Associates recognized for contributions to the senior living industry
22 May 2014
PR Newswire

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A number of Brookdale associates were recognized this week at the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) 2014 Conference and Exposition held in Phoenix, Az. The associates won various awards acknowledging their efforts and expertise shaping the future of the senior living industry.

"I'm very proud of our associates who received these honors from ALFA," said Andy Smith, Brookdale's CEO. "This is important industry recognition and it is well-deserved because of the magic these associates create every day for Brookdale's residents. These associates take ownership and pride in everything they do, work as a team and partner to find solutions. For them, and for me, Brookdale is more than a company, it's a calling."

ALFA 2014 Hero Award

Horizon Bay Plano dining associate Donell "DJ" Akers received a Hero Award for the loving attitude and giving nature he demonstrates daily in his community both on and off the clock. He has taken the time to educate himself about those living with Alzheimer's and other dementias and treats residents with exceptional kindness daily, often visiting with them during his personal time. The ALFA Hero Award is presented to an individual who is committed to the core values of senior living: choice, independence, dignity and quality of life. DJ was one of five senior living associates from across the country selected as an ideal representative for those serving in senior living communities.  Click here to watch DJ's ALFA Hero Award video.

ALFA 2014 Horace D'Angelo Jr. Memorial Award

Karen Peck, Vice President of Clinical Services in Brookdale's East Division, was awarded the ALFA 2014 Horace D'Angelo Jr. Memorial Award for her leadership resolving key issues surrounding industry regulation in Rhode Island. Karen's efforts resulted in the creation of a level of licensing that gives residents access to nursing services that support their independence and dignity.  To ensure that the assisted living regulations match the intent of the law, Karen also chaired the Rhode Island Assisted Living Association (RIALA) group that crafted proposed regulations which were submitted to the state's Department of Health as a model for the new license. The ALFA Horace D'Angelo Jr. Memorial Award honors passionate advocates for seniors who support resident-centered regulatory oversight through grassroots efforts.

ALFA 2014 Best of the Best Award Winners and Program to Spotlight Honorees

The ALFA 2014 Best of the Best Awards recognize new programs or services that are creating the future of senior living. Nominees were judged in seven categories for their uniqueness in the industry, innovative use of ideas from outside the industry,  impact on residents, their families, staff and operations,  embrace of industry core principles, the strength of quantitative and qualitative results and strategic vision.  Brookdale received two Best of the Best Awards and one Program to Spotlight honoree.

Best of the Best Winner/Clinical Category: John Dunavan, Director of Learning, led the team that won for creating on-line and on-site electronic training courses for Brookdale's 2,000 therapists to access directly from the digital tablets they use for documenting medical records electronically. The course not only provided the learning material, but also included testing and clinician feedback. The practice environment was intentionally kept the same as the performance environment.

Best of the Best Winner/Sales and Marketing Category: Mike Ulm, Senior Director of Brand Activation represented Brookdale in its win for its national advertising campaign and brand activation. The campaign brought the brand promise to the attention of the public and the internal brand activation ensures that the brand promise – All The Places Life Can Go™ – is delivered upon to residents, families and associates to optimize their personal situation through senior living solutions.

Program to Spotlight/Information Technology Category: Christine Santell, Director of Human Resources Information Systems, led the team that won for designing the "Basic Hire Template" which streamlined data entry and reduced the amount of administrative time community human resource associates spend entering new hire information into a system to ensure associates are paid correctly. Six templates were created to more efficiently capture personal and job information for Brookdale's 27,000 new hires annually, significantly reducing data entry time.

"I am continually amazed by the generosity of leading companies to share insights on how they do what they do, but also the challenges they've overcome," said Rick Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA. "Each of these submissions had a back story to it, a back story that is rooted in the passion to always do better by our residents and families."

For more information about Brookdale, visit Winning programs and other innovative strategies are recognized in the May/June 2014 issue of the Senior Living Executive ( and recognized at the ALFA 2014 Conference and Exposition.  Learn more about this event for senior living executives at

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, nearly 650 communities in 36 states and the ability to serve approximately 66,000 residents. Through its ancillary services programs, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.

The Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally-managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve.  Since 1990, ALFA has advocated for choice, accessibility, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all seniors.  ALFA's programs promote business and operational excellence through education, research, publications, professional networking and online tools designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurism in the field of senior living.  Visit ALFA's Web site at

Contact: Kristin Puckett, 615-564-8481,

SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living

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