For Jackie Young, the six months she spent in Homeland Center rehabilitating from leg surgery was a time for healing, physical therapy, and reconnecting with old acquaintances.
“The people were very nice,” she says. “One aide worked evenings, and she also had taken care of my mother a few years ago at another nursing facility. She recognized me and was very caring.’’
Jackie has a long history with Homeland. For 12 years, she served diligently on the Board of Managers, the unique group charged with maintaining Homeland’s homelike feel. She also applied her expertise as a nurse and nursing manager in discussions about creating a hospice service. Homeland Hospice, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, has established itself as central Pennsylvania’s premier provider for end-of-life care.
Jackie says she knew as a child she wanted to be a nurse, following her mother and aunt's footsteps.
She looked up to her mother, who shared her talents as a sort of neighborhood medical provider.
“I had three younger brothers, and with all the kids in the neighborhood, there was always somebody that needed to be fixed,” Jackie says.
Jackie grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. After working a year in the Penn operating room, she returned to northeast Pennsylvania to study nursing education at Wilkes College. She worked at the University of Colorado for a year and then returned to a hospital in Scranton.
Then fate intervened to bring her to central Pennsylvania.
“I had a day off, and a friend had an interview with the OR supervisor at Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg. She asked if I would drive down with her. I took the job, and she didn’t.”
That was in 1960. Jackie stayed at Polyclinic and the health care system it merged with -- PinnacleHealth -- for 40 years. She started in the nursing school and, by the time she retired in 2000, was director of utilization review for the system’s three hospitals.
Jackie liked Harrisburg. It was close to home, where her father was active in business and civic affairs.
“Harrisburg was just far enough away that I could be completely on my own,’’ she says. “Everybody in Scranton knew my father. Everywhere I went, people would say, ‘You’re John Young’s daughter.’”
Harrisburg also was close enough to New York City for regular trips with friends and travel clubs to see Broadway shows.
Jackie joined Homeland’s Board of Managers when a friend of her parents, the late Homeland resident Doris Coyne, and a member of the Board of Managers, suggested that it might be a good fit for her talents.
“I was impressed with Doris and what she told me,” Jackie says. “When I got there and saw the place, I realized that the atmosphere was totally different than other nursing homes. The people are very caring.”
Jackie served on the Board of Managers 2006 through 2018, during which she served on the House and Grounds Committee and a term as board chair. As the board worked to maintain a welcoming, comfortable feel throughout Homeland, members redecorated resident rooms and the Main Gathering Room.
In August 2020, Jackie had surgery on her leg and went to Homeland. An immobilizer initially meant to be on her leg for four or five weeks had to stay on for three months. As a resident in Homeland’s skilled care, she regained her strength and mobility with dedicated help from Homeland’s rehabilitation services.
After six months, Jackie returned to her Harrisburg-area home. Her ties to Homeland continue through services from Homeland HomeHealth, part of the Homeland at Home continuum, which includes Homeland HomeCare and Homeland Hospice. Together, Homeland at Home extends Homeland’s excellence in medical and independent living services to people in their homes.
“The people in physical therapy and occupational therapy were marvelous,” she says. “They really pushed and got me to the point where I could come home.”