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Ribbon cutting celebrates Care Village in Kinston

A long-held vision of North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) became a reality on March 1,2022 when the NCBAM Care Village in Kinston officially opened. NCBAM and its Care Village are administered by Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina (BCH).

BCH President/CEO, Dr. Michael C. Blackwell founded NCBAM in 2009 and celebrates its ever-expanding outreaches: "It's exciting to see NCBAM bringing geriatric management services to seniors in Kinston and Lenoir County--allowing them to age in place with Christ-centered support."

Housed in the annex of the Kennedy Home Church, the Village serves seniors (65+) living within 50 miles of Kinston. Care Village members receive preliminary assessments and a Plan of Care to address short-term and long-term goals. Quarterly assessments review members' needs for housekeeping, meals, durable medical equipment, home safety, and maintenance, as well as spiritual growth and support.

NCBAM Director, Dr. Sandy Gregory, says, "Our geriatric care model was first developed to serve NCBAM's Servant Care Participants (Baptist ministers 65+). We're thrilled to begin offering this model at the Care Village."

The renovated annex of the Kennedy Memorial Home Baptist Church serves as an attractive multi-purposed gathering place for Village members. The space includes administrative offices, a wellness room, a game room, a dedicated prayer room, as well as meeting rooms for social gatherings and workshops.

Charity Johnson, Care Village Coordinator, works with local pastors, churches, support team volunteers, senior centers, and other community partners to help members “age in place” in their own homes. “We match the spiritual gifts of volunteers with the needs of Care Village members to offer services such as friendly phone calls, notes of encouragement, handyman services, transportation assistance, and meal, grocery, and medication delivery.”

Kinston and Lenoir County community groups and social service agencies see the value of the Care Village and are eager to partner with the ministry. Nursing students from Lenoir County Community College will assist with developing care plans for members. The Kinston Community Health Center hopes to provide a Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic at the Village to offer dental, medical, and optometry services for seniors. RAM clinics require

a lot of space and Kennedy Home will assist with lodging

facilities for volunteers while local churches will help with food services. The Kinston Clinic Pharmacy is also planning a clinic at the Village for COVID and flu vaccinations.

At the close of the opening event, Keith Henry (BCH’s COO) remarked, “What an opportunity for BCH to have NCBAM and the

Village concept here on BCH’s Kennedy Home campus. This is the first of its kind anywhere in North Carolina. We’re going to have to

watch out because other people will steal this idea – and we hope they do! This is an awesome idea that will serve aging adults well in

Kinston and Lenoir County.”

Written by Carol Layton, NCBAM Director of Communications and Administration

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