Warm Hearth Village Blog

Keep informed about what is happening at Warm Hearth Village.



Jim and Mary Ellen Moore were donors and supporters of the Warm Hearth Foundation for 27 years. Recently their estate bequeathed $426,299.13 to the Foundation to benefit the Brian H. Smith Benevolence Endowment, which was established to support seniors in need of housing and care at Warm Hearth Village (WHV) well into the future. Their gift leaves a legacy of lasting impact for residents of WHV and will benefit countless seniors in need who would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of their healthcare.

The Moores were both born and raised in Bloomington, IN. They lived in Blacksburg for 60 years where Jim was an associate professor at Virginia Tech in the Agricultural Economics Department. Mary Ellen was the Home Economics teacher at Radford High School for 22 years.

The Moores moved to WHV in 2012, first to Showalter Center and then the Kroontje Health Care Center. Jim was instrumental in helping establish Warm Hearth at Home (WH@H) in 2013. WH@H provides in-home companions and caregiver services to help seniors maintain their current living arrangement or navigate the transition to a higher level of care when needed.  “They loved Warm Hearth and enjoyed the time they lived there,” said Barb Moore, the Moores’ daughter. “They appreciated the care they received, and believed in the organization’s mission.”

“We were truly blessed to know Jim and Mary Ellen,” said Karen Nelson, Associate Director of Development.  “They were an important part of the Warm Hearth family for many years and a special part of the Wybe and Marietje Kroontje Heritage Society, a group of individuals who have pledged their support to the Foundation by leaving an estate gift and a legacy at Warm Hearth Village.”

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pickle ball roland 


Warm Hearth Village (WHV) will soon have a new multi-purpose outdoor recreation court on its campus. Village resident Roland Byrd, who is an avid Pickleball player, spearheaded the initiative to create a designated area on the Warm Hearth campus for Pickleball, tennis, ping pong and basketball. Byrd made a sizable gift to the Warm Hearth Foundation toward the construction cost for his project and encouraged other residents to do the same. He has also remained involved in the planning process, working alongside WHV staff and Hurt & Proffitt, the Blacksburg engineering firm contracted to build the court.  

On September 2, ground was broken in an area adjacent to the Village Center. Byrd, who has lived at WHV for nine years, said, “I am really pleased to have had the means and opportunity to help bring this new asset to Warm Hearth. It will be something many of us will enjoy as well as residents for years to come.” With Byrd’s help, the Warm Hearth Foundation received contributions for the project totaling $35,136. These funds will cover construction costs for the court as well as additional equipment to accommodate the various sports and interests of other residents.

Associate Director of Development for the Warm Hearth Foundation, Amy Slone, worked closely with Byrd to coordinate fundraising for the project. "Working with Roland on this project was a wonderful experience,” Slone said. “I love that Warm Hearth values and prioritizes a cooperative environment. This project is a perfect example of how our residents and staff truly collaborate with one another to share knowledge and utilize the expertise of all.”


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milestone kitchen

Millstone Kitchen is a shared-use commercial kitchen operated by the nonprofit Live Work Eat Gather, Inc. In April 2020 they received a Community Development Block Grant in cooperation with Montgomery County and generous funding from the Town of Blacksburg. This has allowed them to respond to increased food insecurity amidst COVID-19 and to continue to serve freshly prepared and nutritious sit-down meals to vulnerable individuals and families in the New River Valley. They are partnering with HazelBea Catering and On Site Culinary to prepare fresh meals, especially important for those who rely largely on non-perishable items. The program helps them support small businesses at a time when most food businesses are closing or lowering capacity. A variety of community partners, including the NRV Diaper Pantry, Newport Community Center, Future Economy Collective, Christiansburg Parks and Recreations, and the Agency on Aging help distribute the meals.

Thursday, August 20, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) low-income seniors all received meals from the kitchen. Residents will have the option to continue receiving a nutritious weekly meal. WHV is honored to be a part of this program. Karen Nelson, Associate Director of Development for the Warm Hearth Foundation said, “These meals benefit residents in the Trolinger and New River House apartments at WHV. This includes 144 apartments, and about 150 residents, whose average income is just $800 per month,” she said. “One of our values is collaborating with the greater community and this exactly what we are doing with Millstone Kitchen.

