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The Orchards at Southington receives ALFA Best of the Best Award

Michele Korby-Gale, The Orchards activities director, front, and Audrey Vinci, The Orchards executive director, display the ALFA 2014 Best of the Best Award that The Orchards at Southington received for its WISE program.
Michele Korby-Gale, The Orchards activities director, front, and Audrey Vinci, The Orchards executive director, display the ALFA 2014 Best of the Best Award that The Orchards at Southington received for its WISE program.

SOUTHINGTON - The Orchards at Southington announced on June 18 that it has won the ALFA 2014 Best of the Best Award in the category of Resident & Family Engagement. This national award honors programs that are advancing business excellence in the field of senior living.

The ALFA Award was presented to The Orchards in recognition of the program WISE (Working together: Intergenerational Student/Senior Exchange) that began in 2012. Students from Central Connecticut State University and residents of The Orchards, an independent and assisted living community, have formed friendships, shared conversations and participated in activities to enable both age groups to gain insight into each other’s generation. A collaborative book, “From i-Grandma to Medicare: Essays on Aging,” was one of the projects that resulted.

“The partnership between the seniors and students has been enlightening. The seniors were surprised to learn that some of their views were also shared by the students,” said The Orchards Activities Director Michele Korby-Gale who accepted the award with Audrey Vinci, executive director. The WISE program was recognized at the national ALFA conference held in Phoenix in May.

“I am continually amazed by the generosity of leading companies to share insights on how they do what they do, but also the challenges they’ve overcome,” said Rick Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA. “Each of these submissions had a back story to it, a back story that is rooted in the passion to always do better by our residents and families.”

Program submissions were judged for their uniqueness in the industry, innovative use of ideas from outside the industry, impact on residents, their families, staff and operations, embrace of industry core principles, the strength of quantitative and qualitative results and strategic vision.

Winning programs, including The Orchards at Southington, and other innovative strategies were recognized at the ALFA 2014 Conference and Exposition and in the June 2014 issue of the Senior Living Executive (www.alfapublications.org). Learn more about this event for senior living executives at www.alfa.org/conference.

The Orchards at Southington offers independent and assisted living, and is a not for profit member of Central Connecticut Senior Health Services, a Hartford HealthCare Partner.

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