Homestead Stables wins LeadingAge New York Innovation Award

The Innovation of the Year Award recognizes innovative approaches to care and services for the elderly are a hallmark of mission-driven organizations. The award recognizes programs that stand out because of their ground-breaking creativity, vision, success, and ability to replicate. Programs that improve the quality of service and utilize creative problem-solving are the types of initiatives this award celebrates. LeadingAge New York will visit Homestead Stables on June 11 during a special celebration to present the award.

LeadingAge New York is the only statewide organization representing the entire continuum of not-for-profit, mission-driven, and public continuing care, including senior housing, nursing home, adult care facility, continuing care retirement community, assisted living, home care, adult day care, and community services providers. LeadingAge New York represents over 600 organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging.

David Smeltzer, Heritage Ministries President and CEO, stated the equestrian center provides community and therapeutic programming outreach for Heritage. “Heritage has served seniors for over 130 years, and with our programming at Homestead Stables, we are privileged to continue to serve all ages by providing intergenerational opportunities for experience and interaction. As a local not-for-profit, it’s our responsibility to live our mission, and serve those within our community, and remain a trusted industry leader in offering human services.”

The Homestead, a Heritage active senior living community, provides a wide selection of newly renovated maintenance free living options, including single family homes, apartments, and cottages, complete with custom finishes in a picturesque 100-acre country setting in Gerry, NY. A vibrant and growing community, The Homestead offers a robust variety of activities including full access to The Homestead Stables, which is located on-site.

Homestead Stables is not only a world class equestrian center which provides excellence in care and boarding of horses, but a place where ministry can be expanded to include lessons and programs for children, teens and intergenerational activities. In addition to equine educational events and programs, Homestead Stables also offers opportunities to provide therapeutic riding programs, including those for individuals suffering from PTSD or other emotional or physical disabilities. Heather Payne, owner of Payne Show Horses and a graduate of the University of Findlay in Ohio with a degree in Equine Science, oversees operations at Homestead Stables as the Stable Manager and Head Trainer.

Heritage Ministries, the parent company of Homestead Stables, was founded as the Orphanage and Homes of the Free Methodist Church in 1886 and has grown from its original campus in Gerry, NY, to six locations in New York with additional affiliations in the states of Washington, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. As a not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, Heritage is a leader in the industry, employing approximately 1,500 team members, and serving over 2,500 individuals annually. With locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Washington, Heritage and its affiliates provide rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, independent retirement housing, and assisted living. The Homestead Stables provides intergenerational equestrian opportunities as well as boarding, training, and lessons. In addition, childcare is provided at two campuses, allowing for intergenerational programs. For more information on Heritage Ministries, please visit www.heritage1886.org.


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