People in the news, Sept. 5

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Gayle Trupiano
Gayle Trupiano

Gayle Trupiano to lead Ascension Living

Gayle Trupiano, MBA, has been named president and CEO of St. Louis-based Ascension Living, effective Sept. 11. She succeeds Jesse Jantzen, who has served as president and CEO of Ascension Living since 2015.

Ascension Living has 37 senior living facilities in 10 states and the District of Columbia and is the senior services ministry of Ascension, the nation's largest non-profit and Catholic healthcare system.

Trupiano joined Ascension in 2004. She currently is vice president for performance excellence at the organization, leading efforts related to operational and clinical performance. Earlier, she led the organization's Operations Resource Group, an internal consulting function supporting Ascension's 2,500 sites of care in 22 states and Washington.

Among her accomplishments at Ascension, Trupiano led the deployment of the company's Veterans Choice Program. This initiative resulted in providing access to care for 8,867 veterans and 17,378 visits over a 10-month period while exceeding all quality standards established by the Veterans Affairs Department.

Trupiano has more than 30 years of progressive management experience in nursing, clinical support services and healthcare administration in acute care hospitals. Before joining Ascension, she served as the vice president of patient care services at Christian Hospital, a member of BJC Healthcare, in St. Louis. She also spent 10 years as director of surgical services for two large acute care facilities.

Trupiano earned an MBA from Webster University in Missouri and an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Maryland. She also participated in the Ascension Foundations of Ministry Leadership program.

HCP announces changes to executive leadership team

HCP has announced a new organizational structure and several updates to its executive leadership team.

Former Senior Managing Director - Medical Office Tom Klaritch (pictured) has been promoted to chief operating officer and will report to Tom Herzog, HCP's president and CEO.

Klaritch will oversee HCP's streamlined office platform, with the life science and medical office businesses reporting to him, and will work closely with the respective teams to continue to advance the competitive performance and growth of this platform. He is an 18-year company veteran with 34 years of operational and financial management experience in the medical office and hospital sectors.

Klaritch also has overseen certain asset management, planning and budgeting responsibilities in HCP's life science portfolio since 2007. Before joining HCP, he was a founding member of MedCap Properties, a company that owned, operated and developed healthcare real estate.

Doug Pasquale will serve HCP as a senior adviser to the executive team and also will work closely with the senior housing team led by Senior Managing Director Kendall Young. Pasquale previously was chairman and CEO of Nationwide Health Properties and also served as president and CEO of Atria Senior Living Group and its predecessor company, ARV Assisted Living. In 2012, Pasquale was inducted into the Stifel Nicolaus Senior Housing & Healthcare Real Estate Hall of Fame.

HCP also announced that Jon Bergschneider, the company's senior managing director - life science, has resigned to become chief development officer at BioMed Realty Trust.

Debra Gardner Hussey is chief operating officer of Watercrest Senior Living Group

Debra Gardner Hussey has been named chief operating officer of Vero Beach, FL-based Watercrest Senior Living Group.

As COO, Hussey will be charged with driving operational efficiencies, implementing innovative and strategic planning to accomplish significant growth initiatives and establishing training platforms. She brings 25 years of experience in senior living operations, sales and marketing to the position.

Hussey most recently was senior vice president of operations for Benchmark Senior Living, leading the growth of the company to 44 communities in seven states. Other former positions include regional director of Manor Care's Southeastern Division and regional director of Greystone Communities.

Hussey served as an Assisted Living Federation of America Executive Roundtable member, is a past board member of Mass ALFA and co-chair of the Jericho Road project. She earned an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an MBA from George Washington University.

NHI hires Michelle Kelly as senior vice president of investments

Michelle Kelly has joined Murfreesboro, TN-based National Health Investors as senior vice president of investments. She will be responsible for business development and management of the real estate investment trust's customer relationships for the western United States.

Kelly previously worked in similar capacities for Welltower and GE Healthcare Financial Services.

