For Kim McGinnis, director of resident services at The Village at Penn State, each day is a new opportunity to make residents smile. Planning fun events within the community and outings throughout local State College, residents look forward to the new activities that Kim helps organize each month. While she takes pride in finding a variety of events to suit residents’ unique interests, planning monthly calendars is just one part of Kim’s role that makes working at The Village so exciting.
An alumnus of Penn State University, Kim earned her undergraduate degree with a major in Individual Family Studies. Later gaining professional experience in social work, Kim landed a job as a volunteer and bereavement coordinator in hospice for over 11 years. “In that position, I ran bereavement support groups for individuals and families. I also did a lot of training and worked in marketing and fundraising. It was great because I was at the very beginning of my career and had many responsibilities that added up to valuable experience,” she says.
Enjoying her work in hospice for many years, Kim became interested in working primarily with an older population. After working in marketing for a behavioral health program for older adults, Kim became a social worker in a local retirement community. While she enjoyed her time with residents and families, Kim knew the community just wasn’t the right fit.
A New Adventure: Kim’s Journey to a Promising Career at The Village…
Hoping to find work in a different community, Kim came across an opportunity at The Village. “I saw the job description and it was every job I’ve ever done all wrapped into one. It was absolutely perfect for me!” she exclaims. When Kim became Director of Resident Services at The Village in 2014, she was thrilled, and her work in the community has been a wonderful adventure ever since. “Including my work in hospice, I’ve had over 26 years of experience in working with older adults,” Kim reflects.
From housekeeping to dining, all of the team members here at The Village develop close relationships with residents. We really care about making them happy and ensuring that they enjoy their life here. That’s the most important part of our job every day.Kim McGinnis, Director of Resident Services at The Village at Penn State
In her role at The Village, Kim wears many hats. As she coordinates a long list of exciting events and programs, she also develops and maintains the community’s close relationship with Penn State University. “I establish connections with faculty and professors from a variety of colleges within the university. Our residents are very intellectual so they enjoy when we have professors here to lead lectures and engaging conversations.”
In addition to strengthening the community’s ties with the university, Kim also manages transportation for residents in coordination with The Village’s drivers. “Residents really enjoy the transportation here. With the university so close, there’s so much for them to do and see. Our transportation services eliminate the worries of driving, parking, and walking for residents and their families. It’s also convenient for when they need to go to doctor’s appointments.”
As residents enjoy outings to PSU sporting events and local community performances when they are available, they also enjoy a wide variety of fitness classes and opportunities for physical activity. “I help organize The Village’s fitness program and work closely with our Wellness Coach, Lindsey. She provides a variety of group exercise classes and personal training,” Kim says. One of Lindsey’s newest classes that residents are especially excited about is her kickboxing cardio workout, UrbanKick. Here, residents improve their flexibility and strength while developing confidence and improving their physical well-being.
Utilizing The Village’s fully equipped fitness center and pool, residents also get plenty of exercise with one of the community’s newest developments, Palmer Park. Featuring professionally contoured golf putting and practice areas, residents enjoy a beautiful putting green alongside a multi-purpose area where they partake in recreational activities like bocce ball, yoga, and tai chi. Completed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, the park includes fully landscaped gardens with winding walkways and a beautiful space for al fresco dining.
Explore the beautiful Palmer Park and see what life is like at The Village! Visit their website by clicking here.
Hiking with Kim: Introducing Residents to New Outdoor Activities
As Kim strives to promote residents’ physical health and overall well-being each and every day, she also finds wonderful ways to include residents in one of her own cherished hobbies. “I have a real passion for hiking, and go on hikes every weekend” she explains. Three years ago, Kim participated in a program that invites individuals to hike different parks and areas throughout the region, including Mount Nittany, the Allegheny Trail, and Penns Woods. The program teaches individuals about local ecosystems and guides them through outdoor adventures.
“They’re really great events for people of all ages. Anyone can attend,” Kim explains. “I thought to myself, why don’t I include residents at the Village on these fun outings? They would love them!” And so Kim did.
I enjoy everything about my job. I just like helping people. Seeing residents smile and be happy gives me great pleasure.
Kim began including these hikes in her monthly activities calendar and residents were thrilled. Pleased with their exciting outdoor adventures, residents have expanded their horizons with numerous hikes including Tytoona Cave and Arch Springs, Bernel Road Park, and more. Inspired by hiking, Kim also began adding different walking tours to her long list of activities. “There are historic districts throughout State College and they offer walking tours with guided booklets. The residents really enjoy walking through downtown State College and learning about the history of all the different buildings,” Kim adds.
As the weather begins to warm and residents at The Village look forward to outdoor activities, Kim is excited as she starts her walking club once again this spring.
As residents enjoy a wide variety of activities at The Village and engage in opportunities that benefit their overall well-being, they are grateful for The Village’s outstanding efforts amidst COVID-19. Going above and beyond to continue offering their community life programs in safe and creative ways, residents are pleased that The Village continues to be one of the happiest places in Happy Valley.
I would recommend The Village to anyone. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome in making my decision to move here, especially moving here during COVID-19. I’ve had a wonderful living experience.John H., resident of The Village at Penn State
“So many residents have told me how thankful they are to be living at The Village, especially through COVID-19. They appreciate everything we do for them and all of the team members here just want to make sure they’re happy. That’s really what we care about, that our residents are happy and living well.”