Amber Fuller of Fuller Good Ideas, shows Irene Hosking, 99 of Corunna, the history wall that was designed for the Towne Center. Hosking was the first RN at the old poor farm in the late 40s, and was the first nursing supervisor and building superintendent of Pleasant View when it opened its current Norton Street facility in 1953. Fuller was part of the team that designed the wall./Courtesy photo
A salon, 50s-themed diner, fireplace, auditorium, baby grand piano, 24-hour food service and a library. These don’t sound like things you’d find in a county nursing home, but they are only a few of the amenities in the new Pleasant View facility that was opened to the public earlier this month.
Located in The Commons in Caledonia Township, Pleasant View staff and community leaders cut the ribbon on the new, 103,000-sq.-ft., $25 million building and held a public open house. Visitors were able to see the private patient rooms, common areas, activity center, neighborhood dining rooms, “back-stage” staff areas, offices and therapy space, as well as enjoy refreshments and music. Finishing touches are still being put on the building, but those who came were able to take in the vastness and beauty of its design and décor.
Pleasant View’s new facility, which will replace its current, 65-year-old location on Norton Street in Corunna, features a Towne Center with a cupola and lots of windows for natural lighting in the gathering space below. There is also a history wall that captures snapshots of Pleasant View’s 170-year existence, as well as a baby grand piano and a wall covered with dedication plaques from projects at the Norton Street building.
From the Towne Center, three resident “neighborhoods” branch off: New Horizons (short-term rehabilitation); Safe Havens (long-term skilled nursing care) and Harbors (memory care). Each has its own color scheme to help residents distinguish. Harbors’ colors, for example, were selected based on research that has identified the color peach as one that is calming to residents who may be confused or over-stimulated. The names of each neighborhood were chosen through a contest for residents, staff and family members last year. There are also special bariatric and hospice suites in each neighborhood. Pleasant View has a total of 136 licensed beds.
“Our motto is ‘Caring for Life.’ It represents how we view our commitment to our residents. No matter their stage of life or rehabilitation, they deserve the same care, respect and dignity as you or I,” explains Pleasant View Administrator Shana Espinoza, RN, MSN, LNHA. “This philosophy will carry over to our new home. In fact, the building was designed to enable us to do even more caring for life."
“Most of our residents will now have private rooms. Even semi-private rooms are separated by a wall. Married couples can have their own special space. Families of hospice residents who are at the end of life can stay with their loved ones in peaceful privacy.”
Espinoza and a steering committee made up of a cross-section of Pleasant View employees have been immersed for months in the details of what has been a significant effort to start a very exciting and welcome new chapter in the organization’s 170-year history. The original poor farm was built in 1847 on Lyons Road south of Corunna. Part of the foundation of the original barn is still there, along with the county cemetery used for poor farm “inmates,” as they were called back then. The facility on Norton Street was built in 1953 when the old poor farm hospital was deemed unsafe.
“We’ve obviously come a long way from the old poor farm days. Our board and leadership teams have been saving and planning for many years for the right solution. We’re thrilled that it’s finally a reality,” exclaimed Espinoza.
Employees have been touring the facility regularly for several months. Residents have only recently been taken to the site for safety reasons. They are very excited, according to Espinoza.
“Their eyes light up and they want to know which room will be theirs,” explained Espinoza. “Most are in awe. We even still have some who can’t believe they get to go with us!”
Residents and their family members have been supportive throughout the entire process, according to Espinoza, who pointed out that “they show us so much love and kindness each day. They’re the reason we do what we do.”
Pleasant View broke ground on its new facility in June 2016. For more information, visit pleasantviewmcf.org or call 989-743-3491.