NADONA founder out, interim leader named

Share this content:

Joan Warden-Saunders has been removed as executive director of the National Association of Directors of Nursing/Long Term Care (NADONA), an organization she founded 18 years ago in a bedroom office.

The NADONA board also voted to release Warden-Saunders' son Gary Warden, a part-time actor who oversaw several operations for the association. NADONA Board President Sherrie Dornberger made the announcement late Tuesday in a letter addressed to "colleagues."

Elected officials of NADONA's executive board recently voted on the decisions, which became effective Oct. 18, Dornberger said. NADONA Education Director Charlotte Eliopoulos was named interim executive director.

"The association wanted to move in different areas and changes were made in management," Dornberger said.

She said Eliopoulos could be in the running to have the "interim" label removed from her title, but a decision on a new, full-time executive director was not imminent.

"She has a lot of long-term care experience and is very visionary," Dornberger said of Eliopoulos. "She thinks out of the box, which I think will be good for our organization."

NADONA has 37 state chapters and a membership base of more than 7,000 DONs and RN nurse managers at skilled nursing and assisted living centers throughout the United States and Canada.