Industry News


Caregiver of the Year



Hellenic Senior Living, New Albany

Dawn not only fulfils with excellence her duties as a QMA, but will always step into whatever role is needed.  She does not hesitate to ensure dishes are washed, laundry completed or  sometimes to just give a simple hug. She passionately provides service. It is a daily event that she stops by her DON office or Administrator’s office to give report on a special need she has noticed with a resident. Her mind is constantly working to figure out how to help. If she realizes a resident is stressed out about their rent…off she runs to the office. If a resident has experienced a loss, she stops and gives whatever time they need to feel heard. Her energy goes before her and residents are so comfortable with her they never hesitate to send for Dawn to help.

This past few months, Dawn had to take some time off. She sat in my office and said. “I can’t be out. I have to be here for my residents, they depend on me.

Every day I watch this woman in the halls when she thinks no one is watching. Room to room she goes with joyous entries into each room. Each resident still hearing her precious greetings.  She gives of herself…no matter what…she gives.

She is our Care Giver not only of the year…but of each day she blesses us with her service.

CONGRATULATIONS Dawn Thorpe for being INALA’s Caregiver of the Year!

Industry Partner of the Year


Nurse Practitioner

Eventus Whole Health

Crystal Wiles, is a Nurse Practitioner with Eventus Whole Health, which part of the “Justus Cares Network”. In addition to serving Woodland Terrace of New Palestine, Crystal manages 6 other buildings.

Crystal is wickedly smart.  She is thorough and follows up on a regular basis. She calls families, answers all of their questions, and explains things to them in a way they can understand.

As we all know the Pandemic brought new challenges to everyone in the entire healthcare industry, Crystal performed Covid nasal swab testing on hundreds and hundreds of staff and residents at all of her buildings combined. Some of the staff started saying “Oh no, here comes that nose test lady again”. We even made a name tag for her that read “Nose test lady”.

Crystal worked the Covid units at her other buildings. She treated more than 100 covid patients.  While many other healthcare staff left the industry, Crystal stayed and took care of them.

When Crystal is not out saving lives she is hiking, cycling, ferrying her 2 children to sports and activities, supporting her husband in his career, and taking care of her certified therapy dog, Negan. She brings Negan to her buildings to provide comfort and therapy to the residents and staff.

Crystal displays the highest level of commitment to those under her care.

CONGRATULATIONS Crystal Wiles for being INALA’s Industry Partner of the year!

Innovation of the Year

Justus Telehealth Program

Justus Senior Living

Nominee: Justus Senior Living Telehealth Program – Angela Miller, Sarah Crist, Dr. Marwan Mustaklem, Andy Westerfield, Christina McCann, Terri Sall,  and Marcy Christian

2020 was a challenging year for all of us. We were challenged to find ways to reduce exposure of COVID-19 for our residents but still provide excellent quality care. One of the ways that Justus Senior Living was able to do this was through the Justus Senior Living Telehealth program. Through this program, residents could not only meet with the contracted Medical Director and Nurse Practitioners, but they also had the ability to utilize the telehealth program with their personal physician of choice.

Stepping Outside of the BoxThe Justus corporation purchased iPads and rolling carts for all Justus Senior Living communities.  All iPads were equipped with apps such as Facetime, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.

The Telehealth program was promoted through the use of flyers, newsletters and daily updates. that went to each of our residents whether they were in Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care. The marketing team educated physicians and followed up with thank you notes to all physicians completing telehealth visits.

Services Included:

  • Behavioral Health Services including Individual Counseling
  • Acute Care
  • Primary Care
  • Hospice Visits
  • Outpatient Therapy Visits
  • Assisted Living & Memory Care Move-In Assessments 

On average, during COVID-19, several communities completed 8-12 telehealth visits per week. As well as completing upwards of 50 additional Virtual Visits with primary care physicians, Outpatient Therapy groups and  other Assisted Living and Independent living appointments.  They were also able to utilize the Telehealth system to Provided assessments for multiple new move-ins thus reducing exposure to current residents but allow new residents to get the care they needed.

Jessie Cogdill, Marketing Director at Woodland Terrace of Carmel summed the program up this way:

“Telehealth was a huge benefit for residents who lived in our community. Access to healthcare during a pandemic was on the forefront of resident’s minds. They felt reassured and confident knowing they had access to our medical director for their health needs. Residents were grateful to know a friendly face would assist them with the technology component,”

CINGRATULATIONS Justus Senior Living For being INALA’s Innovator of the Year!

Leader Under 40

Deejra Lee

Executive Director

Northwoods Village at Edison Lakes

Deejra has worked from being a cook in the kitchen of health care to housekeeping, life enrichment director, marketing director and then executive director. She did all of this while attending college, starting a family, marriage and helping others achieve their goals.

Deejra’s passion is culture changing in communities, while surprising staff with small gifts that are personalized to them, going over and beyond for families and being an impact in her community as well. Deejra obtained her PCA certification in the time of need to help her community get through staffing concerns.  She  cooked meals in the kitchen to help give staff a break and continues to use her 7 years as an activity director to stay engaged with her residents. There is nothing that is too small or too big for her.

