65th Anniversary: New decade, new locations, new services

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-American: Celebrating 65 years of the art of lifeThis month, we continue to look back at our history as Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America celebrates 65 years of the art of life.

The 1980s brought growth in independent living options on many Presbyterian Manor campuses. New duplexes and apartments were constructed in Parsons, Lawrence, Wichita and Salina. It also brought construction of two new campuses and health care additions at the Wichita and Rolla campuses.

By early 1980, the United Presbyterian Foundation of Kansas’ joint project with the Manhattan Retirement Foundation was open. PMMA continued to provide management services for the new Meadowlark Hills until July 1, 1981.

Salina Presbyterian Manor opened its doors in February 1980, and work started on additional apartments almost immediately.

In addition to the expansion of the physical plant, two important programs of PMMA began in 1980. Residents, staff and advisory board members were invited to submit art and poetry for potential inclusion in the inaugural Art is Ageless calendar.

A donor’s $10,000 gift established the Education Fund for PMMA employees, residents and trustees. The first scholarships were given in 1981. Those funds served as seed for today’s Employee Education Assistance Grants.

Consideration of additional campuses continued through the 1980s as well. Efforts to raise funds for a Presbyterian Manor at Hays were not successful, and after thorough study, the board authorized sale of the property in June 1980. The next year, a group of citizens in Emporia petitioned for construction of a campus in that community, and a period of study and fundraising began. Additional campuses in Missouri also were considered in Jefferson City and Springfield.

The PMMA board voted to sell Mid-Continent Presbyterian Manor, a campus formerly operated by the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. Residents of the campus, located in Kansas City, Mo., were given the option of moving to the Kansas City, Kan., campus. The sale was completed in 1983.

New services and new needs also were explored. With the support of the Synod of Mid-America, PMMA worked to establish a campus for severely physically handicapped adults in Hutchinson. Home health care for residents living independently on PMMA campuses was started in 1984. Piloted in Salina, the service was expanded to other campuses before the end of the year.