August 9, 2019

Last week, VCC closed the skilled nursing wing. That’s a hard pill to swallow for many of us who had grown accustomed to the idea that our loved ones, or even ourselves, would have the option of acute long-term care on the island. Yet, the truth is that VCC’s new model—a combination of  memory care and a heavier level of care in assisted living—will serve most residents to end of life in a way that we’ve never been able to do before. With an expanded array of life-enrichment services in both assisted living and memory care, residents will help direct how they spend their days as their minds and bodies change.  I will be sharing more about these new services in the coming months.

As we move into this new chapter of VCC’s history–one that will likely sustain us for years to come–we will be looking for a  leader who fits well with our culture and has experience operating memory support communities and programming.  During this transition, we are lucky to have Annette Crawford (kneeling between Pauline and Billie in the photo), a 30-year veteran of the senior services industry, at the helm.  Annette, who is replacing Mike Schwartz as interim executive director, has been contracted by Transforming Age (TA), VCC’s parent organization, to lead us through the transition  while they take time to search for a new director.

During the transition, Annette’s focus will be on VCC’s people, both residents and staff: “I’m all about building teams and improving communications so that we can provide the best possible care to residents and their families. To ensure this is the best place for care on the island, it’s got to be the best place to work.”

For residents and staff who have been through so many changes over the past two years, Annette’s approach is sure to bring a sense of stability and calm.

TA’s Regional Director of Operations, Kevin McNamara says, “Now that we’ve closed skilled nursing, we need to focus on our new model and establish new programming and services . This includes taking the time to find a leader who will provide the expertise, commitment, and passion that is needed to meet the needs of the residents, families, and team members at VCC.”

As we shift gears, we will invite you, our community, to visit often, beginning with our farm-to-table lunch for volunteers and community on August 30th. You’ll hear more about that soon, but if you’d like to RSVP now, please contact me directly. We’ll also have some First Friday events this fall, a volunteer grounds clean up in early November, and a ground-breaking for the new memory care unit in late October, pending permit approval. Stay tuned for more information!

VCC is here to serve Vashon residents. Please help us make it the best it can be. We always appreciate your input, and we are listening. Contact me anytime.

With gratitude for our residents and this community,


Anne Atwell is the community relations and development director at VCC. A Vashonite for 20 years, Anne is proud to say that her first non-profit volunteer board experience was on that of the Vashon Community Care Center way back in the late 90’s. She is so pleased to be coming full circle to work again for VCC and its wonderful residents.