Pandemic Playbook
Expert Panel and Staff Contributors


Expert Panel

Our expert panel was selected to represent a diverse cross-section of member experiences, types, sizes, and locations. From a New Orleans member with significant, long-term emergency operations experience, to a nationwide, affordable housing leader, to a single-site market rate community on the West Coast, to a New York City skilled nursing provider in the early COVID-19 epicenter, to a home care service provider, our reach spanned an array of expertise in order to enrich our Pandemic Playbook content.

Scott Crabtree
President & CEO, Lambeth House, New Orleans, LA
Lambeth House is New Orleans’ only continuing care retirement community (CCRC) with lifecare, which guarantees access to on-site assisted living and nursing care, if ever needed, at stable monthly fees.

Terri Cunliffe
President & CEO, Covenant Living Communities and Services, Skokie, IL
Covenant Living Communities and Services is one of the largest nonprofit retirement living organizations in the nation, with 15 communities in 9 states. Covenant’s CCRCs offer independent living plus many more levels of care, including assisted living, skilled nursing, and often, memory care and rehabilitation.

Deborah Herbert, NHA, M.S.
CEO, Monte Vista Grove Homes, Pasadena, CA
Monte Vista Grove Homes has more than 90 years of history providing compassionate, loving, and holistic support for older adults, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing.

Jeff Kaighn, NHA, MBA
Executive VP & Chief Administrative Officer, Acts Retirement-Life Communities, Ft. Washington, PA
Each of Acts’ 26 retirement-life communities is committed to providing security and peace of mind to seniors by being a pre-eminent provider of retirement-life services, responsive to individual, social, personal, health, and spiritual needs in a Christian atmosphere graced with Loving-Kindness, dignity, sensitivity, honesty and respect, without prejudice or preference.

Barbara Klick, R.N., MBA
CEO, Sholom, St. Louis Park, MN
Sholom supports adults in need across the continuum of care, to live fully in a Jewish environment where all are welcome. With more than 100 years of service, Sholom offers campus-based programs in Minneapolis/St. Louis Park and St. Paul, as well as community-based services across the metro area.

Karen G. Reich, FACHE, LNHA, LCSW, MSW
President, Bon Secours, St. Petersburg, FL
Bon Secours/St. Petersburg is part of a nationwide, hospital-based system with a diverse team of professionals specially trained in geriatric medicine. Their specialized services include: a senior-focused emergency department, Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), Bon Secours Home Care, Bon Secours Palliative Medicine, and Bon Secours Hospice and Support services for caregivers.

Daniel Reingold, MSW, J.D.
President & CEO, RiverSpring Health featuring The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, Riverdale, NY
For 100 years, RiverSpring Health has been committed to healthy aging and the highest quality of life through innovative programs and services. They offer a full range of care solutions, including the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, managed long-term care, assisted living programs, senior housing, and specialized services such as elder abuse prevention and memory care.

Mark Ricketts, B.S., CPA (inactive)
President & CEO, National Church Residences, Columbus, OH
As the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable senior housing and services, National Church Residences’ senior care services strive to provide a higher quality of life for the thousands of people we serve nationwide. Our person-centered approach ensures each resident’s needs will be met, no matter what level of care they may need. There are 310 communities in 25 states and Puerto Rico.

Mary Kate Rolf, MBA, FACHE
President, CEO, Nascentia Health, Syracuse, NY
Nascentia Health has been helping people stay in their homes for 130 years. Health Plans: Medicare Advantage, managed long-term care, skilled special needs plan, in-home care, adult day services, home health aides, personal care, respite care, community health and wellness.

LeadingAge Staff Contributors

LeadingAge staff involved in the Pandemic Playbook project bring an array of experience in the areas of long-term services and supports, public policy, research, and technology.

Eram Abbasi
LTSS Public Policy Analyst, Public Policy/Advocacy Team
Abbasi shares the responsibilities of the Policy/Advocacy team’s policy analysis, communications and grassroots organizing. Her overall responsibilities are to assist with and conduct analysis of aging services national legislative and regulatory policy issues, conduct research on policy issues to assist members and senior team members, write letters, reports, articles, options memos, and other policy documents, and support grassroots activities and tracking.

Scott Code
Senior Director, LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST) Team
Code assists with shaping and executing CAST’s strategies and work plans to expand and lead CAST’s network. He is responsible for increasing CAST’s exposure and coordinating technology initiatives that aim to identify barriers and opportunities to facilitate the use of technology in an aging society, including coordinating state-level activities in partnership with LeadingAge’s state affiliates.

Susan Donley
Senior Vice President, Integrated Communications and Marketing Team
Most recently, Donley has served as publisher and CEO of Stria, a media platform for the longevity market. Prior to starting Stria, she was the publisher and managing director of PBS’s Next Avenue, a daily digital media service for older Americans. Donley also served as director of communications for the Corporation for Supportive Housing and as associate director of brand management and promotion for PBS.

