Phone Directory

The Legacy
Willow Bend

(972) 468-6208

The Legacy
At Home

(972) 244-7700

The Legacy
Midtown Park

(972) 468-6207

The Legacy

 (972) 468-6160


(972) 468-6162

The Legacy eNews is a quarterly summary of news and events about The Legacy Senior Communities, The Legacy at Home, The Legacy Willow Bend and The Legacy Midtown Park.

A Message From Brian Barnes, COO/Interim CEO



In nature, spring is a time of growth and transition, and so it has been for The Legacy Senior Communities.


On May 4, 2017, Marc Stanley, Chair of the Board of The Legacy Senior Communities, announced the hiring of Melissa Orth as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Melissa’s hiring was the culmination of an almost two year extensive, nationwide search by The Legacy’s Board leadership. Melissa officially starts in her new role on August 21, 2017 and upon assuming her new role will immediately begin the process of meeting The Legacy’s supporters and community partners. Included in this newsletter is a note from Marc with more information about this exciting announcement.


The Legacy Willow Bend is also going through a period of transition. After almost four years as Willow Bend’s Executive Director, Marilyn Israel announced her retirement effective May 31, 2017. Marilyn’s positive impact on The Legacy organization has been significant and although we are happy for Marilyn and her family, she will be greatly missed by The Legacy team. Over the past several months, we have been conducting an extensive search for Marilyn’s replacement. Ultimately, it was determined that the best candidate to replace Marilyn was one of our own – Laura Levy, who has been the Director of Assisted Living at The Legacy Willow Bend for the past five years, has been selected to be the next Executive Director of The Legacy Willow Bend. Laura is a licensed nurse with over 20 years of senior living and healthcare experience. The next time you are visiting The Legacy Willow Bend campus, please take time to meet Laura and welcome her to her new position.


The Legacy at Home, under the leadership of Charlene Bishop, has continued to grow – not only its pay for service businesses, but also its charitable mission via its home health grant program which provides personal care to people living at home who do not have the resources to pay for this care. If you are aware of anyone who could benefit from this program, please reach out to myself or Charlene.


Development of The Legacy Midtown Park project is continuing at a rapid pace. Michael Ellentuck along with The Legacy’s staff and a team of consultants is continuing the process of creating a world-class rental retirement community. In conjunction with the project, the capital campaign, under the leadership of Andrea Statman, has continued to build momentum. The support of the community is vital to us achieving our goals at The Legacy Midtown Park, so if you haven’t already done so, please consider making a gift to the campaign. This will be one gift that will provide a return on investment for generations to come.


This is a very exciting time for The Legacy. New leadership, new project development, new challenges and opportunities. The Legacy’s strength lies in its people – staff, Board members, supporters – and its mission. There has never been a better time to get involved with The Legacy, so whether as an employee, a volunteer, or a donor, we invite you to join the team.

A Message from Marc Stanley, Chair, The Legacy Senior Communities Board of Trustees



The Legacy Senior Communities, Inc. is excited to announce that Melissa Orth has accepted the position of President and CEO, effective August 21, 2017.


For the past 17 years, Melissa has served as the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer of Greenhill School. In that capacity, she supervised the management of campus operations including facilities, human resources, technology, security, health services, and purchasing. She also managed all financial operations and financial reporting, with an operating budget and total assets similar in size to The Legacy’s. Melissa also attended and participated in all meetings of the Development, Campaign Steering, and Executive Committees, as well as the Board of Trustees.


Prior to joining Greenhill, Melissa was Vice-President of Finance for the American Heart Association, National Center and was an Audit and Business Advisory Manager for Arthur Andersen, LLP. She still maintains her CPA license.


Outside of Greenhill, Melissa has been very involved in many professional and civic activities. She was elected by her peers as the Board Chair of the National Business Officers Association and is a current finance committee member of Saint Philip School and Community Center and the Dallas Women’s Foundation.


I would like to thank The Legacy’s Search Committee and Executive Committee for their tremendous work (and patience) during this search process. I hope you will meet Melissa soon and welcome her to The Legacy!








The Legacy Midtown Park Capital Campaign Reaches $11 Million Dollars!



