Changemakers Series

By on Sep 30, 2020 in People

It’s easy to attribute the successes of a company to exemplary individuals. Think Steve Jobs of Apple or Elon Musk of Tesla. But in truth, their accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without those who supported them.

Marc Vorkapich is quick to say that his people are the key to success. As the principal and CEO of Watercrest Senior Living, a Yardi client, he’s brought together a team of “servant leaders” who inspire trust from both residents and staff. It’s earned the company a Great Place to Work award, and it’s also caught the attention of Senior Housing News.

They’ve given him the title of Changemaker for his history of nurturing strong leaders and promoting collaboration at Watercrest. When they asked him about the association between embracing change and taking risks, Vorkapich made it clear that although he may be in charge, his team gives him the confidence to see things through:

“When a call for change derives from a desire to serve something greater than ourselves, any sense of risk is far outweighed by the depth of purpose. My risk tolerance is high, as my entire career over 27 years has developed by having faith that I and others surrounding me have been equipped for what lies ahead.”

And during the pandemic, his commitment to teamwork and service has helped ensure that Watercrest can continue to provide great care. In this excerpt from his Changemakers interview, Vorkapich describes their COVID-19 response and offers his thoughts on how the virus may impact senior living as a whole.

Do you see Covid-19 changing the senior living industry in lasting ways? If yes, how?

One thing is certain, there is an increased awareness and understanding of the importance of having a highly competent operations management team laser-focused on the resident, family and associate experience.

Stressful times like these are likely to further polarize offerings and levels of service due to management’s ability or inability to cost contain while improving the personalization and warmth of service delivery. Even more so today, as a result of isolation, fostering a sense of family within the community should be a top priority.

Can you explain what you mean by “polarize offerings”?

Yes, some providers will have to cut back on what they offer if they can’t get a handle on cost containment, while others will be able to continue to offer a more complete service package.

For example, Watercrest’s service model includes nurses on site 24/7, exceptional caregiver ratios, dining servers, as well as separate programming leadership and specialists in every community. For many communities, increased needs due to the pandemic could result in dramatic cost increases that are unsustainable or the reduction of services deemed less essential.

Any initiatives currently underway at Watercrest to innovate or change things up?

Our priority is the well-being of our residents and staff during this pandemic. As is the nature of our organization, we are constantly collaborating and have multiple initiatives underway both internally and externally that we believe will continue to answer a call for service excellence in senior living.

Without disclosing efforts under NDA, I can say we are blessed to collaborate with leaders in architecture, development, operations as well as senior living focused financial leadership in efforts to drive meaningful progress for our industry.

Read the full interview with Marc Vorkapich on SHN.