Deejra organized a peaceful protest that ended up landing her a spread in the reader’s digest for her outstanding contributions.  She did this while 7 months pregnant, during a pandemic, running an assisted living community and still being a wife and mother. It was important for her to make a change with the race divide in our country. She got over 200 people to attend while getting the full support of the police department to back her. Deejra now works with the police department to find ways to continue to make the city aware of any ways they can work together to help the citizens.

Deejra is now focused on getting her preceptor license to help other younger leaders become an executive director. She’s a culture changer for sure. She enjoys having fun but getting to business while she does it. Her sales techniques are successful because she takes the time to understand and recognize the needs of everyone she encounters. She is a natural born leader, outstanding citizen and a true role model.

Congratulations Deejra Lee for being INALA’s Leader Under 40.

Outstanding Community Director

Amanda Ciak

Executive Director

Northwoods Village at Inverness Lake

Amanda is a passionate advocate for all those navigating Alzheimer’s disease and other cognition robbing diseases. She has directly and personally raised money for Alzheimer’s research. As a strong supporter and advocate for the dementia community, she truly embodies the North Woods Village slogan of Guiding, Caring and Inspiring.

Since Amanda started her leadership position at North Woods Village in December of 2019, average occupancy increased from 82% the year prior to now running at 100% occupancy. She has increased North Woods Villages online ratings through positive online family reviews and has driven a great word of mouth referral system by exceeding family expectations. She has done this while also navigating the ins and outs of a world-wide pandemic.  Team members who had resigned prior to her arrival have been knocking on the door asking to be rehired because of her leadership.

Amanda is also the inspiration behind a wonderful annual event, the Fort Wayne Nurses Ball. This glamorous event brings together all the nurses in the Fort Wayne community to celebrate their hard work, dedication and service to others.  The event allows nurses and their guests to get dressed in their finest attire, cut loose and enjoy the glamorous life with a red carpet to walk down and delicious food and dancing. Most importantly, this event spotlights those who too often work in the shadows without recognition despite the pivotal role they play in saving and enhancing lives.

Amanda enriches the lives of others by modeling professionalism and provides ongoing leadership, dedication, and unending initiative.   Amanda is not only a valuable asset to North Woods Village but also to our industry as a whole.

Congratulations Amanda Ciak for being INALA’s Outstanding Community Director!

Outstanding Food Service Director

Vanessa Schiola

Executive Chef

Residences at Deer Creek

Vanessa has more than 20 years of experience with fine dining, catering, and menu planning and development.  As Executive Chef, Vanessa creates beautiful, delicious and healthy meals for residents, guests and employees. Her culinary philosophy is that food and shared dining experiences bring people together, creating an opportunity for community, laughter and joy.

With Vanessa’s expertise, Residences at Deer Creek has won awards through the Taste of Care food competition for three consecutive years. Vanessa feels strongly that the community receives these awards because the team cares so much.

During the pandemic, Vanessa became creative in meal delivery.  In a time when residents were restricted to their apartments, Vanessa made sure to continue to offer residents choices for meals and made sure they were delivered hot.

Residences at Deer Creek supports the local community with various events and fundraisers.  Chef Vanessa enjoys going to local senior centers and preparing breakfast or lunch so that the seniors can sample the delicious meals.  There are many seniors that look forward to visiting with Vanessa at these events.  Vanessa makes a positive impact on the resident’s lives each day and is a leader and mentor to her staff. 

Congratulations Vanessa Schiola for being INALA’s Outstanding Food Service Director of the Year!

Outstanding Marketing Director

Aaron Owens

Director of Marketing

Woodland Terrace of New Palestine

Aaron displayed all the qualities in a Marketing Director that we look for.  When Aaron   joined our team, this community was experiencing some challenges.  Aaron  quickly jumped on board to prove he was willing to do anything he could to help increase occupancy, build our brand and build relationships.

When the pandemic hit, communities were forced to no longer allow outside visitors, which also meant anyone interested in moving to our community. We ran into objection after objection from concerned family members and prospective residents, but Aaron and his team found a way to overcome them.

Aaron is not only a successful marketer, leasing professional and closer but he has one of the kindest hearts you’ll ever come across. Aaron often finds fun ways to motivate his team, treats them when they’re successful but also encourages them when they need it. 

Aaron   demonstrates that he not only builds strong relationships in the community to achieve his goals, but he has strong relationships with his residents and team Aaron has truly contributed to a positive change of the atmosphere and teamwork at Woodland Terrace of New Palestine.

Congratulations Aaron Owens for being INALA’s Outstanding Marketing Director of the Year!

Outstanding Nurse Leader

Lisa Jelly-May

Director of Nursing

The Leland Legacy

Lisa has been in the long-term care industry for 31 years.  After all this time…she still has the passion and compassion that defines what a Director of Nursing should be. 

