Sign Up For Email Updates   Submit

Westminster-Thurber Community

Case Study and Assessing Impact

What Can You Do to Foster Friendships With Our Elders?

Talk to the Elder at every opportunity
While you are completing your daily tasks for our Elders, say things like:
• Tell me about what kind of work you did
• Tell me about your family
• Tell me about your home
• Tell me about vacations that you've taken
• Tell me about your spouse
• Tell me about your parents
• Tell me about your children, siblings, grandchildren, etc.

Include the Elder in your conversation with others
It is important that you include our Elders in conversations that you have in their presence.
If you are chatting with another staff person, find a way to have the Elders join your conversation, rather than talking over them or about them. If you don't think it's appropriate for the Elders to join your conversation, then it's a conversation you should be having in private and not in front of them. The dining room is a particularly important place for you to have a conversation with our Elders. It makes the meal much more enjoyable for them.

Excerpt from World Makers Orientation Curriculum

The case study at Westminster Thurber incorporated review of 22 quantitative data sources (financial, staff, operations, resident, outcomes), 34 sources of organizational data (descriptive, educational materials, human resources, communications, marketing, operations), and 22 interviews in the following areas: 

  • Executive Director and Administrator
  • Pathway Home and Care Partners
  • Health Center
  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care
  • Activities
  • Clinical Services
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Dining 
  • Residents

The Westminster-Thurber case study was designed to identify qualitative and quantitative elements to track and support the effects of this innovation on organizational outcomes. Unlike the case study of Providence Mount St. Vincent, the model represents an implementation process describing innovation as it moves through a community from leadership, to staff, to residents and families. 

In Pioneer Network case studies, impact is categorized by quality of care/life improvements (most directly affecting residents and family), staffing impact and organizational impact. Organizational impact is defined as impact in quality and/or staffing impact that increases revenue and/or decreases operational costs for the organization. 

As with Providence Mount St. Vincent and case studies of sustainability, common themes were identified in Resident Systems (most directly affecting quality of care/life) and Overall Organizational Systems (most directly affecting staff). However, because Westminster is in an implementation phase, themes may not relate to the entire organization, and certain discussions will focus on the Pathway Home (Westminster's most in-depth and expansive organizational transformation to date).

Common themes are highlighted in the tables below and discussed in further detail on subsequent pages.


1) Create an inclusive community and "home" for residents, families, and the outside community that is constantly communicating and reinforcing resident-directed choice and focus.

2) Work is organized around maintaining resident's autonomy and preferences with inclusive language supporting residents to be "known" as individuals instead of medical conditions.

3) Inter-disciplinary, cross-trained teams operate throughout the organizational structure with an objective of putting residents before task and taking advantage of synergies in the organization.

4) A relatively flat organizational structure with the resident at the top of the organizational chart is prioritized (allowing for effective communication among and between inter-disciplinary teams and residents).

5) Staff-resident interaction is a priority and staff "know" residents.


1) Create an inclusive community for staff that is constantly communicating and reinforcing a resident-directed focus through formal and informal educational opportunities and relationship building.

2) Through a flat organizational structure, employees feel empowered to help control quality, waste, and problem-solve throughout the community.

3) Leverage the value-added potential of inter-disciplinary, cross-trained teams throughout the organizational structure to take advantage of synergies in the organization. 

4) Leadership actively pursues engagement and supportive strategies with staff.

Click here to advance to the next page. Click here to return to the Table of Contents.