John Baker, president of the Board of Directors at Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS), has announced that a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has been hired. Kathryn C. Burns, a resident of Salem, will take over the leadership position at the Lynn-based human services agency on March 16.
“Kathy is an extremely qualified executive and is well known to us through her former role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Element Care and ongoing association with the broader elder care network,” Baker said. Element Care is the Lynn-based PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for Elders) program, which was established in 1995 under the guidance of GLSS and the Lynn Community Health Center. The three organizations have enjoyed a collaborative relationship over the years.
Currently, Burns is Executive Director of Mercy LIFE of Massachusetts, a PACE program in West Springfield, MA, part of Trinity Health of New England. Mercy LIFE serves people age 55 and older with complex health needs by providing in-home supports along with medical care through a network of adult day health centers. In addition to her role as COO at Element Care (formerly known as Elder Service Plan of the North Shore), Burns has also served as Administrator of the Geriatric Care Center and Director of Geriatric Services at Northeast Health Systems at Beverly Hospital.
“Kathy’s career has largely focused on improving the quality of in-home care and healthcare delivery for older adults with complex medical needs, which fits perfectly with our mission of helping people facing significant health and social challenges to remain living independently, safely and with dignity,” Baker stated. “Obviously, this was one of the major reasons for her selection, in addition to her 20 years of proven experience in nonprofit management and healthcare administration.” Her familiarity with the local community and nonprofit network in Lynn and surrounding communities was also a strong factor considered by the Board.
“This feels like a very logical next step in my career path,” Burns said of her appointment to oversee the agency, which currently employs over 500 staff. “GLSS’ current focus on expanding its consumer base and territory, and working more closely with the medical community to deliver long-term services and supports, will bring many of my past experiences together in a new and exciting way.”
Burns is well known for her solutions-oriented approach and the ability to identify funding sources for the development of new programs. “These qualities will serve GLSS well and provide strong and effective leadership as we move forward in the coming decade,” said Valerie Parker Callahan, acting CEO. “I think I can speak for the entire senior leadership team when I say that we are all very happy with the board’s choice.” Several highly qualified candidates were considered and two were formally interviewed for the position.
Burns holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Simmons College in Boston and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance and Management from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. In addition, she completed the “Leadership Strategies for Evolving Healthcare Executives” program at the Harvard School of Public Health. Since 2018, Burns has served on the Board of Directors of the Caleb Foundation, a local nonprofit that develops secure, stable, and supportive affordable housing throughout New England for low-income people and families. GLSS is the Aging Services Access Point serving Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. However, the agency offers a broad range of services—home care, meals, transportation, advocacy, long-term services and supports, and much more to help eligible consumers of all ages live healthier lifestyles and remain living independently in the community. To learn more. visit www.glss.net.