President/CEO, St. Ann’s Community
Years in current role: 7
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love working with our team at St. Ann’s, who is so passionate and dedicated to serving older people. The roads we drive on and the buildings we work in were built by the people that we care for — they provided us the foundation of everything we enjoy today. To be able to directly impact the lives of those we serve, while joining with community members to help shape services for the future, is very gratifying. When I say we are “Caring For the Most Important People On Earth,” I truly mean it. Working with older people is a privilege that I am thankful for every single day.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The biggest challenge our organization has dealt with over the past year is the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the most vulnerable population: our elders. At the height of the pandemic, balancing the well-being of our residents, alongside our direct care workers and their safety, posed its obstacles. This intensified direct care workforce challenges, however, with trust in the vaccine, and remaining vigilant on everyday safety precautions, I’m confident that St. Ann’s Community will continue to be the employer of choice for the Greater Rochester area.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the health care industry in the next 3-5 years?
As the age of our population continues to grow, so does the need for health care. Over the next 3-5 years we will see a large influx of Baby Boomers needing care — one of the largest generational groups to date. That said, the number of elderly in our society is on pace to exceed the number of direct care workers who would be available to care for them. To stay ahead of this, health care employers need to build up their skilled workforce by attracting new segments of the working population with a model that values both retention and growth to create life long careers.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
I look forward to opening our doors and continuing to welcome back our visitors, family, and friends. The recent lift in visitor restrictions already has it feeling a lot more like the home we know and cherish at St. Ann’s. When the time is right, I’m eager to see our vaccinated elders gather again for their annual summer picnic, and all the social activities they take such delight in.
Additionally, I’m looking forward to regularly visiting my own parents. They reside in a senior living community in their home town, and like our families here at St. Ann’s, restrictions have kept us apart.