Miami Gerontology Grads Making World a Better Place to Grow Old
Where Are They Now?
Reprinted with the permission of the Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University
Jerry Kuyoth took a minor in gerontology at Miami University over 30 years ago and turned it into a major success. The engaging Indianapolis native combined his interest in aging with a dual degree in psychology and sociology (1980), and has been on the rise ever since. After completing a nine-month nursing home administrator-in-training (AIT) internship at Otterbein Homes in southwestern Ohio shortly after graduation – and passing his AIT exam with flying colors – he became assistant administrator at the Fairfield Care Center in Thornville, OH.
He moved onward and upward to serve as chief executive officer of Ohio Masonic Homes from 1994 to 2004 before assuming his current position as chief operations officer for healthcare division of the National Church Residences in Ohio, headquartered in Columbus. National Church Residences is a non-profit, national organization that serves 28 states and Puerto Rico with some $1.3 billion in total assets.
Accredited in long-term care, sub-acute care, and assisted living by the American College of Healthcare Administrators, Jerry oversees the multi-million dollar operation of three of National Church Residences’ major service branches in Ohio: facility-based services (seven facilities); hospice and home- and community-based services (nine agencies); and adult day services (six agencies).
After three decades in healthcare administration, Jerry still enjoys the personal contact and is currently filling in as interim director at First Community Village, a continuing care retirement center (CCRC) in Columbus. “I enjoy getting to meet the people we serve, hearing their stories and benefiting from their varied experiences” he says. “It’s a big part of the reason I entered this field.”
Jerry says he first became interested in aging and aging services after taking a job as an orderly at the Colonial Crest Nursing Home (Indianapolis) while in high school. Still unsure of his career path after entering Miami, he combined his affinity for older people with his studies in psychology and sociology and, thanks to a nudge in the right direction from a few prominent names at Scripps and Miami, found himself on track to become a nursing home administrator.
Crediting the late Millie Seltzer, Bill Ciferri and a budding young professor named Suzanne Kunkel as influential in shaping his vocation in long-term care, Jerry shares his abiding appreciation of all three. “They exposed me to the academic world of gerontology and several high-level field-study programs that got me interested in long-term care, specifically at Westover and Otterbein,” he recalls.
“Bill set up my internship and helped get me my first job. Millie was an industry leader who put a real positive face on the concept of aging. If we could all age like Millie, life would be good. And my relationship with Scripps and Suzanne and the center’s work with demographics and gerontology continues to this day, so my contact with Scripps has been a lifelong benefit.”
And so has Jerry’s work on behalf of thousands of older Ohioans and those who care for them. “It’s very satisfying work,” he observes. “It’s very rewarding to be involved in developing cost-effective solutions for the future explosion of older persons across the country; I love being involved in helping our clients age successfully and happily in place.”