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John Reed looks ahead to 50 more years of care

AMay 10 celebration in Limestone featuring live music, food and fellowship honored the 50th anniversary of John M. Reed Home’s service to the citizens of Washington County.
According to Assistant Executive Director Mandy Rocker, John M. Reed Health and Rehabilitation is equipped to meet every need in the nursing arena. Services include long-term nursing care, assisted living, adult day care, respite care and hospice care.
In addition, the organization now offers short-term rehabilitation services.
“Limestone deserves to have its own place for outpatient therapy so people don’t have to go to Greeneville or Johnson City,” said Rocker, a registered nurse who began working in the long-term care field in 1997.
The Washington County Commission recognized the contributions of the John M. Reed Health and Rehab’s decades of service during its April meeting with a proclamation presented to board chair Sandra Jaynes.
In 1940, John M. Reed bequeathed to the Church of the Brethren his farm in Limestone and other assets for the purpose of establishing a home for the aging in Washington County.
The John M. Reed Home opened in 1964 with space for up to 12 residents.
Expansions over the years provided additional space, and through a continuing ministry of the Church of the Brethren, the organization is today licensed to care for up to 63 nursing home residents and 20 assisted living residents.
The board of directors is made up of eight community elected representatives and seven members of the Church of the Brethren, all of whom are actively involved in the success of the operation.
“We’re a small, family-like facility,” Rocker said, which ensures plenty of personal attention.
Southern cooking is another attraction. “Everything is made from scratch,” Rocker said. “There are no box cake recipes here.”
Homemade biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, soup beans and cabbage are menu favorites that help keep residents happy. “We cook like they cook,” Rocker explained.
Modern conveniences also are included in the services. Patients can skype with family members, and the “It’s Never Too Late” computer system incorporates events and activities with the therapy and plan of care.
Expanding the outpatient services and increasing its involvement in the county are two goals the Reed Home will pursue as it begins its next half century of service.
Partnerships with the community is the main goal, Rocker noted. “One idea is to offer education classes at the senior center to help people stay at home as long as possible,” she said.
An objective that more than likely won’t be pursued is growth in the facility’s size. “That’s what sets us apart,” Rocker pointed out. “We don’t want to have hundreds of beds.”
Even as it seeks to extend its reach into the community, John M. Reed Health and Rehab remains committed to its founder’s original mission to offer an affordable continuing care community that provides professional quality care, spiritual enrichment and a full life for all ages.
“We’re not just the little nursing home on the hill,” Rocker said. “We want to help in any way we can.”