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Get to Know the Grand Oaks Team: Laurie Henley
The Grand Oaks team dedicates their careers to ensuring residents have the best care possible. With more than 25 years of experience in the senior living industry, Laurie Henley, Executive Director, uses her expertise to lead the team toward that common goal.
Learn more about Laurie and her role at Grand Oaks in our Q&A below.
Grand Oaks: How long have you worked in senior living?
Laurie Henley: I have worked in the senior living industry for 25 years.
Grand Oaks: How have your roles before this prepared you for working at Grand Oaks?
Laurie Henley: Over the last 25 years, I have learned from many great mentors. I began my career in a leadership training program with Marriott Senior Living Services, which allowed me to combine hospitality with senior care and develop a foundation of caring.
Grand Oaks: How would you describe your role and the care you provide residents?
Laurie Henley: My role as the Executive Director is to support our team, residents, and families in the community. I strive to create a great environment for our residents to live in as well as a great place for our team to work.
Grand Oaks: What does an average day look like for you? How often do you interact with residents?
Laurie Henley: Post-COVID, my average day looks very different from a few years ago. Pre-COVID, I interacted more with residents and spent more time attending resident activities and programs—bingo was always a favorite of mine. Unfortunately, we are still operating in a healthcare crisis that dictates many of our daily activities.
Grand Oaks: As Grand Oaks’ Executive Director, how do you balance your many responsibilities?
Laurie Henley: Balancing responsibilities is challenging; I have learned to live by my Outlook calendar. Staying organized allows me to create better efficiency in serving our residents, families, and team.
Grand Oaks: Why do you enjoy working at Grand Oaks?
Laurie Henley: I particularly enjoy working at Grand Oaks because of the culture and autonomy we have to create programs to serve our residents. We have been able to plan, develop, and introduce systems and programs that genuinely help our residents. Over the past eight years, we have implemented electronic records, earned two American Health Care Association Quality Awards, and served hundreds of residents and families.
Grand Oaks: In your opinion, what differentiates Grand Oaks from other senior living facilities?
Laurie Henley: Certainly, our affiliation with Johns Hopkins and Sibley Memorial Hospital differentiates Grand Oaks from other communities. But more importantly, our team is our best asset. Our team is very tenured and committed to the community. We have about 60 team members who have been with us for more than ten years, and over 85 have been with us for more than five years. This tenure allows for an increase in the continuity of care compared to other communities.
Grand Oaks: What is your advice for families considering senior living or memory care for their loved ones?
Laurie Henley: When considering senior care, I always advise families to speak with staff, observe the residents, and take note of the feeling they get when they walk into the senior living community.
Grand Oaks: Share a favorite moment or memory at Grand Oaks.
Laurie Henley: My favorite memory at Grand Oaks is the first resident and family holiday celebration I attended. We always host a large holiday party in December. All year, I heard about how wonderful this celebration was from both residents and families. The first celebration I attended in 2015 was wonderful—there was so much love and joy in the room, and it was just a great place to be. Although COVID changed things, it continues to be a wonderful gathering. We are hopeful that our families can join us next year.
Grand Oaks: What do you like to do in your free time?
Laurie Henley: In my free time, I enjoy sports, running, and spending time with my family.