Page 46 - BusinessWest January 20, 2021
P. 46

Virtual Event Series on
Jan. 20, 27: The Springfield Regional Chamber will continue its three-part series of virtual events dedicated to helping business leaders understand the COVID-19 vaccine. “Navigating the Legal Complexities of the COVID- 19 Vaccine in the Workplace” is slated for on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 9 to 10 a.m. Employment attorney Meghan Sullivan of Sullivan Hayes & Quinn
will offer insights about the HR com- plexities of the vaccine and the issues surrounding deployment to the busi- ness community. “Effectively Commu- nicating the COVID-19 Vaccine” will be presented on Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. Justine Griffin from Rasky Partners will discuss developing cross-cultural communications strat- egies, messaging, and more to gain buy-in on the importance of the vac- cine for employees, business, and the entire community. These events follow a Jan. 13 presentation from Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Bay- state Health. To learn more or register,
Continued from page 45
visit Chamber members receive exclusive discounts.
Lunch & Learn on Paying for Elder Care
Jan. 20: How can you afford care as you age? Elder-law attorney Michael Hooker will lead a Lunch & Learn event from noon to 1:15 p.m., discuss- ing some options that are available, and what choices to put in place now to better prepare for the future. The event is presented by Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence, and the presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, raffle, and virtual tour. RSVP to Christina Tuohey at (413) 567-6212 or ctuohey@ A confirmation and Zoom invitation will be e-mailed prior to the meeting.
COVID-19 Vaccine Community Webinars
Jan. 25; Feb. 1, 8, 15: Trinity Health Of New England experts will continue its weekly series of educational webinar presentations, “COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know.” The Mon- day-evening series, which began Jan. 11, will run through Feb. 15, with the Jan. 25 session offered in Spanish. The
sessions will run one hour, from 6 to 7 p.m. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation with Dr. Syed Hussain, chief clinical officer of Trinity Health Of New England. These sessions are free and open to the pub- lic, but registration is required. To register for an upcoming session, visit
Women of Impact
Jan. 28: BusinessWest will celebrate this year’s Women of Impact with a virtual event. This year’s honorees include Tania Barber, president and CEO of Caring Health Center; Carol Campbell, president of Chicopee Industrial Contractors; Helen Caulton- Harris, Health and Human Services commissioner for the city of Spring- field; Pattie Hallberg, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massa- chusetts; Andrea Harrington, Berk- shire County district attorney; Toni Hendrix, director of Human Services at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing; Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College; and Sue Stubbs, president and CEO of ServiceNet. For the first time, this year’s event will
also feature the People’s Choice Young Woman of Impact. The five finalists will be identified this week, and the winner will be named the night of
the event. The event is sponsored by Country Bank, Health New England, and TommyCar Auto Group (present- ing sponsors), Comcast Business (sup- porting sponsor), WWLP 22 News/ CW Springfield (media sponsor), and Chikmedia (social-media sponsor). More details about the event will be announced soon.
‘Establishing Resilience: Building Happiness’
Feb. 6: Past year got you down? Need a brighter outlook for 2021? Holyoke Community College has a class for you. HCC is partnering with Pam Vic- tor, president and founder of Happier Valley Comedy, to offer a Zoom work- shop titled “Establishing Resilience: Building Happiness” from 11 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. Victor, a comedian and improv facilitator who prefers the title ‘head of happiness,’ will lead partici- pants on an experiential exploration of happiness and resilience building to enhance their joy and ease at work and home. She will share stress-reliev- ing exercises and techniques to help people bring more well-being, laugh- ter, gratitude, and play into their daily lives. The cost of the class is $99. To register, visit
   mated that at least 15% to 20% of the company’s 500 clients are receiving some type of counseling service. With their entrepreneurial mindset, the company’s leaders began asking the question, ‘are these services that we can and should provide ourselves?’
The answer that came back was a resounding ‘yes,’ he went on. “We didn’t want to leave anything on the table; this was an opportunity for us to provide these kinds of services to our existing clients.”
Santaniello agreed. “This pandemic is having a tre- mendous negative impact on mental health and drug addiction, and we see the need,” he said. “And we’re going to meet that need.”
The company hired Mineo and also Deborah Rodrigues, now the clinical director, and gave them equity stakes in the venture.
Mineo, as noted earlier, said there is clearly unmet need in the region that this new division will meet. And the division is starting with outpatient services, including addiction, mental-health, and behavioral- health services for those 18 and over, with priority populations being seniors, pregnant and postpartum women, IV drug users, and first responders, a constit- uency that has been traditionally been underserved, in her view.
“We had identified that there are so many ser- vices going on in the community, including our local police departments, but no one is really providing services for our first responders,” she explained. “This includes the police officers, the EMTs, the fire depart- ments that are right on the front line.
“With this pandemic, the civil unrest that’s going on, and everything else ... all this is traumatizing and retraumatizing people on a daily basis,” she went on. “This is an unmet need in the community.”
As for that acquisition that was on the 2-yard line
Indeed, Ruiz esti-
and that the team couldn’t talk much about, Flahive- Dickson, who likened it to a VNA, said it will broaden the client portfolio by 150 or so, add to the staff, obvi- ously, and broaden the roster of services provided in the home.
“It’s home healthcare, not home care,” she explained, adding that this will be an important addi- tion to the portfolio, one that provides both synergies and growth opportunities.
Looking further out, Ruiz, when asked where he
“This pandemic is having a tremendous negative impact on mental health and drug addiction, and we see the need. And we’re going to meet that need.
expects this company to be in five years, said he expects to continue the current pace and effectively double in size. He also expects to be in many more states and possibly have franchises of the Golden Years operation — or operations, to be more exact.
That expansion will come in a number of forms, he went on, listing both organic growth and addition- al acquisitions, with the latter becoming more feasi- ble, and practical, as many smaller ventures, many of them operated by Baby Boomers approaching retire- ment, face succession issues and other challenges.
“On the home-care front, some of the individu- als that have started now want to step back,” he explained. “And because of our vision, we have a larger appetite.”
Meanwhile, Ruiz and other company leaders are
in the exploratory phases of perhaps franchising the concept and even going public, to provide the capital for such steps.
“Franchising is part of our thought process; it’s part of our business plan,” he noted. “And there’s also a public initiative. Those conversations have been ongoing, and now, in 2021, they will escalate, because those things take time to structure.”
Elaborating, he said the company has hired a CPA firm and a legal team with those plans in mind and with the goal of being ready when the time and opportunity are right to move quickly and decisively.
And, in many important ways, that has been the MO from the very start.
Good as Gold
When asked to sum up what has enabled Golden Years to get off to such a fast and dramatic start, Ruiz said it comes down to two words: culture and teamwork.
The culture rests in an attitude Ruiz has instilled, one where he treats each client as if the individual was his mother or father — a culture that has reso- nated with Flahive-Dickson, Mineo, and others who have joined the company.
“We’ve communicated that throughout the system — we’ve built it in,” he explained. “And I think that makes a big difference. We’re hands-on, and every caregiver knows, every admin, every director here knows, how passionate I am and how serious I am; this is the collaboration of a team.”
It’s also the byproduct of an ambitious, ever- changing business plan, one that really is a living, breathing document. u
George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]
      46 JANUARY 20, 2021

   44   45   46   47   48