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.

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Doctors Seeing Increase in Young Females with Tics, Verbal Outbursts Similar to Tourette syndrome

An international phenomenon of involuntary movements and vocalizations in adolescent girls, similar to the tics seen in Tourette syndrome, is now believed to be a functional movement disorder.

Read More

KraftCPAs healthcare cybersecurity webinar October 28

Read More

Acadia CEO to Retire

The Board of Directors of Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHC) announced that Debbie Osteen will retire as CEO. Ms. Osteen will continue to serve on Acadia's Board of Directors and will assist in the selection and transition of the new CEO.

Read More

NEW FINDINGS FROM PRESS GANEY REVEAL MILLENNIAL NURSES ARE MOST LIKELY TO QUIT, AND NEARLY 30% OF NURSES ARE AT RISK OF LEAVING THEIR ORGANIZATION

Flight Risk Analysis of 100,000 U.S.-based healthcare workers underscores the importance of addressing the nurse staffing crisis

Read More

Research on Using Fluid Biomarkers to Advance Drug Treatments and Therapies for Alzheimer's, Traumatic Brain Injury, Concussion, and Other Neurodegene

New developments in the field of blood biomarkers for brain diseases including traumatic brain injury (TBI), and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, were unveiled during three lectures at the 25th Biennial World Congress of Neurology, October 3-7, 2021, and available virtually through the WCN 2021 portal.

Read More

Ataga Leading $3 Million AI Study For Predicting Kidney Function Decline in Sickle Cell Patients

Kenneth Ataga, MD, Director of the Center for Sickle Cell Disease at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), was recently awarded $3.2 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for a project that enlists artificial intelligence in the fight against sickle cell disease.

Read More

Research Team Awarded $3 Million to Study Weight Loss, Bone Frailty Link in Diabetics

Two researchers in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have received a $3 million award from the National Institute on Aging to study why bones become more frail and prone to fracture in diabetics who achieve long-term weight loss.

Read More

AMA Publishes New Study Monitoring Competition in U.S. Health Insurance Markets

Twentieth edition of AMA study shows continued lack of competition

Read More

Grant Creates Center for Maternal, Pediatric Precision Therapeutics

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been awarded a five-year, $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as a center of excellence for Maternal and Pediatric Precision in Therapeutics (MPRINT).

Read More

Change in Respiratory Care Strategies for Preterm Infants Improves Health Outcomes

A decade's worth of data shows that neonatologists are shifting the type of respiratory support they utilize for preterm infants, a move that could lead to improved health outcomes.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
None
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: