Our residents play a role in shaping the lifestyle at Newton Presbyterian Manor. Each household in Kalb Villa, Anderson Place and McFarland Center is represented by a resident council which meets monthly. Independent living residents are represented by a Community Assembly which includes all residents in independent living and which meets quarterly. This group in turn is represented by the Community Assembly Resident Executive Council, an elected body which provides representation and leadership to the Community Assembly.
Officers of the Community Assembly Executive Council are:
- Eleanore Myers, chair
- Maria Hernandez, vice-chair
- Natalie Peregoy, secretary/treasurer
The councils, assembly and executive council offer the means for all residents to share ideas, concerns and suggestions with administration and department directors. They underscore the residents’ responsibility for their own well-being and uphold resident rights.
In addition to these representative bodies, some aspects of life at Newton Presbyterian Manor are also guided by the work and recommendations of individual committees:
- Spiritual Life Committee provides a link between the residents and the chaplain for the enhancement of our spiritual life. The committee meets monthly to plan services and programs.
- Wellness/Recreation Committee meets bi-monthly to assist the wellness director and activities director in developing resident programs.
- Dining Committee provides input on menu items, food quality and resident satisfaction.
Since its founding in 1949, our parent company, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, has grown to become one of the nation’s top 20 largest non-profit senior living organizations serving more than 2,500 residents in 17 Kansas and Missouri communities.
Newton was the first Presbyterian Manor community in Kansas. It opened in 1949 as a single, eight-bedroom home at the corner of 7th and Sherman and served seven area seniors who wanted a comfortable place to live but could no longer maintain their own homes. The house is no longer standing, but the land is part of the current Newton Presbyterian Manor campus.
It all started two years earlier with one woman attending a council meeting of the Synod of Kansas (Presbyterian Church USA). At the conclusion of its June 1947 meeting, the chairman asked if anyone had anything to say for the good of the order. One member replied, “There is a Mrs. Alice Kalb of El Dorado who wants us to build a home for the aged and take her in.” That the request had come from a 90-year-old widow made an impact on those gathered. Mrs. Kalb symbolized the plight of a growing number of older persons who needed the church’s help.
Through meetings and discussions, the Synod formed the Presbyterian Foundation of Kansas, now known as Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America (PMMA) and purchased property in Newton. Rev. Dr. George Nelson, a Presbyterian minister, served as the first administrator. Mrs. Kalb’s initiative inspired a farmer from Wakarusa, Kansas, to bequeath his farm to the Foundation to fund the first building.