Laina Schneider is the Millstone Kitchen Manager. “We are so excited to have Warm Hearth as a partner in this program and reach as many folks as possible. We started with just a single partner back in April. After receiving countless individual donations and a few key grants we were able to grow the program to the next level. Now we are working with two caterers and six community partners to serve upwards of 450 meals per week. Some of our board members including, Michelle Narramore, suggested that Warm Hearth could be a good fit for the program as we were looking for more partners for the expansion,” Schneider said.

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Brad Dalton

After a lengthy search process, Edward Spencer, Chairman of the Warm Hearth, Inc. Board of Directors, has announced that Brad Dalton will take over as President & CEO for the Blacksburg-based senior living community this fall.  Dalton is currently the Regional Vice President of Operations for American Health Care (AHC) in Roanoke.  He brings with him a breadth of experience that spans nearly 20 years, 12 of those with AHC.  Dalton will take over for retiring CEO, Ferne Moschella.

In a unique twist, thanks to COVID-19, interviews were conducted via Zoom and employees and residents of the village were invited to weigh in on the top three candidates.  After viewing each session, surveys were provided and the board’s search committee read the feedback with interest. One respondent said, “Brad Dalton presents himself as very sincere, honest, enthusiastic, and energetic. His emphasis on being a good listener and the importance of communication infused nearly every topic covered in the interview, and rightly so, since communication with staff, residents and their families, community partners and donors is key to the job of CEO.   His description of himself as logical, analytical and organized, while simultaneously being people-oriented is precisely what I’d look for in a candidate for the position of CEO of Warm Hearth (and that combination is what we all admire about Ferne).”

Dalton is a native of Dublin and a graduate of Radford University where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree; he later earned his M.B.A. from Spring Arbor University. He and his wife and two children currently reside in Roanoke.  When asked about his thoughts as he looks ahead to his new role, Dalton said, “I am honored to serve and lead Warm Hearth Village as the next President and CEO. The more I learn about the history of Warm Hearth Village, especially the amazing vision of founders Wybe and Marietje Kroontje, the more excited I become. When I read and learn about the 100-year plan the Kroontjes created, I can't help but feel lucky to have a part in their plan. I have been serving seniors across the Commonwealth for the last 12 years, so coming back closer to home to serve the senior community in the New River Valley is really special. I will work hard to bring fresh ideas and continued vision to the Kroontje's plan, building upon the great success that retiring President & CEO, Ferne Moschella achieved during her 20 years of leadership."

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Last week, Warm Hearth notified employees of two new ways it plans to support them through the COVID-19 Pandemic.  In a fundraising campaign led by the Warm Hearth Foundation, residents, family members, fellow employees and community members donated more than $20,000 to support employees and their families during this difficult time. Hourly employees who are unable to work from home, whose standard hours have been cut by 25% or more, and employees furloughed due to COVID-19 are eligible to receive assistance from this fund.  The fund will also provide financial assistance for any employee or close family member who has been diagnosed with the virus. There are no confirmed cases at the Village at this time.

Amy Slone, Associate Director of Development said the Foundation has been overwhelmed by the support received for the fund. “This is an unsettling time for everyone, yet we have received donations from near and far to help support our staff,” Slone said. “The fact that our residents and supporters care not only for seniors in need at Warm Hearth, but also for our employees in this time of need is incredible. We couldn’t be more grateful.” 

In addition, WHV has committed $30,000 per month in supplemental pay for hourly, front-line employees who continue to work on campus, (or in the greater community through Warm Hearth at Home), during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We are eager to thank our employees for their dedication to the residents and clients we are privileged to serve, under extremely challenging circumstances” said Ferne Moschella, President and CEO.

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20 year employees 2

In the ever-changing workplace where retention is a challenge for many industries, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) is proud to recognize a group of nearly 20 employees who have given 20 or more years of service in 2020.  They represent nearly every discipline at Warm Hearth, from nursing to administration to maintenance and dining services. Warm Hearth’s mission to nurture a transformative environment where people live and work in community, knowing their contributions are essential to our success is fitting when celebrating this dedicated group of people. “Their contributions are immense and the historical perspective they possess is invaluable,” says Ferne Moschella, President and CEO.  She celebrated her 20-year milestone in January and is in the midst of planning for her retirement in September of this year.

Many of the 20 in 2020 group worked with founders Wybe and Marietje Kroontje and were inspired by their vision and tenacity in chasing their dreams which resulted in the establishment of Warm Hearth Village.  When asked why they have stayed with the organization for so long, the number one answer is “the residents” and a close second is “Ferne”. 

An additional 54 employees will celebrate anniversaries of 10 or more years of service in 2020.

