COL Paul Bricker (USA, Ret.) is a career military officer who has served our country in a variety of positions, from commander of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in Afghanistan, to his work on Capitol Hill as an advocate for military families. Now at Knollwood, just a few miles from where he worked to help formulate legislation to aid members of our armed forces, COL Bricker is pleased to have the opportunity to serve those who (like him) know the special sacrifices of a life as a uniformed services officer.
From The Hill to Rock Creek Park
After retiring from advocacy work, COL Bricker made it his mission to help military families because he knew firsthand the struggles that military families endure, especially in the post-9/11 world.
“Since I retired from the Army, I had been looking for an opportunity to directly serve the military community, a community my family has been a part of,” COL Bricker shared. “Fortunately, the CEO of Knollwood (Maj. Gen. Timothy P. McHale [Ret.]) called looking for a COO, and it ended up being the perfect opportunity.”
Now, COL Bricker has the chance to interact with and serve military families and veterans every day on Knollwood’s campus in NW Washington, D.C., which has the beautiful Rock Creek Park right outside its front door.
A diverse, distinguished group of residents
COL Bricker didn’t hesitate when asked his favorite part of his role at Knollwood. “Interacting with our residents, these special people, is my favorite,” he said. “Our residents have lived lives of service with incredibly rich experiences, often tough experiences, but it’s a privilege to serve them and get a window into their lives and provide them with an equally special active senior lifestyle.”
COL Bricker acknowledges how the staff members at Knollwood recognize the importance of the work they do every day. “We have a wonderful team, dedicated to serving these folks and their families who have had quite the journeys, journeys that have shaped who they are,” COL Bricker explained. “We have a resident who served as a lieutenant on Utah Beach at D-Day when he was 19 years old, another resident who was the first African-American four-star Admiral, and another who is the daughter of one of General Pershing’s chiefs of staff. We do our best, every day, to recognize and honor their sacrifices and the lives they’ve led.”
Serving with new approaches to wellness
“We’re focused on providing an active lifestyle to all our residents,” COL Bricker shared. “For example, in the area of nutrition, we provide menu choices in our Bistro that are healthy, nutritious, and tasty. We’re aiming to help all of our residents live healthy lives, and we’re always committed to reviewing new and varied approaches that support healthy living. This also includes new nutritional programs with healthier food, and frequently involving the residents in developing entrée items for our menus.”
Knollwood is also bringing in new technology to the community’s continuum of healthcare resources, including ways that challenge residents to interact in ways that are healthier and more enjoyable for them. These new technologies include technology-assisted rehabilitation, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, fall prevention technology and even an exoskeleton robotics tool for mobility support.
“These advanced resources are giving us the opportunity to provide an environment for our residents that has the best, most adaptive technologies in the industry,” COL Bricker explained.
Transparent and accessible
“One of the things that differentiates Knollwood is how accessible our leadership team is,” COL Bricker shared. “We [COL Bricker and the CEO] meet with residents frequently, and we always make it clear that our leadership is hands-on. We’re charged with being good stewards to the residents who make Knollwood their home, and the best way to do that is to be transparent and accessible.”
After a career of service, COL Bricker was called to Knollwood because of the opportunity to work with officers of all branches of our nation’s uniformed services. He understands, as many Knollwood residents also know, how there is a “whole different notion of service” when the nation is at war, and now he enjoys serving this special community. COL Bricker says, “It’s incredibly important to make our residents certain that they’re happy they chose Knollwood.”