Sharon Meyer Rides Off Into the Sun Health Sunset

Sharon Meyer_4webBorn on a dairy farm in Fairmount, North Dakota, Sharon Meyer decided at a young age that milking cows was for the birds.

She preferred staying in the farm house where she learned to cook, bake, sew and fix all sorts of things. Sharon brought those skills and many more when she came to work at Sun Health more than 18 years ago.

“There is nothing she couldn’t fix,” said financial analyst Suzie Wilson who worked with Sharon for almost 15 years. “Copy machine, fax machine, chairs: she fixed all of them. And there was nothing she couldn’t find. She remembers everything.”

Sharon started as a housekeeper at Boswell, and later became the department’s receptionist before transferring to a secretary position within Sun Health Foundation (SHF) where she quickly won over donors and co-workers with her friendly and helpful attitude. Her duties included answering phones, managing inventory, filing and writing thank-you notes to donors, a skill she turned into an art form with cut roses and beautiful, handwritten notes.

“I loved getting the chance to meet our donors and to be the one to acknowledge their gifts,” Sharon said.

“She is the most pleasant, caring person to work with,” Bonnie Olsen, a development director for SHF, said of Sharon. “We used to call her ‘mother’ because she watched over all of us like a mom…she did so much to make our jobs smoother.”

Sharon and her husband Allan (also retired) have been married for 53 years and they have five grown children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. Now that she’s called it a career, Sharon plans to spend more time with Allan, other family and friends and to crochet, knit, bake, swim, learn more about computers and occasionally visit the casino.

She also plans to keep “watching over” Sun Health. Once a mom, always a mom.

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Sharon is famous for homespun humor and wisdom, which mostly come out as clever phrases her friends call “Sharonisms.” Here’s a small sample:

  • “I may be on a diet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the menu.” (On admiring handsome men)
  • “There’s one nice thing about going the extra mile; there’s not much traffic.”
  • “I’ve lost the fluffy fat, now I’m working on the hard lard.” (On dieting)
  • “Beauty is but skin deep. Homely goes clear to the bone.”
  • “If you want to see the dead come to life, stop by the time clock at 5 p.m. on Friday evening.”
  • “Well, you know if it’s got testosterone or tires, it’ll give you trouble.”

Sun Health Opens Innovative Memory Support Residence

Grandview senior leaders Penny Jacobs (L) and Bhakti Gosalia show off a front porch in the Grandview Memory Support residence.

Grandview senior leaders Penny Jacobs (L) and Bhakti Gosalia show off a front porch in the Grandview Memory Support residence.

Sun Health recently completed construction on an innovative residence for memory-loss patients called Grandview Memory Support.

“Every detail is designed to help residents feel at home, well-cared for and secure,” Grandview campus Executive Director Bhakti Gosalia said.

The residence features 16 private, studio-size suites built specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Entrances to each suite feature an indoor front porch complete with a picket fence, chairs and flower boxes. Residents and their loved ones can personalize their front porch using familiar and meaningful decorations so it’s easier for the resident to recognize his or her “home.”

The suites and common areas feature extensive use of natural light, secure yet open floor plans, and a décor designed to appeal to the senses. A “sensory room” offers residents a calming place with aromatherapy, music and a ceiling that mimics day and night skies. A centerpiece of the sensory room is a large touch-screen computer called “It’s Never 2 Late.” Adapted especially for individuals with physical and mental impairments, it can be used to play interactive games, watch movies or television, play music and more.

The secure design allows residents to live in a caring home environment, while providing comfort and safety for residents and families.

Services for residents include 24/7 care, an on-site physician and nurse practitioner, fine dining, a secure, outdoor garden, life enrichment activities, a beauty/barber shop, housekeeping and laundry services. Families will be welcome and invited to take part in activities, including support groups.

Grandview Memory Support is expected to have residents move in in November, pending licensing by the Arizona Department of Health.

The architect for the project was the Orcutt-Winslow Partnership, the interior design was developed by Thoma-Holec Design and the general contractor was The Weitz Company.

Photo of Colonnade Resident Sky Diver Wins International Contest

Sharon Vizzini, resident of The Colonnade, went skydiving in October 2012. In May 2014, this photo was awarded second place in an international photo contest.

Sharon Vizzini, resident of The Colonnade, went skydiving in October 2012. In May 2014, this photo was awarded second place in an international photo contest.

PHOENIX (May 23, 2014) –– On May 21, 2014, Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) announced the selection of 18 winners of its first “Friendly Faces, Friendly Places” international photo contest, supported by the Pfizer Foundation. Out of the 500 photos submitted worldwide, one local photo was announced as a winner. The photo of Surprise resident Sharon Vizzini sky diving at age 70, placed second in the “Older and Active” category. The photo was provided by Sun Health Senior Living and submitted by the Greater Phoenix Age-Friendly Network.

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Grand Canyon Nursing Students Learning Skills at Sun Health

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program at Banner Boswell attend orientation at Sun Health where they will be doing clinical rotations this summer.

People in purple scrubs will be popping up at various Sun Health locations this summer. The purple ones are senior nursing students at Grand Canyon University and each Tuesday, now through August, they will be doing community health clinical rotations at the Center for Health & Wellbeing, in the Care Transitions program or at each of Sun Health’s three senior living communities.

The students are part of a GCU’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions based at Banner Boswell Medical Center. Continue reading

Employee Showcase: Deborah Burns

Deb Burns, Nurse Practitioner, Sun Health Center For Health & WellnessAs a community partner who delights in sharing healthy living practices throughout our neighborhoods and communities, we would be nothing without fantastic employees who help make this vision a reality.

One of those employees is Deborah Burns, FNP-C.

A valued Sun Health employee for more than fifteen years, most recently at the Center For Health & Wellbeing, Deb recently completed her Family Nurse Practitioner certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. We are so proud of her!

“Patients would commonly say to me, ‘Deb, you have such a manner about you; I wish you were my doctor!” This inspired me to want to help them on a much deeper level, and encouraged me to earn my advanced certification.”

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Sun Health Celebrates Program’s Second Anniversary With Consecutive National Honor

November 2013

Ron Guziak Mugshot - web

Ron Guziak,
President & CEO
Sun Health and Sun Health Foundation

While most of the nation ponders how federal health care legislation will affect them, at Sun Health this month we celebrate a nationally recognized community health program that has benefited nearly 2,000 west valley residents. In less than two years, Sun Health Care Transitions has educated individuals about healthier ways to live, developed enhanced medication regimens and prevented most participants from being readmitted to the hospital for the same illness.

Our team celebrated its second anniversary by receiving a second consecutive “Outstanding Leadership in Population Health Award” from the Care Continuum Alliance (CCA). Continue reading

Sun Health Community Education Presents Ongoing Health Talks at Sun Health and Community Locations in the West Valley for September

Arizona nonprofit Sun Health’s Community Education Series presents free ongoing health and wellness programs on a variety of health care, healthy living and personal and financial safety topics focused on seniors. Events occur several times each month at locations across the West Valley and are presented as a community service. Events with less than 10 reservations are subject to cancellation. We make every effort to avoid cancellations, but if one does occur, we will contact all registered attendees in advance. Continue reading