Dr. Chris Mulrooney, the Chairman and one of the three partners behind the Villas at Killearn Lakes, told a gathering of approximately 100 people that the project is the result of a journey that began forty years ago when he was fifteen years old. Faced with the limited options available to an aging great-aunt, Mulrooney knew things could be better and so began a career aimed at improving the quality of life in long-term care environments.
The Villas at Killearn Lakes is Dr. Mulroney’s effort to provide a “small house” approach that will transform assisted living and other long-term care facilities into true person-centered homes.
The $10 million project is slated to open in early 2019.
Other partners in the project include Klaus Axen, the Vice-Chairman and Anna Johnson, the Community Relations Advisor.
The “Small House Movement” is part of a culture change that is currently taking place in long-term care and is the result of regulations mandating a more person-centered environment in nursing homes. The change began in the late 90’s when the first nursing home was transformed into a neighborhood of smaller residential-style homes.
The “small house” approach is described as an intentional community of 10-14 persons and staffed with highly trained workers who live and work in a well-designed environment organized and operated by the humanistic guiding principles of autonomy and dignity.
Located within Killearn Lakes Plantation, the Villas will be a nine home, gated neighborhood dedicated to de-institutionalizing assisted living and memory care by providing a home environment, not a facility. This environment will be achieved through innovative architecture, above industry staffing ratios, professional management, and moderate predictable pricing.
Mulrooney says he believes that most of us would rather stay at home as we age and receive any needed services through home care. And that’s essentially what Villas at Killearn Lakes will be – home care, but with the home added in. The Villas will offer assisted living and memory care services in a unique residential setting.
Dr. Mulroney, who moved to Tallahassee ten years ago with his wife Laure and two young children, kept the journey alive through the challenges of the Great Recession and the responsibilities that comes with a young family. During his remarks he gave thanks to the many that have supported his efforts along the way and noted the local nature of the project, which is uncommon in an industry dominated by large corporations.
Dr. Mulrooney is currently an Assistant Dean and member of the faculty in the Department of Geriatrics at Florida State University College of Medicine.
He has worked in the field of aging services and long-term care for over 30 years, beginning as a nursing assistant. He has held roles such as Division Vice President and CEO of not-for-profit senior living and health care services organizations in Florida and Michigan; as a Leadership Development and Management Consultant for health care executives at a global consulting firm; as a Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator; and in long-term care teaching, training, and research.
The ceremony was attended by local officials that included Leon County Commissioners Bryan Desloge and John Dailey and current Chairman Nick Maddox. Also in attendance was City Commissioner Curtis Richardson.