The History of Our Homes: Nora Rife Building

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

Nora Rife bldg 2014In the 1970s, one of the most urgent needs of Florida Presbyterian Homes was a dining room and kitchen large enough to serve the growing number of residents. The Forrer-Bunker dining room and kitchen, built in 1965, was delivering meals by pushcart to residents at a distance. A new building with a large dining room and kitchen was planned.

The Nora Rife Building faces the waterfront of Lake Hunter at Cresap Street. Its construction necessitated the demolition of the original Watson House in 1979. The building was designed to provide access to both Howland-Delay and Monte Johnson Manor.

Resident Association President’s Message – June 2015

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During our Council Meeting on May 13, 2015, there was much interest expressed by many residents about the management of the Loving Care Funds. I have selected an applicable section of the President’s Report written by Past President Ted Nelson for the December 2011 edition of the Lake Hunter Herald. The dollar figures may have changed over the past 4 years, but the process remains the same:

People We Serve: Grace Blair Brake

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

GraceBrake100PartyGrace Blair Brake celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year and has many happy memories of a life well spent to share! On the wall over her bed is a chart from Church World Service displaying the $2 million the six CROP Walks Grace started have raised over the years to fight hunger. The first walk Grace organized was in Bear Lake, Michigan. “I felt led to do it,” she explained. “I’ve always been interested in helping people with hunger – wells for clean water, food boxes.”

The History of Our Homes: Forrer-Bunker Manor

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Arruza_111031_0989When Forrer-Bunker Manor was constructed, it had 39 apartments, a dining room, kitchen, library, lounge, solarium, and offices. It was dedicated on February 21, 1965, ten years after Florida Presbyterian Homes was established. It became the center of activities for all residents on the Florida Presbyterian Homes campus.

Dr. Samuel H. Forrer’s ancestors came from Switzerland in 1754 and prospered in the new world, establishing a large plantation in Luray, Virginia. Samuel Forrer, offspring of this wealthy family, became a Presbyterian minister. He served in Detroit for many years.

Resident Association President’s Message – May 2015

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

During the March Council meeting, Ann Reddout made a motion under new business to obtain a More Complete Financial Report from the FPH Administration. The Council passed a Motion to Appoint a Committee to Formulate the Parameters of the Primary Motion. Both Motions were passed by the Council during their regular Meeting on March 10, 2015.

Ann’s listing of the financial details presented at the Council Meeting was provided by me to Patty Fekete, Director of Finance. We agreed to have a meeting between the Council Committee and the Administration following the meeting by the Committee to Formulate the Parameters of the Primary Motion.

Honored Staff – 35 and 36 Years of Memories at “The Homes”

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AnnSmith BarbaraCollins1     Martha Pitts





We continue our 60th anniversary celebration and appreciation by asking for memories from some of our dedicated long time employees. These three ladies have been here a long time and served many residents through the years: Ann Smith, Receptionist, 36 years with FPH; Barbara Collins, Executive Assistant and Martha Pitts, LPN in Assisted Living, both with 35 years at FPH.

Living Our Mission: Person Centered Care At Its Best

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The Kilbys when they first became residents at FPH

The Kilbys when they first became residents at FPH

FPH’s unwavering commitment to compassionate, personalized continuing care and service of the highest quality can be seen in the All About Me posters hanging in Porter McGrath residents’ rooms. The project originated from FPH social worker Teresa Montoya’s work with the Alzheimer’s Association. The idea is to have familiar things to talk to the residents about since the long term memory stays with them the longest. “Talking to an individual about their personal history can help improve their memory and also helps the staff caring for them provide ideas for activities geared toward their likes and dislikes that will be both interesting and stimulating to the person with dementia,” Teresa explained. “In addition, activities can be rewarding and fulfilling to the caregiver and/or visitors.”

Honored Staff – 40 Years of Memories at “The Homes”

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Honored Staff for April

Thank you to new resident Carol Brown for writing this story. Connie and Ekie have passed their 40 year milestone; Mary will reach hers later this year.

As we celebrate our 60th year of providing homes and care, it’s appropriate to recognize the dedicated employees who have helped to make it feel like home and provided care when it was needed. We asked questions of three wonderful employees: Connie Wilson, Ethyl (Ekie) Black and Mary Mathis – they have worked here for 40 years. We ask them to remember their first day, a significant activity or day or another memory – this is what they shared:

FPH Executive Chef Wins Top Chef of Polk County

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

Ron cropped

Polk County, Florida’s elite chefs were stunned last night when a little known chef from a small retirement community took top honor at the Top Chef of Polk County competition, a fundraiser for the Achievement Academy.

Florida Presbyterian Homes Executive Chef Ronald Mayer wowed the judges with a delectable five course menu paired with local winery Keel & Curley selections at the April 20th event held at The Lakeland Center.

“Ron is an extremely accomplished and experienced chef with over 35 years in the industry,” says dining services manager Russell Colleran. “He embodies the culinary spirit of creativity and execution. Food is very important to the residents we serve and we are so proud to have him as our chef.”

Updated Plans for Porter McGrath and McArthur Center

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

It’s an exciting time at FPH! Executive Director John Hehn revealed more detailed plans this week for our health center expansion and the remodeling of our community center. The “lean start up” in the McArthur Center will help us prepare for the opening of our beautiful new wellness/community center on the lake in a few years. Click on the links below to check them out:

Porter McGrath Expansion

McArthur Center Remodel

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16 Lake Hunter Drive - Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-688-5521 or Marketing: 863-577-6001