Lisa could be seen celebrating with a resident after her last radiation treatment with balloons, gifts and a lot of hooping/hollering knowing the goal for the resident was just to live long enough to get to her grandson’s graduation.   The full circle moment…this woman was a nurse and Lisa’s mentor years ago at the beginning of her career. 

The commitment to lift her staff up in her professional life is of utmost importance to her but also knowing that life events need support too, she will be the first to be with staff and their hardships whatever they may need.  Covering shifts, driving residents to doctor’s appointments, or jumping in to help cna duties…she will forever be first in line to help lead her team by example. 

Lisa’s sacrifice was evident this past year and a half.  Her continual commitment was a huge part of our success through Covid19.  She was strong in her consistency and would continually be heard saying, “we have to stick to our gamebook”. 

Congratulations Lisa Jelly-May for being INALA’s Outstanding Nurse Leader!

Assisted Living Community of the Year

Crestwood Village South

Justus Senior Living

Crestwood Village South Assisted Living opened it doors in 2015 and has grown into a vibrant community.  Even during the worst of the pandemic, Crestwood Village South was resident focused and kept both residents and staff safe and healthy.  Through the collaborative efforts of the EDs, HSDs and corporate staff, the Justus communities worked together to respond to the ever-changing guidelines to educate and protect residents, staff and family members. High vaccination rates for both resident and staff prove the education worked.

The Justus Care Network is a group of carefully vetted care partners who help bring much needed services to residents such as physical therapy, home health and hospice.  Weekly video calls with the Justus Care Network partners encourages excellent communication which results in better care for residents. 

From the Nursing Team, the Business Manager, Life Enrichment, Fitness staff,  the Leasing team, Maintenance, Housekeeping staff, the Dining staff and our Concierge, our residents are greeted daily by people who truly love and care for them. This team takes advantage of the training INALA offers.  INALA supports our mission and helps us grow.

A dynamic creative staff, collaboration with our other communities and corporate staff, a strong care network,  and innovations like our restorative nursing program combined, make Crestwood Village South Assisted Living a vibrant community filled with a great team who care deeply for our residents.

Congratulations Crestwood Village South for being INALA’s Assisted Living Community of the Year!


Mortality Corresponded With Average Acuity Level of Residents and Complexity of Caregiving
ANNAPOLIS, Md. and CHICAGO, Ill. (EMBARGOED until June 3, 2021 at 5 a.m. ET)—Fifty-one percent of senior housing properties experienced no COVID-19 deaths in 2020, according to an analysis by NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) with a grant provided by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). Researchers analyzed data for four facility types in more than 100 counties across five states.
About two-thirds (67%) of independent living properties, 64 percent of assisted living properties, and 61 percent of memory care properties studied experienced no COVID-19-related deaths. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of skilled nursing facilities (also known as nursing homes) experienced no COVID-19-related deaths during the same period.
“While COVID-19 has been devastating for older adults, a majority of properties avoided any resident deaths,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of health care strategy and lead researcher at NORC. “Death rates in senior housing increased in settings of care that serve the most vulnerable residents, based on age, health status, and caregiving needs. Healthier, more active residents in independent living had comparable mortality to those living in private homes.”
The analysis found COVID-19 deaths across senior housing properties rose in tandem with the acuity, or severity of the illness of the average resident, and the complexity of caregiving needed. The highest mortality by percentage occurred in memory care and skilled nursing facilities. In contrast, the average mortality rate for adults in independent living properties was statistically the same as the mortality rate of
the age 75 and over population in corresponding counties, suggesting residents in this type of group setting were not at higher risk of death from COVID-19 than those living in private homes.
“Ultimately every COVID death in any community designed for older adults is tragic, and lessons were learned regarding health and safety protocols and where improvements are most needed,” said Brian Jurutka, NIC’s president and CEO. “The facts include that COVID-19 transmission is more likely with close person-to-person contact and mortality increases with age and co-morbidities. This study shows senior housing isn’t homogeneous, and mortality was higher in property types whose residents, on average, are sicker and require higher levels of care.”
Experts say COVID-19 may have accelerated or replaced other common causes of death in 2020. However, data show that residents in senior housing properties are older and more vulnerable than people who live in private homes. Prior to COVID-19, almost one-third of all skilled nursing residents died annually, with skilled nursing facilities often being the final residence prior to death.
“These findings are critical to informing the public’s understanding of safety within various senior housing options,” said Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation. “As older adults consider their living arrangements, this information can empower informed decisions.”
The analysis included data from 3,817 senior housing properties across 113 counties in five states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. A complete report and data methodology are available here.
Advisors to the NORC study say further research is urgently needed to better understand the role that health, age, and demographic characteristics play in mortality rates by different residential care setting. NIC plans to support a second phase of research building on these findings to be completed later this year.
NIC’s research grant to NORC was supported by an Advisory Committee, including:
• Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, President of The John A. Hartford Foundation;
• Ardeshir Hashmi, MD, Chair for Geriatric Innovation and Director of the Center for Geriatric Medicine at Cleveland Clinic;
• Bob Kramer, Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor to NIC, Founder and Fellow of Nexus Insights;
• David Nash, MD, Founding Dean Emeritus at Jefferson College of Population Health;
• Arif Nazir, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Signature HealthCARE and past President of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine;
• Kevin O’Neil, MD, Chief Medical Officer of ALG Senior; and
• Anne Tumlinson, Chief Executive Officer of ATI Advisory and Founder of Daughterhood.
The NORC study was directed by Caroline Pearson, senior vice president, health care strategy. Mairin Mancino served as the project manager. David Rein, PhD, program area director of public health analytics, lead the quantitative analysis. Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist, and Ryan Brooks, senior principal, healthcare, oversaw the project for NIC.


