A tornado struck Connecticut when Lynn M. Hood was an emergency medical technician in high school, and she found herself assisting in one of her first emergency disasters. Since then, she has continued to meet multiple crises head-on as part of her career and a personal life dedicated to service.
Friends and colleagues say there is no other person you would want more by your side during a large-scale crisis.
“I seem to thrive, and have always thrived, in situations that aren’t normal,” she confesses.
Hood took on the challenge of supporting Haitian-American staff at her former workplace, HCR ManorCare, after the Haitian earthquake of 2010. The “cataclysmic” event resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, some among her staff’s families.
Hood set up phone cards for her staff to get in contact with survivors and hosted memorial services. Weeks later, she flew to Haiti with a group of nurses and doctors from the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida (HANA) to provide medical assistance and tents for employees’ family members who found themselves homeless.
Marjorie Lozama, a nurse and second vice president of HANA in 2010, worked alongside Hood and immediately recognized her unique levels of compassion and energy.
“She embraced the pain we were going through, despite the heat and the conditions we were staying in,” Lozama says. “She opens her heart to many people.”
At Principle LTC, Hood has used her crisis-management experience as a helpful advantage in the fight against COVID-19.
Her hands-on mentality comes from being exposed to humanitarian issues early. Born in Kent, England, Hood spent much of her childhood traveling with her mother, a homemaker, and father, a project manager who oversaw powerplant construction. They went to Canada, Australia and South Africa before finally settling in Windsor, CT.
“Everyone thinks I was a military brat,” she joked.
Hood described being thankful that her parents never shielded her and her brother from “the bad” side of life.
“I always wanted to play a part in making the world a better place from what I was seeing,” says Hood, who today lives with her mother, a dear friend and three dogs in her home in Kinston, NC.
“My life is very full outside of work,” she says. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on walks, kayaking and traveling. She also enjoys a glass of good South African wine from time to time.
Though a capable leader in her own light, Hood understands the importance of having a high-quality team, with sharp minds and varying viewpoints, on her side.
Diversity and inclusion are all-important factors for her. She surrounds herself with a team of people from different walks of life and enjoys the diversity of the human experience, races, cultures, religious beliefs and sexual orientations.
“If someone is not like me, that gives me the opportunity to learn and grow,” she says. “I have a non-negotiable policy when it comes to any kind of hatred.”
As such, Principle has endorsed a policy of “kindness” under her leadership.
“I’ve always valued the criticism of other people, as long it is done in the spirit of improving the lives of others,” she adds. It’s helped form her worldview and humanitarian streak.
Lozama recognizes this strength: “She puts people first, and therefore people will go the extra mile because they feel appreciated.”
Resume: 1986, Earns nursing degree from University of Connecticut, followed by a healthcare administration certificate; 1986, Becomes director of admissions at Kimberly Hall North Skilled Nursing Facility in Windsor, CT; 1991, Joins HCR ManorCare as administrator in Florida; 1995, Promoted to regional director of a facilities group for ManorCare; 2007, Named general manager, divisional vice president for ManorCare; 2012, Wins President’s Choice Award from the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida; 2015, Elected to Women of Excellence by Free Yourself Women Foundation, a nonprofit for victims of domestic violence; 2017, Becomes president and CEO of Principle LTC; 2019, Launches Principle Cares, a nonprofit fund providing crisis fund for employees; 2021, Elected into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor