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Shepherd of the Valley Presents Helen Stambaugh Award to Valley Legacy Committee

November 22, 2016

In 2008, Shepherd of the Valley’s Board of Directors established the Helen Stambaugh Award. It recognizes extraordinary contributions of time, talent and treasure to the residents, staff and communities of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services, Inc. It is designed to honor individuals, businesses or organizations who, through their actions, have provided a profound and long-lasting impact upon Shepherd of the Valley and its constituencies. The award, established in Helen’s honor,

Shepherd of the Valley presented her with a Valley Legacy Award as outstanding senior in 2008

Since 2009, we have been fortunate to have honored 8 Helen Stambaugh recipients.

This year, Shepherd of the Valley has chosen to honor The Valley Legacy Awards committee.


Pictured left to right: Shepherd of the Valley Board President Karen Bovard, Valley Legacy Committee Member and Home Instead Community Service Representative Anna Keck,
Shepherd of the Valley Executive Director Rich Limongi,  Valley Legacy Committee Member and Grace Hospice Community Liaison Amy Miklandric,Valley Legacy Committee Member
and Shepherd’s Foundation Director of Donor Development Tony Perrone.

The Valley Legacy Awards began in 2004. For the last 12 years, the Awards have recognized the contribution, service, sacrifice and compassionate actions performed by or for senior citizens in the Mahoning Valley. More than 300 people have been recognized as Valley Legacy nominees. Helen Stambaugh was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award in 2008.

Purple Heart Parking Spaces Dedicated at all Shepherd Locations

November 16, 2016
Shepherd of the Valley has dedicated one parking space at each of their five locations in honor of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an award to those wounded in combat.

The parking spaces are intended to honor the residents, staff and community members who were wounded defending our country. It is a reminder of the sacrifice they made and a gesture of our gratitude. All of our sites now have a dedicated parking space for Purple Heart veterans.


Thanks to WKBN 27 Youngstown OH for covering our Purple Heart Parking dedication at our Niles community yesterday.

Shepherd’s Overall Quality Ratings exceed county and statewide averages

October 19, 2016

Shepherd of the Valley’s latest ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Five-Star Quality Ratings exceed the county and statewide averages.

Nursing homes and home health agencies receive star ratings on the Nursing Home Compare and Home Health Compare websites, each ranging from 1 to 5 stars.

Shepherd of the Valley’s Howland community has been rated 5.0 stars for Overall Quality. Shepherd of the Valley’s Boardman and Niles communities have been rated 4.0 stars for Overall Quality. At Home With Shepherd has been rated 4.5 stars, the highest in the tri-county area.

The statewide average for both skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies is 3.0 stars. The average in Mahoning County is 2.4 stars; in Trumbull County, 2.6 stars.

“We are very proud of the care our staff provides to our residents and home health clients. Receiving high ratings from CMS confirms the quality of our services. We are grateful to work with compassionate, diligent direct care staff,” Executive Director Rich Limongi said.

To learn more about the CMS star ratings, visit Home Health Compare and Nursing Home Compare at


A Spiritual Message: October 17, 2016

October 17, 2016


          Sticks and Stones

No matter how hard I try, God of patience and support,

someone finds fault with me.  I am mortified about the latest

criticism.  I can’t decide whether to run away in shame or storm

back and defend my actions, for I thought I was right.


Criticism hurts most when coupled with ridicule, and I feel

like less of a person for the tone in which I was addressed.

Give me the courage to confront this, Lord, for it is not

acceptable to be treated this way even when in error.

Keep me calm, factual, and open; perhaps the tone was

unintentional, the critic unaware of the power of shaming.


Help me remember how I feel now the next time I find fault

with someone.  As I’ve learned firsthand with you the zillions of

times I messed up, there are better ways to confront mistakes than

with stinging criticisms that divide and demean.

Truth be known, Lord, such abusive manners say more about

the critcizer than the criticized.

Keep me from passing on these hurtful words.

                The Power of Prayer: Simple Blessings for Daily Living,

                Margarret Anne Huffman, Gary Wilde, Publications International, Ltd.

                2004, p. 52.