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BNI Presents Donation to WHV

Business Networking International (BNI) recently presented a donation to the Warm Hearth Foundation to benefit seniors in need of health care and housing at Warm Hearth Village  (WHV).

BNI is an international business networking group with chapters in more than 70 countries. Founded on the concept of "Givers Gain," members share referrals with one another to help all chapter members benefit from connections that lead to meaningful relationships which ultimately build their business. The BNI Founders Chapter of the New River Valley includes members in real estate, auto repair, sales, insurance, financial advising, estate law, chiropractic medicine, physical therapy and fitness. BNI encourages businesses who are not represented to consider joining and welcomes visitors interested in the group to experience a meeting firsthand.

The chapter has been meeting at the Village Center at WHV for about four years. Paul VanWagoner, Chapter President, said several members knew of the Village and thought it would be ideal for the group. “They were right. When we contacted Warm Hearth, they were very welcoming and inviting to our little group. As we have become more familiar with WHV, we decided to take up donations to benefit the Warm Hearth Foundation’s Neighbors in Need program. Our members felt great about giving back to those that maybe didn't have enough or that needed a little help,” VanWagoner added.

The Warm Hearth Foundation is the charitable fundraising entity for Warm Hearth Village and operates a range of programs that help low-income seniors on its campus. Amy Slone, Associate Director of Development for the Warm Hearth Foundation said the gifts and support from businesses and organizations within the community, like BNI, are fundamental to the Foundation’s growth and success. “Our community partners have consistently shown a tremendous amount of support for the work we do to help low-income seniors on our campus. We are so grateful for the generous gift from BNI and its members, and are humbled by this gesture of support,” Slone said.

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Industrial design students help senior citizens

Check out the new clip on WDBJ7 by clicking the link below




Industrial design students at Virginia Tech have been working with local senior citizens to come up with solutions to make everyday tasks a little easier to do.

On Friday, those teams demonstrated their final prototypes to WDBJ7.

“I thought that was a really neat idea,” said Warm Hearth Village Resident Mike Bircher. “It was just interesting to work with the students and see them being able to take those challenges the residents have and come up with design solutions to meet those challenges.”

The students helped to find those solutions for people like Bircher.

“They look at aging in place as an issue and go out and meet with seniors, residents at Warm Hearth and really try and understand how they live,” said Akshay Sharma, an instructor overseeing the students.

Sharma said they have been partnering up with SFCS Architects in Roanoke for about 10 years now to educate students on the importance of focusing on senior citizens and the continually aging Baby Boomers.

“What we really try to teach them here is don’t ever start with a solution,” Sharma said. “You have to really understand why you are answering a question and why is it important to ask that question in the first place.”

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VT students

In 2010, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) started working with the Virginia Tech’s Industrial Design Department Senior Living Studio class to foster collaboration between seniors and students on products designed to improve and extend independent living. SFCS Architects Senior Living Design, a Roanoke-based architectural firm sponsors the project. This is just one of many examples of collaborations that fulfill the vision WHV’s founder Wybe Kroontje had for the Village residents and staff to work with the community. Loring Bixler, guest lecturer, resident and former IBM Industrial Designer is the liaison between Tech and the Village.

“As soon as I moved to Blacksburg, in 2013, I wanted to get involved with the industrial design program at Virginia Tech. I wanted to share my experience to help young designers understand what was expected of them out in the field. I met with Ed Dorsa, Chairman, of the program at the time. He suggested I volunteer to assist instructors. Dorsa started the Aging in Place program in 2010, with financial support from SFCS and participation from WHV residents. In the beginning, students met with residents in Showalter Center, the assisted living residence. But there were so many students, it was difficult for student/resident interaction. In 2015, students started working with residents in independent living, in a roundtable format. In 2017, the students started presenting their design solutions to the participating residents. We can continue to evolve. There is a wealth of experience in the village and I am so proud of the residents’ willingness to give their time to be involved and thankful for the support of the WHV Staff. The interaction of everyone involved is inspiring,” Bixler said.

Each fall, the current class meets with residents at WHV to learn what they need to make their lives easier. After the initial meeting, students go back to the classroom studio to design prototypes.  They bring their concepts and prototypes back to residents again for feedback and the collaboration concludes with students formally presenting their final designs at Warm Hearth Village.

