JCA hires new chief operating officer

BY MIKE SHERWIN, ASSISTANT EDITOR

The Cedars at the JCA recently announced that Cindy Forbis has been hired as its new chief operating officer. Forbis began as COO of the Cedars on April 16, filling the position left vacant when former COO Randall B. Delkus was promoted to CEO.

Forbis comes to St. Louis from Columbia, Mo., where she was the executive director of The Bluffs, a 130-bed retirement center.

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Forbis said the Cedars is a much larger facility than where she previously worked, and has a much wider breadth of caretaking.

“It’s about double the size, and there’s many more levels of care, including a large population of people in rehabilitation.

As COO, Forbis said she will be in charge of numerous aspects of the day-to-day operation of the Cedars, including programming, nursing staff, human resources and admissions.

Forbis said she is “thrilled” with her new position, and with the Cedars staff. “It’s a big change,” she said, “but so far it has been a great move so far.”

“We have a great staff here, and the tradition has been very smooth,” she said.

However, Forbis said that what she finds most fulfilling is meeting and helping out with the residents.

“You have to be passionate about what you’re doing in order to be in this profession,” she said. “That’s why I’ve been in this business for 17 years. It’s the residents that you’re there for. I might be at my desk for too long and I’ll think, ‘It’s time for me to get up, hold someone’s hand, help feed somebody.’ Afterwards, I really feel rejuvenated.”

Cedars CEO Randall B. Delkus said that Forbis has already shown herself to be a valuable addition to the Cedars staff.

“Cindy’s drive as an administrator, her years of experience and her personal charisma and enthusiasm make her a perfect fit for the Cedars’ future,” he said in a press release.

During her 11 years at The Bluffs, Forbis oversaw a dramatic turnaround of the facility, according to employees at The Bluffs. In an April 12 story in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Bluffs employee Deborah Reynolds described the transition she saw in her 13 years of working at The Bluffs.

“We went from a nursing home in trouble to the best nursing home in Columbia,” Reynolds said.

Forbis is a registered nurse, and has a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in health care management from the University of Missouri.

You have to really care about the people you’re serving,” she said. “Otherwise you won’t make a difference in someone’s life, which is what we’re really here to do.”