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Resident a Business Owner, Deacon & Family Man
Patrick Mann has been in Pine Brook for 30 years.
About this column: A weekly profile of one of Montville's many residents. Some you may know, some may be new, but all are distinctly Montville. Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Name: Patrick Mann, 63, owns Green Briar Residential Facility in Pine Brook. Mann described his business as, “A health maintenance and monitoring device for seniors, for people suffering, perhaps, from depression, or mental and physical acuities.”
- Part of Town: The Mann family has lived on Pine Brook Road for 30 years. Mann moved to Pine Brook because a property was available that offered him an opportunity to open a residential health care facility. There are 10 employees who care for 36 residents at Green Briar. “We started off taking care of the frail elderly, and it wound up that we have a mixed bag between older people suffering from depression and mental health issues. And we’re told that we do really good with it,” Mann explained. “The people that we serve a lot of time are sometimes people that other people don’t want. It’s hard. It costs over $200,000 per year to stay in a state facility, whereas here is costs $40 to $60 dollars a day. We’re always full.” At Green Briar there are nurses, access to doctors, on-site medical testing, three home-cooked meals per day, and activities.
- Married: Mann and his wife, Nancy, have been married 30 years. Nancy is a keeper at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick. The two met while working for a Special Olympics event. “We were going to save the world,” said Mann of the relationship he and his wife share. Today, in addition to helping Mann run Green Briar in Pine Brook, Nancy Mann cares for abused and premature babies. “She just loves the job,” explained Mann. “She just loves to try and get some kind of a response out of them even as diminished as some of them are. In fact, when it comes to some of the DYFS cases, where the kids don’t have any clothes, my wife will go out and buy the clothes and bring them in for the children over there.”
- Children: Together the Manns have three sons, ages 25, 22, and 19. The oldest is an infantry captain in the army. He is mainstreaming “the wounded warriors back into the United States at the hospital down in Fort Bragg” said Mann. “He chose to do that while he was waiting to be accepted into Special Forces.” The middle son, a senior at Montclair State, is the wing commander for the ROTC. He has been accepted as a pilot into the air force, while the youngest, who is considering JAG, is scheduled to donate his bone marrow this summer to a patient in need. “We’re really proud of all of them,” added Mann.
- Career: Mann was drawn to this type of work by his mom. “My mom had probably a day to make a decision on taking a facility in Newark during the ‘60s,” he said. At 21, when Mann got out of the military, he went to work for her, and became an expert on the laws, procedures, and practices for residential health care facilities. By 1976 he was running the facility. From 1993 to 1995 Mann served on a committee in Trenton that reviewed best practices from across the country and around the globe. The committee of diverse care giving administrators was assembled to make recommendations to standardize state policies for residential health care facilities and the individuals they service.
- Current Activities: After many years of teaching CCD, Mann decided to train as a deacon in the Catholic Church. Recently he was ordained a deacon at St. Pius X. “The only thing I was sorry about becoming a deacon is that I didn’t do it ten years earlier,” said Mann. “Because it really opened up a window for me to be able to see people differently.” His five-year training has taught him to see the world, both inside and outside of the church, with a new perspective. “Rome put a 1,000 hours into it [the training],” said Mann. Deacons have practicum on hospital visits, drug abuse programs, homilies, immigrant legal services, funerals, weddings, baptisms, and many other aspects of ministering to the community. “They do so much that it’s very difficult to explain in one sitting what they do.”
- Other Activities: In 1966, Mann and his brother were drafted. His brother served in Vietnam, and Mann stayed state side training National Guardsman on riot control. The experience allowed him to continue training for one of his passions: speed roller skating. “I was probably about the third fastest one in the world,” said Mann. Because he needed a flexible schedule in order to train, Mann credits speed skating with leading him to owning his own business. “It [skating] actually opened up a lot of doors for me that wouldn’t have otherwise been opened given the economic background of the family, at least on my side of the family.”
- Most Memorable Moment: “Meeting my wife,” Mann said. “She’s been my wife, and my partner, and my best friend. I don’t know how it gets much better than that,” he added.
- Favorite Thing About Montville: “There’s something for everyone,” said Mann. He feels that both ends of the economic spectrum get along in Montville Township. “When everybody gets together, everybody finds ways to help each other in big and small ways, and nothing is too much for them. They do whatever they can to help one another.”
- Something He Would Change: “I think the only thing people would ever want to change,” said Mann, “is prioritizing the marginalized. Because that’s the real gold mine of a culture on how it behaves toward its elderly and its indigent.”
- Advice: “I used to think that anybody could do this. But, with all these years of experience, I see that it takes a special person to do this,” said Mann. “It is a business that is more gratifying personally than economically. We certainly could use more health care providers.”
- Philosophy: “If you are happy with what you are doing you’re successful.”