This year students used resident input to create an easy-to-wear vest with GPS, a safer cutting board, cosmetics containers for easy application, a mobile kitchen island and storage space, a pouring assistant for heavy containers, a shopping cart with walker storage, a compact, touchscreen digital radio, an ergonomically-improved and easy-to-use wheelchair, a vision impairment magnifier, lighting device for the night-vision impaired, a gardening cart to carry tools and provide seating and a transfer seat for the bath.

Ella O’Connor, a junior, describes her team’s project, Loop, (shown) as a device to help people pour liquids from large, heavy containers. She said,  “Pouring is an outdated motion. The act of pouring is not enjoyable nor easy for everyone from young kids to aging populations. No successful solutions are on the market today, therefore people have ignored that it is indeed a problem; until Loop. Loop’s objective is to eliminate discouraging feelings, wrist pain and an expiration date on your daily movements. The opportunity to interview and meet with the wonderful residents at Warm Hearth provided inspiration and feedback that made Loop possible and we would like to extend our gratitude for that!”  

Leaders at Warm Hearth Village have expressed interest in growing the program further and hope to find more ways to foster student and resident engagement.  One idea would be to have a classroom studio on campus where students can engage and interact year-round rather than just a few days each semester. “We are so proud to be a partner in this program and we are excited about the future for the students and our residents,” says Ferne Moschella, Warm Hearth’s President and CEO.

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Marie Swink and Jerry Niles

Each year the Blacksburg AARP Chapter gives funds to charitable groups and has granted Warm Hearth Village (WHV) $300 for its Dementia Friends Program. WHV was the first certified dementia friendly business in Virginia. Blacksburg AARP Chapter President Jerry Niles presented the grant to Marie Swink, WHV Social Worker on December 10, during the AARP holiday luncheon.

WHV serves many seniors who are impacted by dementia, and strives to be a community leader in terms of advocacy and resources.  Part of their advocacy is helping residents, staff and the community better understand and care for those with the disease. The Dementia Friendly Task Force, whose mission is to “Transform the New River Valley into a supportive and inclusive place where people with dementia can thrive”  is actively working to make the Town of Blacksburg a Dementia Friendly Community. “There are over 3,000 Dementia Friends in Virginia,” Swink said.

WHV has several opportunities for residents and the public to support each other. Their Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group is held every other Friday and the Memory Café is held the last Thursday of each month, at the Village Center. Both provide a safe and welcoming environment for people with early Alzheimer’s, their family and friends to socialize and support each other. In addition, WHV is also hosting a Parkinson’s Support Group the first Thursday of every month.

If you would like to receive more information on Dementia Friends Information Sessions for your business or community group, contact Marie Swink at (540) 443-3449.

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Warm Hearth at Home recently earned accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).  ACHC accreditation recognizes that Warm Hearth at Home provides the highest quality home health services by complying with ACHC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services national standards.  Accredited services include physical, occupational and speech therapy, home health aide and skilled nursing services.  All of which are provided by Warm Hearth at Home to residents of the New River Valley.

Michelle Narramore, Director of Warm Hearth at Home said, “We have a great staff who truly cares about our patients and make the patient’s success their priority. We are honored to continue to serve this community and look forward to helping others in the future.” 

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Molly Nevitt

Warm Hearth Village (WHV) is pleased to announce Molly Nevitt, CPA, CGMA has been chosen as Warm Hearth’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She will replace Wayne Howell as he plans to retire after 13 years of service.

Nevitt comes to us from Advanced Logistics Industries in Blacksburg where she was the CFO. She brings more than 16 years of Accounting and Financial Management experience to WHV.  Nevitt is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Merchandising & Business Administration from Radford University and her Master’s in Accounting from Liberty University.

Nevitt said she enjoys the mission-driven work of a nonprofit and looks forward to being a part of the Warm Hearth community and helping the residents.

Nevitt is a native of Pulaski County and currently lives in Christiansburg.  She enjoys spending time with her family, which includes two cats.

Howell, who has been the CFO since October of 2006, lives in Blacksburg and plans to spend a lot more time outside biking, hiking and doing home projects, as well as spending more time in Folly Beach, South Carolina. “Warm Hearth is a very special place and I have enjoyed being a part of this community,” Howell said.

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Watch Warm Hearth on WDBJ7

WDBJ7 on Warm Hearth Village being first Dementia Friendly Business in Virginia

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Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Developed by the Alzheimer's Society in the United Kingdom, the Dementia Friends initiative is also under way in the U.S.A. Warm Hearth Village (WHV) recently achieved its goal to become the first dementia friendly business in Virginia. LeadingAge Virginia, the state association of nonprofit providers of aging services, congratulates them on this achievement. “What an incredible accomplishment for Warm Hearth Village, their staff, volunteers, board and residents. This success is a testament to their leadership and the organization’s commitment to those they serve,” says Melissa Andrews, LeadingAge Virginia’s President and CEO.

