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When most people think of senior living and care facilities, they think of older adults. But at Charlene Boyd’s facility in Seattle, which offers skilled nursing, assisted living and adult day services, you’ll find anyone from toddlers to those old enough to be their great-grandparents.
More than 40 years ago, Boyd joined the team at Providence Mount St. Vincent, or “The Mount” as an occupational therapist. In 1982, she founded the Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation after seeing the charitable needs of residents. Eleven years later, she became the assistant administrator and established the Intergenerational Learning Center and a preschool at the facility. Not long after, she was promoted to administrator, her current role.
The learning center and preschool would come to mark The Mount as a unique senior living and care environment and win praise as a nationally recognized children’s day care program. Throughout the day, older adults can interact with the 125 children in the program and read, sing or play with them. The program continues to bring national attention to The Mount; it has been featured in “The Growing Seasons” documentary, the preview of which went viral online.
Boyd has a strong focus on culture change within the long-term care industry and wants person-centered practices to take center stage in such settings. She and The Mount aim to create a culture of aging that is life-affirming and humane. Boyd has received countless awards or recognition for her initiatives from entities such as the New York Times, the Better Business Bureau, LeadingAge, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living and many more.
She passionately shares her philosophy with those who are interested, according to colleagues. The Mount receives a great number of visitors from those working in the long-term care industry looking to improve their facilities and communities, colleagues note.
Boyd also has published her work in the Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care and was featured in a book, “Old Age in a New Age” by Beth Baker, among other achievements.
In addition to sharing her knowledge with peers, Boyd has been able to help raise more than $1 million for the foundation she started back in 1982.
The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.