Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn with Asa V. Johnson Jr., Southampton County Supervisor Chairman Dallas O. Jones and E. Warren Beale Jr. are ready to break ground for the future memory care center at The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin. The facility will be named after Asa Johnson, chairman of the VWE’s Board of Directors. Beale, vice chairman, made the announcement Thursday. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS
Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn with Asa V. Johnson Jr., Southampton County Supervisor Chairman Dallas O. Jones and E. Warren Beale Jr. are ready to break ground for the future memory care center at The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin. The facility will be named after Asa Johnson, chairman of the VWE’s Board of Directors. Beale, vice chairman, made the announcement Thursday. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES/TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Making a safe haven for memories

Published 9:47am Saturday, June 15, 2013
Asa Johnson, a resident at The Village, as well as its board chairman, reads the plaque that honors him for service to the retirement community, hospital and region. The memory care center, expected to be ready next June, will be named for him.
Asa Johnson, a resident at The Village, as well as its board chairman, reads the plaque that honors him for service to the retirement community, hospital and region. The memory care center, expected to be ready next June, will be named for him.

FRANKLIN—A vision to expand quality care to people with dementia issues moved forward Thursday at The Village at Woods Edge in Franklin. A groundbreaking was held for a memory care center. Furthermore, the facility will be named after Asa V. Johnson Jr., VWE board chairman since 1998.

“I’m flattered and humbled,” Johnson said with some emotion on receiving a plaque from

Board Vice Chairman E. Warren Beale Jr., who made the announcement. The award commemorates Johnson’s service to The Village, as well as the hospital and community at large. He is also a former chairman of the Board of Directors at Southampton Memorial Hospital.

“When I talk about the Village, I say it is the best retirement community east of the Mississippi,” said Johnson, himself a resident in the one of the cottages. “I think with this next step, when we add the center, I’ll expand to say it’s the best retirement community east of the Rocky Mountains.”

“This will be a great stride for the village,” he continued. “My thanks to the staff. They have done a remarkable job.”

“He is such a wonderful person. He really has done so much for The Village over the last 15 years,” said Rhonda Stewart, VWE executive director. “We love having him here as a cottage resident and as chairman of the Board of Directors.”

“This is something we’ve been thinking about and excited about,” Stewart said, adding later that discussion for a memory care addition began in 2011 “as an area for potential growth based on an increasing need for this service in our community.”

Following a strategic planning session in March 2012 with the board, a feasibility study was made to determine the demand/market need for memory care in the Franklin/Southampton area, she said, adding that the study results enabled the board in October to move ahead with the project.

Nancy Brewbaker, VWE director of marketing and development, confirmed there will be 16 new apartments in the memory care center. Construction is anticipated to begin by July, with completion expected by June 2014.

“The memory care neighborhood will provide assisted living level care in a secure setting including secure outdoor spaces,” Stewart said. “Services will include assistance with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, medication administration and meal preparation along with activities tailored for the population of those suffering from moderate to advanced dementia. This care will be provided in a home-like setting.”

“This is a $3 million addition to our community,” she continued. “But it not only will help residents, but also add jobs. Fourteen full-time equivalent positions will be added to the existing 70 employees at the community.”

Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn called the Village “a regional asset,” noting that the area is once again celebrating an addition to business. On Wednesday, Southampton Memorial Hospital not only marked its 50th anniversary, but also noted its Skilled Nursing Facility will be getting a facelift, and that Southampton Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center is expected to open this fall.

Johnson-Ashburn said the new memory care center will provide “a much-needed service for residents and their families, and be a safe haven for those dealing with memory issues.”

She continued, “The City appreciates the opportunity to support the center, and continues its commitment to creating an atmosphere for businesses to thrive and prosper.”

Village residents needing memory care will get priority admission, but anyone in the community who needs the service would be eligible to move in based on apartment availability, said Stewart.

“We already have a small wait list for the upcoming memory care neighborhood,” she added. “We encourage anyone who would like to talk about our wait list to contact us at 562-3100 to learn more.”

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