As the Senior Director of The Green House Project, Susan Ryan is a leader in the strategic development of innovative thinking and cultural paradigm shifts. With international speaking and project management experience, she has served as an integral part of the Green House team for over 12 years, and has led the team through key transitions, and the quest to grow with integrity. Susan offers a unique combination of skills in nursing, gerontology, Alzheimer’s and dementia and leadership development. She has a background in nursing, with over 30 years of experience serving elders.
As COVID-19 ravaged its way across the country, nursing homes were hit particularly hard, with an estimated 45% of all US deaths occurring in long-term care environments. In addition, as facilities went on lockdown to prevent outside visitors in a quest to keep residents safe, the unintended consequence of social isolation became a significant issue. The Green House Project underwent a study commencing in late May that captured data among the roughly 300 homes across the country to better understand the experiences in those small house environments as compared to the traditional counterparts. Preliminary data shows a significant difference in the small house environments ability to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Since 2003 when the first Green House homes opened in Tupelo, MS, The Green House® Project has sought as its mission the transformation of long-term care environments by creating real homes that provide a more meaningful living experience among those that live there. At its core, the initiative seeks to de-institutionalize, de-stigmatize, and humanize long-term care so that all elders are seen and valued as individuals of intrinsic worth. They envision these homes in every community as an affordable and accessible option for all, and where staff are also empowered and equipped to support the elders that live in the homes.