By Ken Lay

Knoxville’s newest assisted living community celebrated its grand opening late last week.

Morning Pointe Knoxville had a dinner, open house and ribbon-cutting Thursday night.  It’s located at 9649 Westland Drive, adjacent to Shoreline Church in the Hardin Valley Community.

Morning Pointe also has east Tennessee locations in Powell, Lenoir City, Clinton, Athens, Greeneville, Collegedale, Hixon, East Hamilton and Chattanooga. The assisted living community also has locations in Middle Tennessee and in five states.

The new location strives to keep its residents vibrant and help them live full lives.

“This is not a place you come to get old, it’s a place that you come to live,” said Aaron Webb, chief operating officer of Independent Healthcare Properties, LLC. “This is our fifth campus in East Tennessee and this is a place where you come to live and live vibrantly.

“It’s safe and secure. We are a Christian-based community and we are a patriotic community.”

The Morning Pointe communities offer a variety of care services for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory care needs in a safe and secure environment.

Morning Pointe Knoxville has a partnership with Shoreline Church and the company believes that its residents flourish when they remain active in the community.

For President, Co-founder and CEO Greg A. Vital, senior care is the family business and a labor of love.

“I am proud to say that I am not ashamed of my country and I am not ashamed of my God,” he said. “My dad was a nursing home administrator and he spent the last part of his life in a Morning Pointe Community and when I came to visit, he would tell me things that I can do to run it better. He was bed-ridden, so I don’t know how he knew what was going on in the halls. He had plenty of spies in that facility.”

The Morning Pointe Knoxville campus is decorated with patriotic murals and Vital is on the board of directors of the East Tennessee Historical Society.

“Other than caring for seniors, history is my passion,” Vital said. “I urge you to look at our murals here and then go down to our museum downtown.”

He also announced a future addition to the new assisted living facility, The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence. It will be a freestanding building located on the same property.

It will specialize in Alzheimer’s care. The company has similar facilities in Powell, Clinton and Lenoir City.

Representatives from both the city and county mayors’ offices attended Thursday’s ceremony, as did representatives from the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.  Janice Wade-Whitehead, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Tennessee, also attended along with Jerome E. Melson, president of the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The Temple Baptist Church Youth Choir also performed at the new facility.