DAYTON – A Sidney native and local health and elder care executive will be given the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday evening at Fifth Third Field, representing The Pavilion Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center.
R. Michael Johnson, son of Shirley and the late Dick Johnson, will give his best effort to get the ball across the plate prior to the Dragons taking on the Great Lakes Loons in Midwest League action.
Johnson — who is director of admissions, social services and marketing at the local healthcare facility — along with staff, family and community members affiliated with The Pavilion will also participate in pre-game festivities as the Dragons stage their annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Night.
The Pavilion was chosen for the honor based on its outstanding participation in preparing for the event, sponsored by the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
“I consider it not only a great honor to throw out the first pitch, but I take special pride in representing the residents and outstanding staff of The Pavilion,” said Johnson. “I have witnessed, firsthand, the obscene physical and mental effects associated with dementia – including Alzheimer’s – and hope nights like this will help us eventually find a cure for this monstrous disease.”
Johnson, who spent three decades in the news and publishing arenas before becoming involved in elder care and emergency medicine, returned to his hometown 2 1/2 years ago to be closer to family and assist with care decisions for his aging mother. He attended Lehman High School, the University of Findlay and is currently a member of Houston Rescue as an emergency medical technician. He is also deputy grand knight of Sidney Council 659 of the Knights of Columbus. He recently completed training through the state of Ohio for certification in assisting seniors with navigating the Medicare and elder insurance systems.
The Pavilion, located at 705 Fulton St., is a 50-bed skilled care facility which offers both short- and long-term skilled care and rehabilitation stays. The facility features on-site physical, occupational and speech therapy, and accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans. The facility is led by long-tenured Administrator Marianne Wildermuth.