About the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a 501(c)3 organization established in 1991 whose mission is to enable access and choice by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers in independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and post-acute care. Through its industry-leading annual conferences and research, analytics, and sector outreach, NIC serves as an indispensable resource for the senior housing and care sector. For more information, visit and follow NIC
Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
About NORC at the University of Chicago—NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

New Technologies Could Save More Lives

During #CancerSurvivorMonth, we celebrate every #CancerSurvivor. New technologies called multi-cancer #earlydetection screenings could save even more lives by finding dozens more deadly cancers earlier when they are easier to treat. That is why we’re supporting must-pass legislation that would make multi-cancer early detection technologies available to seniors.

Division of Aging Follow Up to Settings Rule Meeting on 8/3/20

A message and update from

Darcy Tower, MSW

Provider Relations Director

Division of Aging – FSSA


Dear, Providers,


We appreciate your willingness to participate in the Settings Rule discussion on Monday, 8/3/2020.  The Division of Aging recognizes facilities are inundated working to care for residents during COVID, and we want to be as supportive and helpful to you as we’re able with regard to Settings Rule remediation.


In order to keep our momentum moving forward with Settings Rule remediation, the Division of Aging has compiled the attached questions from CMS to help us better understand how your assisted living facility is separate from your nursing facility.  The intent of these questions is to help the Division of Aging assist each facility in overcoming a presumed institutional designation.  Our goal is to assist providers in showing CMS how our co-located facilities render quality, person centered, home and community based services.  These 17 questions will inform the division about each facility’s practices so we are able to best represent the good work you do.  Your responses to the attached questions will assist the division in informing CMS.  Please submit your responses to no later than December 31, 2020.


Once the division receives your responses, we will summarize your answers to post for public comment per CMS guidance.  Prior to submitting these summaries for public comment, we will share the summary with each individual facility to ensure it represents the facility’s work.  As we mentioned during the 8/3/2020 meeting, CMS has required States to post information about presumed institutional facilities for public comment.  As opposed to submitting detailed packets about each facility for public viewing, CMS is allowing States to summarize the work of facilities to demonstrate how assisted living is separate from the nursing facility.


As you review the attached document, you will see that CMS requests documentation from each facility, this documentation is not yet needed by the Division of Aging, but the Division does expect to eventually need this information, so please feel free to include now if the information is easily available.


As you review the attached document, there may be some concern about submitting “financial documentation” to CMS.  As outlined in questions 4, 5, & 6 from the CMS guidance link below, all speak to interconnectedness including financial. The division’s interpretation is that these CMS questions are not individually deterministic, but instead will likely be a totality review. Therefore, if a co-located facility is separated by means other than physical, such as operating as a separate legal entity, or the facility retains separate accounting, or has different personnel, etc., then that would likely be a positive for a potential CMS review. However, any one of these factors by themselves would be unlikely to either gain an approval or a denial from CMS.


If you have questions about the intent of any of the attached questions, please feel free to reach out to myself or Jesse Wyatt for additional clarification.  We are here to help you through this process!


We appreciate your collaboration!

Darcy Tower, MSW

Provider Relations Director

Division of Aging – FSSA

402 W. Washington St. RM W454

Indianapolis, IN 46204-7083

INALA 2020 Award Recipients

CONGRATULATIONS! To our 2020 INALA Award Winners!
We would be hard pressed to find a time in recent history when making “the best of how things work out” was more challenging than this year. However, we heard story after story of people going above and beyond in amazingly creative ways to help make resident’s days brighter. You can read the stories of this year’s INALA Award Winners below.
This year’s winners represent scores of Senior Living staff who have been doing incredible work during this pandemic. Thank you, really does not express the gratitude all of us at Indiana Assisted Living Association and Leading Age Indiana feel for each and every one of you working in the Senior Living profession. The caring, passion, and compassion shown every day is simply overwhelming. Thank you so much for giving of yourself every day.


Outstanding Activity Director


Woodland Terrace of New Palestine


Lindsey has been fostering the enthusiasm of residents and the local community for nearly two years as Life Enrichment Director at Woodland Terrace, New Palestine.