Joe Franco
Vice President of Grassroots, Public Policy/Advocacy Team
Joe is responsible for building LeadingAge’s grassroots capacity, setting and implementing strategies in concert with the Congressional Affairs and Communications teams, that maximize the organization’s ability to effect legislative change. He is also responsible for recruiting, training, and mobilizing the organization’s members to support LeadingAge’s advocacy agenda. Franco is responsible for crafting grassroots messages that motivate people to take action, helping to identify legislative targets, directing campaign tactics, and cultivating a core group of the organization’s most active members. He is also charged with identifying and building out the tools that advocates will need to make a difference, including training and support.

Susan Hildebrandt
Vice President of Workforce Initiatives, LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston
Hildebrandt is responsible for coordinating a diverse set of activities with states, members, and other LeadingAge staff on workforce issues: providing strategic direction; identifying priorities, measuring results, and establishing and managing strategic partnerships. Hildebrandt oversees their implementation, and serves as a primary spokesperson on these issues—including educating members, relaying timely information, and representing LeadingAge among other workforce related organizations, coalitions, and individuals.

Nancy Hooks
Vice President, State & Affiliate Relations
Project Director, LeadingAge Pandemic Playbook
State & Member Relations Team
Hooks is responsible for establishing, managing, and sustaining consistently strong, trusting and collaborative relationships between LeadingAge and its 38 state association partners, and providing ongoing troubleshooting and strategic guidance to the leadership of our state partners. She represents LeadingAge at board retreats and meetings, as well as state conferences, and maintains collaborative relationships with several affinity groups, such as faith-based and fraternal organizations and targeted, multi-state providers of care and services. She has an MS in Health Services Administration, is a Certified Association Executive and a 2019 graduate of the Larry Minnix Leadership Academy.

Kirsten Jacobs
Director of Dementia and Wellness Education, Knowledge and Learning Team
Jacobs leads the organization’s dementia and wellness education strategy, including enhancing existing external/internal relationships and identifying areas of potential growth. She develops wellness, dementia, and related content for conferences and other education efforts, including distance learning. She provides thought leadership around wellness and dementia to various audiences, including speaking/presenting at conferences and delivering technical assistance to members.

Gene Mitchell
Editorial Director, LeadingAge magazine, Integrated Communications and Marketing Team
Mitchell is responsible for planning and producing the association’s flagship publication, LeadingAge magazine. He also produces podcasts for the magazine, for the LeadingAge Center for Workforce Solutions, and for other LeadingAge purposes. Mitchell also leads the LeadingAge Catalyst program, which recognizes excellence among the LeadingAge membership—both individual and organizational.

Diane Pappafotis
Senior Vice President, State & Member Relations Team
Pappafotis provides primary leadership and management for all aspects of membership growth and engagement. She represents LeadingAge to all its constituencies and represents those constituencies back to the national association. In close collaboration with state association partners, Pappafotis drives member communication strategies that articulate the member value proposition and benefits to both current and prospective members.

Dee Pekruhn
Director, Life Plan Communities Services and Policy, Public Policy/Advocacy Team
Pekruhn joined LeadingAge after more than 15 years of service with life plan community (LPC) providers in Virginia. A licensed nursing home administrator, she has served in leadership roles in many of the operational areas of LPCs. Pekruhn holds an MBA from George Washington University, is a graduate of the 2014 Larry Minnix Leadership Academy, is LEAN Bronze-certified, and has been trained as a CARF surveyor.

Robyn Stone
Senior Vice President, Research, and Co-Director, LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston
Stone is a noted researcher and leading authority on aging and long-term policy. The LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston has a mission to create a bridge among the policy, practice, and research communities to advance the development of high-quality services. It also provides a forum for the health, supportive services, and housing communities to explore and develop policies and programs to meet the needs of an aging society. The LTSS signature areas are advancing quality, educating consumers, developing a quality workforce, and creating affordable housing with services.

Additional Contributors

AMDA-Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
American Psychological Association
Ankrom Moisan
AON Insurance Company
Ascension Health
Bon Secours Health System
CARF International
Center to Advance Palliative Care
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
D’Youville Life and Wellness Community, Naomi Prendergast
Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Harvard Business Review
Jewish Home Family, Carol Silver Elliott
Hugo Baptist Village, Billy Johnson
Johnson Kendall Johnson
LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies
LeadingAge Center for Workforce Solutions
LeadingAge Kansas, Debra Zehr
LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMASS Boston
LeadingAge New York, James Clyne
M3 Insurance (Senior Living and Social Services Practice)
McKnight’s Senior Living
MEYER Design, Inc.
National Church Residences
New York State Mental Health Association
Pathway Health Services
Prairie Wind Retirement Village, Nate Glendening
RiverSpring Health
RLPS Architects
The Commons (Oklahoma UMRC), Steven Walkingstick
The Eden Alternative
Trinity Health
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson