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Columbia retirement community earns national innovation honor

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Staff Report
Published Nov. 12, 2015

Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community has won the LeadingAge 2015 Innovation in Care and Services award, thanks in part to his triathlon team training program.

The continuing care organization’s event has become an integral piece of both Still Hopes and Columbia-area residents who are 55 and older.

“Our team members discovered that aging doesn’t have to mean decline; it could mean growth in mind, body and spirit,” said Denis Heimlich, director of wellness. “Team members found deep personal satisfaction and confidence in completing the training and the race. Regardless of their body type, age or agility, they began to start thinking of themselves as athletes, some for the first time in their lives.”

The 20-week training program was created for triathlon beginners to help change the way people think about aging and retirement communities. Heimlich supervised the program alongside USA Triathlon-certified coach Stephanie Cain.

Heimlich accepted the award last weekend at the national conference of LeadingAge, a national association which represents 6,000 nonprofit aging-services organizations throughout the country.

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