Young man with special needs hugging his mother on the left, father smiling at them both on the right

What is ICARE?

ICARE is the foundational set of values on which our programs are based. Through our ICARE tenets, Beacon provides compassionate care services that improves the lives of those we serve each and every day. The ICARE formula reaches all areas of Beacon’s organization, including specialized adult foster care, crisis respite, long-term senior living services, children respite services, supported employment, and resident and community supports.

We have also created the ICARE team made up of a select group of Human Resource specialists dedicated to ensuring our values are being practiced in all areas of our organization. They are responsible for visiting the homes and speaking with the staff and individuals served to help resolve any issues that may have come up. They strive to understand how they can improve both the ICARE values within the home as well as within the care teams.

This oversight allows us to guarantee the best possible care for all the individuals we serve and give families peace of mind knowing their loved one is being cared for by teams who have adopted these values not only at work but in their personal lives as well. 


What Does ICARE Stand For?

Integrity

The I in ICARE stands for integrity. While many people have different opinions on what integrity means, House Manager Jamara White believes it’s about “How you do something when no one’s watching.” 

Beacon Home Manager Assisting a Resident
Jamara White, District Director in the South Region of Michigan

She talks about how important it is to treat the individuals we serve with the dignity and respect they deserve and let them know they’re loved. She treats them as if they are her own family, something we strive for in all of our houses. 


Compassion

The C in ICARE is for compassion. Compassion is about feeling the struggles of others on a personal level. It’s about understanding their issues and helping them cope to the best of their ability.

A woman wearing a white blouse holds both hands over her chest. Her hair covers her shoulders though her face has been cut out of the picture
Compassion in all we do helps strengthen the relationship between Individual and the staff that care for them, building trust and fostering a positive environment to learn and grow

Beacon understands how vital compassion is in this kind of care and puts it into practice by building a team of people who genuinely care about the program and the people in it. Vise President of Human Resources Michelle Tuyls says she is “so proud to come to work every day and see the tremendous amount of teamwork, compassion, and passion that we provide in servicing and helping our residents hit their daily goals.”


Advocacy

The A in ICARE is for advocacy. Advocating for people is an extremely important aspect of providing care. No one understands this better at Beacon than Tamika McGovernor, the direct support professional in Hammond. 

Tamika McGovernor, Direct Support Professional, on camera talking about her experience at Beacon
Tamika McGovernor talking about her job

When asked about it, Tamika explains how she helps her individuals with things like doctor’s appointments. She talks about how individuals “sometimes might not understand fully what the doctors are saying because it’s hard for them to hear their reality about themselves.” 

Female healthcare provider holding a stethoscope bent into the shape of a heart
Female healthcare provider holding a stethoscope bent into the shape of a heart

Tamika also understands the vulnerability her individuals are allowing her to see and knows the importance of respect in these situations. She, and everyone else at Beacon, take special care not to violate any of their rights to privacy regarding medical information. 


Respect

The R in ICARE stands for respect. Heather Marchi, the home manager in Kal-haven, gave her definition of respect, saying she “Treats everyone how she would want to be treated.” She finds it important to put herself in their shoes. And though she will never truly understand what they are going through, she knows how important it is for her to recognize their struggles. 

She touched on how many of the individuals she serves don’t have a family. She believes it’s part of her role to try to fill that gap.


Excellence

The E in ICARE stands for Excellence. Melissa Williams, Chief Administration Officer, talks about how even during the pandemic, everyone here at Beacon still strove for excellence. She goes on to announce that even though our joint commission survey was pushed back a year when they finally came out, Beacon passed with flying colors! The surveyors also commented on how they could tell the staff truly cared about their work.

Two hands joined together in triumph against a white-gray sky
Beacon is certified under The Joint Commission

How Effective is our ICARE Program?

The first thing anyone looking for a specialized living facility will want to know is its effectiveness. So how effective is the ICARE program? 

Darrin Hanna, Ph.D., from Next-Step Solutions, found that among 120 (randomly chosen) individuals served, there was a 92% decrease in emergency room visits within 150 days of being at Beacon.

Not only that, but within 30 days, 

  • 84% of residents with significant psychiatric symptoms demonstrated improvement at least 80% of the time
  • 53% of residents showed successful socialization skills daily at least 80% of the time
  • 91% of residents with aggressive behaviors showed no aggressive behaviors at least 80% of the time

Within 120 days of being with Beacon,

  • 30% of residents with hygiene problems showed good personal hygiene and grooming at least 75% of the time
  • 91% of residents demonstrated that they achieved their personal goals at least 60% of the time
  • 82% of residents in need of community reintegration participated in community activities at least 80% of the time

For a complete list of success statistics, please visit out our About page!


Success at Beacon

Father and Special Needs son smiling at each other
Father and Special Needs son smiling at each other

Natasha Hooley, executive director of admission, shared the incredible success story of an individual we’ve served. She said that he came through the MCTP program (a placement program with the state of Michigan) because he had not been accepted by any other agency. She and her team took him in, and after completing the 90-day program, he moved back in with his family, where he is doing well now.


How do the ICARE Principles Set Beacon Apart From Other Specialized Care Facilities?

Aside from the undying dedication we have for our individuals, we have done a few things to set us apart from everyone else. Our nutrition programs, enhanced staffing levels, continual education and training, and leadership team ensure our Direct Support Professionals are empowered to provide the best possible care for our Individuals.

My25 Program Partnership

Gold Recognition for Beacon's MY25 Program
The Gold Recognition for Health Leadership Excellence is awarded to Beacon for their certifications of completion to the MY25 Program.

One of them is our My25 Program. This program encourages everyone involved–staff included–to eat the food their body needs. Before, meals were generalized, but now with the My25 Program, meals are personalized to meet each person’s needs and can be based on the doctor’s recommendations. 

Not only that, but the My25 Program also includes training, tutorials, and running reports, to teach individuals everything they need to know to move toward their Body Mass Index or BMI. 

To learn more about the My25 Program and the success we’ve had with it, check out our post here!

Gentle Teaching

Gentle Teaching is the backbone of each of the ICARE principles. Gentle Teaching is about showing compassion and love to others and helping them through empathy rather than shame or guilt. 

Gentle Teaching International explains it as such, “Our central purpose is to nurture; teach; and sustain a sense of companionship, connectedness, and community for those who have repeatedly experienced an existence of disconnectedness, isolation and loneliness.”

At its core, it’s about recognizing that everyone has a past, and we all have moments where that past dictates our reactions. Still, through Gentle Teaching training, we can all learn how to replace problematic behavior with behavior that shows love to the people around us. 

Check out our post on Gentle Teaching here if you’d like to learn more!


Conclusion

We here at Beacon are proud to serve our community in the best way possible. We strive to be able to show our individuals and their families what Integrity, Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence mean to us.

ICARE logo with sun as the top of the I
ICARE logo

If you want to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one, please reach out to us on our contact page or call 1.888.527.0012.

For more information about Beacon Specialized Living and the services we provide, please contact Alexander Furman, executive director of marketing, at alexander.furman@beaconspecialized.org.

“We look forward to helping you and your loved ones lead the most fulfilling and best lives that you deserve!”


Kaitlyn specializes in B2B and B2C content creation focused on mental health, therapy, and the further destigmatization of mental illness. She can be found living with her husband in Yuma, AZ with their two guinea pigs, Hyde and Kelso.

Kaitlynpfiester@gmail.com

Kaitlynpfiester.com

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