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Friendship Celebrates 50 Years of Evolving Health Services in the Region, Unveils New Brand

Friendship Celebrates 50 Years of Evolving Health Services in the Region, Unveils New Brand

Health care icon attributes longevity to empowering those served to believe in living better.

ROANOKE, Va. (February 23, 2016) – Birthed out of necessity to offer quality care for a growing population of aging adults and evolved to serving all ages through a full prospectus of rehabilitation services, Friendship celebrates 50 years of inspiring residents to believe in living better with the unveil of its new brand.

“We established Friendship in 1966 and are incredibly proud to have become synonymous with healthy living and quality health services in the Roanoke Valley region,” Ted Feinour, Friendship Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said. “The future of Friendship is not dissimilar to its past. Our new and modernized facilities are places where people go to live and thrive, not retire, and Friendship will continue to be at the forefront of modern care and rehabilitation services in 2016 and beyond.”

As the nation’s population aged in the late 1960s, new innovative communities sprung up across the United States to serve a growing number of active adults. Thanks to enterprising leaders in the Roanoke Valley, Friendship became one of the first continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) in the area.

“Long-standing businesses help bring stability and growth to our region. I am grateful to have Friendship, which has proven itself a leader in health care and rehabilitation, as an established member of the Roanoke Valley community,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte said.

Over the last 50 years, Friendship has watched as the industry itself engages in a nationwide discussion about how to properly describe a complex system of constantly evolving services. Most recently that conversation has revolved around identifying as the historically common Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or the newly termed Life Plan Community. Friendship, however, has chosen to instead focus on establishing a robust health care system that responds to the health and rehabilitation needs of the entire region and residents of all ages.

“As our industry struggles to define itself, we’ll continue to focus on services, not terminology. Simply put, Friendship provides a belief in living better for everyone,” Russ Barksdale, Friendship president and CEO, said. “Our services have evolved to become as diverse as the people we serve. We help teenage athletes recover from sports injuries. We assist adults seeking a superior quality of life for themselves or their loved ones. Our pharmacists work with residents to help them safely reduce the number of medications they’re taking. We find a solution for everyone, regardless of budget. Friendship is committed to the betterment of our community through our foundation’s support of area non-profits.”

Since opening its first building five decades ago, Friendship and its staff of skilled professionals have grown to meet the demands of this region. More than twenty buildings now fill the former pasture off Hershberger Road where Friendship was first established. In total, Friendship currently employs more than 750 men and women, who in turn serve more than 1,000 residents and patients. Friendship’s services continue to grow today. In response to the demand, Friendship has increased the supply of services with an expanding footprint in Salem, and will open the new Health and Rehab South facility next month in Roanoke County.

Looking Ahead

Friendship is the flagship brand of family companies that serve Southwest Virginia communities throughout all sectors of senior and adult living, health care, rehabilitation, home health and charitable giving.

Included in the brand family are:


  • Offering seniors and adults a diverse array of superior-quality lifestyle choices that adjust to reflect the changes that come with life.


  • Working hard to improve the health, wellness and quality of life for the communities we serve, offering a full continuum of care to all ages.


  • Committed to supporting charitable and community activities in the markets we do business, including qualified non-profits in sectors including Senior Adult, Health and Human Services, Education, and Arts & Culture.


  • The holding company that features a diverse array of products and service lines designed to improve the quality of living in the communities we serve.

Believe in Living Better

Through innovative programs and its dedication to serving others, Friendship has established itself as the standard for senior living in Virginia. Friendship offers residents and a diverse group of rehabilitation patients welcoming and inclusive environments.

“The last five decades have taught us there is no such thing as a typical service or resident,” Barksdale said. “And that challenge is what has driven us to continue to progress our services and offer innovative health and living programs to the entire community. Health services are personal, so we take the extra step to customize care for the best solution.”

A hallmark of its history of service, the recreational, rehabilitative and health care programs offered through Friendship’s family of brands will continue to attract people of all ages who share its belief in living better for decades to come.



About Friendship

Friendship opened its first building in 1966 and has steadily grown since. Over the course of 50 years, Friendship’s evolution has included the addition of new and innovative services, ultimately creating a world-class community where the needs of active adults and rehabilitation patients of all ages are met within a caring community that inspires a belief in living better. Visit for more information.

[Editor’s Note: Please visit to access the online press kit containing downloadable logo files and additional media materials.]