LeadingAge Illinois, the statewide association representing more than 500 senior care providers, has elected Blaire Goldstein, the executive director at Oak Trace, to its Board of Directors. Concurrently, Jocelyn “Joy” Russo, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at the Downers Grove retirement community, has been recognized with the association’s 2019 Heart and Hands Award. The award is given to an individual who embraces person-centered care/service through efforts that go beyond those normally within their job description.
“We’re very proud of Blaire and Joy for these wonderful achievements,” said Amy LaCroix, regional operations director at Lifespace Communities, Oak Trace’s parent company. “Such recognition by a prestigious organization like LeadingAge Illinois speaks volumes not only about their expertise, but also about their character and passion for seniors.”
Goldstein, a 20-year senior living industry veteran who oversees the day-to-day operations at Oak Trace, expressed excitement for her new role. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to advocate for hundreds of seniors in my daily responsibilities at Oak Trace,” she said. “It’s a great honor to be able to impact thousands more as a member of the LeadingAge Illinois Board of Directors. I’m looking forward to helping advance quality and innovation in senior care alongside this great organization.”
As a CNA, Russo works within the skilled nursing and memory care neighborhood at Oak Trace, where she has provided care to residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia for 17 years. “This recognition is a wonderful thank you because it shows the value of behind-the-scenes workers like myself, but it’s not about me,” she said. “It gives me great joy to serve residents and make their lives a little better, and I’m grateful that I get to do that every day at a family-oriented community.”
Goldstein’s Board seat and Russo’s award precede the Phase 1 grand opening of Oak Trace’s $174 million expansion project this spring, which includes modern, state of the art assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehab. The second phase, featuring new residential living apartments and villas, social spaces, dining venues and more, will be completed in 2021.
About LeadingAge Illinois
LeadingAge Illinois is one of the largest and most respected associations of providers serving Illinois older adults. Committed to advancing excellence, LeadingAge Illinois advocates quality services, promotes innovative practices and fosters collaboration. LeadingAge Illinois serves the full spectrum of providers, including home and community-based services (HCBS), senior housing, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), assisted living, supportive living, and skilled nursing/rehabilitation centers. LeadingAge Illinois is the state affiliate of LeadingAge and Argentum (previously the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). For more information about LeadingAge Illinois, visit https://www.leadingageil.org/.
[In photo: (left) Jocelyn “Joy” Russo, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and (right) Blaire Goldstein, the executive director at Oak Trace.]