David’s experience and passion set him apart from his peers.  David attended George Washington University’s premiere Long Term Care Administration program which included a residency living at a nursing home outside Chicago for a year.  He learned to see nursing homes as a thriving place to live and not simply a dreary place to warehouse the dying.  The experience was profoundly moving and continues to shape his thinking about creating healthy environments and communities that actively engage residents in meaningful activities to prevent loneliness, helplessness and boredom (to quote Dr. William Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative).  The experience changed his expectations of what a nursing home can and should be - a loving home for its residents.  Everyone else is an invited guest and should act accordingly.  

Licensed since 1983, David worked in the non profit sector for ten years before he was appointed Program Director of the Long Term Care (LTC) Program of the Metropolitan Area Regional Office (MARO) for the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH).  During his tenure, the region expanded to include Long Island & the seven counties around Westchester, encompassing 337 nursing homes and more than 63,000 residents.  As a result of his effectiveness, his role was expanded to include the Hospice and Home Care programs as well.  The position provided an unparalleled opportunity to improve care and services throughout the long term care field in NY.

While working with the state, David developed partnerships to identify best practices and share knowledge, creating educational seminars and training programs specific to improving nursing home care.  Nursing homes were held accountable for achieving measurable results, including the elimination of unnecessary physical & chemical restraints, preventing & healing pressure ulcers (bed sores) and reducing the incidence of weight loss and dehydration, to name a few.  He was an ardent advocate for “Culture Change” in nursing homes before it became a trend!  And new regulations were adopted to guide the development of new programs to serve residents with special needs, including Ventilator Care, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & HIV/AIDS programs.   

Throughout his tenure, David served on Professional Advisory Committees (with AIDS Institute, Alzheimer’s Association/NYC Chapter, Medical Society of the State of NY) as well as presented as Keynote Speaker at numerous conferences & seminars (including guest lectures at NYU and the NYS Office for Aging Ombudsman training program in NYC).  After more than five years of service with NYS DOH, David returned to his true passion: Running a nursing home; Being personally involved & responsible for the care, culture & community;  Instilling accountability; Getting results; Improving the lives of residents, families and staff; Making a difference!

After leaving the state, David lead several for profit nursing homes, earning a reputation for dramatically improving each facility’s quality of care and operational performance. Initially, David worked for the most profitable nursing home in the state, a large for-profit that provided excellent clinical care, but the ownership lacked the compassion he sought.  Next, he worked for 7 ½ years with two special owners, Sally Schnabel, RN, LNHA  and Jacob Dimant, MD, who became great mentors to him.  

Sally was all heart!  She exuded love and compassion for everyone, but was uncompromising with care standards and demanded everyone’s best.  She taught David how to see the obvious and hold people accountable - a subtle and all too rare skill.  Upon entering the nursing home one morning, Sally nodded to a dying bush at the entrance and simply said, “If you can’t take care of that bush, how can you be trusted to care for my Mother?” Point made!  Dr. Dimant is a renowned Geriatrician with an encyclopedic memory of clinical knowledge.  He was the consummate teacher with an impressive list of achievements:  Editorial appointments, published articles and former President of AMDA, the American Medical Directors Association.    

In 2009,  David accepted the challenge of his career when he was hired to turnaround troubled Medford Multicare Center, a 320-bed nursing home on Long Island with an extensive history of violations, including the arrest (and eventual conviction) of fourteen nurses and aides for resident neglect and mistreatment.  The new management team vigorously evaluated every facet of care to make improvements and hold staff accountable to the highest standards of care.  A certified Medical Director was hired to lead the medical staff and implement a Nurse Practitioner program.  RN Supervisors were recruited and trained to improve unit supervision.  An electronic medical record system was implemented to ensure accurate and timely clinical records were maintained.  A chef was hired to run the kitchen. Poor performing staff were replaced.   

As a result, resident care improved steadily for several years.  Residents, families and staff worked in partnership to improve accountability, clinical outcomes and resident satisfaction.  The culture and atmosphere changed, becoming healthy, caring and supportive.  Improvements included facility-wide wifi, a new electronic medical records system, 3 & 4 star ratings by CMS, fewer survey deficiency citations, an $800,000 renovation of the Rehab Gym, new Recreation programs (intergenerational programs, rhythmic drumming circles, art classes, more community trips, Senior Olympics team [who won it all in 2013!] and hosting a resident’s wedding, just to mention a few of the many accomplishments and improvements at Medford).  

After five years, David’s efforts culminated in Medford receiving a perfect record with “No Deficiencies” (a rare achievement earned by only 2 of 88 nursing homes on Long Island in 2013)!  Unfortunately, the good news was short-lived.  In early 2014, the NY state AG charged the owners with Medicaid fraud under the False Claims Act.  Regrettably, a number of highly competent professionals at Medford, including David, lost their professional licenses and careers as a result of the AG’s unprecedented actions.  Sometimes, life is not fair and bad things can happen to good people.  And sadly, the legal process is about winning, not finding the truth.  

And now, David is offering his knowledge and skills as a Nursing Home Care Advocate to help residents and families get the care they need.  Nursing homes are complex, highly-specialized  health care providers that can overwhelm the most dedicated and committed family members.  David provides clear ‘inside’ information to help families make sure their concerns are heard and addressed appropriately.  His in depth understanding of clinical conditions, care requirements, regulations and staff roles make him uniquely qualified to assess whether the nursing home is meeting residents’ needs and, if needed, effectively advocate for better care.    
And as your Nursing Home Care Advocate, David is absolutely fearless and uncompromising.  
Call David today to learn how he can help you get results & improve the care for your loved one.