Staff Profile: Karen Travis, Health Services Administrator

We are excited to officially introduce Karen Travis as The Kenwood by Senior Star’s new health services administrator. A Licensed Ohio Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA), Karen brings an extensive background in healthcare administration to The Kenwood. In her new role at The Kenwood, she will be responsible for the operations and quality of our Assisted Living, Memory Support and Nursing Care programs. These duties include developing high-quality programming and daily activities for residents, managing the health services staff, and training, regulations, certifications and licensure required by the state of Ohio.

We strive to deliver resident-inspired care that supports a healthy and engaged lifestyle, and Karen’s experience and approach to care meshes perfectly with ours. Our residents, their families and our staff will benefit from her leadership. We sat down and discussed her background and the skills she brings to our community.

Tell our blog readers a little about yourself!
When I was getting my social work degree at Xavier, I did an internship at a long-term care community… and I never left! My background in social work has really been the foundation of my career, which has spanned marketing, health services and executive director roles. Listening and communicating, helping individuals with their concerns: those are skills I developed in my very first job that continue to be important as I take on this new role.

What do you like about being a health services administrator?
Being a health services administrator combines many tasks that I really enjoy. I am able to be involved in multiple different departments, rather than pigeonholing myself. Dining, programming, nursing – all of those things, together, make an impact – and I like leaving my mark on those experiences.

I’m a big believer in being out an about in the community. I don’t want to be tied to my desk. I want to recognize and be recognized. I am also always happy to speak/meet with families and residents. That’s definitely a big part of why I like being the administrator – I’m in it, working directly with residents and staff. I can perform the everyday tasks in addition to the high level ones.

What inspired you to join The Kenwood?
I love the philosophy of care and the environment itself – the culture of how employees interact with one another and how we serve our residents. The Kenwood has an outstanding reputation in the healthcare community, and deservedly so.

In your opinion, what is a good example of The Kenwood’s approach?
There is a hospitality spin on The Kenwood that is different from any other community that I’ve been in. In particular, health services at The Kenwood are intentionally very person-centered. Many communities have tried to adapt to individualized care because that’s where the senior living industry has been heading for many years, but The Kenwood was developed that way from the start. You really see, every day, the care and routines that are based around individual resident preferences. I’m proud to be part of the team.

How have you spent your first few weeks with The Kenwood?
Right now, I’m just learning as much as I can. I’ve spent a lot of time observing, interacting with residents and staff, getting to know the systems that are already in place. The job has been easy so far, because there are already great systems in place! Our job and mission is to provide outstanding care to everyone – residents, families, staff and vendors alike – and we’re already doing a terrific job. I’m excited to see what’s next.

Is there anything else you’d like current or potential residents to know about you?
I know what it’s like to have a loved one in nursing care, to trust that the right level of care is being provided when you can’t be there. I use that personal experience to ensure every resident will receive the same level of personalized service and care at 3 a.m. as they’ll receive at 3 p.m. It’s important to me that each and every resident and their families know that I understand where they are coming from, and am here to help.

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