As 2020 draws to a close, Sunset Retirement Communities is looking forward with optimism to embarking on a mutually beneficial affiliation with Otterbein SeniorLife, and looking back with pride over the long, fruitful career of President/CEO Vicky Bartlett who will retire at the end of this month after 35 years of service to the organization.
The affiliation between Sunset and Otterbein—both senior-care non-profits that provide a wide array of senior services, including independent and assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing, and rehabilitative care and hospice—will allow the two entities to move forward synergistically while driving down the cost of operations and maintaining outstanding care and customer service.
Bartlett notes that partnering with Otterbein will offer Sunset the best opportunity for long-term viability in the highly dynamic field of senior care, as well as greater access to capital, which will allow for increased investment in their facilities and lead to an even higher degree of excellence in the care residents receive. “With the affiliation, we can assure that Sunset will be here for many years to come, and its history will continue. Sunset will remain as a choice for older adults to call home and be part of our family,” she says.
Otterbein president and CEO Jill Wilson remarks that joining forces with Sunset, with its 149-year track record of enriching individual life journeys, will strengthen Otterbein and open up numerous opportunities to carry out its mission. “We believe the synergies of our organizations blend very well and will contribute greatly to continued excellent care and support for residents and working experiences for employees,” she says.
As part of the affiliation, Sunset will be making minor changes to the names of their communities. Sunset House and Sunset Village will become Otterbein Sunset House and Otterbein Sunset Village respectively, while the congregate assisted living apartments will be called The Woodlands at Otterbein Sunset House and the independent living residences will be called Fieldstone Villas at Otterbein Sunset Village. What won’t change are the current staff members, leadership team, and local board of directors.
As she contemplates retirement, Bartlett looks back over her 35 years at Sunset and remarks that the time went by very quickly. “I will always remember the many residents, staff, family members, and boards of directors—past and present—that I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Over the span of my career, I’ve served in several capacities at Sunset and am grateful for the opportunity. I couldn’t have had a better job, anywhere!” she says.
During Bartlett’s tenure, change was a constant, with Sunset continually adapting to meet the needs of residents, staff, and the surrounding community. She states, “I’ve seen Sunset grow, including turning the woods on our Indian Road campus into The Woodlands, and a farm field in Sylvania into the Sunset Village campus. We’ve gone from only caring for women to providing services to both men and women. Not to mention the changes in technology—from paper charts to electronic medical records! Through it all, Sunset has always been future oriented.”
Looking forward, Bartlett is confident that Sunset’s leadership and staff will continue enriching residents’ lives for many years to come. “My hope is that under the new leadership, the focus will remain on both quality of life and quality of care for those who call Sunset home. And, for those that work at Sunset, that they will continue to be dedicated and provide the compassionate care that Sunset has been known for,” she says.
Sunset Retirement Communities offers a full care continuum that includes assisted living, memory care, and health care at Sunset House; assisted living, health care, memory support, and a state-of-the-art rehab center at Sunset Village; active living apartments at The Woodlands; independent living homes at Fieldstone Villas; and hospice and palliative care services through Ashanti Hospice and Palliative Care. For more information, please call 419-536-4645 (Sunset House), 419-724-1200 (Sunset Village), 419-724-1220 (The Woodlands), or 419-386-2686 (Fieldstone Villas), or visit www.sunset-communities.org.