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Company Notebook

Bay Path Is Now Officially a University
LONGMEADOW — Bay Path faculty, staff and students marked July 1 as the official first day as a university — in fact, the first women’s university in the Commonwealth. Before a crowd of more than 250 members from the Bay Path community, President Carol Leary said, “we are enthusiastic about becoming Bay Path University as it more appropriately reflects the complexity, drive, and bold dreams of this institution. Our three campuses have been expanded by a location in downtown Springfield, bringing us back to our roots, that boasts the first online college in the country exclusively for women. Soon, we will have a new location in East Longmeadow with a 57,000-square-foot building to house our programs in health science.” She noted that 19 graduate degrees, online learning communities, and athletic fields round out the picture of “today’s Bay Path.” This spring, the college secured approvals for the transition to university status from the Mass. Department of Higher Education and the New England Assoc. of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). With this approval, the board of trustees also reaffirmed the university’s mission to the education of women at the undergraduate level. Bay Path is a four-year, private university with an enrollment of more than 2,400 students at its Longmeadow campus and satellite campuses in Sturbridge and Burlington. The university offers undergraduate degrees for women, graduate degrees for men and women on campus and online, and the American Women’s College, offering accelerated degrees programs for adult women online or on campus through its One-Day-a-Week program.

Jewish Lifecare Announces Campaign
LONGMEADOW — Dr. Robert Baevsky, chair of the Jewish Lifecare board of directors, announced that Susan Kline and Stephen Krevalin, longtime volunteers for the organization formerly known as Jewish Geriatric Services, are chairing Project Transformation: A New World of Care, a $9 million capital campaign in support of several projects that will transform elder-care services at Jewish Lifecare. “Jewish Lifecare has always prided itself on being a progressive, forward-looking organization that continuously engages the ever-changing needs of the elderly,” said Baevsky. “Project Transformation: A New World of Care continues our journey of culture change and person-centered care, as we enhance, build, and expand services and facilities to improve health outcomes and enhance resident dignity, independence, and quality of life.” Both Kline and Krevalin are former chairs of the Jewish Lifecare board of directors. Kline served as chair from 2012 to 2014, during which time she led the strategic-planning process leading to Project Transformation. Krevalin served as chair from 1996 to 2000, and has served on or chaired numerous committees, including the 2012 Centennial Celebration. Both Kline and Krevalin also served on the rebranding committee, leading to the organization’s rebranding as Jewish Lifecare. “For the past two years, it has been my privilege to chair the board of directors and help shape this transformational journey,” said Kline. “As we move away from traditional models of care and embrace the small-house model of care, we will not only improve the care provided, but also enhance the dignity of those living here.” In addition to her Jewish Lifecare volunteerism, Kline has also long been associated with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, currently overseeing all HGF programs and grants in Western Mass. Krevalin, a managing partner at Bacon Wilson, P.C., and his family have given back to the Jewish Lifecare community for generations. The Project Transformation: A New World of Care campaign will support the construction of a state-of-the-art, 24-bed rehabilitation facility; renovations to the Leavitt Family Jewish Home in the small-house model of care; and other significant upgrades to the entire campus. Other funding sources will include an owner’s equity contribution and bank financing. Jewish Lifecare has engaged the architectural firm of Perkins Eastman, as well as Jude Rabig, two of the foremost experts on culture change and small-house design in the U.S., to assist in the design of the upgrades and new facility. Groundbreaking for the new rehabilitation center is expected later this fall, with construction to be completed by the fall of 2015.

