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Yearly Archives: 2015

02042015mch-69This year, we celebrate Nurses Week from May 6 – May 12.  Milwaukee Catholic Home is proud to honor its exceptional nursing staff, who have made the organization’s 100 years of service to the community possible.  Going beyond excellent clinical care, our nurses embody the words of our vision statement, “a call to do more.”   From ground breaking restorative care and strength and balance programming to a compassionate emphasis on each resident’s individual needs, Milwaukee Catholic Home nurses do more every day.

This year, we are proud to announce that MCH nurse Bridget Zuehlke has been named Nurse of the Year First Runner Up.  Bridget has served at Milwaukee Catholic Home since 1998.  Her long tenure is not unusual at MCH – many of our nurses have worked with us for over a decade.

“The longevity of our staff shows that Milwaukee Catholic Home is a great place to work.  Residents and families comment all the time that our nursing staff takes the time to get to know them throughout the time they make MCH their home,” said Joan Quirk, MCH Director of Nursing.  “In addition to nurses that have been with us for years, we also welcome new nursing graduates.  We benefit from their energy and enthusiasm and they are able to learn and grow with the support of our experienced staff.”

Congratulations and thank you, nurses!

B. & P. Salsini

Paul and Barbara Salsini

It’s volunteer month, and we never get tired of recognizing and thanking the hundreds of volunteers who contribute so much towards the MCH mission.

It’s common knowledge that nursing homes and senior services organizations like MCH rely heavily on volunteer help.  What’s less well known is the generosity of our residents in giving of their time as volunteers, both here at MCH and in the broader community.

In a recent general audience, Pope Francis reached out to fellow older adults and reminded them of all they have to offer.

“We, older people, can remind ambitious young people that a life without love is barren. We can tell fearful young people that worrying about the future can be overcome. We can teach young people who are in love with themselves too much that there is more joy in giving than receiving,” the Pope said.

Paul and Barbara Salsini, who moved to Milwaukee Catholic Home in 2011, enjoy volunteering on the second Saturday of each month at the Riverwest Food Pantry. As part of a group from SS. Peter and Paul Parish, they register clients and sort and distribute food items.

The pantry, which began in the late 1970s, provides food assistance to between 500 and 1,000 people a month.

“It’s a humbling experience,” Paul Salsini said. “We’re only there a few hours, but you can’t help thinking ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’”

Pope Francis’s words resonate with the Salsinis.

“I was struck with something Pope Francis said recently,  something that of course has always been true: ‘There is more joy in giving than receiving,'” Paul said.

The Salsinis are not alone – receiving the gifts of more time and freedom in their retirement years, many MCH residents find joy in giving of these gifts back to the community.  MCH residents volunteer at a variety of sites, including the Audubon Center and Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital.  Many also volunteer in MCH’s Health and Rehabilitation Center.

The MCH community is grateful to all our volunteers, and especially the residents who set an example of retirement life lived to the fullest.

DSCN1793Creativity is ageless!

The 2015 Flourish Festival features events that demonstrate the timeless power of creativity and intergenerational collaboration.

May 3rd features two events that are free and open to the public. Chai Point (1400 N. Prospect) is hosting a Pleine Air, afternoon of painting to music. UWM student and faculty artists will be there to encourage and provide guidance to beginners. All levels of painters welcome!

Also on May 3rd is the Milwaukee Museum Mile Open House and Moving Images performance. During the past year, UWM students facilitated storytelling workshops with area elders, inspired by images from the collections of the five museums. The Moving Images performers visit each museum, perform a story, and invite the audience to create one of their own. 11:30 Jewish Museum; 12:30 Museum of Wisconsin Art on the Lake; Charles Allis Museum 1:30; Villa Terrace at 2:30, and Northpoint Gallery and Lighthouse at 3:30. FREE and fun for families of all ages.

On May 7th, UWM Dance students and St. Johns on the Lake residents, guided by choreographer and DanceWorks Artistic Director Dani Kuepper, perform COLOR FLOW. The dance is inspired by the paintings of elder resident artist Doris Gendelman. At Chai Point, 1400 Prospect, 11 am.  FREE.

On May 14th at St. Johns on the Lake, come see FLOURISH an art exhibit that tells the story of the full year of intergenerational arts collaborations including photos and stories of the TimeSlips storytelling circles; a photography project from Arlington Court and UWM’s Community Arts students; and photos of musical theatre workshops with people with memory loss offered by Stage Right Theatre.

FLOURISH FEST events emerge from a year of workshops and projects from the Creative Trust, an alliance committed to fostering life-long learning through the arts. www.creativetrustmke.com.  Trust members include: Chai Point and Jewish Home and Care Center; EastCastle Place; Milwaukee Catholic Home; St. John’s on the Lake; Milwaukee County Dept on Aging; UWM’s Peck School of the Arts; UWM’s Center for Community-based Learning, Leadership and Research.

