February 10, 2022

Get to Know Adam Ernst

Adam Ernst with his girlfriend and dog.

Executive Director Leonard Florence Center for Living

Adam Ernst is proud of his Minnesota upbringing, especially his glory days of playing hockey, but people are often surprised by the fact that he is also very much into music. Growing up, Adam was active in band and choir, and enjoyed being part of the Wind Ensemble marching band, Jazz band, Select Chorale, Showchoir, and a men’s acapella group called “Voice Male.” His talents also extend to healthcare; Adam has quickly become a respected and well-liked member of the Leonard Florence team.

By way of background, Adam was born in Hastings, Minnesota to parents Tim and Judy. He has two older brothers – Ryan and Justin. Engaged to Kelly Nummelin, the two are planning a September 23rd wedding. Adam and Kelly are the proud owners of two beautiful two dogs: Ollie (a Boston Terrier) and Luna (a French Bulldog). Adam. Kelly and the dogs reside in South Boston.

Adam’s career path took a few unexpected twists along the way. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison (Go Badgers!) where he initially planned to major in Aerospace Engineering. After one year, he transitioned to Physical Therapy, and then two years later, switched majors again when he decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. It was quite the adventure! Adam continued his schooling at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in Health Care Administration, specializing in long-term care. “An internship at a family-run long term care company allowed me to see all facets of the nursing home industry,” explained Adam. “The internship really reinforced my belief that I had made the right career choice.” He also recalled that his high school Spanish teacher told him he thought he was destined to work with people instead of embarking upon an engineering career. “I never forgot his words,” admitted Adam.

Moving to Boston proved to be a fortuitous step. After completing his Administrator in Training year, he worked as an Executive Director in both nursing homes and assisted living residences. After a time, Adam began looking for a more unique and challenging role. He was excited, therefore, to accept the Executive Director position at the Leonard Florence Center for Living.

Adam truly enjoys enjoy building relationships with the residents. “At Leonard Florence Center we are blessed to have so many unique residents with such diverse backgrounds,” remarked Adam. “In fact, whenever I have free time, I try to strike up a conversation with a resident. Inevitably, I learn something new.”

Working in a nursing home appeals to Adam because he has the opportunity to create intimate and lasting relationships with the residents. In other settings, such as a hospital, the relationship building is limited, and often short-lived. “The nursing home setting allows me to not only learn about who our residents are now, but also the fascinating lives that they have already lived,” explained Adam. “As someone who also loves history, working in a nursing home environment is a perfect fit.”

When asked about the most difficult aspect of the pandemic, Adam didn’t hesitate to respond. “I’m inclined to say that the fear of the ‘unknown’ but I think now that has probably now given away to general COVID fatigue,” said Adam. “Initially I was trying to make sure everyone stayed as calm as possible in the face of the new virus, but we became quickly inundated by it, and that allowed us to become accustomed to it rather quickly. At that point fatigue started to slowly set in.” Adam believes healthcare workers became exhausted by the daily, weekly, monthly, and now yearly requirements of their jobs. Today, Adam wants to inspire hope that this pandemic will eventually end and ensure that we remain compliant with the ever-changing guidance passed down to us by the Department of Public Health.

Along with the challenges also comes some very special and memorable moments. In December Adam coordinated outings to two Boston Celtics games for the vent residents and staff. He noted the significance of the experience. “Attending the first game made me extremely happy and proud to see the Leonard Florence Center vison come to life,” explained Adam. “We want our residents to continue to live life independently and with a purpose. The Celtics game was a terrific example of what we are able to accomplish.”

Outside of work, Adam makes it a point to remain active, indulging in a variety of hobbies and interests. “As a Minnesotan, I do really enjoy playing hockey and used to play in a Sunday league at Boston University before the pandemic,” said Adam. “In fact, I’m always picking up a new hobby, whether it be learning how to brew Kombucha, training for a half marathon, taking up photography, and so forth. “I’m a jack of all trades, but master of none,” he said with a smile. Clearly, Adam Ernst is successful in all his many endeavors.