Plastics Manufacturer Pioneers New Technology
LUDLOW — Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc., a plastics manufacturer specializing in extrusion blow molding and injection stretch blow molding, is pioneering the use of new technology to manufacture sustainable plastic packaging for major brands like Mrs. Dash, owned by B&G Foods. “An analysis of the Mrs. Dash packaging process revealed the need to create a more sustainable bottle,” said Mel O’Leary Jr., president and CEO of Meredith-Springfield. “While sustainable packaging has become a point of interest for manufacturers with regard to environmental benefits, significant cost savings can also be realized. Sustainable package innovation offered by advanced plastic molding technology minimizes packaging costs, which in turn reduces warehousing and transportation costs as well.” Meredith-Springfield constructed pilot molds and conducted design experiments with the objective of reducing the amount of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) used in the creation of Mrs. Dash packaging. “Manufacturers seeking more sustainable plastic packaging should look for innovative ways to reduce PET,” said O’Leary. “For Mrs. Dash, we are using the most advanced plastic molding technology to alter the amount of plastic and place PET only where it most impacts package performance.” By adjusting the weight-bearing performance of the packaging, Meredith-Springfield was able to reduce the weight of a Mrs. Dash bottle by more than 25%. The more sustainable packaging saves B&G Foods an excess of 200,000 pounds of PET resin per year and reduces related costs of optimizing other aspects of the molding and delivery process. “In reducing the weight, we carefully engineered the placement of remaining mass of plastic to go into the areas of the bottle which would maximize top-loading ability,” said O’Leary. The entire redesign resulted in a significant cost savings for B&G Foods, but required in-depth research and development. The new extrusion blow molding machine produces more than 100,000 Mrs. Dash bottles in each 24-hour production period and is capable of delivering more than 35 million units per year. “This process is a major volume addition to our evolving PET business,” said O’Leary. “It provides economies of scale with resin, packaging, and transportation purchases, so it helps lower all costs and adds to our critical mass on both extrusion blow molding and stretch blow molding capabilities.” The machine is a one-step process for making specialty PET bottles versus a two-step process used to make carbonated beverage bottles. Beverage bottles require multiple steps; first, a ‘preform’ is molded in an injection molding machine and then transferred to a reheat-stretch machine. “Our technology is the most energy-efficient method available,” said O’Leary. “It goes from plastic pellets to finished bottles on one machine.”

Holiday Inn Express Ludlow Receives Recognition for Service
LUDLOW — Pioneer Valley Hotel Group announced that its Holiday Inn Express Ludlow received recognition from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for service excellence among the 47 Holiday Inns and Holiday Inn Expresses in the Greater Boston region. The three-story, 71-room hotel at 321 Center St. ranked first in overall service, first in lowest percentage of guest problems, and second for overall guest satisfaction. General Manager Melissa Labonte said that “it is an honor to be recognized for the hard work my staff puts in each day. We really do believe our guests are like family. When they are here, they are home.” The hotel is located just south of the Mass Pike. Guests enjoy complimentary high-speed wireless Internet throughout the hotel, as well as Express Start breakfast in the lobby each morning. The hotel also features a fitness center, indoor heated pool, and 24-hour business center. Holiday Inn Express Ludlow is owned and operated by Pioneer Valley Hotel Group, LLC. Reservations can be made by calling (413) 589-9300 or visiting Group and meeting inquiries can be directed to Connie Foster, the hotel’s director of sales, at (413) 750-3106 or [email protected].

Leavitt Family Jewish Home Accredited by Joint Commission
LONGMEADOW — The Leavitt Family Jewish Home at Jewish Lifecare has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare qualityand patient and resident safety in nursing homes. The accreditation award recognizes the nursing home’s dedication to continuous compliance with the Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. The Jewish Home underwent a rigorous, on-site survey on June 18. A Joint Commission surveyor evaluated the nursing home for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients and residents, including infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. “In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, the Leavitt Family Jewish Home has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients and residents that goes above and beyond federal and state requirements,” said Gina Zimmermann, executive director, Nursing Care Center Accreditation for the Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process, and I commend the Jewish Home for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.” The Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center accreditation program, formerly the Long Term Care accreditation program, was established in 1966 and accredits nearly 1,000 organizations offering nursing home services. The Joint Commission’s standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and residents and the management of nursing-care centers. The standards are developed in consultation with industry experts, providers, measurement experts, and consumers. “With Joint Commission accreditation, we are making a significant investment in quality on a day-to-day basis from the top down. Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” said Stephen Roizen, administrator of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “Achieving Joint Commission accreditation, for our organization, is a major step toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide.”