Generations at Applewood has a great staff. When you visit or tour Generations at Applewood, you will have the opportunity to meet members of our leadership and management team. Please make a point to stop in or introduce yourself while you are visiting our community. Our staff loves to meet the families and friends of our residents and guests.
The Administrator of Generations at Applewood oversees every aspect of living in this community, from the clinical care to the personalized services for individual residents. Entertainment, landscaping, food service – everything comes back to Debbie Massey, born on Chicago’s northwest side but raised around Orland Park and Calumet Park. It is the job she has been looking for since she started in health care.
“I developed a passion for it,” Debbie said. “This is a very challenging field. You have to care in order to work here.”
The daughter of a restorative nurse, Debbie earned a Master’s in Nursing from St. Xavier University, and has spent more than 20 years so far in long-term care. Before arriving with Generations at Applewood, she rose from floor nurse to director of nursing and a clinical consultant — sometimes playing two roles at once.
The role she plays now encompasses every aspect of our facility, but this is where she has wanted to be for a long time. For Debbie, leading Generations at Applewood is a contribution she can make to the towns that raised her.
“It’s time to give back to the community,” she said. “It feels rewarding.”
Director of Nursing
The Director of Nursing for Generations at Applewood oversees the front-line care of each resident and the work of the staff who administer that care. For Jacqueline Clark, that ranges from budgeting and ordering to assessing the facility’s programs for ways to improve patient care.
It is the right field for a woman who had to choose between two interests: people or machines.
“I asked myself, ‘Do I want to be a nurse, or do I want to work with computers?’” Jacqueline recalled of her early days at Prairie State University. “I started studying computer science, but I just didn’t like it. Nursing became a love for me.”
Jacqueline brings a wide span of experiences to Generations at Applewood: besides her standing as a registered nurse, she is also a licensed nursing home administrator who has served as a chief clinical officer and the director of a hospital nursing unit. That volume of leadership enables her to see the facility-wide “big picture,” but the interest in the individual that pulled her into health care helps her to focus on the unique needs of the individual resident.
“All they want is an answer, ‘This is what we’re doing,’” she said. “And that goes a long way. If somebody can even sense that you care, you’ve touched them.”
The admissions director for Generations at Applewood walks families through the paperwork and forms that are part of the welcome into skilled nursing care. Karen Horton explains options to new residents, gives tours of the building, prepares medical records for our nursing staff, works out optimal roommate situations and — more importantly than anything else — listens to the individual concerns that are unique to each new guest.
“We’re all going to be this age,” and the Matteson native said she wants Generations at Applewood to feel like a destination for her neighbors. “Helping someone transition, making them feel comfortable, making their family feel comfortable, that’s what I like.”
Karen has spent her career in long-term health care, and experienced it from multiple sides: she is a certified nursing assistant who became a unit secretary early on, then moved into behavioral health at a nearby hospital before arriving with Generations at Applewood. Now focused on oversight and paperwork, she sometimes misses the hands-on aspect of nursing, but finds new satisfaction with leading our residents through the perplexities of insurance and medical records.
“I’ve always known, since high school, that I wanted to get into health care,” Karen said. “I may not be hands-on, but I still get to know the residents – just from a different standpoint.”