An agent of change.

Household Model

A beautiful private residence combined with shared common areas.



Sleep in, stay up late have a midnight snack. You are the architect of your daily life.


Care Team

Compassionate senior living experts who go beyond the standards of care.


The Piper, recognized as one of the top assisted living facilities in Kansas City, is a different kind of assisted living option that answers the call of personal independence.

We believe that every life deserves to be celebrated in its entirety, and that individuals should be free to live their lives in their own time and their own way.

At The Piper in Kansas City, residents always come first. We provide a transformational living environment that honors individuality and respects choice, in a setting that is home to those who live here.

The Piper was developed and built by Assisted Living Associates, a partnership between PAR Development, Clarkson Construction Company and Action Pact, a Kansas City-based company specializing in senior living.

Action Pact pioneered the Household Model, the innovative design philosophy that is at the heart of The Piper, embodying personal choice and self-direction in a homey setting.

Action Pact has a long history of providing services in the senior living sector from design and development to financial modeling and operations to organizational transformation and consulting.

The company is known internationally for its innovative work in transforming assisted living and nursing facilities from institutions into warm, nurturing homes.

Senior Living Innovators

Steve Shields

Steve Shields


Steve is an international thought and action leader in the creation of innovative models in senior living. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and workshop presenter on leadership and transformation in senior living and hospital care. He was formerly the President and CEO of Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community in Manhattan, KS — an internationally known senior living provider that pioneered and shaped the “Household Model” in the 1990s under Steve’s leadership.

Along with LaVrene Norton, Steve co-authored, In Pursuit of the Sunbeam: A Practical Guide to Transformation from Institution to Household, a book currently in its sixth printing, having sold in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries. He is also co-author of “The Household Model Business Case,” a definitive work establishing viability of this model in long-term care.

Steve is an emeritus board member of the Fort Hays State University Foundation, a founder of the Pioneer Network of Rochester, NY, and has served on many local, state and national boards. Steve also taught leadership in long-term care for 17 years at Kansas State University.

Listen to this podcast with Steve Shields

LaVrene Norton, LMSW

LaVrene Norton, LMSW


A pioneer and champion of the Household Model, LaVrene has been guiding organizations on their culture change journeys since 1984. She is recognized as the nation’s foremost organizational change facilitator in long-term care, and has taken her expertise to Ireland and Australia. In addition to building curriculum for the broad series of Action Pact workshops, intensives and consulting, LaVrene has led the Action Pact team in the development of a deep catalog of culture change and Household Model literature, workbooks and DVDs, most notably In Pursuit of the Sunbeam, which she co-authored with Steve Shields. She holds a Master of Social Work.