In 2015, Curtis Ottinger and his brothers faced a difficult decision: their dad had been in and out of the hospital and doctors felt his health would continue to decline if he lived on his own. When Ottinger decided to stop by Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford one day, his dad’s—and family’s—life was forever changed.
“I knew when I left Morning Pointe that it was where my dad was going to be,” says Ottinger. “I had this peace and knew my dad would be happy and thrive there.” After losing his wife of 51 years in 2009, Ottinger’s dad had never been the same. “We saw our dad leave us those five years. He had always been active and involved in the community, but he was lost without my mom.”
Everything changed when his dad moved to Morning Pointe. “From day one, my dad was a different person,” says Ottinger. “Morning Pointe was life changing—it gave us our dad back and he started to live again. He was so active and energetic and happy.”
It is families like Ottinger’s who inspired Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow to launch Independent Healthcare Properties LLC– Morning Pointe Senior Living’s parent company–20 years ago with a vision to change the senior care industry. They had worked together in the industry for several years and realized families needed more options for assisted living that offered an array of services to enhance wellness and quality of life.
“We feel that each individual Morning Pointe facility is a community within a community,” says Vital, president and CEO of Morning Pointe. “If you look at our locations—whether it be Morning Pointe of Chattanooga or Tullahoma or Brentwood—we incorporate the local history and sense of community in our buildings through interior design, life enrichment, and intergenerational programs designed to promote healthy, active lifestyles for seniors.”
Over the last two decades, the company has evolved into a premier choice for senior care with 27 Morning Pointe Senior Living and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence communities and three additional communities scheduled to open in the coming year. These facilities serve more than 1,600 residents and 1,400 associates in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
To celebrate its 20-year legacy of serving seniors and the company’s commitment to community involvement, Morning Pointe has launched “Make Your Mark”—a year long community service campaign with a goal of giving back 20,000 hours through volunteer efforts and philanthropic projects in 2017.
“Morning Pointe has become what it is today because of the trust families have placed in us, our compassionate associates, and countless volunteers that help us exceed expectations in providing exceptional senior living and Alzheimer’s memory care,” says Vital. “We are giving back in a big way to extend our gratitude to the people who have been a part of our legacy for 20 years and counting.”
Each senior campus is working within their community to identify volunteer projects to support the “Make Your Mark” campaign—but it is not just staff who are helping organize activities. Morning Pointe residents have planned several projects, including creating blankets for children’s hospitals and homeless shelters, knitting caps for cancer patients at Memorial Hospital, and making valentines for local children. In February, Morning Pointe donated $3,000 to the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults to support its senior food pantry.
“It is nice to be able to give back to the public through these organized services, like the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults that is providing food to seniors who would not otherwise have access to a steady food supply,” says Farrow, Chief Operating Officer of Morning Pointe. “We care about our seniors and the overall well-being of our community.”
To complement Morning Pointe’s mission of care and compassion, Vital and Farrow created the Morning Pointe Foundation in 2014, which has established several scholarship programs at regional colleges and universities. Every aspect of Morning Pointe’s model is driven by Vital’s and Farrow’s passion for service and commitment to the communities they serve.
“One of the biggest things we provide our residents—beyond the fundamentals of healthcare management—is socialization,” says Vital. “We pay attention to every detail, whether it be the dining experience or activities, to keep people active. It is that total life enrichment that is really what Morning Pointe is all about.”
For Ottinger, the compassionate care and culture of support offered by Morning Pointe was transformative for his dad and entire family.
“We will forever be grateful that we chose Morning Pointe,” says Ottinger. “I think Greg is not just the CEO of the company— he really cares about his residents and his families and it shows.”
To learn more about Morning Pointe and the Make Your Mark community service activities visit morningpointe.com.
Photography by Clay Miller and Courtesy of Morning Pointe.