By Steve Moran
During our Culture 2100 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, I had the opportunity to chat with Roberto Muniz, President of Parker Life -- a non-profit, non-faith-based healthcare organization headquartered in New Jersey. During any given month – between residents and staff – Parker Life serves anywhere from 1600-1800 people. Roberto explained that their focus goes beyond just serving the residents or members of the programs, but extends to serving their families and caregivers.
Roberto is the recipient of the 2013 "Leaders of Tomorrow" award presented by Long-Term Living Magazine and, most recently was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Citizen Award by the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding contributions to the community.
In addition, he has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by LeadingAge New Jersey, and both the Young Administrator and the Distinguished Administrator Awards from the New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Administrators. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National College of Healthcare Administrators for his leadership within the profession of long-term care administration.
Puerto Rico -- The Aftermath
During our conversation, I asked Roberto about his history with Puerto Rico. Roberto recently had the opportunity to return to his childhood homeland of Puerto Rico, after its being devastated by the recent hurricane. He was selected as an Ambassador for LeadingAge to visit many of the senior living communities that were affected by hurricane damage. He was able to meet with the staff and residents and present them with much-needed funds to help recover their losses.
It was a shocking experience, Robert explains, to return to a land that he knew as lush and vibrant and beautiful . . . reduced to the emptiness of stripped vegetation and damaged buildings. Roberto explains that it was a good sign to see so many workers returning to the area to help rebuild and repair. He said it was very interesting to see areas that were usually packed with tourists, completely empty and void of people. It was sad to comprehend just how deep the impact has been and will be for years to come. But Roberto was excited to see that many of the buildings were in better shape than he expected, with the loss of electricity being the most significant issue many were facing. He was inspired by the unity of the staff members facing such obstacles -- the love was felt by all.
To hear more about Roberto Muniz’s unique firsthand experience during his visit to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane, we invite you to watch the rest of the video below.