As her Executive Chef commented:

“Lindsay is always thinking big picture and no picture is too big for her ability to pull off the impossible.”

One of her “impossible” events occurred this past May.  With the shutdown of the Indy 500, Lindsey organized a Race Weekend complete with a parade of 100+ vintage cars, Corvettes, pace cars, firetrucks, and police vehicles…. Followed up with a flyover of an F-16!

Another co-worker commented “Lindsey always has a smile, throws in a little silliness and makes the residents really feel involved and loved.  They have come to count on her and get excited about what’s coming up next!

To get an idea of her creativeness, you just need to check out her YouTube videos, one of which recently received over 4,000 likes!








Leader Under 40


Woodland Terrace of Carmel

Alegra is a board-certified music therapist and Neurologic Music Therapist.  She has earned a bachelor’s degree in performing arts and a master’s degree in Piano and Performance.

As part of the Justus Regional team, she is more than a talented music therapist.  She is a confident, empathetic, and passionate leader.

As Patrick Singleton, Executive Director at Woodland Terrace Carmel commented:

“You could look out your window and see Allegra pushing her piano on to the next performance for hours on end just to bring a little music and happiness to our residents while they were quarantined at home…

And…For those residents that were looking to engage even further, she helped coordinate a program with the University of Indianapolis that allowed residents to interact with local college students studying music”

The key to happiness is making the music louder than the chaos…and no matter how much chaos occurred during this pandemic, this quiet leader kept making sure that her music was louder than it all.







Caregiver of the Year



Woodland Terrace of New Palestine

Mike has been a Certified Nurse Aid for 15 years and is also Woodland Terrace of New Palestine’s first ever restorative aide.

The COVID-19 Crisis brought new challenges to both staff and leadership.  One of those challenges was the need to organize a dedicated team of “Designated Caregivers”, which meant in the event there was a COVID positive resident, one caregiver would take care of them, thereby limiting exposure to others.  Mike was one of the first ones to volunteer, putting himself at greater risk of contracting the virus by doing so.

A colleague of Mike says: “Mike jumps in wherever he is needed, he just gets it done.  He is genuine.  He is selfless.  We are privileged to have him amongst our ranks.”



Certified Nursing Assistant





Outstanding Community Director


Executive Director

Silver Birch at Cook Road

Angela has been Executive Director at Silver Birch for two years.  She began with Solver Birch opening their first community in Fort Wayne and after achieving 100% occupancy within 8 months.  Angela was then given the opportunity to open a second location in Fort Wayne and has been able to maintain high standards of care while hitting her goals even during the pandemic.

Angela is described as “sincere, passionate, compassionate, selfless, and hardworking.  She leads with a servant’s heart and is always looking for how she and her team can improve and do things better.

Some of the ways Angela shows the residents they are most important include bringing residents to her family home for fishing trips.  And, some residents have enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal at her home.

As one of her teammates noted, “She is the kind of leader who is not afraid to come from behind her desk and get her hands dirty.”



Executive Director

Silver Birch at Cook Road




Outstanding Food Service Director


Executive Chef

Woodland Terrace of New Palestine

Bryan has been creating special dishes for Woodland Terrace and the greater public for four years.  Of course, in March the dining room had to be closed and all outside visitors restricted.

Bryan met this challenge head on.  He and his staff continued serving a full menu to residents in their apartments anytime between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 7 P.M. Seven days a week.  Chef Bryan did not stop there.  He then went on to implement an additional menu that revolved around foods that boost the immune system.  With the fear of a spread of Corona virous on everyone’s mind this not only added some great food to an already robust menu but also helped ease the resident’s minds.

When guidance from the Department of Health was released allowing residents to return to the dining room with special precautions in place, Chef Bryan went all out providing special deserts and menus along with live music.

His colleagues say that Chef Bryan’s passion shows on a daily basis.  The residents and staff at Woodland Terrace New Palestine are anxious for what he will come up with next….. So are we, Bryan.  Keep serving it up!



Executive Chef

Woodland Terrace of New Palestine




Outstanding Marketing Director


Marketing Director

Silver Birch Muncie

For the past two years, Susan has been living out the Silver Birch Mission Statement of “Inspiring Purposeful Lives for All”.

One example of living this mission came when Susan was contacted by a hospice company regarding an individual who needed to move to Silver Birch Muncie but who would not leave her cats….. Not several cats but several DOZEN cats!  Susan worked diligently with the Hospice Agency, Animal Control, and animal shelter in Muncie to capture and place all of the cats somewhere safe. Susan, herself purchased live traps and spent many hours carefully capturing the cats and giving them to the animal rescue for safe placement.

The cat story is not the only example.  Susan has worn her rain boots into homes infested with bedbugs, packed entire homes of personal belongings, and bought linens to make sure that any new resident’s first experience is extraordinary.  Susan goes above and beyond for all inquiries, regardless if they move into her community or not.  This type of assistance may seem above and beyond the call of duty but to Susan it is just “the right thing to do to help people.”  As Susan’s VP of Sales put it, “It is Susan’s willingness to do the right thing that has her hitting her goals every single time.”



