Zimmerli’s commitment to community remembered at groundbreaking

Posted:  Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 11:00am

LincolnHealth Chairman Jeff Curtis remembered former trustee, the Rev. Dr. Mary Jo Zimmerli, as the conscience of the board on Sunday, June 21 at the official groundbreaking for the Zimmerli Pavilion at St. Andrews Village.

“We hope her energy and her dedication to the community will continue on in the minds of everyone,” Curtis said.

Mary Jo Zimmerli died in February after serving the community in many capacities, including as pastor of several local Methodist churches, as Chaplain of the Boothbay Region YMCA, on the board of St. Andrews Hospital and on the board of LincolnHealth.

In a ceremony attended by the Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” Zimmerli, her husband of 61 years, and by their two children, Wesley and Laurie Zimmerli, both of Maryland, Curtis said Mary Jo Zimmerli’s interest in skilled nursing and long-term care made it appropriate to name the Gregory Wing expansion in her honor.

Mary Jo Zimmerli was a nurse practitioner before joining the ministry and was committed to ensuring that skilled nursing and long-term care remained accessible to people in the Boothbay region.

The new Zimmerli Pavilion, which will have 12 beds dually licensed for long-term care and skilled nursing care, is scheduled to be completed early next year, expanding the capacity of the Gregory Wing at St. Andrews Village by 40 percent.

The fact that the beds are dually licensed will make the new addition both more financially sustainable and more flexible in serving the needs of the Boothbay Region. Curtis noted that the state would not allow LincolnHealth to dually license beds at St. Andrews Hospital.

Bob Zimmerli said his wife often spent time at the Gregory Wing.

“She felt very strongly about working out here and being out here and she came here very often,” Bob Zimmerli said. “She thought this program was excellent.”

Laurie Zimmerli remembered her mother as a dynamic woman with great energy who always tried to include others. She had a way of delivering even hard messages with love and kindness.

Mary Jo Zimmerli worked hard to bring new skilled care beds to the Gregory Wing said her daughter. “I think she would really be so happy that it was happening, but then so honored that people were naming it after her.”

Wesley Zimmerli said the dedication would have meant a great deal to his mother because she spent so much time working on healthcare issues in the last years of her life.

“Somebody said you die three times, once when your heart stops, once when you are buried or cremated and once the last time somebody says your name, and this is just going to make sure she lives for a long time,” he said.