Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Announce Theresa Dudzik Innovation Grant Winners
Lemont, IL – May 22, 2023 –The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago have named University Place, West Lafayette, Indiana, as the recipient of its annual Teresa Dudzik Innovation Grant. The purpose of the grant, established over 25 years ago, is to encourage advances in serving the poor, elderly, and needy, by providing seed money for outstanding initiatives.
Submissions were accepted from member organizations designed to increase the quality and quantity of programs and services offered within Franciscan Ministries, sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago. Additionally, the award encourages creative problem solving and encourages professionals to document, display, and share their successes with others in a spirit of caring.
Marian Village receives the Certificate of Achievement. (From left to right): Margaret Brown, Independent Living Manager, Sr. Jeanne Marie Toriskie, Regina Umanskiy, President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries, and Sr. M. Bernadette Bajuscik, General Minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago.
The first-place winner, Marian Village, Homer Glen, Illinois, Marian Village was honored with a certificate of Achievement for the quality of their application, Stay Connected Marian Village. Their innovative proposal planned to purchase software designed to allow connections not only on a computer but on a phone or tablet. Residents and any family member can access community and emergency personal information. A TV streaming capability will allow those who choose not to engage on devices to still have access to information. It will allow for our residents to stay connected with each other via a picture directory that holds phone numbers and emails, as well as activities they attend. Families of our assisted living residents would be able to see the same and know their loved one is actively participating in their community life! The portal also allows for immediate alerts of inclement weather, emergency water shut offs, as well as day to day changes in facility programming. Marian Village withdrew its application when Franciscan Ministries purchased software for all its facilities which would largely replicate the software that Marian Village was requesting in its application.
University Place received the Teresa Dudzik Innovation Grant. (From left to right): David Kinder, Executive Director of University Place, Sr. Jeanne Marie Toriskie, Amanda Green, Regina Umanskiy, President and CEO of Franciscan Ministries, and Sr. M. Bernadette Bajuscik, General Minister of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago.
This year’s cash winner is a senior living facility, University Place, West Lafayette, Indiana. As second prize winner, they received a Certificate of Achievement as well as $8,000 in seed money to develop their innovation, Resident Centered Admissions Program (RCAP). This program presents a radical shift in the way the first three days of a resident’s stay in a skilled nursing facility are handled. It brings together improved communication, technology, and resident care to enhance the resident’s experience. As the first three days after arrival are critical to the success of the stay of the new resident, this program is designed to increase resident satisfaction, reduce fear and anxiety, reduce hospital re-admissions, and create brand loyalty for University Place. This will be accomplished through frequent check-ins by a minimum of 10 designated associates, issuing a journal and pen to each new resident to write down comments/concerns, having a basket of toiletries ready for their use upon arrival, having their favorite meal prepared, and having a designated associate’s (“Angel”) name and work phone number for emergent concerns.
The third-place applicant, St. Joseph Village, Chicago, Illinois, submitted a proposal called Joyful and Faithful Gatherings. They planned to purchase software designed to connect seniors with what interests and fulfills them, enabling them to share conversations, experiences, learning, and fun games with each other, their SJV staff, and their loved ones. Although they already used a software package for Life Enrichment and therapy, they wished to extend the software’s capabilities into the realm of spirituality and psychological/ emotional wellbeing. Like Marian Village, St. Joseph Village withdrew its application when Franciscan Ministries purchased software for all its facilities which would largely replicate the software that St. Joseph Village was requesting in its application.
Both St. Joseph Village and Village at Mercy Creek received Certificates
The fourth-place applicant was the Village at Mercy Creek, Normal, Illinois, with their proposal of Capturing Life Stories Through LifeBio™. They sought to use the LifeBio™ software to capture the life stories of each resident, allowing staff to offer a more personal and individualized approach to each resident’s care. Through the program residents and their families gain a keepsake book with the story of their beloved one’s life, which can be passed down for generations. The third and fourth place applicants for the Theresa Dudzik Innovation Grant received Certificates of Participation for their efforts.