​In this month of love, Provider wants to know: Why do you love working in long term care (LTC)? We reached out to leaders across the country to hear what drives their passion for the work they do. Read on to learn what they had to say—and let us know why YOU love working in long term care. Email claire@ahca.org to share your story!

Robert Vande Merwe"I love working in LTC because I get to represent thousands of heroes working on the front-lines who provide dignity and quality care to those Idahoans who need their care, even in the midst of the pandemic.

I hope that I can help the public recognize them as the heroes they are. I hope that the legislature and the Governor will see them as true heroes as well. Our heroes need their support. These state leaders may say they support the heroes working in LTC, but without providing increases in funding, their words seem hollow and are not backed up by action."

Robert Vande Merwe
Executive Director
Idaho Health Care Association


Cheryl Heiks"Among the many lessons of the pandemic is how the workforce shortage in the entire health care system impacted continuity of care, drove competition between care partners, and forced costs that will be ultimately paid for by families, and taxpayers. The pipeline of workers needs to be filled quickly by modernizing the educational system and reviewing any regulatory or legislative initiatives that may be barriers to retention, recruitment, and advancement in long term care.

I am very proud to work in an industry whose residents, families, and staff have faced and overcome the challenge of a situation outside their control. Now is the time to shift energy to what has been learned, what can be created from the experience, and where investments in reimbursement and regulatory overhaul will improve care."

Cheryl Heiks
Executive Director
Delaware Health Care Facilities Association


Connie Beemer“The long term care sector has endured great challenges during the pandemic. Our facilities have taken extraordinary measures to protect and serve their residents by getting vaccinated, ensuring visitation is as safe as possible, and managing shortages in staffing, beds, and supplies.

Alaska’s unique geographical challenges required teamwork, and everyone rose to the occasion. I love my job because I get to serve residents, family members, and staff whose resiliency inspires me.  And I know the invaluable role our long term care facilities play, now more than ever, in communities across Alaska."

Connie Beemer, MBA, PMP
Vice President, Post-Acute Care & Finance
Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association


Veronica Sharpe"I love working in long term care because I get to work alongside the brightest, most competent, devoted and passionate group of people who offer seniors and individuals with disabilities the promise of a well-spent future."

Veronica Sharpe, MHSA
District of Columbia Health Care Association


Tony Marshall“My favorite thing about working in long term care is that I get to serve the most compassionate and courageous group of people I have ever had the honor of meeting. Even in the face of the challenges and hardships associated with COVID-19, the dedicated caregivers working in Georgia’s long term care communities continue to show up every day for their residents, treating them like family and ensuring they receive the highest quality of care.

It inspires me and fills me with a sense of purpose knowing that everything I do is in support of these individuals and the residents they serve so selflessly.”

Tony Marshall
President and CEO
Georgia Health Care Association/Georgia Center for Assisted Living


Craig Cornett"I love working with all of the dedicated, hard-working, providers in this profession. They provide extraordinary care and improve the quality of lives for our most vulnerable citizens. They are true heroes, and I’m proud to support them.”

Craig Cornett
President and CEO
California Association of Health Facilities