Lt. Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii recently toured the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea. Operated by Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, the Leonard Florence Center for Living is the country’s first urban model Green House® skilled nursing facility. Lt. Gov. Green visited the Center with the hope of bringing an ALS residence to Hawaii. Steve Saling, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 at the age of 38 and who helped design the revolutionary building, conducted the tour.

From left: Lt. Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii; Steve Saling, resident at Leonard Florence Center for Living; Ina Hoffman, special residences admissions director at Leonard Florence Center for Living; and Betsy Mullen, COO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. (Courtesy photo)
From left: Lt. Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii; Steve Saling, resident at Leonard Florence Center for Living; Ina Hoffman, special residences admissions director at Leonard Florence Center for Living; and Betsy Mullen, COO of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. (Courtesy photo)

What’s so unique about the Center is that residents, many of whom are completely immobilized, can control lights, turn on the TV, call for the elevator, open doors and raise window shades, all with the help of a computer and sensor that tracks head and eye movements for instruction. In essence, they can control anything with an on-and-off switch with their eyes, allowing them to move freely through the entire residence and live as independently as possible.

Lt. Gov. Green was extremely moved by the residents and the Center. Moreover, he was excited about the prospect of duplicating this innovative model of care in Hawaii.

Currently, the Leonard Florence Center for Living takes care of more individuals living with ALS than any other place in the world.

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