Once-troubled Senior Housing Transformed and Thriving in Etna

Updated on October 1, 2012
(Left to Right) Linda Fulmer with resident Ruth Hinderliter and Etna Commons Service Coordinator Danielle Boleware. These ladies are celebrating Ruth’s 100th birthday!

Troubled and broken. Disorganized and non-compliant. By the end of 2010, Etna Commons was in desperate need of repair.

Fast forward to the summer of 2012. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was back to reevaluate. Now managed by SeniorCare Network, a Presbyterian SeniorCare affiliate, Etna Commons features new walls, fresh paint, beautiful landscaping, new carpeting throughout the building and an organized filing system.

Evaluating for acceptable physical condition and above-average organizational practices, HUD handed out a new rating to the Etna Commons team: Superior.

“We inherited a trouble site,” says Linda Fulmer, Community Manager at Etna Commons. “Transforming this property has truly been a team effort. My team went right to brainstorming and began to really think about what we could do to get our building off of the HUD troubled list.”

Tearing down walls and installing new carpeting are not the only ways to transform a property. Along with all of the physical transformations, Etna Commons has grown to be a source of pride for the residents and the community.

“Folks are reaching out to us like never before,” smiles Fulmer. The management office has received several donations from community members, including a grandfather clock, a big screen television, lamps and a variety of decorations.

Fulmer, who is active in the Etna community, has established lasting relationships with community staples, all in an effort to better care for the seniors who call Etna Commons home. Fulmer has organized deliveries from a local bakery, as well as a local store that donates fruits and vegetables each month. Each quarter, Fulmer and the Shaler North Hills Library exchange books in large print, as well as DVDs and CDs to ensure that the residents always have something new to read and that movie night is never showing the same movie twice – unless it’s upon resident request!

On June 15, Etna Commons was recognized at the Pittsburgh Apartment Excellence Awards with a win in the Elderly Housing/Overall Community Appeal category.

Presbyterian SeniorCare is a Christ-centered network of communities and services committed to excellence in enhancing the quality of life of older adults. Its wide range of care and services assists older adult of all faiths to remain as independent as possible in the living environment of their choice. Presbyterian SeniorCare and its affiliates, including the award-winning SeniorCare Network, are accredited as an Aging Services Network by CARF-CCAC. To learn more, please visit us at www.SrCare.org.

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