People in the news, Aug. 7

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Whitney Lane
Whitney Lane

Whitney Lane named vice president of clinical operations at Watercrest Senior Living Group

Whitney Lane has been named vice president of clinical operations at Watercrest Senior Living Group. In her new role, she will lead the clinical teams of all senior living communities owned and operated by the Vero Beach, FL-based company.

Lane brings to the position almost 15 years of senior living experience as a mentor with clinical expertise in operational efficiencies and leadership development. She most recently was divisional director of health and wellness for Senior Lifestyle Corp.

Lane has been recognized for highest occupancy growth, highest average occupancy, highest level of care growth, and lowest bad debt for her team's region.

She has a Master's in Social Work degree and an undergraduate degree in both speech pathology and nursing, and she is pursuing a master's degree in nursing.

Robert A. Erland named interim president/CEO of Fellowship Community

Robert A. Erland has been named interim president/CEO of Fellowship Community, a continuing care retirement community in Whitehall, PA, where he currently is the chairman of the board of directors. The appointment is a result of the resignation of Robert Zentz, who held the position for 22 years, due to health concerns.

Erland has more than 45 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Before retiring in 2014, he was assistant vice president with St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, where he served for 25 years. Before joining St. Luke's, he held assistant vice president and management roles in hospitals throughout New Yorl. Erland was a combat medic in Vietnam, is a registered respiratory therapist and is a life member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Richmond College in New York and an MPA degree with a concentration in healthcare administration from New York University.

Rita Johnson-Mills joins Brookdale board as independent member

Rita Johnson-Mills has been appointed as an independent member of Brookdale Senior Living's Board of directors, effective Aug. 3, the company announced Monday.

Johnson-Mills was appointed with an initial term set to expire at the 2018 annual meeting of shareholders. She also will be nominated to stand for election at the annual meeting.

The new board member has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including experience in the public sector. From 2014 to 2017, she was president and CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee, a health plan serving more than 500,000 government-sponsored healthcare consumers with more than $2.5 billion of annual revenue. From 2006 to 2014, she was senior vice president of performance excellence and accountability for UnitedHealthcare Community & State.

Johnson-Mills also previously was director of Medicaid managed care for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and CEO of Managed Health Services Indiana and Buckeye Health Plan, wholly owned subsidiaries of Centene Corp.

“Rita's appointment reflects a continued commitment by our full board to ongoing board refreshment and to ensuring that our board has the skill sets needed to drive shareholder value,” said Lee S. Wielansky, chairman of Brookdale's Board of Directors.

“Given that approximately 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women, over 75% of caregivers are female, and 65% of care recipients are female is exciting to see our board continue to evolve to more closely resemble our customer and employee base,” Brookdale President and CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier said Tuesday on the company's second-quarter earnings call.

Johnson-Mills has not yet been appointed to serve on any board committees. Following her appointment, Brookdale's board now has eight directors, seven of whom are independent.

Katherine Sandstrom appointed to HCP Board of Directors

Katherine Sandstrom has been appointed to the HCP Inc. Board of Directors. She also will serve as a member of the board's Compensation & Human Capital Committee and Investment & Finance Committee.

Sandstrom, a certified public accountant, has more than two decades of experience at Heitman LLC, a real estate investment management firm where she held multiple senior leadership positions. Most recently, she served as head of Heitman's real estate securities business. Sandstrom continues to serve as an adviser to Heitman's securities business leaders.

The recent appointment of Sandstrom expands the board to nine directors, four of whom have joined within the past two years.

HCP expects to add another board member within the next year, CEO Thomas Herzog said Thursday during the real estate investment trust's second-quarter earnings call. “Over some period of time, we'll be dealing with a little bit more refreshment, but we're getting awfully close to being completed with the refreshment process and feel very good about the board that we've put together,” he said.

In February, HCP instituted an upper age restriction of 75 for board members, Herzog said, but it can be waived in some instances. “If there is a really good reason to extend somebody for a year, we can consider that,” he said.

Alda Tole named executive director of The Cottages of Fox Lake

Alda Tole has been named executive director of The Cottages of Fox Lake, a Charter Senior Living Community independent living, assisted living and memory care community in Fox Lake, IL.

Before joining Charter Senior Living, Alda was the director of sales at Bright Oaks of Aurora, an assisted living and memory care community. She also spent time in sales roles with Sunrise Senior Living.

Karen Bowles named executive director of Camellia Walk

Karen Bowles has been named executive director of Camellia Walk, a Charter Senior Living Community in Evans, GA.

Bowles brings more than 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. As an executive director, she has managed both new communities and existing communities. Most recently, Bowles was the executive director at Harmony Senior Services. She also previously was the executive director at the Benton House.

Primrose hires new directors

Primrose Retirement Communities has named several new directors.

Georgia Kennah has been named new director of nursing at Primrose of Casper, an independent and assisted living community in Casper, WY. In her new role, Kennah will guide and oversee the care of residents and, in conjunction with Executive Director Eileen Ford, manage the nursing staff. She also will ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.

Kennah worked for 18 years as a nurse in an emergency department setting in Colorado and for three years as a unit manager and interim nursing director at Life Care Center of Stonegate in Parker, CO. She attended Casper College and the University of Wyoming and has degrees in radiologic technology, nursing and administration of justice.

