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It's the end of 2023, and here we are, about to enter our final six month stretch of trainings, wrapping up our three-year focus on training staff in Medicare/Medicaid nursing homes in the OMA best-practice methodology. What a ride it's been. We are eager to hit the ground running in the new year, so we can reach every long-term care community that's eligible for these DMAS Reinvestment funds before it's too late.

But we would be remiss if we didn't pause, recognize and celebrate the individuals who have already completed certification through this special grant awarded to LeadingAge Virginia and Art for the Journey. Because 103 individuals committed their time and hearts to learning this beautiful program, 50 new OMA sites have sprung up in skilled nursing centers across Virginia, from Saluda to Danville. And we couldn't be more thrilled about the creativity, connection, well-being and positive culture they are cultivating -- one piece of original artwork at a time.

We've met these 103 individuals up close and, let me tell you, they are the most compassionate, dedicated, and FUN group of humans I've had the privilege of getting to know. They should give us all hope as we age. They are activities directors, activities assistants, music therapists, art therapists, recreational therapists, occupational therapists, and dementia practitioners, and they are giving their very best to the oldest among us.

We asked them what they look forward to as they implement the best-practice OMA program. In their words...

"Having the artist and their families leave with a sense of joy and time well spent as they connect in a new way through art."

"Seeing the intimate connections grow and the relationships established."

"Giving families a sense that their loved one is happy and has a sense of belonging to a community."

With every friendship, we build more firmly the foundations on which the peace of the world exists. - Mahatma Gandhi

We are so excited for these Virginia communities that have two certified OMA Facilitators and start up art supplies to run a full OMA program reaching hundreds of residents, and thousands of family members, volunteers and staff.

Bay Pointe Rehabilitation and Nursing
Beth Sholom Home of Eastern VA
Brandon Oaks Life Plan Community
Bridgewater Retirement Community
Chelsea Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
Covenant Woods
Dulles Health & Rehab Center
Goodwin Living Baileys Crossroads
Harbor's Edge
Heritage Hall Big Stone Gap
Hiram W. Davis Medical Center
Kendal at Lexington
Kings Grant Retirement Community
Lake Prince Woods
Lakewood Manor
Lee Health and Rehab Center
Lynn Care Center
Manassas Health and Rehab Center
Old Dominion Rehab and Nursing
Our Lady of Hope
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of the Valley
Portside Health & Rehab Center
Richfield Health Center-Salem
Riverside Health & Rehab Center - Danville
Riverside Healthy Living Community - Smithfield
Riverside Lifelong Health & Rehab - Patriots Colony
Riverside Lifelong Health & Rehabilitation - Warwick Forest
Riverside Lifelong Health and Rehab - Mathews
Riverside Lifelong Health and Rehab - Saluda
Shalom Gardens
Southhampton Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
The Brian Center Fincastle
The Chesapeake
The Haven at Brandermill Woods
The Jefferson
The Rehab Center at Bristol
The Wybe and Marietje Kroontje Health Care Center
Vinson Hall
Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community
Virginia Veterans Care Center
Waterview Health & Rehab Center
Westminster-Canterbury Blue Ridge
Westminster-Canterbury of Richmond
Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay
Westminster-Canterbury Shenandoah Valley
Westport Rehab & Nursing Center
Williamsburg Landing
WindsorMeade Williamsburg

Thank you to our practicum host sites! We could not expand OMA across Virginia without you!

Birmingham Green
Covenant Woods
Lake Prince Woods
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of the Valley
Shalom Gardens
Vinson Hall
Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay
WindsorMeade Williamsburg