The Chelsea Jewish Foundation (CJF) announced this week that CEO Barry Berman has been selected by Leading Age to receive this year’s “Award of Honor.”
This award is the association’s highest honor and is a nationwide award.
“I was shocked when I received the word because it’s a national award,” he told the Record. “What you do in Massachusetts is one thing, but when the nation recognizes you, it’s really something.”
The award is voted on by peers within the industry.
Berman was chosen based upon his exemplary leadership and commitment to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Individuals from the entire country were considered for this important award. In essence, Barry Berman was selected due to his outstanding leadership, exceptional service and commitment to quality care.
“We are so pleased to recognize Barry Berman for this esteemed honor,” said William L. Minnix, President and CEO of LeadingAge. “He is a true leader whose passion for meeting the needs of others is self-evident in the remarkable organization he has built and the outstanding work he has done on behalf of his state, his region and his industry. We congratulate him on this very well-deserved tribute.”
Mr. Berman began his tenure in Chelsea by expanding and rebuilding the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home in 1983. In collaboration with his colleagues, he then built the Cohen-Florence-Levine Estates, Massachusetts’ first mixed-income assisted living which opened in 1996. The team then developed the Florence and Chafetz Home for Specialized Care (2002), a more enhanced assisted living targeted to those with dementia and other compromising conditions.
Additionally, Mr. Berman is responsible for developing the award-winning Leonard Florence Center for Living, the first urban Green House model nursing home in the nation. The Center, which opened in February 2010, provides skilled nursing care in a home environment to the elderly and those with medical and physical disabilities. Two of the Green House homes at the Leonard Florence Center serve those with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and multiple sclerosis, the first such residences in the nation.
“The Award of Honor is the highest honor given out by our national affiliate LeadingAge, in recognition of an individual who has had a significant and lasting impact on the field of aging nationally,” explained Elissa Sherman, President of LeadingAge Massachusetts. “Barry has focused his entire career on improving the lives of the most vulnerable by developing truly innovative programs and by persevering to meet the needs of those most difficult to serve. By selflessly sharing what he has learned with others, he has become a transformational leader in our field who is widely respected by his colleagues, both here in Massachusetts and around the country. The Board of Trustees could not think of a more deserving individual for this award than Barry Berman.”
Berman has devoted his career to building the long-term care community in Chelsea and surrounding areas by developing innovative models of care, which includes skilled and short-term rehab residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, and home care, personal care, and hospice agencies. He has been the CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Foundation for 36 years, since completing his master s degree in Rehabilitation Administration.
Berman is on the Board of Directors of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home. In the past he has served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council of Assisted Living, and the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association, the Massachusetts Aging Services Association, and the ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter.
The “Award of Honor” was presented to Berman on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Dallas. The event was attended by more than 5,000 dedicated professionals who work in the aging arena.
Berman said he gives all the credit to his staff.
“The award really is for the work we do at CJF,” he said. “I end up getting an award for the hard work people do here every day. I really do believe that.”