National Lutheran Communities & Services Names Regina Figueroa as Chief Operating Officer

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is pleased to announce Regina Figueroa has been named chief operating officer (COO). Figueroa joins NLCS as previous COO Cyndi Walters transitions to the role of NLCS president and chief operating officer (CEO).

Regina brings over 21 years of senior health care and wellness experience to this position. Her experience is vast and includes work with continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), assisted living facilities, long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, home health, outpatient services, hospice, adult day programs and wellness clinic operations with organizations along the Eastern Seaboard.

Most recently, Regina was the chief administrative officer of Stella Maris, Inc., providing oversight for seven senior services business lines under the leadership of Mercy Health Services. Prior to that, she spent seven years in New Jersey as a regional vice president for skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, hospice and home health care. Regina also spent 10 years with Life Care Centers of America in several administrative capacities throughout five states.

As the COO, Regina works closely with NLCS community executive directors in the communities’ master planning, continues to develop NLCS’s home care service line and leads operational process and performance improvement efforts as the NLCS portfolio grows. Additionally, she collaborates with NLCS’s strategic business partners to further enhance operational efficiencies and effectiveness.

“I am very excited to assist Cyndi and the NLCS team in continuing the mission of NLCS to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults,” Figueroa said. She continued, “This is a great organization, and I am also really excited to assist in taking the organization to the next levels of success.”
Cyndi Walters, NLCS president and CEO-elect said, “Regina’s experience is impressive, but what made her the best fit for NLCS is how closely we felt she aligns with our core values and guiding principles.” Walters continued, “Every team member at NLCS contributes to our We CARE program, which stands for creating smiles, attending to details, respecting everyone and embodying excellence. Our leaders, including Regina exude these traits, acting as a role model to all others.”

Figueroa assumed the COO role on June 28. Walters will assume the president and CEO role on August 1. 

National Lutheran Communities & Services Names Cyndi Walters as President and CEO

Walters brings over 30 years of senior living experience to National Lutheran, along with a passion of expanding opportunities for older adults to age as they choose and for inspiring team members who have a heart to serve seniors

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is pleased to announce Cyndi Walters as the next President and CEO, succeeding Larry Bradshaw, who is retiring after 12 years with the organization. Although founded in 1890, Walters is only the second President and CEO and is the first woman to assume the role.

Walters has served at NLCS in varying capacities for nine years; first as a consultant before joining as chief operating officer in 2016. Cumulatively, Walters brings over 30 years of experience in the senior living industry including a strong background in strategically growing and diversifying the organization and an enhanced focus on operating as a senior-living system and leveraging its benefits and efficiencies. Prior to joining NLCS, she provided project management and advisory services to senior living organizations through Walters Advisors, LLC. She has also served in a leadership role at Presbyterian Senior Living in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, and during her 19 years at KPMG (a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services), spent significant time as a partner and leader of their National Senior Living Advisory Practice.

Walters is driven by NLCS’ mission to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Specifically, she is an advocate for “aging with choice,” which means providing needed resources for older adults to choose how they want to age – whether that means moving to a senior living community or bringing supportive services to those who want to stay in the home they have always loved.

Throughout her time at NLCS, Walters has spent time interacting with team members at every level, from the executive council to those on the frontlines. She says, “My passion goes much deeper than the mission of NLCS. It is also about the team we have built over the past several years. Our team embraces our culture and has ensured we remain a Great Place to Work®.” Walters continues, “I believe we have the best team in the industry, and I am just as committed to their experience with NLCS as I am the experience of residents and clients.”

Walters’ appointment as President and CEO was voted on unanimously by the NLCS Board of Trustees. “We are extremely excited that Cyndi will be stepping up to the CEO position and building upon the amazing visionary and quality-focused ministerial leadership NLCS has enjoyed under Larry’s leadership,” commented Donna Duss, MSN, RN and NLCS Board Chair. “Since being founded in 1890, our organization’s goal has been to seek the best and the brightest at all levels of the organization, and we have done just that in naming Cyndi our CEO,” Duss added.

