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Large Nonprofit Trinity Health Names Senior Living CEO, Plans Active Adult Expansion

One of the largest non-profit Catholic health systems in the U.S. has named a new leader to oversee its network of senior living communities — and she foresees some “bold changes” on the horizon.

On Monday, Trinity Health announced the promotion of Janice Hamilton-Crawford to the role of president and CEO of Trinity Health Senior Communities. She is slated to officially begin her CEO duties on June 6.

She joined Trinity Health in 2018 as the organization’s first president for its New England region of senior living communities. With her new title, she is also the first Black woman in the organization to become president and CEO of a national division.

Based in Livonia, Michigan, Trinity Health has an annual operating revenue of $20.2 billion. The organization’s network spans 88 hospitals, the second largest PACE program in the country and 125 urgent care locations in addition to other health and wellness services.

As CEO of Trinity’s senior living division, Hamilton-Crawford is tasked with leading operations for more than 40 independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and subsidized senior housing communities in the U.S. She takes over for former CEO Steve Kastner, who became CEO in 2013 and explored growth in lower acuity settings in the years before the pandemic.

As the senior living operator’s new leader, Hamilton-Crawford will continue her predecessor’s effort to branch out into other service lines, such as active adult. She also foresees greater alignment with the larger Trinity health system in the months and years ahead.

Hamilton-Crawford told Senior Housing News she is taking the reins at the nonprofit during a time of “transformation” for the wider senior living industry, requiring truly new ideas and unique models for serving future residents. And looking ahead, she is moving forward with a “sense of urgency” regarding the senior living organization’s evolution.

“You’re going to see some very bold changes,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun.”

‘Combination of tech and touch’

Currently, Trinity Health Senior Communities has no true active adult communities in its more than 40-community portfolio. But that will be a big focus for Hamilton-Crawford as she settles into the leadership role.

The company is mainly looking to grow in two ways: Through potential affiliations with and acquisitions of other Catholic organizations, and by repositioning its communities to include more units on the high and low end of the care continuum, including active adult and higher-acuity assisted living and memory care units.

Branching into the active adult sector is a particular focus for the organization, and Hamilton-Crawford believes there is much more to do with regard to aiding residents’ “mind, body and spirit” than solely their health care needs.

“It’s really looking at our current portfolio … and [asking] what do we need to build, what do we need to do differently, as we look towards our future aging population?” she said.

Although Trinity currently has no active adult communities, Hamilton-Crawford is already envisioning her ideal future model. For example, she imagines one-floor active adult communities where units have patios and private entrances in a model akin to pocket neighborhood concept.

Of particular focus for growth and evolution are markets in Michigan, Georgia and potentially in Indiana or Ohio, according to Hamilton-Crawford. While the organization has no immediate plans to undertake any new development projects, she said that could change in the next 12 to 18 months as the industry evolves.

Hamilton-Crawford also has made it a goal to more closely align with the larger Trinity health system, and she envisions a day when residents can more easily access health care without having to travel far from the community where they live.

“Someone living in an independent living apartment should be able to push a button and say, ‘I need a doctor, I need to see a nurse today,’ she said. “I see all of these services being looped together not necessarily in the building, but certainly readily accessible for anyone.”

More broadly, she envisions a model of care coordination that is driven not by a senior living operator or a health care provider, but by the residents and their families.

“For years, we as hospitals have driven the care and said, ‘You need this, you need that’ — it needs to be the other way around,” Hamilton-Crawford said. “There needs to be a combination of tech and touch where the individual resident and our patient drives that.”

That is also a lesson the wider senior living industry seems to be taking to heart, with operators such as Bickford Senior Living looking for ways to better coordinate resident care and improve their health and wellness outcomes.

Staffing is another hurdle for Trinity to clear, just as it is for the wider industry, and the organization is focused on coming up with new “innovative and creative approaches” to recruiting and retaining workers.

“It has to be very different than what we’ve seen in the past,” Hamilton-Crawford said. “Hiring somebody hoping someone shows up is no longer the way to go.”

Diversity in leadership is another focus for Hamilton-Crawford. As she looks across the industry, she sees a need for more organizations to “be comfortable with having an uncomfortable conversation” about the need for more diverse leadership across the industry.

“You need to be extremely welcoming, and think of creative and innovative ways to include people and welcome people into communities,” she said. “You have to be very authentic and genuine about that.”

As for her first 90 days, Hamilton-Crawford said she will hold listening and visioning sessions in that time to deepen her understanding of what residents and staff want in senior living communities. She also plans to spend more time in the operator’s communities, including by staying overnight to get a feel for what residents experience.

“Even with a larger organization, things take time,” she said. “But I think now … given where we are both financially and with staff, we’re going to see some fast-paced, innovative and creative ideas.”

The post Large Nonprofit Trinity Health Names Senior Living CEO, Plans Active Adult Expansion appeared first on Senior Housing News.

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