Two senior centers achieve National Accreditation in October

Congratulations to two centers that achieved National Senior Center Accreditation in October 2017.

FiftyForward Donelson Station, Nashville, Tennessee

FiftyForward is a 501c3 organization and leads seven FiftyForward centers in Middle Tennessee.  Five of which are nationally accredited. FiftyForward Donelson Station is located 15 miles east of downtown Nashville. It is the oldest and largest of the centers in the agency serving seniors in the community since 1979. The neighborhood is urban with shops, restaurants, businesses and housing. Members access the center via their own means, bus or AccessRide, which serves persons with disability.

Staff includes full time Center Director and Program Director and two part time office managers. Weekly participation is 90-100 members and on Saturdays, 30-50 members.

The center is also home to Senior Center for the Arts, a wholly owned subsidiary of FiftyForward which operates the Larry Keeton Theater. This community theater offers evening and weekend dinner shows six times annually (typically musicals). In addition, FiftyForward Travel Coordinator works out of Donelson Station. The travel program is open to all center members and offers organized trips both nationally and internationally.

FiftyForward is a 501c3 funded through Title III-B, United Way, Foundations, membership and fee for service, fund raising and endowment. Unique to Donelson Station is the facility usage by three local businesses; Donelson Café, Ladies and Gents Salon, Middle Tennessee Gem and Mineral Society (MTGMS). The center receives revenues through rental arrangements and also from classes and jewelry sales from MTGMS.

The Peer Reviewer observed many strengths of the FiftyForward Donelson Station which included:

  • FiftyForward is a recognized brand for quality senior services in middle Tennessee. Marketing materials are inclusive of the seven senior centers, home care, adult day, meals on wheels, and conservatorship.
  • Leadership Development Training is available for center managers. (DISC)
  • Surrounding Donelson community is supportive of the center.
  • Donelson staff and members exude a welcoming and inviting spirit. New members are embraced and become part of the Donelson family.
  • Center Director, Angela Bryan, is well qualified and dedicated. Since 2014 membership has doubled under her direction.
  • Facility rental to outside business exposes the center to a wider base of the community and brings in revenues.
  • Exercise programs cover all levels of abilities. Expansion of technology classes assists seniors in staying up to date.

The Heritage Center at the Jewish Community Campus, Overland Park, Kansas

The Heritage Center at the Jewish Community Campus (the J) is located within the City of Overland Park, Kansas.  The City of Overland Park’s population is 186,515. The Heritage Center serves the City and also serves the surrounding area including the City of Leawood, Olathe, Merriam, Mission and Southwest portions of Kansas City, Missouri.  Overland Park resides within Johnson County, which is projected to have the largest growth in 65+ population in the metropolitan area in the next 20 years.

The Heritage Center is a gathering place for senior adults age 65 and older. They operate a five day a week program offering a multitude of programs and classes. From art classes to holiday celebrations, the Heritage Center caters to all interests. The mission of The Heritage Center of the Jewish Community Center is to encourage senior adults’ age sixty-five and above to participate in educational, cultural, spiritual, fitness and social programs in order to decrease the potential for isolation and to increase connection to the Jewish community. The focus of the program is on self-determination and self-direction in order to promote independence. The center is open to all faiths. The center serves over 700 unduplicated individuals with an average daily participation of 85 to 90.

The  Peer Reviewer observed many strengths of the Heritage Center of the Jewish Community Center. These included:

  • The Strategic Imperatives Planning Document is well written and easy to follow.
  • The Center is a well-run and organized program with all of the policies and procedures in place needed for national accreditation.
  • They offer a wide variety of excellent programs that were well organized with qualified instructors.
  • The Center has a dedicated and caring staff that has the love and appreciation of the participants.
  • A beautiful facility with tremendous opportunities for future programming.
  • Excellent marketing material with professional and eye catching newsletter and fliers.
  • A large accreditation team that completed the process in 3 months.
  • A supportive Advisory Committee who give the credit for the success of the facility to the staff.

The entire self-assessment committee at Heritage “felt great value in participating in the self –assessment.”  The committee developed recommendations in 8 standards with were implemented prior to submission of their notebook.

Review and update your senior center through the self-assessment and national accreditation process.  Learn more about the national senior center standards and the accreditation process.