For more information contact Anne Basting, UWM Theatre Professor and facilitator of the Creative Trust MKE.  basting@uwm.edu

Milwaukee Catholic Home is blessed with a generous, active, and passionate volunteer Board of Directors who provide guidance and inspiration on a daily basis.  We in turn love to celebrate their accomplishments, personally and professionally, and the way they represent our mission in the broader community.


Frphoto_150321N_C1_PRESS_36John Cary, MCH board member and chair of the Nominating Committee, is the executive director of Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, or the MAACC Fund.  Recently John was honored at the Driven to Achieve Awards presented by BMO Harris Bank.  The Driven to Achieve Awards were created by retired Green Bay Packers star Donald Driver to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of multiple charities, companies, community leaders and celebrities on a national and local level.  It’s great to see John being recognized for his phenomenal work – congratulations!


9b0a4233-bublr-brady-sFr. Tim Kitzke, an emeritus MCH Board member and the co-chair of our 100 Year Anniversary Campaign, recently helped to launch the latest expansion of Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s local bike-sharing partnership.  The newest Bublr Bikes rental location is at Brady Street and Humboldt Avenue, on the same corner as St. Hedwig’s Church, where Fr. Tim is co-pastor.  Fr. Tim, who is active in the life of the East Side neighborhood, joined Mayor Tom Barrett and other local leaders in launching the new rental site in support of the program’s positive impact on the community.


Michael Peer, who has served as both Finance Chair and President of the MCH Board of Directors, recently accepted a position as Principal, Healthcare at CliftonLarsonAllen, an industry leader in wealth advisory, outsourcing, and public accounting.  Michael will focus on providing audit, tax and advisory services for healthcare clients throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.  Michael’s professional success is well deserved and demonstrates the skill and expertise he has put at the service of Milwaukee Catholic Home for the past six years.

In partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption BVM Province, Milwaukee Catholic Home recently launched the Clare Gardens initiative, the development of a 5 acre segment of the Franciscans’ Burlington property into a “farm to table” program.  Fruits, vegetables and flowers will be grown using organic practices, making fresh, local produce available to our residents and engaging both partnering organizations in a meaningful shared project.

A.J. Weis, who recently joined our team to head up this new initiative, shares a little about his background and his long-term vision for Clare Gardens.

A.J. Weis

A.J. Weis

What is your background & experience in agriculture?

I was born & raised on a family farm just outside Burlington, WI. The family business has been active in this region for four generations and has been predominately comprised of row crops, dairy and beef cattle with some experience in poultry, hogs, & home garden vegetables. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture majoring in animal science. After graduation, I obtained a position with the University of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station. My duties included managing research farms focused on germ plasm study of livestock breeds originating on the island of St. Croix. I spent the majority of my professional career at UVI before returning home to the Burlington farm in August 2013. My vision was to move the family business toward smaller local vegetable production agriculture.

What drew you to MCH and the Clare Gardens project?

I have a deep personal history with the St. Francis Monastery, the site of MCH’s Clare Gardens project. My earliest memories of my family taking me to Sunday mass include the summertime at the Franciscans’ outdoor pavilion or inside the main church building during other months of the year. I also attended with my folks the many Friary arts & crafts events and my older brother ran some of his high school cross-country competitions on the campus. I remember walking the outdoor stations of the cross and the majesty of the garden grotto. Godmother Aunt Lori & Uncle Tom had their wedding pictures taken on the grounds in which I stood up as the ring bearer. My high school graduation took place in that same pavilion and Grandma & Grandpa Bell spent their twilight years living in the Francis Meadows apartments. So when I met Dave & Chris and they shared with me their vision of building a vegetable & decorative garden on site, I was completely magnetized. I share the vision of being involved in local agriculture and how it relates to community involvement creating an experiential atmosphere. Spiritually and professionally I feel I am in the right place to accomplish these collective goals and inject life into a place that means so much to me and could potentially be significant to the greater Milwaukee area community.

What will the next few months bring as the project is launched?

The initial work began last fall, when the earth was moldboard & chisel plowed. Since the beginning of the year an old bathhouse has begun its transition into a pack shed with electrical and plumbing crews working with me to accomplish that change. A well has also been dug on site to supply necessary water and a lot of planning,mapping, and networking has been taking place.

The next few months’ activities include soil preparation: manure spreading, discing & rototilling to create a seed bed for vegetable, cut flower, and other decorative plantings. Efforts have already begun to start seedlings in a neighboring greenhouse for transplanting later in the spring. We hope to move in a group of bee hives to become our resident pollinators. Drip irrigation systems will be put in place to conservatively use water resources and promote efficient plant growth. Composting sites will be chosen, built, and churned to spread as mulch throughout the year. Fence structures will be put in place to protect the vegetable crops from those ‘oh-so-curious’ creatures from the nearby woods. Then throughout the summer there will be some weeding to do! We hope to gain the support of communities through volunteer involvement.

