Passavant Luncheon


Mount Vernon, NY, May 17, 2017 –Wartburg held its 25th Annual Passavant Society luncheon on Wednesday, April 19 to honor Wartburg Founder Rev. Dr. William Alfred Passavant’s rich legacy by recognizing individuals who have named Wartburg as a beneficiary in their estate plans. This annual luncheon is a celebration of love and gratitude to these generous donors and recognition of today’s benevolent members.

Wartburg Board Member, Rev. Eric O. Olsen, served as Master of Ceremonies for the wonderful event, where the newly inducted Passavant Society members received their elegant Passavant medals as well as a pin to wear in recognition of their benevolence. Recipients included Rev. Amandus J. Derr and Mrs. Carole Derr. Rev. Derr is Chair of the Wartburg Home Board of Directors and is a longtime partner to Wartburg and Robert and Jacqueline Welser. Mr. Welser is Wartburg’s Chief Information Officer since 2008 and is instrumental in maintaining Wartburg’s technical infrastructure.

“We have been blessed and are on the lookout for worthwhile opportunities to share those blessings with others. Wartburg is such an opportunity. Wartburg does great work for the people it serves. We can’t think of a better way to recognize the dedication and hard work that takes place every day,” said Robert and Jacqueline Welser.

David J. Gentner, Wartburg President & CEO, said, “It is a joy and an honor to welcome Rev. and Mrs. Derr and Mr. and Mrs. Welser to our Passavant Society. It is in part because of the exemplary benevolence of individuals like these individuals that Wartburg is able to provide premier care and services to those entrusted to our care. They are an inspiration to us all and help ensure every step forward.”

Wartburg has a long history of caring, first for children when opened as The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School over 150 years ago as well as seniors who began to live at Wartburg at the turn of the century. At the event, Mr. Gentner posthumously recognized Passavant Members who have passed in the last year, including Elizabeth Barlage.

The afternoon’s program included an update of new programs and services including an Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, a $1M renovation at their assisted living facility and a new program for the visually impaired in their Adult Day Care program. In addition, Paula Ress, Vice President and Nursing Home Administrator, spoke about the success of Wartburg’s sub-acute rehabilitation program which continues to get patients home faster and healthier with lower lengths-of-stay and rehospitalization rates and more individuals returning home compared to regional providers. Wartburg’s Skilled Nursing Facility was also named one of the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State” by U.S. News & World Report in 2017, for the seventh consecutive year and received a 5-Star Quality Rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid based on heath inspections, staff and quality measures.
Special guest speakers included Mr. Ulrich J. Rosa, a member of the Wartburg Foundation Board of Directors and recent patient in their rehabilitation center following a total knee replacement. Mr. Rosa affirmed what Ms. Ress said and spoke of the innovative rehabilitative care that he received that enabled him to be back on the golf course much sooner than he anticipated. Rev. Dolores McKay, who recently retired from Wartburg’s spiritual care team in 2016 and a Passavant member, spoke about why she feels it is important to support Wartburg through estate gifts to ensure they continue to provide quality care for generations to come.


Wartburg, located in Westchester County, NY, offers integrated, comprehensive senior care services for all stages of life. Unlike conventional retirement communities, they provide a wide range of services to both residents living on campus and people in their own homes. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, their continuing care approach has earned them a trusted reputation in Westchester. They also provide caregiver support every at every stage, with an array of options to find the level of care that considers the whole family.

Most recently, Wartburg received the 2016 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and the 2015 Legacy Award from the Westchester County Chapter of the Links. In addition, Wartburg was named one of the “Best Nursing Homes in New York State”, by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year in 2017.

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