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East Ridge at Cutler Bay residents now know it’s official.

The grand opening of the new Three Palms Health Center at East Ridge at Cutler Bay was celebrated with a formal ribbon cutting, proclamations and celebrations.

Representatives from many of the companies involved in the building’s construction, Miami-Dade County and Town of Cutler Bay officials, residents, families and guests joined in the events which marked the official grand opening.

SantaFe Senor Living President Troy Hart was on hand for the ribbon cutting event and recognized many of the people who contributed to this significant accomplishment at East Ridge for its residents.

“We worked hard to get this building off the ground and its completion is the culmination of our efforts to enrich the lives of each person we serve,” he said. “It marks the future of senior living and offers the ability of living a life of quality.”

The new Three Palms at East Ridge has been a unique collaboration involving the residents and SantaFe Senior Living, the sponsor and management entity, with the architectural firm, AG Architecture of Wisconsin, and interior designer Bridget Bohacz + Associates, Inc. of Glen Burnie, MD.

Resident and East Ridge town council chairperson Marty McLaren told the story behind the inspiration for the Health Center’s concept: ‘No one wants to go to a nursing home and certainly not before you have to’ was the feeling held by many. McLaren, with other community leaders, were determined to change the image of a nursing home and make it a place where people come to live.

They decided to call their program “Choice and Change” and incorporate a new philosophy of resident- centered care. This philosophy incorporates the encouragement of autonomy and choice, respects individual differences and ensures physical and person privacy.

Challenged by the Town of Cutler Bay to be certified with LEED classification, East Ridge accomplished more than the minimum requirement and the building received a LEED Platinum rating under the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Home program. It is a premier example of sustainability in the Miami area, with features such as low emitting materials including carpeting and paint, as well as thermally efficient energy and water. Carla Butterfield with Steven Winter Associates, INC (SWA) was the LEED provider and rater for the community and presented East Ridge with the Platinum certificate.

The East Ridge Three Palms Health Center offers assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation under one roof.  Accommodations and services are open to Cutler Bay area residents as well as to East Ridge.