Marketing Director

Silver Birch of Muncie



Outstanding Nurse Leader


Regional Health Services Director

Woodland Terrace of New Palestine

For the past 5 years Diane has accomplished remarkable outcomes for the Justus Companies Team.  She has helped open several new communities, written policy, and procedures, educated staff, and provided much needed support to the Health Service Directors in her charge.  Under Diane’s leadership all of her community’s medical records were fully integrated into Electronic Medical Records or EMR, 6 months ahead of schedule!

Every leader accomplishes difficult goals and faces moments of crises.  However, it is safe to say that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis continues to top the list.  During this crisis Diane has remained steady… Writing, and implementing policies that change sometimes weekly and many times daily.  Not only was she implementing new policies to keep her residents safe, but she was also, somehow finding Personal Protective Equipment when there was none to be found through traditional channels.  As one of her colleagues stated “a small part of me thinks she was waiting at the docks in a hazmat suit, pointing a temperature gun at them and demanding PPE!!!

When things get difficult, her peers advise to just breath and channel Diane and somehow when they channel Dianne, the cloud disappears, the sun shines and all is well again.



Regional Health Services Director

Woodland Terrace of New Palestine




Assisted Living Community of the Year


Richmond Indiana

The Leland Legacy is located in a restored hotel that was built in1928.  As an Assisted Living Community, it has come to be the home for 100 residents and 62 staff members bringing both together as family.  Atop the 7 story building, in the heart of downtown, passersby are greeted with messages.  Currently the large banner simply shows a giant smiley face with the word “SMILE” to help lift the spirits of all.

Here are some quotes from people who know the Leland Legacy first hand:

“Folks at the Leland feel protected and loved and the families are often invited to these functions so that they stay connected”.

“It was a quick and easy decision to have my mother come to The Leland.  Having worked with them in various ways, I knew the best place for mom was here”

And finally:

“I write this letter in continued support of the contribution The Leland makes not only to the preservation of health within our community, but also in appreciation of community outreach efforts that benefit Richmond and Wayne County…. The Leland has a storied and colorful history of partnership with this community and the city of Richmond looks forward to many more years of working together”.  Sincerely- David M. Snow Mayor, City of Richmond.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Amanda Marquis, Executive Director and the entire staff of The Leland Legacy!

As the 2020 RECIPIENT OF INALA’S Assisted Living Community of the Year AWARD!



Industry Partner of the Year

Best Choice Home Care


Although each resident has a choice in providers, the Justus Companies work with trusted partners to provide essential resources to residents.

One of their Care Network Partners is Best Choice Home Care.  Since medical homecare is a vital part of the continuum of care model, The Justus Companies offer nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services through Best Choice.  Especially during this pandemic, they have been wonderful to work with.  Best Choice keeps the needs of the residents first.  The communication between the teams makes integrated care seamless.  Best Choice Home Care’s willingness to entertain new ideas helped Crestwood South start a Restorative Nursing program and their physical therapist, Alix Walker works closely with the program to ensure the Crestwood team is well trained.



2020 RECIPIENT OF INALA’S Industry Partner of the Year!



Innovation of the Year

Crestwood Village South


During the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the Justus Companies realized that some residents needed extra support to continue to progress or at least maintain their therapy goals.  An idea for a Restorative Nursing program grew out of the desire to help residents maintain and not decline in their mobility.  The designated Restorative Aide is trained by Best Choice and HTS to supplement their services.  A documentation system fosters communication between the Restorative Aide and the service provider.  The Restorative Aide helps to motivate the resident to complete the home exercises or escorts the resident while walking.  Activities of daily living are used by the Restorative Aide to work with the resident to maintain mobility and the program is individualized to best meet the needs of the resident.


CONGRATULATIONS TO Crestwood Village South

2020 RECIPIENT OF INALA’S Innovation of the Year!







Board Member Opportunities

INALA is in the process of selecting several new members to our Board of Directors.

We are looking for board members who believe in the INALA mission and are willing to be active in their governance roles. We believe our work has never been more important than it is today. If you have a passion for senior care and are committed to a thriving assisted living industry in Indiana, please complete the INALA Board of Directors Application and submit it along with a short bio to Dan Kenyon  so we can add your name on the ballot.


To participate in the development of policy and engage in major decision-making regarding the operation of INALA.

To promote INALA with non-members and encourage non-member communities to become part of INALA.

Time commitment:

Board members serve a three-year term.   The board meets every two months.  The meetings last at a maximum about 2 ½ hours. Currently, due to COVID-19, we are holding our meetings via conference call or Zoom.  Under normal circumstances Board members are welcome to host meetings. If no one hosts the meeting, we meet at the LeadingAge office in Northwest Indianapolis.  If unexpected circumstances prevent in-person attendance, telephone participation is possible.

Board members may serve, from time to time, on ad hoc committees depending on their interests.