To receive this recognition, LeadingAge Virginia confirmed that Warm Hearth has met all of the requirements set forth by Dementia Friends, including:

  • · Dementia Friends information sessions are included in all new employee orientation sessions
  • · 50 percent of the employees have become Dementia Friends
  • · All Board Members will become Dementia Friends in July
  • · The organization is a third of the way toward a minimum of 50 percent of its Independent Residents becoming Dementia Friends
  • · All incoming volunteers are becoming Dementia Friends and 100 percent of existing volunteers will also be Dementia Friends
  • · The Senior Management team has become Dementia Friends
  • · Dementia Friends information sessions and refresher sessions are added to the annual staff education offerings
  • · The education department will review the information annually to assess for changes in information and consider improvements
  • · The Continuous Quality Improvement Committee will produce a document highlighting the multiple ways in which Warm Hearth supports employee caregivers and provide that document to the staff.

WHV serves many seniors who are impacted by dementia, and strives to be a community leader in terms of advocacy and resources for those affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Part of their advocacy is helping residents and staff better understand and care for those with the disease. Marie Swink, Social Worker at the Kroontje Health Care Center (KHCC) and Dementia Friends Champion, coordinated this effort and defined a dementia friendly community as being “informed, safe, and respectful of individuals with dementia.” Swink added, “Our Dementia Friendly Champions’ next steps are to collaborate with stakeholders in Blacksburg to become a Dementia Friendly town.”

Warm Hearth also offers these support groups:

  • · The Memory Café – a safe and welcoming environment for seniors learning to deal with Alzheimer’s Disease is held the last Thursday of every month from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Village Center. Laura Peery, Social Worker at the Kroontje Health Care Center (KHCC) and Dementia Friends Champion, is overseeing the group. “Members of the group share experiences and coping mechanisms and offer support to one another, which has proven to be highly effective in helping them maintain normalcy in their day-to-day lives,” she said.
  • · Alzheimer’s Association Support Group – held the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 3 pm at Warm Hearth’s Village Center. “This group is a judgement-free space where caregivers can lean on each other for support and gain insight from one another with the hope that they will learn new strategies to help with their loved ones,” said Swink. 
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Radford and Christiansburg branches of BB&T have chosen the Warm Hearth Foundation Micah’s Program for their 2019 Lighthouse Project. The Lighthouse Project is an opportunity for BB&T employees to participate in an annual service effort to address community needs. This year, the associates purchased $1,000 worth of laundry pods for The Micah’s Personal Care Program that helps approximately 150 low-income seniors living at Warm Hearth Village. In May and June, in conjunction with Micah’s Meals, associates will also volunteer to deliver shelf-stable groceries and hot meals to approximately 70 residents in need on the WHV campus.

Karen Nelson, Associate Director of Development said, “We are so thankful to have BB&T as a partner.  Thanks to the dedicated support of local companies like BB&T, we are changing the lives of seniors.”  Danielle King, BB&T Teller and Lighthouse Project Team Captain says that her group chose Warm Hearth because they enjoy community involvement & volunteering.  She says, “We enjoy interacting with the folks at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church (they launched Soup for Seniors from which all the other Micah’s programs have grown), Karen and the residents.  Our work there is so rewarding.” 

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cindy food

In May, The Corning Incorporated Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Warm Hearth Foundation to help provide meals to low-income seniors at Showalter Center and Kroontje Health Care Center. In keeping with its nonprofit mission, Warm Hearth Village provides subsidized housing for low-income seniors (144 apartments), auxiliary grants in cooperation with the Department of Social Services, reduced rent and Medicaid for those who qualify.  The Corning funds will help greatly with the subsidy costs and benefit the Foundation as it works to bring new programs and assistance to these residents on campus.

Karen Nelson, Associate Director of Development explained The Corning Incorporated Foundation provides grants to nonprofits in the communities where they operate. “We are so grateful to have a long-term relationship with Corning because they are invested in bettering the lives of seniors in need,” Nelson said.  