Catina Elliott has been named executive director of Primrose of Shawnee, an independent and assisted living community in Shawnee, OK. In her new role, Elliott will oversee all daily operations, as well as manage and lead the staff.

She has worked in the healthcare field since 1996, starting as a CNA before becoming an activities and social services director. Elliott has an associate degree in criminal justice and is a licensed assisted living administrator in Oklahoma.

Crystalee Cook has been named executive director at Primrose of Midland, expected to open next spring, in Midland, MI. In her new role, Cook will oversee the day-to-day operations of the community.

Cook has worked in acute care, home health and skilled nursing and became a licensed practical nurse in 2004. She graduated from Delta College.

Tiffany Eggett has been named executive director at Primrose of Council Bluffs in Council Bluffs, IA. In her new role, Eggett will oversee the day-to-day operations of the community. She has degrees in accounting and business administration from Nebraska Business College.

Todd DeLeon has been named executive director at Sweetwater Retirement of Billings in Billings, MT. In his new role, DeLeon will oversee the day-to-day operations of the community.

DeLeon has management experience in the medical field as well as in hospitality and retail sales. He has a business degree from California State University, Fullerton.

The Shores at Clear Lake Senior Living names new directors  

The Shores at Clear Lake Senior Living, an Integral Senior Living assisted living and memory care community set to open this summer in Houston, has named Dwayne Carrington as culinary director, Tracey McCord as resident care director and Isabel Mata as business office director.

Carrington brings more than 30 of years of executive culinary experience to the Shores at Clear Lake team. He has held positions such as director of research and development, corporate chef for Alonti Café & Catering and executive chef and operations manager for Sodexo Corp.

McCord has more than eight years of nursing and wound care experience. Before joining the Shores at Clear Lake, McCord spent 13 years in San Antonio, TX, as a nurse educator for a Fortune 500 company.

In her new role, Mata is responsible for all aspects of billing and human resources. Before joining the Shores at Clear Lake, Mata spent 11 years in the Bay area running the admissions departments in various areas of a hospital.

Catherine Cohen promoted to director of continuing care at Oak Crest

Catherine Cohen has been promoted to director of continuing care at Oak Crest, an Erickson Living retirement community in Parkville, MD. In her new role, Cohen will oversee the daily clinical services of Oak Crest.

Cohen began her career at Oak Crest in 1996 as a resident services coordinator before serving as senior social work manager and director of resident life. She earned her Nursing Home Administrator license from the State of Maryland after completing the Administrator-in-Training program.  She also held a clinical social worker license, and since 2004, has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Cohen has a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of science in psychology from the State University of New York.

Charter Senior Living names executive team to Charter Senior Living of Oak Openings

Charter Senior Living has named Sue Johnson as executive director and Amy Klosterman as director of marketing and sales for Charter Senior Living of Oak Openings, an assisted living and memory care community scheduled to open in October. It's the first ground-up property in Charter's portfolio.

Johnson has held executive director roles at several senior living communities in Ohio, New Jersey and California. She also was a regional vice president of operations in Ohio for a company that provided memory loss rehabilitative services.

Johnson has received numerous recognitions and awards for areas in community leadership, sales and marketing. A veteran of the U.S. Navy and a licensed administrator, she received her undergraduate degree in long-term care administration from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, OH.

Klosterman joins Charter Senior Living after 16 years as community relations director for Kingston Residence of Sylvania. She has an undergraduate degree in health and human services from the University of Toledo.

Samantha Rihbany named director of sales and marketing for Waterstone at the Circle

Samantha Rihbany has been named director of sales and marketing for Waterstone at the Circle, an Epoch Senior Living community.

Rihbany most recently worked as marketing and sales director for an independent, assisted living and memory care community in Ashland, MA. In addition to sales and marketing positions, she has held the roles of community relations director, admissions director and activities assistant.

Rihbany earned an undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University.

Rick Theisen promoted to vice president of revenue cycle management at Health Dimensions Group

Rick Theisen has been promoted to vice president of revenue cycle management at Health Dimensions Group. In his new role, Theisen oversees the centralized billing, financial performance assessment, business operations, clinical reimbursement and therapy services provided to HDG's senior living, long-term care and post-acute care clients.

Theisen has more than 20 years of experience in finance and operations and has knowledge in the areas of process management for enhanced operational and financial performance, employee development and engagement, and management of IT system implementation.

Before joining Health Dimensions Group in 2017, he was business office manager at

Fairview Pharmacy Services and was responsible for the overall aspects of the $1 billion pharmacy revenue cycle division. He also was the architect of Fairview's health system pharmacy revenue cycle business product. Additionally, he served as business office manager for Minneapolis Radiology and for DMS Health Technologies.

Theisen has an undergraduate degree from St. Cloud State University.

Send personnel news to Senior Editor Lois A. Bowers. Please include a high-quality photo.

In Focus

Aug. 15 

Senior 'stay-cation'

State College, PA 

Residents and friends of Juniper Village at Brookline's Wellspring Memory Care in State College, PA, recently took a virtual trip to the beach.

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