“National Lutheran Communities & Services will be in very capable, skilled and dedicated hands under Cyndi’s expertise and vision. She understands and lives the NLCS ministry of keeping quality care at the focus of our day-to-day operations and mission,” retiring CEO Larry Bradshaw stated. “I am incredibly pleased by the Board’s decision, and look forward to continuing to hear wonderful things about new accomplishments and mission-focused service. I wish the organization the best always, and applaud the outstanding efforts of my fellow team members who will be carrying on in support of Cyndi’s leadership,” he added.

Walters will assume the President and CEO role on August 1, 2021.

Impact1890 Announces Special Rapid Response Grants

Grants awarded to three Lutheran congregations to help ease social isolation of older congregation members

Impact1890–A National Lutheran Program is pleased to announce that it has awarded three “Rapid Response” grants totaling $10,325 to St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, VA; Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg, VA; and Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Moneta, VA.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has lengthened, many older adults have found themselves cut off from one of their greatest sources of companionship and comfort, their regular worshipping communities. Executive Manager Kathryn Baerwald stated, “With funds made available after all staff travel and in-person meetings were canceled, we informed synods of the availability of the grants. We received three nominations and after reviewing the proposals, the Board of Directors decided to award grants to all three.”

Baerwald continued, “Although congregations are offering on-line worship services, some older adults need additional support in order to access these worship services. In other situations, normal recognition of the importance of older adults in congregational life may need to be done in different ways, such as small gatherings with appropriate distancing or continuing regular programs but modifying them to fit current circumstances.”

Impact1890 conducts periodic needs assessments to identify areas of critical need facing seniors who are aging in their homes. All grants must address at least one of the six areas of needs. Since 2014, the number one, most critical area of need has been social isolation. Older adults who are aging in place, whether in an apartment or a house that has been home for many years, have long faced the issue of being alone. However, the pandemic has caused increased social isolation which can lead to declines in both mental and physical health.

The 2020 rapid response congregational grant recipients are:

Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia
$4,000
To gather the stories of their older adult members to recognize their lives and then honor these members in a socially-responsible way

St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, Virginia
$2,325
To upgrade the sound system to enable older adults to better participate in remote worship services

Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta, Virginia
$4,000
To assist their 18 geographically-based ministry groups which support, in particular, socially isolated older adult members.

In 2019, Impact1890’s grants supported approximately 20,000 older adults. To read stories about the work of these grant recipients, please visit https://www.impact1890.org/impact-2/impact-stories/.

 

National Lutheran Communities & Services’ COO Cyndi Walters Joins International Council on Active Aging Task Force to Lead Senior Living Transformation After COVID-19

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) Chief Operating Officer, Cyndi Walters joins more than 160 industry thought leaders as they prepare to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID-19 era. 

Participants in the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force include representatives of for-profit, not-for-profit, and affordable housing — organizations providing active-adult and independent living, continuing care retirement communities/life plan, assisted living, long-term care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation Participating industry associations include, among others, LeadingAge, American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), Argentum, American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), Pioneer Network, National Council on Aging (NCOA), The National Association Directors of Nursing Administration in Long-Term Care (NADONA), and the American Society on Aging (ASA).

Walters stated, “COVID-19 has truly ushered in a new normal for senior living providers. Our normal from four months ago cannot exist anymore. I am honored to join other leaders in the industry to work together on how to safely continue providing care, engagement and support for residents and team members, while continuing to safeguard communities from COVID-19.”

“The health, wellness and quality of life of our residents and staff are paramount as we chart a path forward in the midst of uncertainty,” said ICAA founder and CEO Colin Milner, who conceived the initiative. “The Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to plan for a new post-COVID era.”

Milner will co-chair the task force with Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th US Surgeon General, Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch, and psychologist/gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, PhD, best-selling author, founder and CEO of Age Wave.

