Elder’s Special Trip to Virginia Beach

Dreams Take Flight In Virginia Beach

C.S. Lewis said “You are never too old to set a new path or dream a new dream.” We are learning that this week as 60 elders and stakeholders from Signature Hometown homes in Kentucky and Tennessee are visiting Virginia Beach on our 14th Elder Vacation.

The elders all arrived to the resort with their eyes full of hope and their heads full of dreams. Fran’s dream has always been to see the ocean. I won’t likely forget the sweet tears of joy she shed as she slipped her shoes off to feel her toes in the sand for the very first time.

Yesterday we started the day by climbing aboard our tour bus to take a quick driving tour of Virginia Beach to learn the local history. We enjoyed touring the Cape Henry lighthouses along the way. Roberta, one of our elders, had lived in the area previously and she enjoyed being our tour guide and told us everything we needed to know.

When our bus pulled up to the Military Aviation Museum, our elders were especially excited. Like always, we were given the star treatment and pulled all the way back to the hangar where the planes were out practicing flights for their weekend show. We were treated to lunch in the hangar with the WWII planes and a fun talk by Rosie The Riveter!

The museum staff asked Cordell and Harry, two of our veterans, to sign the Living History boards at the museum. It was exciting for them to share with us their time in the services and that opened up the afternoon to so many stories and memories!

In the evening, we took a tour of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which the elders were amazed by. They couldn’t imagine the tunnel was built underwater and that we were driving underwater! We arrived to the Chesapeake Grille for a special dinner on the water.

Walking on the pier last night, watching our elders so full of joy and happiness made my own heart soar. I was reminded of a Henry David Thoreau quote: “Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.” In that moment, I saw all their dreams starting to take flight with them!

Stay tuned to see where our newly spread wings take us next!

-Angie McAllister

Protect and Serve Luncheon


Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County recently hosted a “Protect and Serve” luncheon for our first responders. Our facility was able to show our appreciation for what these fine men and women do for our community. Thank you!

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New “Restore Me” Program

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Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County is proud to announce that they have recently launched “Restore Me,” a new twist on restorative nursing. As part of that launch, they have kicked off a new program entitled “Race Route 66.” In this unique competition, elders from Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County are competing against elders from other Signature homes to see which facility can walk the equivalent of Route 66, which is 2,451 miles. This will occur over the course of the next few months and end in November or December with a winner.

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Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County Begins Summer Camp for Children and Elders

Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County has recently launched a summer camp, entitled Camp Signature. The purpose of the summer camp is to build lasting relationships between our residents (elders) and children.

Camp Signature’s initial camp was last summer where employees brought their children, ages five and above, to work. “Last year we had between four and six children here daily interacting with our elders. This year we have seen the numbers rise to twelve on a consistent basis,” stated Lee Rooney, Signature of Putnam’s CEO. The added benefit is for the stakeholders, who get to bring their children to work and do not have to worry about finding someone to watch them. “It certainly is a win-win for everyone. Stakeholders are able to save a significant amount of money not having to pay for childcare during the summer months, and our elders enjoy having the presence of children in our facility to interact with,” added Rooney.

The residents and children engage in a full day of activities each day the camp is offered. There is a theme for each week, such as Super Hero Week, Wet-N-Wild Week, and Under the Sea. Some of the activities include a water balloon toss/fight, super hero training, a petting zoo, and bouncy house fun.

There are some activities that just involve the children, while others incorporate the elders into them. This program is a great opportunity for children to build relationships with the elders and learn new things from them, and the elders have enjoyed participating in the activities and being with all of the children.

“I am convinced there is no better equation than placing children and elders in each other’s lives with the purpose of growing community,” said Angie McAllister, director of quality of life. “When planting the seeds of culture change in a nursing home environment, watering it with initiatives such as this will only stimulate growth and the true feeling of “home” that we are all searching for.”

The purpose of this program is to lift a weight off of the parents’ shoulders, and also to create an environment that is fun and exciting for the children and elders.

For more information about Camp Signature, contact Shelley West, Quality of Life Director at 931-537-6524. Additional pictures can also be found on the Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County’s Facebook page.

Virginia’s Easy Sausage Skillet Dinner

Miss Virginia found this recipe for an easy sausage skillet dinner in a cooking magazine and couldn’t wait to try it. She lead Cooking Club and demonstrated how to make the dish for elders and staff using an electric skillet. It was a hit with everyone!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Pkg. Smoked Sausage, diagonally cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, sliced thin
  • 1 Pkg.Frozen Broccoli, thawed
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cups Instant Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


Heat olive oil and crushed garlic, stir in smoked sausage slices and cook until smoked sausage is browned. Add pepper, onion, broccoli, chicken broth, and tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and the liquid is absorbed. In the meantime, cook rice according to package instructions. Stir rice into the skillet, sprinkle with cheese and serve.


Award Winning Director of Nursing

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Signature Healthcare of Putnam County’s Director of Nursing Ruthie Birdwell was honored this week with the “Compassionate Care in Nursing Award.” This award dinner recognizes and supports nurses who exemplify compassion for all aspects of a patient’s health through nursing excellence and volunteerism.

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Elders Enjoy Overnight Outing

The elders at Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County recently enjoyed an overnight outing at Overton Lodge. One thing is for sure, you’re never too old to enjoy roasting marshmallows by an open fire! The campers also enjoyed fishing, games, and staying up really late telling ghost stories! Everyone is looking forward to doing this again really soon.

SHC of Putnam County Offers Greater Services to Employees

Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County is proud to announce the implementation of a new scheduling software that gives staff more control over their work schedules.

Signature’s investment in labor management technology provides staff the ability to choose their shifts through a web based, self-service portal, allowing staff to schedule the amount of time they work, balancing family and advanced education considerations. The current staff at Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County is loving the ability to choose their schedules and pickup extra shifts from the self-service portal.

“Our facility has already seen great success from the program. We have recognized that our responsibility is to not only give the best care possible to our Elders, but also provide the best work environment for our staff. We are blessed to have great employees here at Signature. They work extremely hard, and for those who juggle home life and/or education we are excited to provide an opportunity where they can have greater control over their schedules,” said Lee Rooney, CEO.

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Putnam County CEO Lee Rooney Runs 40 Yard Dash

Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County CEO Lee Rooney runs the 40 yard dash in support of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The 40 yard dash is a fundraiser initiated by Rich Eisen, a nationally recognized sports reporter. Eisen runs the 40 yard dash in his business suit each year at the NFL combine. This year he has challenged others to do so as well in an effort to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Rooney met this challenge with the help from his staff and Elders. Everyone had a great time in the making of this short video.

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Wheelchair Super Bowl

Residents of Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County recently participated in a Wheelchair Super Bowl. The event was held in the facility’s dining room, and was attended by residents, families, and staff, as well as our very own TTU Golden Eagle Football Team.

The fun started with a pre-game “tailgate” style lunch and the singing of our National Anthem. After the coin toss, the TTU players assisted the residents with the game performance, while nursing staff members coached the residents on the cheerleading team. There was even a special half-time performance by some of the residents, led by the activities department, which the TTU players got in on as well! After the game, there was an MVP Awards ceremony and post-game refreshments. It was truly an amazing event!