Additional Resource for Provider Liability From Argentum

As discussed during the past two State Partner calls, Argentum is continuing efforts to protect senior living staff and communities from liability as a result of COVID-19.


In addition to the template executive order and background memo we’ve provided, we are now also offering all state partners access to legal experts in provider liability through Willis Towers Watson and Wyatt Tarrant & Combs. Over the next several weeks, we will be reaching out to state partners to discuss the current status of actions in the state and to help with strategy and identifying executive and legislative actions that can be taken to provide protections. We appreciate your flexibility in scheduling these calls.


Please contact your state policymakers.  This background memo and current executive order text can be adapted as part of your outreach.  Tara Clayton and Doug McSwain are assisting in our efforts. Please see their bios below:


  • Tara Clayton, Senior Claim Consultant, Willis Towers Watson
    Tara has extensive experience dealing with senior living general liability, professional liability, and medical malpractice claims. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Tara served as Vice President of Operations Legal Counsel for a multi-state senior living provider. In that role, she managed long-term care litigation for over one hundred senior living campuses located in multiple states, as well as pharmacy and therapy litigation in more than a dozen states. In addition, she managed employment matters and assisted with all legal matters across the company including corporate transactions, contract review, regulatory compliance, privacy and security compliance, employee relations and risk management. She also provided senior management with strategic and operational assistance. Before moving into the role of operations counsel in 2013, Tara was a health care and commercial litigation attorney, where she represented several senior living providers, hospitals, physicians and other health care providers and health care companies by defending medical malpractice and long-term care claims. Tara also advised on regulatory matters, including health care privacy, licensure and long-term care discharge proceedings.
  • Doug McSwain, Partner, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP
    Douglas McSwain is a member of the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team. He has been a litigator, legal advisor, speaker, and writer for more than 30 years. He concentrates his practice in constitutional law, business, professional, employment, civil rights, data privacy & security, and trade law. Mr. McSwain also has experience in health care, administrative and equine law. Mr. McSwain has handled numerous multi-party wage and hour cases both administratively and in litigation. He has conducted auditing and investigative cases involving the U.S. Department of Labor and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, as well as multi-Plaintiff cases individually suing or class and collective actions. 




Dan Samson

Director of Government Relations

ARGENTUM | Expanding Senior Living

Coronavirus Resource Page

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

INALA has compiled the following resource directory to provide information from CMS, ISDH, CDC and the EPA in one location. This is not, and should not, be considered an all-inclusive resource. Please check ISDH, CMS and CDC websites frequently, as information and/or directives are being released almost daily.

From Argentum

Resources, links, and suggested best practices for a thoughtful approach to coronavirus (COVID-19) preparation and response in senior living communities.

Access the coronavirus toolkit here


 Prepare Now

  1. Argentum’s What You Can Do Now – checklist
  2. Review infection prevention and control policies and procedures from the CDC
  3. Review emergency preparedness plan with staff and expect ISDH survey’s to be more narrowly focused on infection preparedness.  Read more from CMS.
  4. Have a Communication Plan for all stakeholders.  Download The World Health Organization Communications Package

Resource Directory

EPA Releases List of Disinfectants to Use Against COVID-19

EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogen Guidance was developed and finalized in 2016 to allow for a rapid response in the event of an emerging viral pathogen outbreak. It was triggered for the first time ever for SARS-CoV-2 on January 29, 2020. The guidance outlines a voluntary, pre-approval process for making emerging viral pathogens claims. In the event of an outbreak, companies with pre-approved products can make off-label claims (for example in technical literature, non-label-related websites, and social media) for use against the outbreak virus.


CMS Guidance for Nursing Homes  VIEW HERE

ISDH Long Term Care Newsletter / Special Issue:  COVID-19 / Coronavirus

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Long Term Care is providing facilities with information related to COVID-19.  It is recommended that facilities review this information and use it to educate staff and visitors.

Additional questions please contact LTC Deputy Director Tammy Alley at or 317.233.7441, or LTC Director Brenda Buroker at or 317.234.7340.

CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronovirus

CMS calls on all health care providers to activate infection control practices and issues guidance to inspectors as they inspect facilities affected by Coronavirus.    READ MORE

Additional Resources

Strategies to Prevent Spread in LTC Facilities

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19

Good time to review infection control policies

Video Chatting with Grandma

Study finds video chatting is the best technology to prevent loneliness in seniors reports US News and World Report.

Study says Tai Chi most effect exercise to combat dementia.

A meta-analysis of 20 studies on tai chi and cognition determined tai chi appears to improve executive function without any cognitive decline, reports Newsmax.

2018 INALA Award Winners

Check out this year’s winners!

INALA Conversations: Dementia and Guns – Part Two

If an individual’s dementia has progressed to the point that conversation is not possible due to the disease or lack of judgment, than it is important that family members take action to safeguard the individual and others in the home.

