Baptist Retirement Community dedicates Elsie Gayer Chapel

Members of the Baptist Retirement Community came together with Buckner Retirement Services staff to dedicate the Elsie Gayer Chapel. On hand were members of the Gayer family, as well as members of the Baptist Memorial Ministries Board and Buckner International Board of Trustees.

The renaming of the chapel after Elsie Gayer is part of an $8.4 million renovation project to Baptist Retirement Community, announced in Oct. 2018. The planned updates include renovations to the high-rise independent living apartment building and the Sagecrest nursing building while also providing for road repairs and added curb appeal to the community, which has served seniors in San Angelo since 1951.

Elsie Gayer, RN, founded the Baptist Memorials Geriatric Hospital in 1951 and served as its administrator until 1968. The hospital later pivoted into senior living and was renamed Baptist Retirement Community.

A plaque honoring Gayer was unveiled at the ceremony, noting how her “efforts and passion persist today as an enduring symbol of senior living that is Inspiring Happiness™ in San Angelo and throughout Texas.”

“Every professional studying the history of senior care should know the name Elsie Gayer,” said Aaron Hargett, BRC’s executive director. “She was a remarkable woman who touched the lives of so many senior adults by ensuring they were loved and lived with dignity as members of a community.”

The updates and new construction to BRC are part of a long-term campus renovation and repositioning plan, which already has seen the construction of The Crest, a new assisted living memory care building, which opened in 2016 on the 100-acre campus. Buckner affiliated with Baptist Retirement Community in 2010. It is one of six Texas senior living communities owned and managed by BRS.

Baptist Retirement Community Launching $8.4 Million Renovation Project

two seniors laughing

Leaders at Buckner Retirement Services announced today a series of major campus renovations at Baptist Retirement Community. The planned updates represent $8.4 million in changes to key features of the senior living community and are scheduled to begin immediately, according to Buckner officials.

Areas slated for renovation include the high-rise independent living apartment building and the Sagecrest nursing building while also providing for road repairs and added curb appeal to the community, which has served seniors in San Angelo since 1951.

The plan also calls for the demolition of the Elsie Gayer nursing building while maintaining the existing chapel, maintenance and laundry buildings. The chapel at BRC will be named for Elsie Gayer at a special ceremony in December.

Charlie Wilson, senior vice president for Buckner Retirement Services, said the planned changes to the community represent “a major repositioning of Baptist Retirement Community, which will allow us to offer a greater experience for our resident members and is a real investment in San Angelo and the entire Concho Valley region.”

Aaron Hargett, BRC’s executive director, said he’s excited about the new campus plan. “Baptist Retirement Community has always had a great reputation in the Concho Valley for quality services. We’ve led the Concho Valley in the number of services we offer as the only Continuing Care Retirement Community in the Concho Valley. Now, we will offer these services in an updated, beautiful campus setting.”

The updates and new construction are part of a long-term campus renovation and repositioning plan, which already has seen the construction of The Crest, a new assisted living memory care building, which opened in 2016 on the 100-acre campus. Buckner affiliated with Baptist Retirement Community in 2010. It is one of six Texas senior living communities owned and managed by BRS.

Friday photo: Buckner Senior Living, Cooper Aerobics collaborating on wellness program for Ventana

Buckner Senior Living and Cooper Aerobics announced May 11 a collaboration to bring top health and wellness initiatives to Ventana by Buckner, Dallas’ first high-rise luxury Life Care community under construction at Northwest Highway and Central Expressway.

Future Ventana residents, along with key personnel from Cooper Aerobics and Buckner Senior Living, gathered May 11 at Cooper Aerobics Center to celebrate the collaboration.

“This exciting collaboration is a blending of two unique, strong brands,” said Charlie Wilson, senior vice president of Buckner Retirement Services. “Both are Dallas icons and have collectively been working to create vibrant lifestyles for active adults for nearly 115 years. Our goal is to provide the best in holistic wellness for Ventana residents, and there’s no better provider to help make that happen than Cooper Aerobics.”

