Lynne Katzmann, Ph.D., has been chosen as the first recipient of the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes a woman leader who has made significant contributions in the area of senior living or skilled care over the course of a lengthy career.
“While there’s no shortage of trailblazers in the senior care industry, Lynne Katzmann stands out for her approach to combining research and innovation over the past three decades,” said Craig Roth, publisher of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. “The field has benefited greatly from her wisdom and guidance.”
Katzmann is the founder and president of Bloomfield, NJ-based Juniper Communities, the only woman-founded, owned and led business among the top 40 national assisted living companies. She launched the business in the area of skilled nursing when she was 32, with six years of experience in the healthcare industry and a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics.
Today, Juniper offers care and services spanning independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation. The company has 24 properties in four states — Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — and more than 1,600 employees.
Juniper celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 and is ranked No. 12 on Crain’s New York Business’ annual list of the 25 largest women-owned businesses in the New York area.
Among its innovative programs, Juniper has addressed the changing nature of assisted living and rising acuity levels by implementing its Connect4Life model, which integrates onsite primary care, pharmacy and lab services with social supports and residential care. In research, the model showed a potential cost savings in hospital inpatient spending of up to $4,500 per Medicare beneficiary.
Also, in 2016, Juniper began its 15X20 program with the goal of increasing hourly minimum wages in its communities to $15 by the year 2020 to address the staffing challenges seen by operators.
In another sign of innovation, Juniper installed electronic health records across its entire continuum in 2012; even four years later, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data reported in 2018, only 26% of assisted living communities were using EHRs.
And in 2016, Katzmann took a group of almost 20 people ranging from their 20s to their 80s, including her mother and some Juniper employees, to the Burning Man festival to “write a new story of aging in America.”
Juniper was certified as a Great Place to work in 2018, the same year the company rolled out, after a test in one community, a new wellness program in which residents and staff participate in classes together.
And recently, Katzmann announced that Juniper is leading the formation of the Perennial Advantage Plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan, with Christian Living Communities, Ohio Living and care management company AllyAlign Health.
Katzmann is a board member of several for-profit and nonprofit organizations, among them Senior Care Centers of Dallas, the ElderCare Alliance of San Francisco, the Tufts University School of Medicine and Linked Senior. She also recently was named a member of the Sabra Health Care REIT Board of Directors.
Katzmann was chosen by the editors of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program also is recognizing 19 Hall of Honor inductees and 21 Rising Stars award recipients this year, with nominations from the field having been judged by an independent panel of industry representatives.
All of this year’s honorees will be celebrated at an evening event May 16 in Chicago. PointClickCare is the program’s exclusive platinum sponsor this year.