October 19, 2006 at 7:17 a.m.
“I am absolutely honored to be part of the collective effort to create the next generation of senior housing and services in North Branch,” said Killian-Smith. “This is a historic and transformational period in the profession of aging services, and I’m greatly looking forward to helping create a living experience in North Branch that the entire community is proud of. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Killian-Smith previously served as administrator of First Christian Residence, a Minneapolis nursing home that closed this month. Before joining Ecumen last year, she served for three years as administrator of Walker Cityview. She has worked in aging services for 13 years. In addition to serving as an administrator for six years, she worked in information services and as a consultant in aging service.
A native of Eveleth, Minn., she received her Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Scholastica and graduated from the long-term care administration program at the University of Minnesota.
“Leah is a thoughtful, energetic, compassionate leader,” said John Korzendorfer, Ecumen’s director of operations. “She’ll be a great asset to this new community and the larger North Branch community.”
Korzendorfer reports that construction of the new Ecumen community is going well and is on schedule for a July 2007 opening. In the coming weeks Ecumen will introduce the name for the development.
The new Ecumen senior community will feature a town center with a bakery, coffee shop, general store, community room and chapel; 51 assisted living residences that will include garage parking; and two memory care residences that will each serve up to 10 people.
The town center and assisted living neighborhood are framed, the roofs are on and the windows are being installed.
The community also will include a care residence smaller and will provide more privacy and amenities than provided by yesterday’s institutional nursing homes. It will be divided into four neighborhoods that will each serve 17 residents. Each smaller neighborhood will have a full kitchen and dining area. This area is still under construction. Ecumen also will incorporate wireless technology that will allow for greater independence for the residents.
Call Monica Nelson, of Uptown Maple Commons, at 651-277-7700, if you are interested in details about reserving a unit in the assisted living community.
Ecumen is Minnesota’s largest non-profit provider of senior housing and services. Based in Shoreview, Ecumen (www.ecu men.org) gets its name from the Greek word for home. Ecumen seeks to create home for older adults wherever they choose to live. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Ecumen has 4,000 team members and serves approximately 100 communities. It was named in 2005 and 2006 by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of Minnesota’s Great Places to Work.