David Sylvester, Pines of Sarasota

Healthcare

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY SEP 14, 2015

With a history dating back to 1948, Pines of Sarasota has always wanted to put a fresh face on elderly care. With a new branding effort underway, programs for outpatients being announced and the profile of the facility growing each day, we spoke with new President and CEO David Sylvester about the future of the organization.

What attracted you most to Pines of Sarasota? I’ve been in long-term care since I was 23 years old, more than 30 years ago. I knew (retiring CEO) John Overton, who was something of a mentor to me. I’ve been over and had a tour of the buildings and was very impressed by the organization, particularly the culture of the individuals who work here in the operation. When John announced his retirement, I threw my hat in the ring and was fortunate enough to be offered the position.

What is your vision as far as new initiatives we haven’t seen from Pines up until now? The secret sauce or secret to the success for Pines of Sarasota is that we’ve listened to our community’s needs and responded. The “Ready and Steady” falls prevention program is part of that. Ten years ago, the No. 1 reason to go to the emergency room was an automobile accident. Today, it’s falls. The population of Sarasota is largely over 65 years of age, and it’s an active segment. Anything to improve health and quality of life here makes everybody happier. As we go forward, we have additional property next to our property that we would like to develop to something else that provides services to the community. We are in the process now of beginning a home health agency. Our ultimate goal is to be a complete post-acute care continuum, so that folks that come out of the hospital, or another health setting, we can take care of them from home, through assisted skilled nursing, all the way through, unless or until they need to go back to the hospital. As much as Pines is an amazing facility unto itself, the outreach in engaging the community in better health is our calling and where we are going to move towards. We can take care of folks very well in-house. As we grow our outpatient business, which “Ready and Steady” is about, then again, we will expand our footprint in the community and improve the overall health. 

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