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Morning Pointe Senior Living To Mark One Year Tornado Devastation With Ceremony On April 15

Group of residents and caregivers planting trees together

Assisted Living community now open; The Lantern Alzheimer’s community expected to reopen June 2021

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 12, 2021) – Morning Pointe Senior Living is marking the one year anniversary of the Easter 2020 tornado with a special gratitude ceremony thanking the first responders and community partners who helped them through the recovery process. The privately-held ceremony will take place outside under the portico on Thursday, April 15, at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga. Additionally, the ceremony will celebrate the reopening of the assisted living community, which welcomed residents back to the newly rebuilt building in November 2020.

One year ago, on Easter Sunday night, an EF3 tornado swept through the Chattanooga area leaving a swath of damage and devastation. Two Morning Pointe buildings took a direct hit—Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford, 7719 Shallowford Road, and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, Chattanooga, 7620 Shallowford Road. Both campuses sustained significant damage, rendering them uninhabitable. All 130 residents were ultimately relocated—all under COVID protection protocols. While the Assisted Living building was reopened to residents in November, the Memory Care building is currently still under reconstruction.

“I’ll never forget the moment I got the phone call that a tornado had struck the Tennessee Valley, and that two Morning Pointe communities were in the center of its path,” said Morning Pointe president Greg A. Vital. “Our first priority that night was to secure all residents in a safe location and assess medical conditions. We are so grateful to our many community partners who were instrumental in this process, and no lives were lost.”

There were many area businesses that immediately jumped into action to assist Morning Pointe in the aftermath of the tornado—businesses like Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA), who were on-scene in the minutes after the tornado had cleared helping evacuate residents to safety along with Chattanooga Police Department and Chattanooga Fire Department. CHI Memorial donated sheets and bedding materials for residents who were sheltering in local hotels. Heritage Funeral Home, in conjunction with the Morning Pointe Foundation, organized a Disaster Recovery Donation Drive that helped bring in three tractor-trailer loads of donated toiletries and dry goods for residents who were displaced following the storm. Electric Power Board (EPB) was instrumental in getting emergency power back to the devastated areas. Many other senior living communities donated time and expertise for whatever was needed, easing the recovery effort.

Residents and associates spent much of 2020 eagerly making plans to move back to the newly renovated Morning Pointe communities, even amidst a global pandemic. Just before the holiday season in November, Morning Pointe of Chattanooga was reopened to residents amid much fanfare from associates eager to welcome them back “home.” Construction crews are busy on-site at The Lantern readying it for an early summer homecoming for memory care residents. Those doors are expected to open mid-June.

“Anticipation continues to build around the reopening of Morning Pointe’s East Brainerd senior living communities,” said Franklin Farrow, co-founder and chief executive officer of Morning Pointe Senior Living. “We’ve been looking forward to this moment for many months, and it’s the culmination of the hard work of so many folks that we are able to, once again, reopen our campus to the wonderful seniors of Chattanooga. We look forward to continuing to serve the area for many years to come.”

Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based senior healthcare services company, is the developer, owner, and manager of 35 Morning Pointe assisted living and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence communities in five southeastern states. IHP was founded in 1996 by Tennessee healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow.

For more information, please visit www.morningpointe.com.

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