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Michelle Naramore

Our Health Magazine recently featured Michelle Narramore, Administrator of Warm Hearth at Home (WH@H), as a leader in local health care. WH@H offers home health and home care services throughout the New River Valley. Michelle is an emerging leader who stands out in her commitment and contributions to the health care field and the greater community, and in her leadership, professional organization memberships and volunteer work.

Narramore is responsible for more than 50 employees and provides vital care and services to seniors in their homes throughout the New River Valley.  She ensures all clients under the agency’s care receive the services they need and that all procedures are followed, including staff supervision and evaluation. Narramore was recently asked to join U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith’s (VA) Alzheimer’s Advocacy Team and has visited with the state’s other Congressional leaders. Narramore considers volunteer activity vital. She is involved in several charitable endeavors including the Salvation Army, the Memory Walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease, and the Color Run which raises money for several charities. She volunteers at the local farmer’s market, helps The Warm Hearth Foundation deliver food to low-income seniors at the Village, and rescues senior dogs. In addition, she recently joined Girls on the Run, providing them with transportation, gear and training.

“I was elated to learn that I had been selected for the award by Our Health Magazine! What made it even better was that I was recommended by my peers at Warm Hearth. It is lovely to be recognized and appreciated by your own company,” Narramore said.

Narramore is from Detroit, Michigan and has two degrees from Radford University: a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Religious Studies. She lives in Blacksburg with her husband, two cats and a dog. She is an avid gardener and recently became a yoga instructor. Narramore has worked at Warm Hearth Village for three years.

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Melissa Sheppard

Warm Hearth Village recently hired Melissa R. Sheppard, BSN, RN, CCRP, EMT-B as the new Director of Nursing in the Willows/Arbor (Assisted Living and Memory Care) at Kroontje Health Care Center.

Sheppard graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Capella University in 2017 and with an Associate’s Degree with a major in nursing from New River Community College in 2011. She comes to us from Lewis Gale Hospital where she was the Clinical Coordinator of Cardiology/Cath. Lab. During her tenure with Lewis Gale she became an Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support/Pediatric Advanced Life Support provider and instructor, is an RN Nationally Recognized Certified Preceptor and an emergency medical technician and is certified in Trauma Nurse Critical Care.


Sheppard started as a Certified Nursing Assistant when she was 16-years old. She looks forward to inspiring her coworkers and providing resident-centered care. “When I was 16, I never would have believed I would one day be a Director of Nursing. I hope my story will encourage others,” said Sheppard

Sheppard lives in Riner with her husband and three children. They enjoy outdoor activities for the whole family including walking and hiking.

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Michelle Narramore, Administrator of Warm Hearth at Home, has been appointed to the Dementia Care Cabinet for LeadingAge Virginia.  LeadingAge Virginia is the state trade association for nonprofit senior living communities and is leading the way when it comes to serving residents with dementia.  As the numbers of persons with cognitive impairments climb, LeadingAge and its members, Warm Hearth Village included, are improving the lives of our elders living with dementia. 

Narramore is from Detroit, Michigan and has two degrees from Radford University: a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Religious Studies. She lives in Blacksburg with her husband, two cats and a dog. She is an avid gardener and yoga teacher in training. She has worked at Warm Hearth Village for three years. 

“I am looking forward to contributing to the excellent strides the cabinet has made. I thank Warm Hearth for the opportunity to serve and to enrich our Village with what I can learn and bring back,” Narramore said.

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On February 22, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) celebrates the 45th anniversary of its incorporation.  Employees and residents there will use it as an opportunity to pay homage to Warm Hearth’s founders, their unique history and its deep roots in the New River Valley community. 

Wybe (Vee-ba) and Marietja (Mar-ee-cha) Kroontje (Croon-cha – means little crown), Dutch immigrants from the Netherlands, were dissatisfied with the conditions they observed in “typical” nursing homes and were eager to give something back to the country that had given them so much during World War II.  In 1974,  they received the official stamp on their vision and many years of planning and hard work to build a nonprofit community with a variety of living options. This one official milestone gave way to a flurry of activity that included the donation and purchase of land and the formation of what would become the 100-year plan for the development of the NRV’s only comprehensive retirement community. 

Leaders at Warm Hearth strive to keep the Kroontjes’ dreams moving forward by using the 100-year plan as a roadmap for the growth and development of the Village.  In recent years, an active adult community, Village Center for community gathering and fitness opportunities, home health and home care services and a Carilion clinic have all been added to the 220-acre campus to meet the increasing demands of seniors. 

February celebrations will be more intimate and internally focused while additional festivities will be held later in the year as the weather warms. 

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