From CEO to patient with At Home With Shepherd

October 13, 2016


After suffering for many years with pain caused by a lack of cartilage in my left knee due to an old football injury, I decided to follow the advice of my orthopedic physician and undergo a total knee replacement. My surgery was performed on October , 2015 at The Surgical Hospital at Southwoods by Dr. John  Stefancin. Following a couple of days in the hospital, I was discharged to home with orders to have appropriate home care services support my recovery. When asked, I selected At Home With Shepherd, Shepherd of the Valley’s home health agency.

On December 31, 2014, I retired as Executive Director of Shepherd of the Valley. Within a little over 10 months, I went from being the company’s CEO to one of its home health clients. It was definitely one of my most humbling and educational experiences. Over the years I sat in on a great number of meetings with our home care staff as they discussed various situations and processes… I was about to receive an up close and personal look at them from a client’s perspective.

My care was definitely a team effort by my registered nurse Tyson, physical therapist Donny and physical therapy assistant Rebecca.The hospital made sure I had the appropriate medications, equipment and devices ordered. Donny came in and assessed my home for any physical changes needed to allow me to function during my rehab and then developed a physical therapy regimen for me to follow. Tyson developed a care plan for my situation, assessing my current medications, level of pain, wound care, etc. Rebecca was my “task master” as she took the physical therapy plan that Donny developed and put me through my paces. I improved on each of her visits from walker to cane to independence. After a little over 3 weeks, I was discharged from home health care and I was able to drive and return to a relatively normal level of functioning.

I have a two story home, a wife that works full-time and a dog that barks at everyone. I was able to sleep in my second floor bedroom the first night I came home and every night after. All of the home care staff who visited immediately made my family and I comfortable with their knowledge, experience and demeanor. So many times over the years I heard how impressive Shepherd’s staff is. Now that I was a client, I can indeed join everyone in complimenting the staff who directly cared for me, including all those behind the scenes supervising and coordinating my care. At Home With Shepherd has proven again why they are a Home Care Elite recognized agency!

Too often the public has the misconception that after a knee or hip replacement people will be required to stay in a hospital or nursing facility for long periods but that is not the norm unless the patient has a compromised medical condition or support system. The “new normal” is following surgery for the hospital to do post- surgery rehab and prepare the patient to go home to familiar surroundings as soon as possible. Home care can then come in and work with their client to achieve maximum potential.


Don Kacmar served as CEO of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services from 1983-2014. During his tenure as CEO, Mr. Kacmar participated in the expansion of Shepherd of the Valley from a single location offering skilled nursing and independent retirement apartments to five locations offering skilled nursing and rehab, assisted living, independent apartments and condos, respite care and home health care services. Mr. Kacmar also served as the CEO of Shepherd’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of Shepherd of the Valley.

What We Can Learn Valley Legacy Awards

October 3, 2016



The Mahoning Valley has long been known for the generosity of its people, the strong sense of family and community, and a solid core of old-fashioned values. We work well past our retirement age then can’t wait to find something else to donate our time and talents to. There is a certain level of expectation that when someone needs help, we, as a collective force, spring into action. The effort behind getting those projects off the ground can sometimes be forgotten. The extra attention needed to care for the aging population can sometimes be overlooked.

Thinking about all those times you said, “I really appreciate everything you’ve done for us…” or, “How do they have the time in the day to do all those things? They make me tired!” can seem like counting the gumballs in the giant jar to win a prize. But when we really think about the moments that made us realize how meaningful those acts of kindness, volunteer hours, and few extra minutes are, doesn’t it make you wish you give something back? To express your gratitude? To recognize when you know recognition is not expected or considered necessary? To simply prove that everything matters and kind acts, word and showings of support do not need to go unnoticed just because “it’s all in a day’s work” or “I’m just happy to be of assistance.” I’m here to say that although those people have a rightful place in our hearts, they also have the right to be recognized by a larger audience. An audience that wants to join you in showing appreciation, awe and kudos because chances are that person has impacted a larger community and left a lasting impression.

According to the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University, 24% of the population in Trumbull and Mahoning counties is over 60 years old and just under 23% in Columbiana County. They project those numbers to rise to over 30% for all three counties by 2020. That is a lot of seniors doing wonderfully impactful work to better their communities. We often hear of people not wanting to live in our area anymore and that the younger wave of professionals is migrating to Cleveland and Columbus. I understand the worry but I also think that we are incredibly lucky to have such a vast wealth of knowledge, experiences, and civic engagement at our disposal. It also allows younger people an opportunity to tap into those resources and use it to provide a higher level of care and service to a group of people that will go from taking care of us to needing us to help them.

