Meet Greg Karr, CEO of Deutsches Altenheim and its German Centre for Extended Care

Gregory Karr landed his first job in the longterm care field in 1973, but his experience really stretches as far back as his childhood in Dorchester and the Greater Boston Area.

His father was second in command of the Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, which provided mental health services to 2,300 patients at its peak. His parents had an  open door policy  at home, perpetually providing a place to stay for one or two older relatives at any given time, as well as one or two cousins. Greg got plenty of experience helping assist people at home and his father frequently brought him and his sisters to the state hospital.

“I saw the advantages of working in this field, it allowed you to use the full eoapability of your upbringing, your education and your value system” said Greg. That education went on to include earning a BSBA from Northeastern University and a Masters in Business Administration from Suffolk University.

As for his value system, Greg said that evolved over time as he split his career between working in the not-for-profit profit side and the for-profit side of longterm care.

“This industry is all about personal values and people, and I value the human experience more than the financial gain. It is great to be able to function without the profit motive and still provide the same or even greater services”said Greg. That applies to both the lives and experiences of the residents, as well as to German Centre staff members, who Greg refers to as his coworkers.

“What I try to stress is that they are the people who create the image and the face of German Centre” said Greg.  ‘I work as the orchestra leader, I provide them with the tools to provide the important work that they do”.

Since he became CEO of Deutsches Altenheim and its German Centre for Extended Care in 2007, Greg has helped move German Centre forward on its evolution from a humble home for seniors to an all-inclusive campus that includes a 133 bed nursing home, an adult day care center that can accommodate 30 people, and 62 assisted-living apartments.

Greg is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Administrators, a past president of the Massachusetts Chapter and has served on various national and state committees, and is an active member of the Roslindale/West Roxbury Kiwanis Club. German Centre for Extended Care is a member of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association and the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association. Greg also spent five years teaching religious education for the Archdiocese of Boston, earning a Master Teacher in Religious Education from Newton College.

The key to providing the best living situation for seniors is “universal”, according to Greg, “to provide comfort at the ends of their lives in order to make their lives as livable as can be, I find making every day as joyous an occasion as can be the most fulfilling part of senior care” he said.  “It is about being able to bring a smile to someone’s face, and it is not just about the resident. Families enjoy seeing that their loved ones are cared for and know that they have joy in their life again”.

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