“Organizations need to make their way through the pandemic and have a game plan to come out of it,” Milner said. “Importantly, all key stakeholders are coming together as a group to address COVID-19’s impact on the industry, and help ensure that organizations will continue to be viable and meet residents’ expectations and desires while also ensuring their safety now and into the future.”

Task force members and panelists at the May 27 and May 28 sessions addressed fundamental issues such as social distancing and its impact on the built environment, infrastructure needs and engagement.

About National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS)
Based in Rockville, Md., NLCS is a not-for-profit, faith-based ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods, serving people of all beliefs. With 130-years’ experience, NLCS honors, inspires and supports choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Entities sponsored by National Lutheran include The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md., The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Va., The Village at Orchard Ridge and myPotential at Home in Winchester, Va., The Village at Augsburg in Baltimore, Md., The Village at Providence Point in Annapolis, Md., subject to Maryland Department of Aging approval, and Impact1890 in Rockville, Md. For more information, visit www.nationallutheran.org

About the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force
ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID era. This includes, but is not limited to, the impact of the built and virtual environments, social activities and food/beverage services, technology, education and security that impacts the health and well-being of staff and residents; challenges to current and future business models; and approaches to build confidence in living in and visiting senior living properties.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
www.icaa.cc
ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging-an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness-and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.

 

 

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) Adds Augsburg Lutheran Home & Village to its Roster of Senior Living Communities

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) has added Baltimore-based Augsburg Lutheran Home & Village to its roster of senior living communities. Augsburg Lutheran Home & Village will now be known as The Village at Augsburg–A National Lutheran Community and a new logo, voted on by Augsburg’s team members has been approved.

The affiliation with The Village at Augsburg makes both NLCS and Augsburg part of a larger system, which means both parties have access to strong support services, have an increased breadth of expertise, have access to additional benefits and resources, and receive best-in-class education.

NLCS President & CEO, Lawrence R. Bradshaw said, “Most importantly, this affiliation allows NLCS to collaborate with Augsburg in expanding its mission to honor, inspire and support choice and opportunities in partnership with older adults.”

The transition started almost a year ago, with the Maryland Department of Aging providing official approval in December 2019. Throughout the year, NLCS team members have spent signification time with Augsburg’s leadership team in addition to meeting with team members and residents.

As for the day-to-day, Bradshaw says Augsburg’s residents “can expect to continue receiving the same great care they always have. Augsburg’s team members are passionate and dedicated. I have been impressed with the caliber of care they provide, and I am excited to welcome them to the National Lutheran family.”

Augsburg has served the Baltimore region for over 125 years, first as an orphanage, and then serving a dual population of children and seniors starting in 1929. In 1970, the orphanage was dissolved, and Augsburg began solely caring for older adults. Currently, Augsburg offers independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing.

NLCS has served seniors for 130 years, starting as the National Lutheran Home in Washington, D.C. In 1980, the National Lutheran Home moved to Rockville, Md., and over the last 10 years has expanded its mission to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and to Annapolis, Md.

About The Village at Augsburg
The Village at Augsburg–A National Lutheran Community located in Baltimore, Md. is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) offering independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. Augsburg has over 125 years of service in the Baltimore region and is a mission of both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit www.augsburg.org.

About National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS)
Serving older adults since 1890, NLCS honors, inspires and supports choice and opportunity in partnership with older adults. Based in Rockville, Md. NLCS is a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia Synods, serving people of all beliefs. NLCS is working together to create thriving communities.

Entities sponsored by National Lutheran include myPotential at Home in Winchester Va., and Rockville, Md., The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md., The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Va., The Village at Orchard Ridge in Winchester, Va., The Village at Augsburg in Baltimore, Md., Impact1890, and The Village at Providence Point in Annapolis, Md., subject to final approval by the Maryland Department of Aging. 

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