A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Center for Assisted Living launched to serve as advocacy voice for residents, staff, facilities

The Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF), the state’s leading voice on aging and personal care, launched the Kentucky Center for Assisted Living (KCAL) this week, to serve as the advocacy voice of residents, staff, and facilities for this growing community.

The mission of the newly formed KCAL is to represent the ever-growing assisted living community in Kentucky, which currently serves thousands of individuals across the state. KCAL will serve as an advocate for the assisted living community on public policy issues and provide critical education and professional development for residents, families, and staff.

KCAL will also work toward ensuring all facilities reach a national quality initiative by 2021. That initiative focuses on four areas: improving employer retention; increasing resident satisfaction; safely reducing hospital readmissions; and reducing unnecessary medication usage.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this new organization, adding a significant new voice to advocate on behalf of Kentucky’s senior care community,” said Betsy Johnson, KAHCF President. “Assisted living is a rapidly growing profession with unique opportunities and challenges. We are fortunate to have three great leaders to help guide the new organization to success. ”

There are currently 200 assisted living communities in Kentucky with 12,500 beds. Assisted living homes and communities offer an alternative to traditional nursing homes for residents who are seeking and are able to live more independently, and who do not require as in-depth regular medical care.

The KAHCF also named KCAL’s three inaugural board members, including Masonic Homes Senior Vice President of Health Services Debra Finneran as chair; The Oaks Assisted Living Executive Director Michael Bowlden as vice-chair and Management Systems of Kentucky Health Care Director of Operations Joe Jurgensen as secretary.

Debra Finneran has been involved with long-term care and senior living communities for over 40 years and is currently Senior Vice President of Health Services for Masonic Homes of Kentucky. She is a registered nurse and a licensed long-term care administrator who has had an active career in nursing administration roles, ownership and management of nursing and assisted living facilities.

Michael Bowlden has been involved in the long-term care profession for the past 12 years. He currently is a licensed nursing home administrator at The Richwood, a skilled nursing facility, and the Executive Director of The Oaks, an assisted living community, in La Grange.

Joe Jurgensen is a seasoned professional with years of experience in Kentucky’s personal care homes and assisted living communities. Jurgensen is a chairperson of the Personal Care Home Committee and has worked for Management Systems of Kentucky for over 16 years, serving in many different capacities from facility administrator and executive director to his current position as Director of Operations.

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