That is what the Valley Legacy Awards are all about. I ask that you think about those people who go above and beyond their normal call of duty, who value their communities and strive to make it better for not only those living now, but for future generations, or those younger folks who have committed themselves to supporting and enhancing lives of our senior population.

Don’t keep their good deeds to yourself! The stories I have heard from the nominees from the last seven years that I have been with Shepherd of the Valley give me goose bumps. I am always surprised by how little the actual recipient thinks of their accomplishments and are often quite shy about the attention. Stories of opening a cancer wellness center in the valley, taking the role of family physician to a whole other level, working 26+ years in the same nursing community and working tirelessly to make it truly feel like a home, lobbying for levies, running youth programs, assisting with our military veterans, the list goes on and on.

We have the resources. We have the talent. We have the opportunities for many years to come to promote why our area is great. 12 years of celebrating seniors and senior advocates is amazing and the stories that I’ve heard have been remarkable. But I’m most excited to hear about the work that will be done in the next 12 years and beyond.

The 12th Annual Valley Legacy Awards is being held this Wednesday, October 5th. We are excited to honor those who were nominated this year. Please consider nominating an outstanding senior or senior advocate for our 2017 Valley Legacy Awards. A nomination form can be found here and the committee will be accepting nominations until August 1, 2017. There is so much talent, time and service being given to make the Mahoning Valley great and we want to make sure we are recognizing those who are serving us. Please keep an eye out for greatness and let us know of any seniors leaving a legacy we need to recognize. Thank you for your consideration.


Kristen Taylor has been working with Shepherd of the Valley as their Admissions & Marketing Director for the Niles campus for the last seven years. This is her first year serving as a member of the Valley Legacy Advisory Board. She is an avid sports fan and an active member in her community. Kristen is the OSHIIP cordinator for both Mahoning and Trumbull county, counseling individuals on Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.  Kristen resides in Howland with her husband, Jordan, their two children and their beloved dog. To reach Kristen, contact her at


Good Grief Coffee Club

July 26, 2016

good grief coffee club

Join Grace’s Chaplain Don Scott Monaco for coffee and a supportive discussion about grief each month. This is a free group open to the entire community.

Group meets the third Monday of every month at 10am at Shepherd of the Valley Community Center (1500 McKinley Avenue Niles, Ohio 44446).

No RSVP needed. Questions? Please Contact:

Amy Miklandric

Grace Hospice



Kristen Taylor

Shepherd of the Valley


Veteran Move In Special

July 26, 2016

vet move in special

Veterans who sign an independent lease in July & August save!

New Howland and Poland residents will receive a $1,500 statement credit. New Niles residents will receive a $500 statement credit.

Please Contact:

Dawn Olson, Director of Marketing & Admissions

Shepherd of the Valley – Howland

330-856-9232, ext. 2618

Leorabella Rudloff

June 27, 2016

On June 25, 2015, Boardman resident Leorabelle “Lee” Rudloff had the chance to feel the wind in her hair as she sped around the track at the Sharon Speedway! Lee arrived at Sharon Speedway late in the afternoon and had a chance to meet the staff and some of the drivers. She had the honor of riding in the pace car during the race! She stayed for the evening’s events and did not return home until almost midnight. She had a great time! Thank you to the team at Sharon Speedway for making her dream come true!

Successful Leadership Training Completed

June 24, 2016

DSCN1345 (2)

Today, we celebrated the successful completion of leadership training for 21 of our Shepherd managers. They completed a comprehensive 7 week series on John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Through lecture presentation, case studies and practical exercises, our managers were able to:

  • Increase awareness and understanding on how to evolve into a more effective leader.
  • Develop practical and measureable skills that can build influence.
  • Learn how to build stronger relationships and team dynamics in  the organization.
  • Establish new ideals for performance standards.
  • Create a renewed vision for a strong and positive work culture.
  • Increase accountability for work outcomes.
  • Establish new long-lasting behaviors for ongoing leadership development efforts.

In today’s closing session, each manager developed and shared their “Leadership Development Plan” to utilize moving forward. I am very excited with the positive feedback received and it is our goal to continue to offer this training series in years to come.

I would like to thank our facilitator, Maria Stevens, owner of Stevens Job Coaching, my Associate Directors and my Administrative Assistant for their help in making this such a success.


Richard J. Limongi
CEO/Executive Director