The Legacy Senior Communities is excited to announce that the The Legacy Midtown Park Capital Campaign has reach $11 million dollars toward our $15 million dollar campaign goal! The support in the community has been wonderful and we want to thank all of our generous donors.


The design phase of our continuum of care rental community is moving full speed ahead and will be complete by the end of August. In addition to 130 independent living apartments, 50 assisted living apartments, 30 memory care suites, and 54 skilled nursing rooms, the commons will feature upscale amenities including a sanctuary, fitness and aquatic center, multiple dining venues, an art studio, chef’s garden, and Dog Park. Here are a few features of the community that give an interesting perspective of the scope of the project:


• 9 dining rooms

• 6 kitchens

• 14 public restrooms

• Approximately 350 resident/patient bathrooms

• 140 Underground parking spaces

• 140 Surface parking spaces

• 800 feet of sidewalks =2.5 football fields

• 3,300 feet of retaining walls = 11 football fields

• 800 feet of fencing-=2.5 football fields

• Guard house


The Legacy Midtown Park is located inside Interstate 635 in the heart of one of the largest new multi-use developments in North Dallas. The location will have easy access to hospitals, medical buildings, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, premier shopping, and the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.


As you can see, there is a lot to be excited about! We look forward to sharing more good news with you soon.

The Legacy Willow Bend and Mynd Bring Virtual Reality to Seniors


Virtual reality is not just for young gamers, it can also pique the interest and have a positive impact on seniors. In a field trial currently underway at The Legacy Willow Bend retirement community, residents feel as if they are literally transported to another place and time, providing a sense of happiness and joy that could result in health benefits. The Legacy Willow Bend recently teamed up with Mynd Virtual Reality to host the Dallas-based company’s first field trial of its exclusive, research-based wellness and entertainment content. As many as 20 residents are participating in the virtual reality trial at all levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. The Legacy Senior Communities, parent organization of The Legacy Willow Bend, is dedicated to bringing innovation to its residents, and this venture provides opportunities to engage them in a unique way, both intellectually and emotionally.


“The trial is demonstrating a variety of benefits for the residents, and it even brought some to tears because of the joy they felt. In one case, a resident living with Alzheimer’s exhibited personality traits she had prior to the diagnosis, including dancing, smiling and singing. In addition, one resident felt relief from symptoms of Parkinson’s,” said Marilyn Israel, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “The overall response has impressed everyone involved.”


“We were honored when MyndVR asked us to participate, and the trial allows us to bring an innovative experience to our residents,” said Brian Barnes, interim CEO and CFO/COO of The Legacy Senior Communities. “Virtual reality has the potential to be a part of our programming as a form of clinical treatment or entertainment in the future, and we look forward to continuing this collaboration to explore this new technology.”


In this initial field trial for MyndVR, each participant uses virtual reality equipment to take them through a number of different interactive environments. The immersive activity sparks engagement and a sense of contentment among many of the residents.


“We are extremely passionate about providing seniors with a new genre of recreational and therapeutic experiences, and we are thrilled with the response from the residents in the field trial,” said Chris Brickler, co-founder of MyndVR. “Our goal is to put smiles on faces, and we have seen that happen time and time again. We are gaining valuable feedback and information that will help us fine tune what we can offer in the future. Our next step is to hold clinical trials that include brain scans to show how our unique content and technology creates emotional connections and establish the basis for prescriptive digital therapy.”


“MyndVR is much more than entertainment. We are really looking to improve the lives and overall health and cognitive outcomes for seniors,” said Shawn Wiora, co-founder of MyndVR. “We are building a world-class scientific advisory board that includes leading technologists and brain scientists from The University of Texas at Dallas and several other research institutions to guide the creation of our exclusive, certified content. The future is bright for seniors using MyndVR.”


The Legacy Willow Bend will continue to work with MyndVR on an ongoing basis to test new components or content as it is developed.


Watch Mynd’s  video here:



MyndVR from MyndVR on Vimeo.

