Early in Susan’s career she knew that institutional long term care was broken—she just didn’t know how to fix it. As a Director of Nursing, her facility received deficiency-free marks from surveyors, but for Susan there still was something “off”. She vividly remembers a very unhappy elder with dementia in restraints “parked” at the nurses’ station. It was for the elder’s safety and within the guidelines for best practices, but for Susan it didn’t seem right. She offered to take the upset elder for a walk outside and the immediate calm that overtook the elder made Susan recognize that the system needed to be changed. She has been on her culture change journey ever since. At the Green House Project, she was initially a Project Guide, but is now the Chief Operating Officer.
• 25 years of nursing with a concentration in gerontology and Alzheimer’s/dementia care—Director of Nursing/Geriatric Nurse Educator
• Eden Alternative board member
• Master’s degree in Aging Services, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Culture Change keynote speaker/presenter
Her passion for improving the quality of life for elders has been demonstrated in a variety of settings. Prior to working with The Green House Project, Susan served on the leadership team of a non-profit continuing care retirement community, where she spearheaded the organization’s transformation to culture change by assessing industry innovation and outcomes and developing strategic and educational protocols. Additionally, her experience includes leadership roles as Director of Nursing for a long-term care facility and as a Geriatric Nurse Educator providing grant-funded programs to support deinstitutionalization of community seniors. She has also worked extensively with older adults in a home care setting.
To relax, Susan enjoys playing the piano. To get energized, she heads outdoors to go hiking or rock climbing.