Maryland's Leading Long-Term Care Association Names 20-Year Industry Veteran as Its 2010 Administrator of the Year

Dec 15, 2010, 12:04 ET from The Health Facilities Association of Maryland

New Association Leadership Also Chosen

COLUMBIA, Md., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) selected Donna Leister, Ph.D., administrator at FutureCare Cherrywood in Reisterstown, as the 2010 Administrator of the Year during its annual meeting held on Friday, December 10, at Turf Valley in Ellicott City. For more than 20 years, Dr. Leister has provided exceptional quality care to older Marylanders and individuals with disabilities.


"Donna is more than just an experienced long-term care administrator, she is a role model for our industry," said Gary Attman, president of FutureCare Health and Management Corporation. "For the past 10 years, she has shown exceptional dedication in making the facility one of Maryland's premier skilled nursing facilities. This honor is her crowning achievement in a lifetime dedicated to nursing and selfless service to the frail and elderly."

HFAM – the state's leading organization of long-term care facilities – annually honors a top administrator. "This year's honoree, Donna Leister, has spent her entire career serving Marylanders with exceptional nursing care," said Joseph DeMattos, HFAM president. "Our state is incredibly fortunate to have not only such a loving and dedicated long-term care advocate, but also an industry mentor that has shared her passion, skills and leadership with so many other professionals."

A 1968 graduate of the Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing, Mrs. Leister began her lifelong nursing career in trauma care. She also received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Nursing from the University of Maryland. In 1999, she became a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Maryland.  

"I intended to stay in trauma care for my entire career, but the unthinkable happened and I fell in love with long-term care and never looked back," said Donna. "It's truly an honor to be recognized for something that I enjoy doing every day. I'm so happy to share this award with my residents, their families, and our staff. Our challenges are many, but our rewards make the 24/7 commitment worthwhile."

"She believes that how she treats her staff is how her staff should treat our residents. She is devoted to our residents and staff and she shows it every day," said Mabel Pilgrim, director of Human Resources at Cherrywood. "The mantra in our building is 'we won't let each other fail' and she walks with us every step of the way."

An avid piano player, it's not unusual to see her playing the grand piano in the dining room entertaining her residents at lunch so that it becomes an enjoyable social occasion rather than just a meal.

She recently earned her Ph.D. from Capella University in Planning and Organizational Management, completing her groundbreaking dissertation entitled, "The Vanishing Nursing Home Administrator: Stress and Intent to Leave." She has also been featured in an HBO series, The Alzheimer's Project, for the excellent work her nursing staff does every day at FutureCare Cherrywood.

Dr. Leister lives in the Reisterstown/Hunt Valley area of Baltimore County with her husband, Frank. She has a grown son and two grandchildren in the Philadelphia area.

Additional awards were presented to the following long-term care leaders:

  • Person of the Year – Victor Tilles, Peoplefirst Rehabilitation
  • Milton Moskowitz Excellence in Achievement – Marianne Krebs, MLKrebs Consulting
  • President's Award – Bruce Yarwood, President of the American Health Care Association
  • Leadership of the HFAM Nursing Home PAC – Steve Allen, White Oak Health Care
  • Leadership and Elder Statesman for Long-Term Care in MarylandGary Attman, President/CEO Future Care Health and Management
  • Tireless and Steadfast Support of HFAM and long-term care in MarylandLou Rubin, President, Radiation Physics
  • Gifted Spokesperson for HFAM and the provider community – Daren Cortese, President, Brinton Woods Healthcare
  • Leaders in Innovation – Lou Grimmel, CEO, Lorien Health Systems and Scott Rifkin, M.D., President, Mid-Atlantic Healthcare

In addition to announcing this year's award winners, HFAM elected a full slate of board members for 2011 led by newly elected board chair John Spadaro of SavaSeniorCare. The full slate includes:

Officers for 2011

Chairman –  John Spadaro, Regional Vice President of Operations, Northeast Region, East Division, SavaSeniorCare , Owings Mills

Vice Chair –  Clifton Porter, Assistant Vice President, Government Relations, HCR ManorCare Toledo, Oh.

Treasurer –  Bob Lanza, Senior Administrator, Salisbury Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Salisbury

Past Chair –  Eric Shope, Senior Vice President - Business Development, Stella Maris, Inc., Timonium

Directors at Large for 2011

  • Stephen Allen, Government Relations Director, White Oak Senior Care, Baltimore
  • Jennifer Abergel, Administrator, Ingleside at Kings Farm, Rockville
  • Bill Adams, Administrator, Golden Living Westminster, Westminster
  • Dave Almquist, Executive Vice President/President Southern Region, Genesis HealthCare, Towson
  • Gary Attman, President/CEO, FutureCare Health & Management, Pasadena
  • Steve Bellone, President, White Oak Senior Care, Baltimore
  • Carla Brown, Administrator, Reeders Memorial Home, Boonsboro
  • Daren Cortese, President, Brinton Woods Senior Living, Sykesville
  • Zachary Gray, Administrator, St. Thomas Moore, Hyattsville
  • Louis Grimmel, CEO, Lorien Health Systems, Ellicott City
  • Brian Klausmeyer, Administrator, Forest Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center, Forest Hill
  • Sandra Martin, Owner/Administrator, Long View Nursing Home, Manchester
  • Sr. Karen McNally, Chief Administrator, Stella Maris, Inc., Towson
  • Milton Moskowitz, Silver Spring, Honorary Member
  • Steve Pazulski, Administrator, Cherry Lane Nursing Center, Laurel
  • Scott Rifkin, President, Mid-Atlantic Management, Towson
  • Bonnie Stone, Administrator, Manokin Manor, Princess Anne
  • Wendy Utz, Nurse Consultant, Ivy Hall Geriatric & Rehabilitation Center, Baltimore
  • Ronald Wilheim, Owner, CommuniCare Health Services, Cincinnati, Ohio

Health Facilities Association of Maryland is a voluntary provider community association, chartered in 1948 as the Maryland Nursing Home Association.  It is the oldest and largest long-term care association representing skilled nursing, sub-acute facilities, and assisted living programs in Maryland.  HFAM has 150 member organizations, including non-profits, serving more than 19,000 Maryland consumers in need of long-term care each year.  HFAM member organizations employ nearly 20,000 people in Maryland.

SOURCE The Health Facilities Association of Maryland