Levindale’s New President Hopes to Create ‘Sacred Space’ for Clients

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Deborah Graves was recently named the new president and COO of Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. She assumes the post Nov. 27.

Graves comes to Levindale from Minneapolis, where she was senior vice president of client services at Duluth’s Benedictine Health Systems, an organization of Catholic senior care facilities in the Midwest. She is originally from Louisiana and has been in the heath care field for 20 years. She is not Jewish but is the godmother of a young Jewish boy named Moses, the son of her best friend from college.

She is looking forward to her move to Levindale.

“Once I met the people, staff and residents of Levindale — I was hooked. What an amazing place,” she said. “The Employee Action Committee really convinced me that there was great community work being done and that there was so much more that we could do together as a team. Also, Baltimore has such rich history and Maryland is gorgeous — so here we are, ready for our next adventure.”

Leslie Simmons, executive vice president of Levindale’s parent company, LifeBridge Health, said she is thrilled to have Graves joining the Levindale team.

“Her medical expertise, operational knowledge and innovative vision make her the ideal individual to ensure that Levindale continues to be a pioneer in the complex world of post-acute and long-term care,” Simmons said in a prepared statement.

Graves said her personal philosophy is to create a “sacred space” that allows providers to have closer bonds with the lives of clients.

“We ask so much of our staff and associates that the job itself becomes the focus, not the person for whom we are caring,” she said. “My job, as I see it, is to bring those feelings and thoughts forward, as reminders of the direct impact that our decisions have on the lives of others.”

Graves holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and sociology from Louisiana State University and an M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She is a member of numerous national health-care and nursing organizations and was named one of the 100 Influential Health Care Leaders of Minnesota in 2008. She has three grown children and will be moving to Baltimore County with her family and two Siamese cats.


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