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‘Good things are happening here’

Continuing care neighborhood officially opens at Tallgrass Creek

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May 21st, 2014
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As cameras flashed and about 100 guests cheered, Milo Shaffer wielded a massive pair of golden scissors that sliced a bright, blue ribbon. The event marked the opening of style="font-size: 0.923em; line-height: 1.5em;">Tallgrass Creek’s continuing care neighborhood in Overland Park, Kans.

Though the continuing care neighborhood’s 28 studio and one- and two-bedroom assisted living apartments welcomed residents in November, the ceremonial ribbon cutting on April 3 signified the grand opening of the entire neighborhood, which now also includes 28 private memory care apartments and 44 spacious skilled nursing residences. 

Ribbons and remarks 

Peter Crane, Tallgrass Creek’s executive director, welcomed guests and introduced the event’s keynote speaker, Steve Wilkinson, president and CEO of Menorah Hospital in Overland Park and an enthusiastic supporter of the quality service and environment Tallgrass Creek offers.

It was fitting that Milo participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as he and his late wife Milda Shaffer were Tallgrass Creek’s very first independent living residents in 2007. The couple moved to continuing care last year. Willie Giesen, the first assisted living resident and a five-year independent living resident of Tallgrass Creek, joined Milo. 

Deb Doyle, Erickson Living’s chief operating officer, and Tracy Osborne, president of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, delivered additional remarks.

“This is a great day for Tallgrass Creek, Erickson Living, and Overland Park,” Osborne said to the crowd. “We’ve watched this special community grow and thrive, and it is very obvious there are great days ahead.”

Devin Allred, associate executive director and director of the continuing care on campus at Tallgrass Creek, was among those cheering as Milo cut the bright, blue ribbon. 

“It’s been an exciting time as we’ve watched this neighborhood take shape,” says Allred. “For me, personally, it is an honor to be associated with Erickson Living as we fulfill our mission and promise of providing all levels of care for the Tallgrass Creek community. Good things are happening here.” 

Continuing care at Tallgrass Creek has generated about 60 new jobs in Overland Park and will have a substantial economic impact as well.  

Personalized approach

The continuing care neighborhood offers compassionate care based on a holistic assessment of each resident, emphasizing individual needs. No matter what level of care is needed, residents explore their interests and talents via personalized physical, cognitive, and recreational activities. Residents can also enjoy the thoughtfully designed amenities, numerous activities, and social opportunities available at Tallgrass Creek. 

The continuing care neighborhood offers bright, open living spaces with easy access to landscaped grounds and courtyards, as well as a state-of-the-art kitchen with varied dining venues and chef-prepared choices. Residents can relax in the sunny dining room, clubhouse, or well-stocked library. 

“The entire neighborhood is spacious, welcoming, and has a very homey, comfortable feel,” says Allred. 

Fun, food, and fanfare                 

Guests at the celebratory gathering included local hospital administrators, health care providers, and other industry professionals, along with Overland Park officials and Erickson Living staff and executives. Tallgrass Creek’s dining staff provided sumptuous hors d’oeuvres that included a carving station of beef tenderloin with red pepper horseradish and a sushi buffet with platters of California and Philadelphia rolls creatively balanced on crystal bowls of swimming Beta fish. 

Guests also enjoyed a buffet of rosemary lamb chops, chicken satay, vegetable-stuffed mushrooms, and mini shrimp cocktail, along with fresh crudités and creamy dip.  

“The dining staff did an incredible job,” says Director of Dining Services Lea England, who coordinated the culinary offerings at the ribbon-cutting event. “We have such a talented group of chefs and cooks who make it their mission every day to provide the very best.”   

Delectable finger desserts included lemon tarts, pies, cakes, strawberry mousse, and French pastries. Guests also enjoyed soft drinks, wine, beer, and a light drink called Tallgrass Creek Juice—a combination of cranberry, orange, and pineapple juices mixed with vodka. A local jazz combo and singer provided music.

More to come

Though continuing care is now officially open, construction continues at Tallgrass Creek as Meadowlark Terrace, the community’s newest independent living residence building, takes shape. Scheduled for a late 2014 opening, the four-story addition will offer 87 one- and two-bedroom apartments homes, many of which are already sold. 

Meadowlark Terrace will feature ten new floor plans along with several popular, existing floor plans sold out throughout the community. 

Tallgrass Creek resident Don Pinkston moved to the community six years ago and notes that though the furnishings and amenities at Tallgrass Creek are impressive, the people make the difference. 

“The buildings and services are wonderful, but it’s the people that are the key to any successful undertaking,” says Don. “It is the staff and residents at Tallgrass Creek that make this a great place to live.”

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