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OBITUARY

A driving force

Before his death last year, Rob Mayer was an instrumental player in the industry's movement
toward adopting person-centered care practices and pushing for environmental changes that
would fundamentally improve residents' lives By Margaret Calkins
The person-centered care movement lost
a great leader and visionary in December
2015, when Rob Mayer passed away.
Rob, as founder and president of the
Hulda B. and Maurice L. Rothschild
Foundation, fully embraced that movement and did much to deepen its mission
in the 21st century.
In the beginning, The Rothschild
Foundation enhanced older adults' ac-

Rob Mayer

120

EFAmagazine.com * Spring 2016

cess to cultural institutions in Chicago
by inviting artists into care communities.
Over the course of a decade, the foundation partnered with 33 arts organizations
delivering 1,000 visits a year. Around
2002, when Rob heard about the Pioneer
Network (an advocate organization for
person-centered care), he called to say
he'd like the foundation to offer financial
support. At first, Pioneer leaders didn't
believe him-after all, who just calls you
up and offers money? But they quickly
learned what a valuable resource Rob
was, and not just financially. With Rob at
the helm, the Rothschild Foundation also
partnered with Ideas Institute on Creating
Home in the Community, a project that
enabled communities going through a
deep culture change to get additional
resources to support that effort.
However, Rob wanted to push the
Rothschild Foundation's efforts further
and sought out more impactful opportunities to fundamentally improve the
quality of life for elders. In partnering
with Pioneer Network and Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services on the
Creating Home in the Nursing Home
symposium in 2008, he finally began to
see how he and the foundation could
support change at the scale he was looking for. Out of this event came the first of
eight Rothschild Regulatory Task Forces,
which have addressed issues such as
building and fire safety codes, dining
standards, low vision, acoustics, accessibility and safety guidelines, and more.

Rob always asked the tough questions, usually didn't settle for the first
answer, and was ready to do the hard
work. He also recognized that accomplishing his goals would be a long
journey, with several paths to be traveled
with many companions. But he understood that the more people we can
get on the path, the further we can go.
So Rob worked tirelessly to bring the
best and the brightest together and join
disparate groups that hadn't traditionally
been at the same table together, all for
the greater good.
Each of the Rothschild Regulatory
Task Forces will carry on his work, bringing even more people onto the path of
recognizing the importance of personcentered care. Rob ensured that the
work of the foundation will carry on and
will continue to be a driving force for the
movement. EFA
Margaret Calkins, PhD, EDAC, is board chair
of Ideas Institute and the Elliot Professor
of Health Care Design at Kent State
University. She can be reached at mcalkins@
ideasinstitute.org.


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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2015

Environments for Aging - Spring 2015
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Operations
Construction
Pushing Boundaries
Bathroom Design Beyond ADA
Welcome
2016 Jury
Inside and Out
Town Center
Elements of Surprise
Project Directory
EFA Design Showcase
Product Gallery
Buyers Guide
Obituary
Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2015
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Editorial
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Show Talk
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Bulletin
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Operations
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Construction
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Pushing Boundaries
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - 28
Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - 29
Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Bathroom Design Beyond ADA
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Welcome
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - 2016 Jury
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Inside and Out
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Town Center
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Elements of Surprise
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Project Directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - EFA Design Showcase
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2015 - Buyers Guide
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