Elders have always been at the center of Debbie’s life. Not many of us could say that we knew both sets of our grandparents, a great grandmother & grandfather, and a great, great grandmother—but that is the case for Debbie. She was raised in a small, rural community in Texas, and her neighborhood was filled with generations of family members. Her grandparents and great grandparents were a huge part of her life—they had a strong influence on her and she appreciated their wisdom.
When her great grandfather moved to the local nursing home affiliated with her church, she enjoyed going to visit him with her family and grandmother. In fact, Debbie had been to The Eden Home many times as part of church and summer camp activities. Her memories of having ice cream and going to the sun room of the home to play dominos and cards with her great grandfather was just a “home away from home” for her during that time—it was never an institution.
Of course that opinion began to change when she was hired at the home after college. Her degree in marketing could have taken her anywhere—but out of 200 resumes for a marketing position at The Eden Home, the leadership felt that she was the best candidate. Thus began her career in aging.
She held many positions in the home and finally became the administrator. That is when she met Jude and Bill Thomas who were introducing the idea of The Eden Alternative®. Debbie was determined her home would be one of the pilot sites for the project—how could it not be with a name like “The Eden Home”? They were selected and experienced wonderful outcomes for elders, families and staff.
Since then, Debbie has taken her skills and knowledge to other nursing homes and is now a Project Guide for THE GREEN HOUSE ® Project.
- 24 years of experience in aging services—with a passion for person-directed initiatives.
- Development and oversight of $27M small house model and ALF
- Eden Associate, Eden Mentor and one of six Texas Pioneers to implement The Eden Alternative
- Licensed Nursing Home Administrator – 300 person Skilled Nursing home
- Administrator of The Year—2009 Texas Leading Age (formerly AAHSA), regular speaker/presenter for Texas Leading Age
Debbie currently lives on a 3rd generation family farm where they raise cattle. She thoroughly enjoys spending her time with family, her church and her fishing pole. Debbie says she will go fishing “whenever I can!”