Empathizing with Patients at Heart of Ohio Company’s Annual Leadership Summit

CommuniCare Employees Take Unique Approach by Putting Themselves in Patients’ Shoes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 3, 2019) – CommuniCare Health leaders and staff will view the world as their Alzheimer’s patients do during a virtual dementia tour. They’ll sit in wheelchairs and don oven mitts to experience what it’s like to live with the limitations their thousands of patients do every day.

It’s all a part of the family-owned company’s mission to provide patient-centered care with compassion. And it will be the focal point of its annual leadership meeting, themed “See Me,” at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 10.

The events keynote speaker will be delivered by nationally known speaker, patient advocate, and author Marcus Engel. Engel is intimately aware of the need for compassionate patient care after being blinded and nearly killed when he was struck by a drunk driver as a college freshman. Through more than 350 hours of reconstructive facial surgery and two years of rehabilitation, Marcus witnessed the good, the bad and the profound with patient care and now works to educate caregivers and families to improve care.

“Those who answer the call to work in long term care are heroes. Having been a post-acute care patient, I love that CommuniCare’s mission includes authenticity and excellence and a focus on the unspoken needs of patients. To witness these unspoken needs means a commitment to being fully present, aware and compassionate for patients and families,” said Engel on his upcoming presentation with CommuniCare.

Second Wind Dreams of Atlanta utilizes virtual reality to show caregivers exactly what living with dementia looks and feels like from the patient perspective. Second Wind Dreams aims to change the perception of aging and will lead CommuniCare employees on a tour that alters their vision, hearing and other sensory inputs to put guests real time into the body and mind of dementia sufferers.

“We provide compassionate care for amazingly resilient patients every day, but sometimes, we forget what it’s like to walk in their shoes,’’ said CommuniCare’s President of Long Term Care Division, Ronald Wilheim. “Throughout our annual meeting, we’ll simulate our patients’ limitations and become better, more compassionate caregivers for it.”

The CommuniCare Family of Companies is one of the largest privately held skilled nursing management companies in the United States, operating more than 80 healthcare centers in seven states (Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia).

The Cincinnati-based company has been committed to serving the healthcare needs of older adults for more than 30 years and takes pride in the ownership, operations, and provision of patient-centered care in skilled nursing rehabilitation centers, long-term care centers, assisted living communities, independent living communities and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs).

It employs more than 10,000 medical experts and staff – including more than 5,000 in Ohio – who serve approximately 10,000 patients at its healthcare centers.

“We understand and are honored by the responsibility we have for the well-being of those we are privileged to care for, as well as those we are privileged to have on our team,” Wilheim said. “As a family-owned company, we take great pride in the environment and experience we provide for our residents, their families, our partners, and our employees. We combine cutting-edge technology and quality bedside caregiving with highly skilled clinical teams in order to provide a safe, welcoming and healing place away from home.”


About CommuniCare Health Services: CommuniCare Health Services was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company currently operates more than 80 healthcare and rehabilitation centers in seven states [Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia]. Our centers focus on patient-centered care plans and provide specialized programming in cardiac, pulmonology, memory care & dementia, amputee and behavioral health. Our expert physicians and nurses provide care for the most medically complex residents. For more information, please visit communicarehealth.com.