Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar      Advertiser Index     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Lucinda (Cindy) Baier

President, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member | Brookdale Senior Living, Inc.

Growing up on a small farm in Central Illinois, Cindy Baier probably didn't imagine she would one day take the reins of a publicly traded company leading the way in senior living, home health and hospice care. Yet, it's a position she has been preparing for since middle school.

Following a terrible accident, Baier's mother was bedridden for months, and the preteen stepped in to become her caregiver. It's a role she repeated in college for her grandfather when he lost his sight. "I learned firsthand the special needs that come with aging," she said of living with her grandparents while attending Illinois State University.

"These experiences helped me to see how difficult caregiving is and the importance of this work in providing meaningful support to those who need it," Baier stated. "I still hear my mother's voice telling me, 'You need to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.'"

Today, Baier is doing just that as she oversees Brookdale Senior Living, with the ability to provide residential and community care for about 60,000 individuals. In addition to the sheer scope of running a $3.5 billion company with around 42,000 employees, Baier said senior living - which combines healthcare, hospitality and real estate - is a complex industry sector. Yet, the biggest challenge each day is making sure every decision, every interaction is undertaken with the end user in mind.

"At Brookdale, we are providing care and services for people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year," pointed out Baier. "It's a tremendous responsibility, and the pandemic highlighted the life-and-death aspect of this." Passionate about doing the right thing for residents, patients and associates, Baier continued, "I always remember this is a people business. The filter I have for making decisions is to keep their health and well-being as the top priority."

To put those intentions into action, Baier said it's important to have boots on the ground. "One of the things we've done as part of our culture is we created community learning visits," she explained. "I've done the job of a housekeeper, cook, server and walked side by side with clinicians."

Baier noted the best part of the day is any opportunity to visit residents and associates in Brookdale communities. "There is no substitute for that personal connection," she said. "It helps me understand the business better but, more importantly, visiting in communities helps keep the focus on our mission of enriching the lives of those we serve. Relationships are the most important thing."

One of the career relationships she cherishes is with former Brookdale CEO Bill Sheriff. Baier, a certified public accountant whose career has spanned multiple industries, first arrived in Nashville to take the chief financial officer's role at Brookdale. Although Sheriff had retired from the company before she started, Baier reached out to him when she was named CEO. "I had to lean heavily on him to agree to advise me. I am glad he did," she said with a laugh, adding Sherriff is a legend in the industry.

Happy to learn from the best, Baier is also unafraid to shake up the status quo. "Eighty percent of healthcare decisions are made by women. Most caregivers are women," she said. Knowing representation matters, she has sought to make sure the board and executive team are reflective of the community Brookdale serves. "I think the only way you get the best results for your company is if everyone has an opportunity to participate, and their voice is heard."

Baier's most important relationship, both professionally and personally, is at home. "My husband Dave is my biggest mentor and supporter and has provided important advice for many, many years," she said. "Family is important. I value the time I get with them," she added of her crew, which includes three stepchildren and five grandchildren ranging in age from six months to four years. She also relishes any time she can get with her sister. Despite her public-facing work life, Baier said she's really an introvert who is perfectly content to be at home cooking, baking and spending time with family.

Being able to recharge has been especially important over the past year as work days became fraught with challenges to the safety and well-being of residents, staff and patients. Despite the rough going, Baier stressed, "If it matters enough, you find a way!" Not only did Baier and Brookdale find a way, but they are taking those hard-won lessons to fuel future success.


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

AACR Establishes New Cancer Evolution Working Group

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced the formation of its seventh and newest scientific working group, which will be dedicated to supporting cancer evolution research.

Read More

Global Dementia Cases Forecasted To Triple By 2050

New analysis shows a decrease in prevalence due to education countered by increase due to heart health risk factors

Read More

Blackburn, Feinstein Introduce Bill to Protect Access to Breast Cancer Screenings

U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today introduced the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act of 2021, a bill to preserve coverage for routine breast cancer screening for women beginning at age 40.

Read More


The company's 2020 sustainability report highlights its commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities

Read More

Mobile Mentor Named Winner of Microsoft's 2021 Partner of the Year for Modern Endpoint Management

Mobile Mentor announced they have been awarded the 2021 Global Partner of the Year Award for Modern Endpoint Management.

Read More

Alzheimer's Association Welcomes CMS Announcement of National Coverage Determination Analysis on Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

On behalf of all those living with Alzheimer's disease, their caregivers, and their families, we appreciate the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) thoughtful consideration on coverage considerations for monoclonal antibodies targeting amyloid for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, including aducanumab, which was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Read More

HCTec Acquires Talon Healthy IT Services

Healthcare IT firm adds industry-leading help desk service company to portfolio of solutions

Read More

The Seven Steps of Revenue Cycle for a Healthcare Practice

Revenue cycle management tracks patient revenue from the initial encounter with the healthcare system to payment of balance. Getting the seven steps of revenue cycle right helps providers avoid missteps that are costly to the bottom line.

Read More

Expanding Evidence-Based Care for Dementia

The Alzheimer's Association is on a mission to ensure care professionals have access to evidence-based training to ensure those with dementia receive quality care across all settings.

Read More

A Natural Leader

Nashville physician Dr. Ryan Mire to head nation's largest medical-specialty society.

Read More

Email Print



Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: