Warm Hearth Village Blog

Keep informed about what is happening at Warm Hearth Village.


Warm Hearth Village is proud to announce it will be the first senior living community in the state to offer a new fitness program designed specifically for individuals battling Parkinson’s Disease.  This innovative program, being offered in partnership with Rock Steady Boxing, is planned to officially launch at the Warm Hearth Village Fitness Center on September 10, 2018.

Thanks to Jim Craig and his wife, Lois who brought the idea to us and small group of interested donors from throughout the community, the Warm Hearth Foundation was able to raise funds to cover the start-up costs and bring Rock Steady Boxing to the Village.  The new program will be led by Director of Fitness, Kenny Harrah and relies on exercises such as stretching, running, jumping rope, push-ups, balancing and lots of noncontact boxing.  Harrah successfully completed the Rock Steady Boxing Training Camp this year, certifying the fitness center and its staff to offer classes to residents and the community.  “Training with the Rock Steady Boxing athletes has been a profoundly moving and inspiring experience,” says Harrah.  “We feel very grateful and proud to be able to bring this program to the New River Valley and Virginia.”

Rock Steady Boxing is a unique exercise program based upon training used by professional boxers to help alleviate the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease.  Rock Steady Boxing, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in Indianapolis in 2006 that has grown profoundly.  In 2012, the training camp was launched as a means of sharing the method with people around the world who are fighting back against Parkinson’s.

Recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense, “forced” exercise and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slow disease progression.  It is estimated that approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease every year.  The chronic and progressive neurological condition is the second most common neurodegenerative gaining disorder after Alzheimer’s Disease.

The fitness center at Warm Hearth Village is open to individuals from the greater community who are 55 and older.  Amenities include a heated, saltwater pool, strength training room, fitness studio with comprehensive class schedule and personal training.  To learn more about opportunities or to sign up for the Rock Steady Boxing program, call Kenny Harrah at 443-3474.


Photo: Amy Webb, Associate Director of Development; Kenny Harrah, Director of Fitness and Jim and Lois Craig, residents of WHV.

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Warm Hearth Village is pleased to announce that William Lester, ALFA, LNHA and current Administrator at Showalter Center, has been chosen as a new Administrator at the Kroontje Health Care Center. He will be responsible for ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations and quality of care in the skilled and long-term care residence known as The Cove.

Lester has been with Warm Hearth Village for 17 years, initially as Housekeeping Supervisor and then as the Assistant Administrator and Administrator of Showalter Center. He is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator who holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business.

Lester looks forward to the new challenges this position will bring and is excited to continue working in an organization where the residents come first. “I want to make the Cove the best place possible for our residents to live and receive rehab services and our staff to work," he says.

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Warm Hearth Village and Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology Collaborate on Research Based Theatrical Production Aimed at Seniors and Families

More than 120 people from throughout the NRV attended “My Way”, a one-of-a-kind theatrical performance at Warm Hearth Village on April 19th .  The event represented an innovative collaboration between students and faculty at the Center for Gerontology and staff, residents and family of Warm Hearth where research on the decision-making process of moving from home to a care setting was adapted into a theatrical production with the goal of helping others facing the same decisions and challenges navigate the process.

Dr. Pamela Teaster, Ph.D., Director of The Center for Gerontology led the effort by engaging students and faculty in a research study where more than 30 families were interviewed after having made the transition to a health care setting at Warm Hearth Village.  Questions focused on the challenges, fears and obstacles in making the decision and learning how each was overcome as the move took place.  The data collected remained anonymous and was used to develop a three-vignette comedy written and directed by Mardy Baker, Life Enrichment Director at Warm Hearth and performed by resident and professional actors.  The vignettes focused on the denial of seniors of the need for more help and the stress this places on family caregivers; a comical space-age solution to the decision making process where an impersonal computer program “My Way 3000”  makes the tough decisions for you and an intimate look inside a couple’s struggles to acknowledge the effects of dementia on their relationship and living situation and ability to make decisions for their future.

Following the performance, the audience, with the help of table hosts, discussed key messages and personal life experiences in an effort to apply the research in an meaningful way.  Audience members were wowed by the partnership and many came away with new insights and appreciation of the trials associated with the aging process.

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Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Carilion Clinic at Warm Hearth Village


On Friday, February 9, project partners and stakeholders assembled to celebrate and break ground on the new Carilion Clinic at Warm Hearth Village.  Fralin and Waldron will construct the 2,300 sf medical facility designed by C2Architecture that will provide wellness and acute care, screenings, immunizations, physical exams and primary care services. Financing is being provided by Union. 

The project is slated for completion in the fall of 2018 and will serve not only residents and employees of Warm Hearth Village but the greater community as well.  It will be open three days per week initially with potential for growth to meet demand.

Ferne Moschella, President & CEO for Warm Hearth Village told the crowd, “I am proud to see this project come to fruition and equally proud to have Carilion as our partner as we seek new ways to enrich the lives of our residents.”


Photo:  Left to Right - Greg Cupka, C2Architecture; Kim Roe, Vice President, Carilion Family and Community Medicine; Nutmeg, Mascot Warm Hearth Village; Terry Brizendine, Senior Vice President Union and Ferne Moschella, President & CEO Warm Hearth Village.

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Torrey Named New Director of Human Resources at Warm Hearth Village


Warm Hearth Village recently announced that Katharine Torrey will fill the position of Director of Human Resources upon the departure of long-time Director, Lorraine Wachsman.  Wachsman will retire in late February after 21 years with the nonprofit retirement provider.  She says she is looking forward to spending time with grandchildren and family and she hopes to find more time for hobbies that include reading, sewing and jewelry making.  “Lorraine has been instrumental to the growth and success of Warm Hearth Village throughout her long tenure with the organization.  We thank her for her outstanding service and wish her the very best in her well-deserved retirement,” says President and CEO, Ferne Moschella.

Torrey will assume responsibility for identifying staffing needs and recruiting qualified individuals, developing systems to retain employees to reduce turnover, implementing programs and employee benefits and developing, communicating and implementing compliance programs for personnel policies and procedures.  She holds Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Degrees in History and Drama from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master’s Degree in Humanities from Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in English from Georgetown University. Torrey’s extensive experience includes work as executive secretary, technical editor, web content manager, English instructor and human resource generalist.  “I look forward to building on the foundation that Lorraine has carefully laid, and to helping Warm Hearth navigate the waters of our ever-evolving field,” she says.

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