In this situation, here are some tips for dealing with firearms in the home:

The best option is removal of firearms before there is a major safety concern. But if that cannot happen then consider:

  • Store all guns separately from ammunition in a secured and locked case or firearm vault.
  • Remove ammunition from the house.
  • Do not allow the person with disease to have unsupervised access.
  • If guns are in the home, other adults in the home should make it a priority to learn proper and safe handling of the guns.
  • Consider having an adult child, neighbor or friend “borrow” or “store” the guns permanently. Make sure you follow the laws on how to legally transfer gun ownership.
  • Have the guns leave the house for “professional cleaning.”
  • Have a professional disable the guns. This could still present risk if law enforcement ever becomes involved. They must act with the belief a gun is operational.
  • Go through a licensed firearms dealer if the guns are to be sold.
  • If you want law enforcement to destroy the guns and ammunition, call first and find out what is required. Do not simply walk into the station carrying the guns you want destroyed. They may want to see a statement of diagnosis from a physician and they can give you instructions on how to bring in the guns or whether they will send someone to collect the guns.
  • Indiana has a “red flag” law which allows immediate and temporary seizure of weapons from a person who poses a threat to themselves or others. Contact law enforcement anytime you think there is an imminent threat.

With appreciation to the California Central Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for most of these tips!


Aging and Thinning Skin

Is your skin becoming thinner as you age? Thin skin is a natural part of getting older, alongside wrinkles, less skin elasticity, and skin that is dry or easily damaged. While thinning skin is not reversible, there is help for thinning skin!
  • Moisturize your skin! It can make skin more flexible and less likely to break.
  • Drinking enough water helps keep the skin hydrated. Dry skin can be irritated or damaged more easily and is often less flexible.
  • Avoid anything that makes your skin red or sore. Protect yourself from the sun! You will burn more easily as your skin ages. Also, take care to avoid harsh chemicals that could damage your skin.
  • Wear long sleeves, gloves, and long skirts or trousers to help avoid bruises or tears.
  • Eat a balanced diet to help support overall health. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Vitamin E, found in foods such as almonds and avocados, can also support skin health. The fats in these foods may help to keep the skin supple.
  • Using creams that contain vitamin A, also known as retinol or retinoids, may help to prevent skin from thinning further. Your doctor can prescribe this medication or there are some over the counter products you can use. As with any medication, make sure you follow the instructions and talk to your doctor if you experience problems.
There is usually no need to see a doctor for thin skin that is caused by aging and is not presenting any health problems. If you find you are bruising or damaging your skin often, you may wish to seek medical advice.
Since specific treatment is not available for thin skin, prevention is the best option. Protecting your skin from sunlight and keeping your skin hydrated may help prevent further thinning of the skin.

INALA Conversations: Dementia and Guns

The best time to have a conversation about firearms in the house is BEFORE there is a major safety concern!

For an individual living with dementia, gun ownership may represent security, pride in a skill gained and honed over time, treasured memories of a lifetime of gun ownership and a mark of responsible adulthood.

As dementia progresses the individual affected will experience a decline in judgment skills, memory, perception and reasoning. The individual’s ability to act safely may be impaired in a variety of situations like driving, using power tools or cooking. Just as difficult conversations may have to occur around these activities, similar conversations should happen around guns.

These can be highly emotional discussions and decisions. To get you started, you should know:

  • As dementia progresses, information and training in safe gun handling skills may fade.
  • Some people with dementia experience changes in personality and emotions.
  • Dementia affects the ability to control emotion and emotional outbursts can occur.
  • People with dementia may mistake someone they know for someone else, like an intruder.
  • Depression is common in those with dementia and can increase the risk of suicide if there is access to a means, like a firearm.
  • In later stages of dementia, people may suffer from delusions and hallucinations, some of which can be paranoid, persecutory or hostile.

You and the person experiencing dementia can come up with a plan as to how guns should be handled as the disease progresses. You might discuss a “firearms retirement or early inheritance date.” Or the person experiencing dementia might designate someone they trust to have the authority to take away their guns when the time comes.

Whatever you and your loved one chooses to do, as the disease progresses, continual reassessment of safety issues will be needed. If dementia is creating risk, neglecting to address gun safety could result in tragedy.


National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine

Licensed and non-licensed assisted living communities must provide residents with information about flu vaccine. The requirement can be met with a copy of the CDC’s vaccine information statement (VIS). Click here for the CDC VIS page.

Get your flu shot before the end of October

The CDC is recommending people get flu shots by the end of October. Learn more.

Previous and current approaches to dementia care

A New Yorker article entitled “The Comforting Fictions of Dementia Care” discusses previous and current approaches to dementia care. (Print edition of the article published October 8th is headlined “The Memory House.”)

FDA has approved sale of first self-fitting hearing aid

The FDA has approved the sale of the first self-fitting hearing aid, reports WebMD. The Bose Hearing Aid is a wireless amplifier placed in the ear canal that can be adjusted by the user through a smartphone app.

An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan

An Aspirin a Day for Older People Doesn’t Prolong Healthy Lifespan. Read the NIH Director’s blog post.