Ep. 120: Innovation in Serving Employees and Community

Apr 16, 2024 |

Rob Liebreich, President and CEO of Goodwin Living, discusses his nonprofit's innovation across its continuum of care through evidence-based programs.

In this episode, we have invited Rob Liebreich, the President and CEO of Goodwin Living, a faith-based nonprofit serving over 2,500 older adults. His passion for empowering older adults to take control of their brain health through non-pharmacological solutions makes him a leader worth paying attention to. Today, Rob discusses how his nonprofit is innovating across its continuum of care through evidence-based programs like StrongerMemory, a supportive culture for employees and residents, strategic initiatives for middle-income seniors, and a governance structure that cultivates creativity and risk-taking.

StrongerMemory’s Origins [3:16]
Rob created StrongerMemory after noticing his mother's dementia symptoms, implementing simple daily activities which improved her condition, leading to the development of a program in collaboration with an occupational therapist. Piloted with residents, it was found to enhance cognition and social engagement, with research suggesting effects lasting up to 6 months, and the program offering a 30-day brain health challenge and daily reminders for improved cognition.

StrongerMemory Today [16:20]
Rob transformed their 2020 pilot program into Stronger Memory, launching a new curriculum and witnessing positive outcomes when piloted with residents at two communities. Collaborating with George Mason University, they conducted additional research studies. They also expanded program outreach by partnering with organizations serving senior centers and nursing homes across multiple states.

Bringing StrongerMemory to Everyone [17:00]
Rob outlines the facilitator training program for those interested in implementing StrongerMemory, providing options to download materials from strongermemory.org or purchase a book. Additionally, Goodwin Living offers support for organizations interested in a comprehensive rollout of the program.

Employee Support Programs [20:38]
Goodwin Living supports employees with educational funding up to $5,250 yearly, a new program paying down clinical debt without a cap, weekly emergency grants for challenges like car issues, deaths, or evictions, and a citizenship support initiative aiding employees and family members with exam costs, mentoring, leading to over 160 employees gaining citizenship since its 2018 launch.

Employee Retention [22:44]
Rob thinks that the programs at Goodwin Living, catering to individuals with diverse economic backgrounds, contribute to attracting and retaining employees.

Key Objectives of the Foundation [23:31]
Rob outlines the Goodwin Living Foundation's strategic objectives, including supporting residents financially to prevent displacement, aiding brain health initiatives like StrongerMemory, and shifting focus to also support team members through programs such as tuition reimbursement, loan forgiveness, emergency grants, and citizenship assistance. These efforts aim to sustain independence for both employees and residents at minimal or no cost.

Strategic Priorities [34:19]
Goodwin Living's strategic priorities concerning middle-income seniors include providing affordable options such as rental community acquisitions and preventative programs, expanding outpatient therapy services to reach more communities, growing their At Home continuing care program to address aging in place needs, and developing new affordable housing models to accommodate seniors wishing to allocate assets for purposes other than housing.

Continuing Care at Home [40:43]
Rob emphasizes the significance of continuing care at home programs for nonprofits, enabling seniors to age in place with support, addressing caregiver shortages, and providing essential assistance even to wealthy individuals in crisis. He expresses a desire for the expansion of their At Home program, which has grown substantially under his leadership, both locally and nationally, emphasizing the need for greater awareness to highlight their value.

Innovation and Taking Risks [45:11]
Rob discusses Goodwin Living's governance structure and board culture, highlighting the board's provision of a broad strategic framework conducive to flexibility for new initiatives, emphasis on diversity of thought and open decision-making processes, willingness to take risks and tolerate potential failures with thoughtful consideration, engagement through regular listening tours with all levels of the organization informing board decisions, and fostering a culture supporting creativity and exploration, resulting in significant innovation organization-wide.

Find out more about Goodwin Living at: https://goodwinliving.org/

Find out more about StrongerMemory at StrongerMemory.org

You can also follow Rob on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robliebreich/

About Our Guest:

Rob Liebreich is the President and CEO of Goodwin Living since July 2019. His energy, compassion, and creative drive, support the strategic goals and growth of the Goodwin Living organization.

About the Show:
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Categories: : Health, Leadership, Motivation, Podcast, Strategy, Vision