Building Upon a Promise... A Legacy of Care.

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Heritage Community Foundation Spring 2016 Newsletter


The Past

Heritage Community's promise to care for older adults began in 1944, when Mayor Louis Sutherland gathered together local residents to improve Kalamazoo's system for senior care. They decided that the community's seniors should have a secure, comfortable place to live — regardless of their ability to pay — and our first donors promptly stepped forward to help.

According to Jay Prince, president & CEO, this is just one example of Heritage Community’s history of innovation. “Our founders in the 1940s were discussing quality of life,” he said recently. “Dr. Richard Upjohn Light described how the greatest tragedy with aging isn’t debilitation, but to live lonely, bored and unfulfilled. Aging well is about personal connections and having a vibrant life during retirement. That concept has existed in mainstream thinking for only about the last 15 years.” Memory care is another example of this intersection of caring and innovation. “Our first memory care community building was constructed in 2001,” Prince explained. “But we didn’t just build a facility. We looked around nationally for the best ways to provide specific memory care. At the same time, we educated all of our staff, extended education to residents’ families and ended up creating the best memory care program in the region.”

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