In August there was a changing of the guard at Heron’s Key as Katie Houck stepped into the role of executive director of the community. Houck arrives with an extensive background in senior living and nursing, as well as a passion that translates into her continuing growth within the industry and developing relationships with residents.
Since Katie began her education in the nursing field, she found her interest was in working with older adults. A close relationship with her grandparents throughout her life also compounded that desire to specialize in senior care. “I would say the biggest thing that attracts me to this field is having the opportunity to serve the generations before me,” she says. “I was raised very involved with my grandparents and extended family, and when I was going through high school I helped with my grandmother’s hospice care.”
A Career of Care and Service
In 2008, Katie began her career as a certified nursing assistant, progressed to become a licensed practical nurse and then a registered nurse. She advanced to become a registered nurse team leader, resident care manager, director of nursing services and assistant administrator.
“This career announcement has come from many years of hard work and dedication. I love working in senior living and I am ready to bring my knowledge to Heron’s Key,” says Katie. “The community has welcomed me with open arms, and I am looking forward to many great years ahead.”
Katie is also a licensed nursing home administrator and holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Governors University.
A Passion for Building Relationships
“We are so excited to have Katie on the Heron’s Key team,” says Lisa Hardy, president and CEO of Emerald Communities. “She brings boots-on-the-ground experience and an unmatched passion for senior living to her new position as executive director. We know she will be a wonderful asset to Heron’s Key and Emerald Communities.”
The continuum care of a senior living community like Heron’s Key is also important to Katie because of the connections that can be made with the residents. She explains, “Being able to see residents go through the continuum of care, especially with this property only being five years old, you meet the resident at a time in their life when they’ve decided to live with us. Then you might watch them go through the different levels of care, but because of the relationship you’ve built you are able to provide services and activities that are important to them or fit their individual needs.”
Meeting the residents of Heron’s Key and starting those personal relationships has been exciting for Katie. “There is so much education, diversity and special interests on campus,” she says. “Yet, at the same time, everyone is so involved in multiple groups. Heron’s Key is one of the premier living communities, and the residents are just extremely humble. They exude energy, ideas and creativity that helps to make life here beautiful.”