What do you envision the impact of the project will be on MCH and its residents?

The genuine hopes are that this project will add value to the services that MCH already provides, both as an experience in the gardens as a physical place and in the produce that will be harvested. I believe there is value in relationships: between the land & the farmer, farmer and the chef, chef and the consumer, consumer and the farmer, and so on. This project does all that! In general, I feel the local agriculture movement that people are talking about is popular for a simple reason: fresher is better! Higher quality nutrition can be achieved from consuming food products that are grown locally in a sustainable, organic fashion. And how wonderful if that meal can be shared on a table with some beautiful cut flowers as it’s centerpiece. It is that picture I hold in my mind that keeps me motivated to see this project realize it’s full potential and come to fruition.




Milwaukee Catholic Home has once again been awarded a five star rating from U.S. News and World Report, placing it among the best senior communities in the country.  Click on the image below to read more!



Dave Fulcher, CEO

In 2015, Milwaukee Catholic Home will be embarking on a full conversion of its paper based medical records system to an electronic medical record platform in partnership with our new vendor, Healthmedx.

Though a significant investment of time and resources, we believe that electronic medical records will enable MCH to continue to set the highest possible standard for meeting the health care needs of older adults.

Paper based health care records have been in existence for centuries to track, record and monitor an individual’s health over time. For the last twenty years, we’ve gradually begun to see these paper records replaced by electronic records throughout the United States health system.

Two common terms used to describe the electronic record, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), are often confused with each other. It’s important to understand the differences between these two terms to reduce confusion and provide clarity when discussing electronic records.

The EMR is composed of clinical data from a single provider of health care delivery, such as a hospital or single health system. The EHR is your health record as a summary over time, bringing multiple health systems and unique patient experiences into a single repository. The EHR is still in the early stages of roll out in the United States, with challenges lying in the standardization of platforms and information exchanges that can easily transfer data.

The electronic record has three essential capabilities:
• Capturing data at the point of care, reducing errors.
• Integration of data from multiple internal and external sources, resulting in more effective integrated care.
• Most importantly, to support and inform caregiver decision making.

The new EMR will connect us with our health care partners in acute care, pharmacy services, laboratory services and government funding sources.  We expect to see smoother transitions of care between the acute care hospital and our rehabilitation center through the seamless transmission of clinical data into our record. The typical delays with paper work and manual contacting of professionals will be reduced, shortening the time for laboratory results, pharmaceutical changes and physician authorizations.

With our new EMR platform, physicians directing the care of our residents will be able to access patient records, orders and treatments as they occur, 24 hours a day, with the overall goal of reducing emergency room visits or unnecessary hospitalizations. Our medical director, Dr. James Volberding, is excited at the prospect of fast, efficient and effective access to patient information, enabling him to continue to enhance the experience of those he serves at Milwaukee Catholic Home.

Our projected go-live date for our electronic medical records platform is September 1, 2015. We welcome further questions on this important undertaking and its significance for residents, family and friends of Milwaukee Catholic Home.

Join us on March 26th for our annual Wellness Fair!  Whole person wellness is central to our philosophy of care and Milwaukee Catholic Home, and this event offers numerous opportunities to live healthier in body, mind and spirit.

The event is held from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at The Residence at 2462 N. Prospect Avenue.  We’ll be offering free health screenings, including blood pressure checks, eye exams, diabetes testing, and cholesterol pre-screenings.  Lots of vendors and community health partners will be there sharing ideas and products for a healthier lifestyle.  You can also take advantage of free reiki and massage therapy, as well as give-aways, raffle and door prizes.

For more information, contact Linda Cardinale at 414.220.3216.


Publication1Next month, in partnership with Columbia-St. Mary’s Hospital and Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee Catholic Home will be hosting noted author and speaker Chris Lowney for a special leadership development workshop with our management team.

Lowney is best known for his highly acclaimed book, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads.  In his work with us, Lowney will be exploring the Pope’s leadership style as a model for servant leaders in Catholic non-profit organizations.  Lowney talks about six themes formed by the Pope’s Jesuit background and exemplified in his leadership:

1. Know yourself deeply.
2. Live to serve others.
3. Immerse yourself into the world.
4. Withdraw from the world daily to reflect and refresh.
5. Live in the present.
6. Create the future.

We look forward to exploring these themes with Lowney on March 25th and 26th.  We especially welcome the opportunity to continue to explore a meaningful partnership with CSM and Cardinal Stritch, who share our commitment to deepen Catholic identity and strengthen leadership through education.

For more information on Chris Lowney and his work, visit his website at chrislowney.com.