Q&A with Ed Stewart, Executive Director of Katzman Family Center
Not seeing Executive Director Ed Stewart every day at KCL will take a bit of adjustment. A beloved presence at KCL for the past six years, Ed will “retire” at the end of February. But rest assured, he will still be a frequent visitor. Going forward, Ed will be working with CJL on a consulting basis.
Take a look at what Ed has to say as he reflects on his time at KCL:
Q. How are you planning to handle the transition of leaving your position as ED?
A. My plan has been to formally leave the role of Executive Director at the end of February. During the past year I have been working on transitioning leadership to Jill Tura, who has been a Rehab Manager with KCL for most of the past 10 years. While she has been learning the role of an ED over the past year, she has contributed mightily to the residents and staff of KCL, especially during the pandemic. Jill has the temperament, energy, knowledge, experience and focus to fulfill the responsibilities of the Executive Director in the coming years. I have made a commitment to both Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and to Jill personally to be available as needed to facilitate the transition and help insure both her success and that of the Katzman Center.
Q. What are you planning to do with all your free time?
A. Over the next few months I will be engaged in a volunteer role with the American Health Care Association as a Senior Examiner in their National Quality Award Program. I also expect to spend more of my time with family and have lined up a variety of projects at home that are long overdue. If time permits, there may be a round of golf now and then, and some birdwatching.
Q. What will you miss most about working at KCL?
A. I have been blessed by working with an exceptional team at KCL. Here, our staff and managers work together and are always willing to try something new. The strength of our team is rooted in the diversity of our teammates, who bring unique perspectives and a strong work ethic. Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is true of our team and is responsible for our success. I will greatly miss many of the people and personalities whom I have come to know. There are also many residents and families who have brought meaning to my life over the years. I will miss the sense of community that exists at KCL.
Q. What has changed the most at KCL since you started?
A. During the past six years at KCL we completed a long-overdue renovation, revised our model of care to the Green House model, and endured a pandemic, all the while maintaining a 5-star rating and achieving a Silver Award for Quality. At the same time, we faced a significant uptick in regulations and changes in reimbursement. The one thing that is a constant in long term care is change, and those who can adapt will thrive. Evidence of this is demonstrated in the lifecycle of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and Legacy Lifecare, as we continue to evolve and help lead other entities through their own evolution. At KCL we have been fortunate to benefit from the experienced leadership at CJL.
Q. What has been the most difficult aspect about the COVID crisis?
A. The first 45 days was clearly the most challenging time of my professional life. In the early days of COVID there were inconsistencies in the guidance provided by regulators and lack of understanding about incubation. Testing was either unavailable or untimely, and our whole world was changed in an instant. As I look at the past year however, I think one of the most difficult aspects has been the separation of residents from their loved ones. Having the active involvement of families has been a hallmark of our community, and residents who are sick need to spend quality time with their families. We will be in a good place again when that sense of community can return to KCL.
Q. Can you summarize what it has been like to work at KCL?
A. I have worked in long term care since 1978, and in that time have had many wonderful experiences in a variety of settings. That said, there is no place and no experience that compares with KCL and CJL. I can only hope that I have contributed as much as I have received. I am truly grateful!