People in the news, Oct. 5

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Pat Giorgio
Pat Giorgio

Pat Giorgio receives Jan Thayer Pioneer Award

Patricia “Pat” Giorgio, president of Evergreen Estates, has been named the 2016 recipient of the National Center for Assisted Living's Jan Thayer Pioneer Award.

The award, which was created in 2015 to recognize individuals deemed to have moved the senior care profession forward, positively affecting the lives of those served and those who serve, is named for NCAL's first board chair. Giorgio formally will receive the award at the American Health Care Association/NCAL annual meeting later this month.

With almost 25 years of experience owning and operating assisted living communities, Giorgio has served in many leadership positions and championed quality improvement through myriad projects and efforts, NCAL said.

“Pat is the kind of assisted living professional who inspires,” said Chris Mason, NCAL Board Chair. “Her commitment to the residents, to quality and to advocacy is infectious. She perfectly embodies the term ‘pioneer,' as she remains steadfast on forging ahead, no matter the challenge.”

Nominator Cindy Baddeloo, chief operating officer for the Iowa Health Care Association, said: “She is one of the rare professionals able to balance the business and human side of this profession with compassion and grace. Her efforts to educate, inform and promote quality care and professional growth have made — and continue to make — an immeasurable difference.”

Since 1993, Giorgio has owned Evergreen Estates, which operates three residential care communities in Cedar Rapids, IA. Under her leadership, the company has grown from 35 employees to 75 and began accepting low-income seniors through the state's Medicaid waiver program. In 2002, the U.S. Small Business Administration – Cedar Rapids District named her “Small-Business Person of the Year.”

Giorgio also has held numerous leadership positions in her home state and nationally over the course of her 23-year career. Most recently, she served as the chairwoman of the NCAL Board of Directors and the assisted living representative on the American Health Care Association Board of Governors (2013–2015). Giorgio also served on the Iowa Center for Assisted Living Board of Directors and the Assisted Living Advisory Board for Medlcine Industries in Chicago.

Giorgio previously received two other awards from AHCA/NCAL: the Steve Chies Future Leader Award (2013) and the Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award (2009).

Aaron D'Costa, Rob Brehl join Symphony Senior Living

Aaron D'Costa has joined Symphony Senior Living as chief operating officer, and Rob Brehl has joined the company as chief financial officer.

D'Costa has spent his entire career in senior housing. He began in operations with Marriott Senior Living and then spent time at Sunrise Senior Living and Pathways. He also owned his own consulting agency for eight years, focusing on sales, marketing and operations. Most recently, D'Costa was director of senior living acquisitions with Virtus Real Estate Capital.

Brehl (pictured), a certified public accountant, also has worked in the industry for the majority of his career. He was chief accounting officer at Ventas for more than eight years. Before Ventas, Brehl was senior vice president and controller with Atria Senior Living. In addition, he spent more than 10 years in public accounting with Ernst & Young.

Symphony Senior Living serves more than 1,000 residents at 18 properties in the United States and Canada.

Brenda West, Doug Owens join Prestige Care

Brenda West has joined Vancouver, WA-based Prestige Care as chief clinical officer, and Doug Owens has joined the company as chief information officer.

“As we focus on providing exemplary care with an eye toward the future, their insights into clinical care and information technology will be invaluable to our strategic growth,” said Harold Delamarter, founding partner and CEO of Prestige Care.

West most recently served in the same role at Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma, WA. She began her career as a registered nurse; is nurse executive, advanced, certified; and holds affiliations with nursing and business administration honor societies. She has undergraduate and advanced degrees in nursing and also holds an MBA. West is a board member of the Northwest Organization for Nurse Executives and is the chairwoman of the Southwest Council and the Mission/Vision task force.

Owens has more than two decades of information technology experience in the senior living and healthcare sectors. He most recently served as vice president of information technology for strategic business units at Golden Living in Plano, TX. Owens' executive career began as vice president of information systems for Alterra Healthcare, which subsequently was acquired by Brookdale Senior Living. While at Alterra, he also served as senior director of information systems and was a technology consultant. Other executive positions Owens has held include president and chief technology officer at IntraCare and senior vice president and CIO at Atria Senior Living.

Prestige Care and Prestige Senior Living operate more than 80 senior communities throughout the western United States.

IntegraCare's Gary Renwick wins PHCA Hero Award

Gary Renwick was named Assisted Living/Personal Care Executive Director of the Year, one of seven Hero Awards bestowed by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, on Sept. 27.

He is the executive director at Newhaven Court at Clearview in Butler, PA, an IntegraCare-operated senior living community where he began working as a resident care assistant 17 years ago when he was a student at nearby Slippery Rock University. Since then, he has held multiple roles at IntegraCare, from activities director to business office manager at the community level to regional business office manager to assistant executive director of a community. He has served in his current position since August 2014.

“Gary is a disciplined, kind and caring leader who has taken his community to the next level,” said Eric Walker, IntegraCare Executive Director of Sales and Marketing. Resident and team members' satisfaction ratings have shown “remarkable improvement,” since he began in his current role, according to the company.

“From driving the van to executive director, Gary approached each job with dedication and commitment,” Walker said. “This award only is fitting.”

IntegraCare operates 12 senior living communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The PHCA has posted a video about Renwick online.

Allissa Randazzo is finalist for caregiver award

Allissa Randazzo, BSN, RN, of Aspen House Memory Care Assisted Living in Loveland, CO, is one of six finalists for the 2016 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in Boston.

The winner will be announced at a Nov. 15 dinner. The award recipient will receive a $5,000 prize, and the five finalists will receive $1,000 each.

“We are thrilled to honor this year's remarkable caregivers as the 2016 NCCY Award finalists,” said Julie Rosen, executive director of the Schwartz Center. “Their dedication to engaging patients and families with respect, dignity and compassion is immeasurable. They truly encompass what compassionate care really is.”

Randazzo is a nurse who cares for severely cognitively impaired residents. “When providing care for people with dementia, it is easy to lose sight of the human being, who is lost in a world of confusion and lashes out in fear and anger as a result,” said a family member of residents for whom she has provided care. “Allissa never lost sight of our parents as complete human beings who had led full and interesting lives. She treated them sensitively and with great respect even in challenging situations.”

The finalists were chosen by a national review committee, which included past award recipients, in collaboration with representatives from the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.

Whirlpool restructures commercial laundry team

The St. Joseph, MI-based Whirlpool Corp. Commercial Laundry recently was restructured.

Steve Hietpas (pictured) is the team's new international sales manager. With almost 20 years of commercial laundry experience, Hietpas will have full profit and loss responsibility and also will oversee the long-range strategic plan for international business.

Randy Karn has transitioned to global service manager, where he will coordinate internal and external initiatives and programs to support the company's long-range plan. He has 35 years of experience in the industry.

Nick Koukourakis has assumed the multi-load product management job. He holds a mechanical engineering degree and has extensive technical background and more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience.

Rebecca Ross is now commercial laundry brand manager. Since joining the corporation in 2002, she has held various roles with increasing responsibility in brand marketing, co-marketing and channel marketing.

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