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Family Caring for Family: How the Salmon Family Inherits Principles of Care

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Salmon FamilyCaring and compassion since 1952

For many, separating work life and family life is a priority, but for the family who runs SALMON Health and Retirement, the two have always been deeply intertwined in both their daily lives and personal missions.

SALMON Health and Retirement, which began in 1952, is currently in its third generation of ownership, a considerable accomplishment since approximately 70 percent of family-run businesses don’t make it to the second generation according to the Conway Center for Family Business.

The secret is a balance of family and business values, which have helped the Salmons sustain a successful, evolving organization since its inception.

SALMON’s story began back in 1952, when Helen and Daniel Salmon Sr., both nurses, established the Salmon Family of Services after converting the Adora restaurant in Northborough into a nursing home. The couple moved into the nursing home with their five young boys, who all pitched in at the community.

In 1959 Dan and Helen sold the Northborough Nursing Home and purchased Beaumont Nursing Home in Northbridge and again, lived among the 28 residents.

In 1965, Dan and Helen’s son Daniel, Jr.  married his wife Dorothy and the two nurses assumed responsibility for running Beaumont, with Danny as administrator and Dottie as the director of nursing (a position she held until her retirement in 1990). They soon started a family of their own, and a new generation of Salmons began life in the caring world of Beaumont.

Together, Danny and Dotty expanded SALMON throughout Massachusetts with new locations in Westborough, Natick, Northborough and Worcester. The two also innovated the senior living industry, launching new service levels including assisted living residences, independent living residences and adult day health centers, as well as operating childcare centers and programs such as their Tapestry Program for Memory Care.

Throughout this development, three of Danny and Dotty’s children, Matt, Kate and Andrew, the third generation, were delving into careers with SALMON; Kate joining in 1993, Matt and his wife Kim joining in 1995, and Andrew joining in 2006.

SALMON Health and Retirement was officially turned over to the third generation in 2014 when Matt was named Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, SALMON incorporated SALMON VNA & Hospice, SALMON Private Care Options and Whitney Place Assisted Living and Memory Care at Sharon.

The next Salmon generation is currently growing steadily – all of Helen’s great-grandchildren have attended the SALMON Center for Early Education on the Northbridge campus, and some of their older cousins have started worked for the organization during school breaks.

Through three generations, SALMON has evolved extensively, but one thing has remained the same: the organization’s value of family and mission to treat each resident and client with the same level of care and respect of a family member. Because of these principles, the Salmon “family” includes an extensive staff of dedicated and caring professionals whose selfless contributions make it all possible. The organization’s future of growth, innovation and family values continues to look bright.