The Legacy Commemorates Passover with Residents, Team Members and Families



The Legacy Senior Communities recently celebrated the Jewish holiday of Passover with its residents, their families and the not-for-profit organization’s team members. Clients of The Legacy at Home received specially made macaroons which were hand delivered by volunteers in honor of the holiday. In addition, The Legacy Willow Bend held Seders for residents and family members in independent living and all levels of care – including assisted living and memory care – to reflect on the freedom that is central to the Jewish faith. During the Seders, participants commemorated the ancient story of the Israelites’ deliverance from slavery and captivity in Egypt with the traditional prayers, songs and the Four Questions. A Seder plate displayed symbolic food items that correspond with elements of the story of the exodus from Egypt. The Karpas (green vegetable) reminded participants of the green flourishing vegetation of new life in spring, the saltwater symbolized the tears shed by the Jewish people during the time of their enslavement in Egypt and the matzah represented the rushed departure from Egypt.


“At The Legacy Senior Communities, it is important to honor all Jewish holidays, and it is rewarding to see the residents, including our non-Jewish residents, participate together,” said Brian Barnes, interim CEO and CFO/COO of The Legacy Senior Communities. “We value the moments we can provide which give everyone an opportunity to express gratitude for what we have and spend time with one another.”


Barry Levy of Adat Chaverim led the Seder for independent living residents and their families. The independent living dining room was filled to capacity, with Levy and participants reading aloud the historical account of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt and the celebration of their escape from bondage. Brandon Harris read the Four Questions in Hebrew while Brennen Bliss translated in English. The boys, both 17, read the Four Questions during the Seder for independent living for the sixth year running. Sherrie Stohl of Nishmat AM led the Seder for residents in memory support, while Eli Davidsohn led those in assisted living.


“Having the opportunity to come together with our residents and their families is incredibly meaningful,” said Andrea Statman, director of development of The Legacy Senior Communities. “Passover is a special time for all of us reflect on the past through history and tradition, with appreciation of our freedom and hope for the future.”

The Legacy Willow Bend Residents Team Up With Junior League for a Day of Gardening



With the arrival of spring, residents of The Legacy Willow Bend retirement community recently participated in a day of gardening at the community along with volunteers from the Junior League of Collin County. Residents, team members and volunteers worked together to fill raised planters in the community’s gardens in the Healthcare Center, which will provide a relaxing space for residents and family members to appreciate the outdoors. Gardening is known to have therapeutic effects on seniors, especially those with disabilities and individuals battling a chronic illness. The Legacy Willow Bend strives to engage the whole person – including the mind, body and spirit – in a positive way, and gardening is a beneficial activity which improves dexterity and promotes a sense of satisfaction. In the garden, residents can socialize, interact with each other and stimulate their minds in a calm environment.


“We were thrilled that the Junior League of Collin County selected us for a service project, and we were honored to have their volunteers visit our community,” said Rivae Campo, volunteer coordinator at The Legacy Willow Bend. “Seeing everyone work together to create a beautiful space for our community was heartwarming and a fulfilling interactive event. We know that the garden will have a long-lasting positive impact on the residents and everyone who visits to admire the flowers.”


The special day of service was part of the Junior League of Collin County’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, they selected 40 projects to complete in one day throughout Collin County. A total of 14 volunteers helped residents fill two raised gardens with flowers and soil donated by Home Depot.


“As we were planning our 40th anniversary, our goal was to make a significant impact in the community,” said Maria Moffatt, president of the Junior League Collin County. “We were particularly excited to work with a large variety of organizations in a hands-on capacity. The Legacy Willow Bend was a perfect combination of working side-by-side with seniors, but also creating not only a beautiful garden for the residents and leaving behind a therapeutic tool. The Junior League of Collin County has a long history of impacting the community through gardening, when it initiated the Plano Community Garden in 2005 that provides over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce annually to community food pantries. The Legacy Willow Bend gave our members a rewarding experience and opportunity to share our mission of volunteerism.”


“At The Legacy Willow Bend, we are dedicated to providing our residents with ways to enhance their lives,” said Marilyn Israel, executive director of The Legacy Willow Bend. “This project engaged the whole person by allowing our residents to feel a sense of satisfaction from planting the garden, sharing the experience on a social level with volunteers and strengthening their hands in the process. The benefits of the gardens will continue as the residents enjoy the flowers and admire the beauty they add to our community.”