Ward Honored for 20 Years as Cedarwood Board Chairman

Homer Ward has retired after 20 years serving as chairman of the Cedarwood Assisted Living board. Ward was elected chairman of the first board in 2001, when Cedarwood was still in the planning stages. He retired from the board after the May 2021 meeting.

“We thank Homer for his 20 years of service to Cedarwood Assisted Living as a board member and board chairman,” said JCH&L CEO and Cedarwood President Burke Kline, DHA, CHFP, FACHE. A plaque was presented to Ward in recognition of his years of service.

Cedarwood assisted living is a private not-for-profit organization, and is jointly owned by Bryan Health of Lincoln and Jefferson Community Health & Life. It is operated by the Cedarwood assisted living board of directors, which includes an equal number of members from Bryan Health and JCH&L. Ward has served as a JCH&L representative on the board. Kline serves as president of the corporation.

Assisted living is a specially licensed area of senior housing, which is designed to fill a niche for those who can’t be in their own homes any longer, but do not yet need nursing home care. Cedarwood is Fairbury’s first and only licensed assisted living facility. The $4.3 million facility was completed in December 2003 and opened for tenants in early January 2004.

In Nebraska, an assisted living is licensed to provide residential and support services and is approved as a Medicaid provider for those eligible for Medicaid Waiver. Assisted living is designed to provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure health, safety and well-being.

“Assisted living can help promote independence and dignity when independent living is no longer possible or safe, but the 24-hour medical care a nursing home would provide is not needed,” said Deb Sutton RN, administrator of Cedarwood assisted living.

Cedarwood provides its tenants three nutritious meals a day, assistance with a  weekly whirlpool bath if desired, weekly housekeeping service and flat linen laundry service, free use of laundry facilities for personal laundry or assistance with laundry for a nominal extra charge, social and exercise activities, 24-hour staff to assist with medication and personal care, use of common areas, scheduled van transportation, and an emergency call system.

The mission statement of Cedarwood is “to provide the highest quality of hospitality, services, activities, security, companionship and freedom to tenants in a caring and loving environment they are proud to call home.”

Each apartment features a kitchenette including personal refrigerator, microwave, cabinets, sink and dining area; bathroom equipped with walk-in, sit-down shower; thermostat-controlled air conditioning and heating; personal emergency alert system; fire detectors and sprinkler system; pre-wired cable and telephone outlets (cable is included with unit rental, telephone service is individual through the telephone company); abundant closet space; and a porch light, door bell and display shelf.

Three sizes of units are available. The studio unit is a one-room apartment with bathroom. The one-bed unit has a living area and a separate bedroom with bathroom and the one-bedroom deluxe also offers a living area and separate bedroom with bathroom, with additional square footage.

Eight units were added to Cedarwood on the west end of the building in 2013, bringing Cedarwood to a total of 50 units.

Besides serving as chairman of the Cedarwood board for 20 years, Ward has also served many other roles at JCH&L, including health center president and board member, foundation president and board member, and capital campaign chairman.

Presenting the award to Homer (center) are Dr. Burke Kline, JCH&L CEO, left, and Chance Klasek, JCH&L CFO, right.