When Ventana opens in 2019, Cooper Aerobics will provide health and wellness consulting at Ventana for all residents, manage the on-site wellness center and lead ongoing wellness initiatives throughout the community.

“We are pleased to bring nearly 48 years of research and science-based findings at Cooper to nearby Ventana residents,” said Tyler Cooper, MD, MPH, president and CEO of Cooper Aerobics. “Our Cooper Wellness Strategies services provide organizations with wellness programming, fitness center management and consulting opportunities to help their people lead longer, more productive lives.”

Located at the intersection of Central Expressway and Northwest Highway, Ventana includes:

  • 186 independent living apartment homes.
  • 38 assisted living apartment homes.
  • 26 specialized memory care suites.
  • 48 skilled nursing accommodations.
  • 24 rehabilitation accommodations.
  • Multiple common areas and amenities, including several dining venues, a wellness center with an indoor pool and a Grand Hall multi-purpose space.

Ventana will join five other senior living communities operated by Buckner Retirement Services in Texas. Buckner is the second largest provider of non-profit senior living in the state and the 59th largest nationally. Visit www.ventanabybuckner.com for more details.

David Sims named Executive Director of Buckner Westminster Place

buckner hope shines here

Buckner Retirement Services named David Sims as Executive Director of Buckner Westminster Place, effective March 7.

David comes to Westminster Place from Christian Care in Mesquite where he served as Health Care Center Administrator. His tenure with Buckner, however, began four years ago when he served as Administrator for Elsie Gayer Healthcare Center at Baptist Retirement Community in San Angelo from 2014 to early 2017.

As Executive Director of Westminster Place, he’ll be responsible for overseeing the daily operations and future direction of the Longview nonprofit senior living community.

“David’s wealth of experience in senior living and his commitment to the mission and values of Buckner make him an excellent fit to lead Buckner Westminster Place,” said Charlie Wilson, Senior Vice President of Buckner Retirement Services. “We are pleased to have David join our leadership team and look forward to the ways his skills will help us continue to build this great organization.”

Opened in 1996, Westminster Place is a thriving faith-based senior living community offering a full continuum of living and care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, long-term and skilled nursing.

David comes to his role as Executive Director with extensive senior living and health care management experience. He’s worked with various senior living communities across Texas—from Waco to Abilene to San Angelo—since 2010 and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

David thanked leadership from Buckner International and Buckner Retirement Services for the opportunity to continue serving senior adults through life-enriching programs and expert health care.

“Serving senior adults is my passion and calling,” David said. “Getting to live out that calling as part of this outstanding Buckner team is a true honor, and I look forward to furthering Buckner Westminster Place as a leading provider of East Texas senior living.”

Hargett named executive director of Baptist Retirement Community

Buckner Retirement Services named Aaron Hargett as executive director of Baptist Retirement Community, effective Sept. 1.

Hargett has served Baptist Retirement since 2007, first as administrator of home health and hospice and then as director of independent living. As executive director, he will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations and future direction of the nonprofit senior living community.

“I am thrilled to bring Aaron onto our executive leadership team,” said Charlie Wilson, senior vice president of Buckner Retirement Services. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen that he is servant-hearted, passion-driven and more than capable of managing such a large community. There’s really no one better for the job.”

Baptist Retirement Community is a thriving 100-acre senior living community located in the heart of West Texas’ Concho Valley. Home to more than 500 senior adults, the Life Plan community offers a full continuum of living and care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, long-term and skilled nursing.

Hargett comes to the executive director position with nearly 30 years of experience in medical and social services, including director of San Angelo’s Shannon Rehab Center. He is active in the San Angelo community and currently serves on the board of the Rotary Club of San Angelo. Hargett earned both his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s in clinical psychology from Angelo State University.

Hargett thanked leadership from Buckner International, Buckner Retirement Services and Baptist Memorials Ministries for the opportunity to continue serving West Texas senior adults through life-enriching programs and expert health care.

“The staff and residents here at Baptist Retirement have become like family,” Hargett said. “I’m grateful to be part of their lives and look forward to growing this community into San Angelo’s leading senior living provider.”

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