohio. Her father owned a gas station and a farm, where apples, pears, and grapes grew in the orchards.

“I have a picture of me up in a tree eating an apple,” she says. “It was a beautiful, beautiful farm.”

Mary doesn’t hide her family’s bootlegging past and the whiskey produced to bring in income. At 8 years old, according to her son, Ted Yanich, she worked nighttime, two-hour shifts tending the fire under the still. She also rode with the milk man on his morning rounds, carrying whiskey hidden in hot-water bottles that she distributed to customers along the route.

Stanley Fabiano min
Stanley Fabiano likes Homeland, with its good food and "very, very nice people.'' The former baseball player enjoys watching sports and movies on TCM.  

Whether he was hosting Bob Hope or hitting home runs against professional Japanese ballplayers, Stanley Fabiano always performed his duties in the U.S. Air Force with an eye on making sure that his fellow service members had all the high-quality supports and entertainment they deserved.

Fabiano was among Homeland Center residents honored for their military service at Homeland’s 2016 Veterans Day ceremony.

The San Jose, California, native served first, in Korea in 1955 and then went to Japan for two and a half years, starting in 1956. He was an Air Force second lieutenant, having served in ROTC while studying at San Francisco State University. He had also played baseball in college and on a farm team of the San Francisco Seals, the famous Pacific Coast League team that produced Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio.

In the Air Force, Fabiano served in personnel services, overseeing all sports activities and escorting USO troupes. In Japan, he guided Bob Hope, Hope’s wife Dolores, and his cast members on their tour. Hope “was very friendly, very nice.”

Ed Savage min
Ed Savage enjoys one of Homeland's gardens.  

Assistant Director of Development Ed Savage pursues a passion for caring!

“Development is different every day. One day, you’re talking to a potential donor, and the next day, you’re researching the proper days and holidays for a calendar.”

So says Ed Savage, Homeland Center’s new assistant director of development. He works with Director of Development Betty Hungerford to cultivate the donations and grants that support Homeland’s quality care and assure that no resident is ever asked to leave for lack of funds.

Before joining Homeland, Savage built his career in development through six years at WITF, the public media outlet, and three years with a local hospice. At Homeland, he fills the spot vacated when Jennifer Ross left to become executive director of the Jewish Federation of Harrisburg.

In the critical role of fundraising for a nonprofit, Savage has cultivated the art of long-term thinking. It might be November, but he’s working on the Homeland gala scheduled for May, “which seems like it’s far away, but it’s not that far as a special event goes.”

In development, he notes, “if there’s a project you don’t like working on, it’ll soon be gone, and if there’s a project you do like, it’ll soon be gone.” 

Betty Wise Susan Batista and Fay Dunkle min
Homeland Center Board of Managers Chair Susan Batista, center, discusses upcoming events and plans for activities with residents Betty Wise, left, and Fay Dunkle.  

A true home is a comfortable place where the feel is welcoming, the décor is warm, and the people are friendly.

At Homeland Center, the unique Board of Managers assures the little things that make life pleasurable for residents, and now, the board is modernizing to enhance Homeland’s home-like feel.

The Board of Managers is a separate entity from the traditional Board of Trustees. While the Board of Trustees keeps Homeland running smoothly by overseeing fiscal and operational duties, the Board of Managers handles interior details and many day-to-day functions. They include selecting furniture and décor, hosting events, and sponsoring activities such as the visit by a food truck delivering hot, fresh French fries to delighted residents.

In 2016, with nearly 150 years of history behind it, the Board of Managers decided it was time to upgrade its by-laws, with two goals in mind – strengthening personal relationships with residents and attracting top talent by making better use of members’ time. The two goals are intertwined.


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