Douglass not only built community inside Forest Hills, she also brought community in and supported community life in our neighborhood. Forest Hills of DC has long served as a gathering place, hosting the monthly meetings of ANC 3F and other neighborhood groups. The Northwest Neighbors Village also moved its headquarters there on Douglass’ watch.
The press release announcing Douglass’ July 1st departure is below.
Forest Hills of DC Announces Sandy Douglass Stepping Down as CEO
(May 16, 2016) The Board of Directors announced today that after 24 years of dedicated service, Sandy Douglass is leaving her position as CEO of Forest Hills of DC, formerly the Methodist Home, effective July 1, 2016. The Board expressed their gratitude for her years of service and Douglass has agreed to remain engaged with Forest Hills as consultant to the leadership.
Board President Tom Mitchell said, “For over two decades, Forest Hills of DC has benefited from Sandy’s wise and compassionate leadership. Her vision and her care and concern for staff, families and residents have truly been extraordinary. Sandy is a great gift to the Forest Hills community, and we are grateful that she will continue to share her expertise with us.”
Douglass said “It has been a privilege for me to share the aging experience, the joys, and the sorrows with so many families over the years. While this is a significant and bittersweet change for me, I leave Forest Hills with an exceptionally talented staff who cherish their work as part of the Forest Hills and Forest Side teams, working around the clock to achieve the highest standards of service.”
Over the years Douglass solicited both private and public financing and oversaw the addition of a $15 million health care facility at Forest Hills in 2000. She directed the purchase and renovation of a 30,000 square foot building to create Forest Side, Forest Hills’ secured Assisted Living dementia facility, that opened in March 2011.
Under Douglass’ leadership Forest Hills has served as the site for extensive training and filming for cultural competency and quality initiatives, hosted international delegations exploring elder care models, and provided numerous Catholic University nursing students clinical experience in a long-term care setting.
Douglass will be missed as a well-respected leader in aging services in DC and nationally. She served as President of the DC Health Care Association, and as DC State Leader with National Center for Assisted Living. She was the “provider expert” voice in a coalition working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging to create a training video and re-write regulations and policy to include language that embraces LGBT individuals.
In leaving Douglass thanked the Board of Directors for her opportunity to be a part of the long and honorable history of the organization. Douglass said she and her partner are returning to North Carolina, where both grew up noting that “Multiple generations in our families are calling us back, from my 90-year old mother-in-law to our one-year old grandson!”
With Douglass’ leaving, the Board of Directors announced that Mary Savoy, RN, NHA, current Forest Hills Administrator, will assume the full leadership of Forest Hills and Forest Side. Board Member Cindy Diggs said, “Mary Savoy is an able and dedicated professional, and we look forward to her continued leadership. We are confident she will continue the good work that was accomplished under Sandy’s tenure and help shape the future of Forest Hills of DC.” Savoy has been with Forest Hills for 12 years, first as Director of Nursing and as Administrator for the past two years. Savoy is also well-known throughout the aging community. She chairs the Assisted Living and Education Committees for DC Health Care Association, and serves as State Leader representing Washington DC for the National Center for Assisted Living, among other roles.