CEAL names new board chair as search for executive director begins

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Lindsay B. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Lindsay B. Schwartz, Ph.D.

Lindsay B. Schwartz, Ph.D., has been named chairwoman of the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living Board of Directors. Already a board member, she formally will begin serving in the volunteer leadership position in January while continuing to be employed as the senior director of workforce and quality improvement programs at the National Center for Assisted Living.

“I'm honored and proud to lead such an incredible collaboration of organizations,” Schwartz told McKnight's Senior Living.

CEAL is a collaboration of national provider, consumer and advocacy organizations that work together to promote excellence in assisted living through practice, public policy, technical expertise and research. In addition to NCAL, members include the AARP, the Alzheimer's Association, the American Assisted Living Nurses Association, the American Seniors Housing Association, Argentum (formerly the Assisted Living Federation of America), LeadingAge, the National Cooperative Bank, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Pioneer Network.

CEAL's current projects are centered on four areas (PDF) it identified as important to the future of assisted living: the recruitment, development and retention of quality personnel; best-practice data collection and sharing; public policy and regulations; and affordability. Via one project, CEAL is sponsoring a literature review of published data on quality measures in healthcare and long-term care, being conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The review includes all healthcare settings, Schwartz said, because “hospitals have long been doing quality measures and patient safety projects and measures, so it's nice to see what they have that maybe we can utilize in assisted living.”

CEAL also is providing input on the development of definitions and standards for home- and community-based settings. “We're meeting with CMS to talk about how they define HCBS and how assisted living fits in there,” Schwartz said, adding that CEAL also is talking with the National Quality Forum about its quality measures related to HCBS. The coalition also is planning additional research on Medicaid funding methodologies in assisted living.

Schwartz earned her doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and also has certificates in gerontology and public health economics. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at Indiana University.

Schwartz's board leadership appointment comes about a week after CEAL posted a recruitment notice for a new executive director on its website. The coalition's current executive director, Diane Doumas, told McKnight's Senior Living that she is leaving the role due to an anticipated move away from Washington, D.C., where the executive director must be based. She will remain in the position until a replacement is found, however, she said.

The executive director role is a part-time, independent contractor position. Doumas said that, on average, the position requires 40 hours of work per month, although weekly hours can vary depending on the activities of the board. The job posting lists a pay range of $60 to $90 per hour, depending on experience. Schwartz is part of the work group involved with the search.

Doumas joined CEAL as interim executive director in early 2014. Her previous experience included the management of several Sunrise Senior Living communities, work as a senior management consultant for Vantage Advisory Group and the development and delivery of sales and marketing strategies with senior living technology firm WellAware Systems, among other positions. For several years, she was licensed by the Virginia Board of Health Professions as an assisted living administrator.

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