On this episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, Reed VanderSlik, President and CEO of Baptist Retirement Homes, sits down with us to discuss what effective organizational leadership looks like in our industry.

Reed talks about his unique transition from working in the manufacturing industry to entering LTC, and touches on the challenges of understanding regulations and reimbursement as a newcomer to the industry.

He shares the details of a tragic story involving coworkers, and what he learned by navigating that experience. He notes that the frequency and clarity of communication make all the difference when working through a crisis situation.

Seeking out New LTC Leadership

Reed provides some great insight on how to identify emerging leaders in your organization. He also highlights the importance of looking at where results are manifesting within your organization and finding the face behind those results. 

To close the episode, Reed gives us some tips for how to look outside your organization for support. He provides examples of collaboration from his time with Porter Hills Village in Grand Rapids, MI. 

You can learn more and sign up to be notified about future episodes at LTCHeroes.com.

Rapid Fire Q/A

What valuable or actionable advice will we chat about that might be helpful for someone else in our industry?

I think a big part of our conversation will be about the dos and don’ts of crisis management.

What is one lesser-known book, newsletter, or industry resource that you would send me to understand long-term care?

It may seem kind of strange, but it’s a children’s book called The Giving Tree. I’ve used it in leadership development with my team. But, I reflect on it a lot too, because I think oftentimes in our industry we’re the tree. And you know, we keep giving and we keep giving and we keep giving, and that’s part of what makes us wonderful in the industry. But, we also have to realize the effect that has on us, and we have to be sensitive to that and support each other so that there are still limbs left for the future.

Name one mentor that has influenced the way that you deliver care in our industry?

I think of Dr. Thomas, and I’m sure you’re familiar with him. I was at an organization that developed Greenhouse Homes fairly early on. I really listened to what he had to say about the approach, about his belief in Greenhouse Homes, and the changes that really benefit the residents that we served.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I certainly wish I had started on my journey of developing future leaders because the industry needs it, and it brings such joy to see individuals grow.