Michael Grust


As we reflect on what we are going through together – as well as what lies ahead, we are exploring a powerful force within our organization. We always knew it was there, but maybe never really put into words or practice as fully as we might have. It’s something we’ve come to call, “The Power of WE.” Four simple words. It’s the power that comes from the connections and synergy that our residents, their families, and our dedicated staff create every day. It may just be the best description of what we do that I’ve seen. The collective “WE” that SRG represents: a family of amazing staff, and most importantly residents and their families, draws profound power from togetherness. There truly is strength in numbers.

Because together, we thrive.

It’s scientifically proven. We’ve known this for a long time, and in our communities, we’ve seen it in action for more than 30 years. Our Zest and wellness programs are based on this concept. And, yet I’d have to say, it’s even more powerful and purposeful when facing a challenge together – especially one as unprecedented as this. COVID-19 has been a powerful chapter, not just with obvious things like adapting and adjusting to the increased safety and prevention, but also an opportunity to reflect on the power of connection. How it works, what it can do, and what we can do to amplify its positive effects.

We’ve always believed learning should be a lifelong process. It’s one of our company’s core values, a recognition of the complexity of senior living and the charge for ongoing innovation. It may be a cliché to suggest that difficulties create the best opportunities for learning and growth – but it’s true. I am in awe of what has occurred. Amazing attitudes, incredible commitment and skill, and caring all around. And so much knowledge and insight acquired in the process.

For our residents, The Power of WE means living life with connections, involvement, engaged and supported. An extended family working together. Chefs, waiters, housekeepers, wellness and Zest teams – all creating opportunities that raise spirits and create bonds. A life thriving through connection. That’s why – in spite of it all – during the last few months, I’ve seen smiles, humor and even laughter connecting both residents and staff.

The Power of WE is also about what I’ve seen happening within our own organization. Our staff has risen to the occasion, supporting our residents in newfound ways. “SRG Strong”, the grassroots movement that has sprung forth from our communities, has become an emotional groundswell and testament to our staff’s unwavering commitment. Story after uplifting story of connections being made and the phrase “we’re all in this together” taking on a much deeper meaning. Seeing our staff join together, putting in extraordinary efforts to support each other and our residents has been uplifting and deeply moving for me. It’s a perfect demonstration of how powerful “We” can be.

We remain in the midst of this challenge committed to the rigorous precautions, contact tracing, and the ongoing testing that are part of our community life today. And yet, mindful of striking a balance between needed precautions and engaging lifestyle opportunities that allow our residents to thrive. Celebrating the Power of WE is a chance to take a much-needed step forward, part of an evolving and measured plan to return to a new and more normal life together. A chance to rally around each other and be a catalyst for connection.

That’s the Power of WE.

Signature of CEO Michael Grust
Michael S. Grust
CEO, SRG Senior Living