The Summit marks 14th anniversary

The Summit marks 14th anniversary

Friday, August 4, 2017

Ken Burger hoped 30 people might show up for an informal meeting to discuss building a senior retirement community in 1988. When 84 people walked in, he knew the idea had legs.

The Summit’s retired executive director, Burger worked with local leaders to turn a dream project into reality when the Life Plan Community opened its doors in 2003 to five households.

“This idea of building a retirement community to enhance the living of seniors developed into a much bigger project that’s called Wyndhurst, which we leveraged with our opening,” Burger said of the beautiful walking community that is home to The Summit.

The Summit, a Life Plan Community providing a continuum of care, is a partnership of the Christian Church of Virginia (Disciples of Christ) and Centra. “We have this beautiful partnership between the Disciples of Christ that understand ministry and Centra, which understands healthcare and management,” Burger, a retired minister, said.

Virginia Marshburn was the first resident to call The Summit home. “Life at The Summit is wonderful. I was the first person to move in. The people in South Boston thought I had lost my mind when I told them I was moving to Lynchburg because I knew two people. Life here is wonderful.”

Five households moved in Monday, August 4, 2003 and by the end of the year, 60 were on campus. “We were off and running,” Burger said.

A year later, The Summit added a Health and Rehabilitation Center, known across the region for getting people back to an independent lifestyle. “We have staff members that were here when the doors opened,” Administrator Becky Martin said. “Lasting relationships are part of the fabric of life at The Summit.”

The Summit Assisted Living is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. “Offering Assisted Living really provided the continuum of care that is so important in retirement,” Administrator Lisa Tyree said. One resident has lived in Assisted Living since its start and many staff members have 10 years on the job. “It’s a great place to work and they love working with the residents. They make a difference in the residents’ lives,” Tyree said.

Early on, The Summit staff set a simple mission – help residents be engaged in life – as its polar star. “Each resident defines what it means to be engaged in life and the staff is involved in providing that,” Burger said. From its early days,

The Summit offered a sense of community – the beating heart of the campus that remains to this day. “When I first came here, everyone was so warm and friendly and extremely pleasant. It felt like home. It felt like a family,” Penny Swisher, who recently moved to The Summit, said.

Burger, who retired last year, watched residents learn to paint, dance and engage in whatever activities interested them. Executive Director Gina Meadows said the past 14 years have been a beautiful build towards expansion and growth with a steady eye on community.

“As we celebrate our 14 years as The Summit, we are aware that the heart of what’s made us successful and made this a special place is community and that will never change,” Meadows said.

Meadows said growth means additional memory support services, private rooms in Health and Rehab, room for new independent living homes and floor plans, and expanded amenities, including dining and wellness options.

“Our future is bright,” Meadows said. “We really honor and appreciate the past, but I am just as excited for the next 14 years.”

For more information or to schedule a visit, please call 434.582.1500.