Lieberman Center in Skokie is delighted to welcome Scott Hochstadt who takes the helm of CJE’s flagship skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation community as the fifth administrator in Lieberman Center’s 37 years. Coincidentally, he used to live in the neighborhood and volunteered there when he was a child.
Scott Hochstadt is on a formidable mission: To provide excellent care to the people who come through the doors of Lieberman Center. He wants Lieberman Center to be the place people choose for the best short- and long-term care available, delivered by the most dedicated, well-trained staff possible, in one of the most pleasant, inviting and well-run facilities around. And he knows this is possible.
One thing you notice after meeting him is that he wants to do what’s right. From all his years in the nursing home and rehabilitative care industry, something emerges loud and clear—Scott Hochstadt really cares. He cares about his residents; he cares about his families; and he cares about his staff. The sincere compassion he carries in his heart can be sensed immediately when you sit down with him in his modest office at Lieberman Center. There are no fancy accoutrements, shiny plaques or impressive photos. Just stacks of folders, papers and books—all things he’s in the process of reviewing. In other words, lots of work. He comes across as an extremely busy person devoted to his job.
When asked about his passion and drive for the skilled nursing industry, Hochstadt turns serious and tells a very personal story. When he was in New York working in HR, a person very close to him had a massive stroke. He had never set foot before in a short-term care center, but now he found himself visiting the Brain Injury Unit of a short-term acute care center every day. That was his sudden entry into the arena, and little did he know it would become his career. This person received very good care, and he thinks that is what opened his eyes and made him appreciate the important work that was being done behind the doors of rehab facilities—bringing people back to full capacity after experiencing traumatic injuries to the brain and other parts of the body. “These were injuries that very well could have killed them,” he added.
Being in rehab is a slow process that is arduous, takes a lot of patience and requires a kind, compassionate and understanding staff to help patients along. “Not just any person can do the kind of work that rehabilitative staff does,” Hochstadt insists. “Some people have to improve inch by inch, fraction by fraction step by step. Think about that,” he exhorts. It’s important to remember that it also takes a lot out of the patient and the people who love them. Often a special bond develops between patient, family members and staff. It takes a lot to understand that, and Hochstadt has had many experiences to prove it.
After working in the field for so long, Hochstadt has had his own loved ones in his care. He was managing a home where his grandmother was a patient, and where she eventually died. His mother had two knee replacements and a hip replacement in a short-term care facility he was managing. In other words, he has been on both sides of the aisle—as an administrator and as a family member and advocate. He explains, “I know what it means to worry if your loved is receiving their medication, is getting enough water, is being taken out of their bed and being exercised frequently enough, if their call bell is being answered quickly enough. I know the spectrum of feelings that a patient’s family is having when they have to leave their mom or dad for the first time at a new facility. It’s not easy. In fact, it can be one of the hardest things someone has to do,” he emphasizes. “That’s why we always try to keep compassion in the forefront of our minds. Of course, it may not be convenient to let a family linger and say their goodbyes, but staff always has to make sure that things are done with concern for family first at Lieberman. If we don’t do that, we haven’t done our job. And if we haven’t done our job, what are we here for?”
“The first thing I learned when I got here is our strong reliance on our Jewish values for guidance. And what a wonderful thing that is! If you ever find yourself at a fork in the road, or have a difficult decision to make, you just have to think of our values. If you make sure that they are invoked in all that we do, you can’t go wrong. They are such wonderful beacons to follow: respect, compassion, advocacy and accountability. Just keeping those four in mind will keep all of us at Lieberman Center on track."
Scott Hochstadt is a native Chicagoan. He is a graduate of Bradley University with a Bachelor’s of Social Work and received an MS in Human Resource Management and Development from National Louis University. He has just moved back to the Chicago area from Wisconsin with his wife and son.
Hochstadt started out his career in Human Resources at the nationally-known skilled nursing care provider Manor Care and moved on to management in the skilled nursing sector there and elsewhere. Most recently, he worked at Dycora Transitional Health and Living (formally Golden Living) as Vice President of Operations where he provided operational support for eight skilled nursing facilities in Wisconsin.
Hochstadt has many good ideas and hopes to implement them in the near future. He’s got a good mind for marketing, hospitality and customer service. He believes that CJE’s continuum of care is what sets CJE apart from other skilled nursing buildings. Just a while ago, he says he was able to refer a client to CJE’s Holocaust Community Services, an amazing resource for the residents of Lieberman Center. “People don’t realize what we have at our fingertips at Lieberman Center and throughout CJE’s network, and we have to constantly steer people toward the services we are able to offer them at a moment’s notice,” Hochstadt enthuses.
Hochstadt goes on to enumerate how great the quality of a stay is at Lieberman Center, due to the many features that are provided. Above all, he speaks of the benefit of all 240 rooms being private. “This adds so much speed and quality to the recovery of an individual. It can isolate a patient from the spread of diseases; the quiet and calmness of having one’s own room can be healing; plus, the ability to control your own space is of utmost importance to your recovery.” Upgraded cable, back-to-back, high-quality social activities, certified art therapy and the only cRc-certified kosher dining in a non-profit skilled nursing community are some of the other amenities Lieberman Center offers that Hochstadt boasts about, with good reason.
Working with CJE’s Human Resources Department, Hochstadt wants Lieberman Center to focus on employee retention, training and recruitment. He wants Lieberman Center to stand out in the community so that it becomes the “Employer of Choice” in the Chicagoland area—the first place that Nurses, Resident Care Assistants, Dining Associates, Social Workers and other staff choose to work because of its unparalleled reputation as a place that values its staff and treats them with respect. He intends to do this by honoring staff members as individuals, providing opportunities for recognition and advancement and showing them that they are appreciated. He wants Lieberman to become known as a place where employees can achieve career goals swiftly and with pride because of its reputation for a work culture that is rewarding, challenging and inspiring.
In terms of benefits, Hochstadt is the best walking promotion for Lieberman Center. Being a rather new employee himself, the benefits list is still fresh in his mind and he is pretty impressed with it. He truly believes that the benefits of working at Lieberman Center, and by extension CJE, are a well-kept secret. “How many people have a pension nowadays?” he asks. “Usually it’s only state employees, firemen and policemen,” he exclaims. “People under 40 have never even heard of the word pension, and look at us here at CJE, offering a pension for retirement!” He continues: “The multicultural atmosphere is wonderful too. It is a real joy to be in this kind of environment. Did you know there are at least 10 languages spoken here? Lieberman Center is welcoming of all cultures and all ethnicities. I believe there are residents from 35 ethnic groups living here!”
Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation is conveniently located in Skokie near Old Orchard. It is a residential community that provides short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care and dementia care. The facility has earned CARF International Accreditation as a Person-Centered Long-Term Care Community, an achievement indicative of Lieberman Center’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served. Lieberman Center has 240 all-private rooms plus many amenities to enhance your stay. Call 847.929.3320 for a tour or more information.
Information for this article from Wikipedia and North American Menopause Study