Long-term care loses a friend, role model

The first time I met David A. Green, we shared a conference lunch table while he told me all about the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE). At another conference a year later, when we (ironically) found ourselves sharing a lunch table again, all he could talk about was his work in China. He was so excited and insipred that he inspired himself and everyone else at the table.

Now, the long-term care community mourns the loss of David, who gave so much of himself to our field as an innovator, inspirer and visionary. David died March 3 at his home at the age of 76. [Read his obituary here.]

Addie Abushousheh, a fellow member of SAGE, a kindred spirit in senior environments and David's good friend, has written a beautiful tribute to David and his spirited work in the senior environments field. I would like to share her words with you, below.

A memorial service will be held March 8 at Wesley United Methodist Church, beginning with a fellowship time from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service at 3 p.m. Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 761 Florida Ave., Oshkosh, Wis.

As both a profound visionary and ultimate pragmatist, David A. Green infused uncompromising energy, passion, and purpose for advancing environments for aging into every day and each interaction. In his pursuit of “perfection” in long-term care, David pioneered the household/neighborhood model in skilled nursing care while CEO at Evergreen Retirement Community in 1987 as well as serving as a founding member of both SAGE Federation in 1994 and Wellspring in 1997 before “retiring” into the role of director of conceptual planning and Development for China Senior Care beginning in 2009. While David’s numerous contributions within the field of aging have been recognized many times over through prestigious honors and awards, he shared that his greatest sense of accomplishment came from his knowledge that his legacy would live on in his wife, Vernita; four children; eight grandchildren; extended relations; and friends and colleagues from every walk of life.

“Integrity” was one of David’s favorite words and defined the way in which he aspired to live his life. David was also resolute in his belief that “reality is the greatest barrier to creativity.” Through his example, those of us who have taken his lessons to heart have learned to treat each introduction as if it were a new opportunity to make an old friend, use our spheres of influence to enable every long-term care resident to live life on their terms, and approach regulatory obstacles as untapped opportunities for re-education.

In this same spirit, David’s family wishes to continue to support those who are advancing innovations in aging and Christian mission-based work by establishing a memorial scholarship in his name. Accordingly, and in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made online to the David A. Green Memorial Fund at the Wisconsin Conference United Methodist Foundation (www.wumf.org). 

–Addie Abushousheh

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