February 26, 2024

- Listen to Ron's Interview with Rick Gamache -  

Rising Out of the Pandemic, a New Vision for Nursing Homes 


Episode description:  

Since 2020, the COVID pandemic has had a brutal impact on nursing homes, accounting for more than 200,000 deaths of residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Subsequently, the nursing-home industry has been the subject of intense public scrutiny, with critics pointing to insufficient staffing levels and low wages, cases of financial abuse or neglect, and the need for greater government oversight. But a growing number of advocates are moving beyond criticizing nursing homes and stepping up efforts to reform what they call is a “broken long-term care system.” In today’s episode, Rick Gamache, the CEO of Aldersbridge Communities in Rhode Island, talks about his decades-long involvement as a distinguished administrator, a thought leader, teacher and mentor to many individuals in the elder care industry. Mr. Gamache, who oversees four Aldersbridge communities—from independent and assisted living to skilled nursing facilities—does not shy away from the myriad challenges of long-term care. He describes the trauma of the pandemic, but also the heroic efforts of staff members at every level to pitch in under extremely high-risk situations. He explains the need to change how we pay for long-term care, as well as redesign buildings and shift to smaller communities to better serve residents and reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases. Mr. Gamache believes we need a new paradigm for nursing home care, and ultimately, his goal is to help train the next generation of leadership.

Guest description:

Rick Gamache is Chief Executive Officer of Aldersbridge Communities, a not-for-profit continuum of care for older adults across Rhode Island. He’s been continuously employed in aging services since 1981 and has worked for organizations large and small, publicly traded, privately-owned and everything in-between. His career has been equally split between for-profit and not-for-profit companies and has included nursing homes and assisted living communities in four states, a home care organization, in-patient hospice, hospital in-patient rehab center and the creation of the first two senior-friendly emergency departments in New England. He’s also survived four corporate mergers and/or acquisitions. He teaches Long Term Care at RI College, serves on the board for Leading Age RI and the RI Quality Institute and served as past chair of the RI Health Care Association, and The Eden Alternative. He is a member of the Live Oak Project and the Moving Forward Coalition, both dedicated to reimagining, redesigning, and transforming long-term care in America. He was recently appointed by the Governor of RI to the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators. In 2009, he was chosen as the National Distinguished Administrator, by the American College of Health Care Administrators.

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-gamache-a931992/

X: @AldersbridgeRI

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