Angela Norris joins StoneGate Senior Living as senior vice president of business development

Angela Norris has joined Dallas-based StoneGate Senior Living the company as senior vice president of business development. Her responsibilities include day-to-day operations for all aspects of business marketing as StoneGate focuses on new markets and brand growth.

Norris brings experience in nursing, operations and business development to the role, with more than 19 years of experience in long-term care and sub-acute rehabilitation services.

A graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati with an undergraduate degree in nursing, Norris is a registered nurse who has served in leadership roles as a director of nursing services, community nurse liaison and vice president in charge of alternative payment models and bundled payments.

In Indiana, she served as vice president on a board of healthcare providers that formed an accountable care organization targeted for the aged, blind and disabled population.

StoneGate Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled healthcare at locations in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Windsor Run appoints Allison Vessels director of human resources

Windsor Run, the Erickson Living retirement community under construction in Matthews NC, has appointed Allison Vessels, Ed.D., as director of human resources.

Vessels brings more than 24 years of human resources experience to Windsor Run. Previously, she worked for Transformant Healthcare Solutions as director of human resources.

Vessels holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Presbyterian College and a master's and doctoral degrees in human resources development from Clemson University. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Managers, from where she earned a certification as a senior certified professional. She also has a senior professional in human resources certification through the Human Resources Certification Institute.

Scheduled to open in the spring, Windsor Run will immediately feature two independent living buildings and a resident clubhouse with amenities. When fully complete, the campus will provide assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care services to its residents.

Theresa Connor joins Watercrest Senior Living Group as director of clinical operations

Theresa Connor has joined Vero Beach, FL-based Watercrest Senior Living Group as director of clinical operations. In her new role, she provides clinical expertise, mentoring and implementation of guidelines and efficiencies to enhance Watercrest's care standards.

Connor brings 24 years of experience as a geriatric and medical-surgical nurse, including 18 years in senior living as a clinician and assisted living administrator. She most recently was health services director for a 168-unit senior living community.

Connor also was the owner and administrator of a Maryland senior living community for 16 years and served as adjunct faculty for a college nursing program. She continues to speak about cognitive impairment and critical health issues for seniors.

Connor has undergraduate and master's degrees in nursing as well as certifications as a clinical administrator, nurse care manager, dementia provider and training, assisted living manager and Alzheimer's Association trainer. Connor also holds Florida CORE certificate.

It's Never 2 Late names Barbara Kandemir chief financial officer

Barbara Kandemir has been named chief financial officer of It's Never 2 Late.

In this role, she will be responsible for oversight of finance, human resources, legal/compliance and office management. In addition, Kandemir will lead several initiatives, including those related to instructional leadership, administrative policy, budget development and implementation, and process improvement.

Kandemir has held senior financial executive positions at Aperture Credentialing, KnowledgeAdvisors, Intersect Solutions and Capgemini. She holds a degree from Valparaiso University and is past president of the Community Health Nurse Association's Women's Auxiliary.

NCOA CEO James Firman honored with Katie Beckett Award

James Firman, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging, is the sixth recipient of the Katie Beckett Award from the National Association of States United for Aging and Disability.

Established in 2012, the Katie Beckett Award recognizes individuals deemed to have demonstrated leadership in championing the rights of individuals with disabilities to live in whatever place they call home. Previous recipients have included former first lady Rosalynn Carter and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS).

The award is named for Katie Beckett, who survived a brain infection when she was five months old but spent years in pediatric intensive care because Medicaid would not cover the services she needed in her home. The Katie Beckett Waiver was enacted in 1982 and has allowed more than 500,000 children to live at home and access the treatment they need.

Firman has been a national innovator in connecting low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to benefit programs for more than 30 years, according to NCOA. In 1987, under his direction, a nationwide benefits enrollment tool called the Benefits Outreach Screening Service was created. For the next dozen years, BOSS was offered by about 100 community organizations across the country.

In June 2001, BOSS became the NCOA's BenefitsCheckUp, a comprehensive, free online benefits screening tool. Since 2001, more than 6 million people have used BenefitsCheckUp to find benefits valued at more than $21 billion, according to NCOA.

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

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