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Sarasota Thursday, Jun. 17, 2010 7 years ago

Sarasota Small Business of the Year Awards: Pines of Sarasota

by: Stephanie Hannum Managing Editor

Pines of Sarasota President/CEO John Overton wants you to know, “You don’t have to die to come here.”

Pines of Sarasota offers so many useful programs that Overton believes are worthy of promoting in the community.

“I believe if we can keep seniors in their homes for as long as possible, that’s where we want to be, so we’re providing the education for caregivers so it’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Overton.

The Pines Education Institute of Southwest Florida has been created to provide education for staff and family members on topics relating to taking care of seniors. In addition, Pines of Sarasota employs nine full-time occupational, speech and physical therapists in its rehab center, which also offers outpatient rehab. Overton believes Pines of Sarasota is providing Alzheimer’s/dementia care that other places can’t, or won’t, provide.

Starting with six elderly men, Pines of Sarasota began in 1948 and was originally sponsored by Downtown Sarasota Kiwanis Club (which it continues to be supported by — Overton is president of the board).

“Pines of Sarasota has been doing this work for as long as, or longer than, anyone else in the state of Florida,” said Overton. “Pines opened 18 years before Medicare and Medicade were passed into law.”

Overton, on staff since 2001, follows this slogan: “Management builds the people and the people build the organization.”

He believes in being closely involved with the workforce and wants his organization to continually be recognized.

“We continue to conduct ourselves in a manner that people who want to work in long-term care will want to work here,” said Overton. “And, if you know someone who needs long-tem care, we’d be recognized as the premiere provider. The ultimate goal is that people can chose anywhere, but they choose here.”


Address: 1501 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota
Start date: 1948
Number of employees when started: Four
Number of employees now: 350 full- and part-time employees
Advice: “Keep closely involved with your workforce because they are the folks that build the organization.”
Biggest challenge: “Dealing with a declining reimbursement from state funding to take care of these folks and building occupancy despite those pressures.”
Where do you see your business one year from now? “Continuing to spotlight our rehab center and outpatient services.”


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