Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 9. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.
Sandy Skerda has dedicated two decades to one long-term care company and its residents, and at this point, she has no plans of stopping.
Skerda is the executive director at Eliza Jennings Renaissance Retirement Campus, a continuing care retirement community in Olmsted Township, OH. She started at the Eliza Jennings organization as a business office manager in 2001 and was promoted to administrator of sister building Jennings Place, a former assisted living community in Cleveland, in 2003. From 2004 to 2009, she was director of resident services at the Renaissance campus and then was promoted to executive director at Eliza Jennings’ Devon Oaks assisted living community in Westlake, OH, in 2009.
Skerda made tremendous progress with different initiatives while at Devon Oaks, according to colleagues. She improved the family newsletter and email communication by facilitating a Family Focus Association that kept family members informed. She helped create an online portal where residents’ families see photos, activities schedules and community information as well as have access to communication.
In 2010, while she was executive director, Devon Oaks was selected by LeadingAge to receive the Excellence in Service for Assisted Living Award. The community was given the award for establishing a resident volunteer program to offer residents an opportunity to share their time and talent with their peers.
She has worked in her current position at the Renaissance since 2013 and continues to bring the values established at Devon Oaks to her position. Her goal is to facilitate increased resident satisfaction, whether that means more communication with family, more opportunities for involvement or renovating the patio, living room and taproom to make room for more activities.
Among her many roles, Skerda has been responsible for managing approximately 300 employees and more than 300 residents. Her daily tasks typically include day-to-day management of the services provided to residents and making decisions related to capital improvements to the building and grounds. She aims to improve resident and family communication while also improving their satisfaction.
In her time at both Devon Oaks and the Renaissance, the communities have achieved deficiency-free surveys from the Ohio Department of Health, colleagues note. The Renaissance’s skilled nursing facility also received high star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.