SALMON Health and Retirement’s Natick community recently welcomed Nick Baker, MHA, LNHA as their new Executive Director.
Baker joins the Natick campus with years of prior experience in long-term healthcare settings. Shortly after graduating from Bridgewater State University with a bachelor’s in recreation and occupational therapy, Baker held an internship in the recreation department for an assisted living community. Before long, he began working as a recreation assistant at a rehabilitation center in Norwood, MA. During this time, Baker “fell in love with the geriatric population” and started to take interest in both the Residents and the day-to-day operations of the community.
After one year as an assistant, Baker was promoted to Recreation Director and attended Suffolk University while working to pursue his master’s degree in health care administration. Upon becoming a licensed health care administrator in 2014, Baker completed his administrator-in-training program with two other current SALMON executive directors, Lisa Coppola (Beaumont at Westborough) and Shawn Neville (Beaumont at Worcester.) Following his training, Baker became an assistant administrator for a long-term health care community for one year and then, served as an Executive Director of another MA-based health center for one and a half years. After holding this position, Baker transitioned to the role of Executive Director at Stone Rehabilitation and Senior Living. During his four years there, the community earned multiple CMS five-star ratings, as well as several deficiency-free state surveys.
When Baker was asked to serve SALMON’s Natick community, he jumped at the opportunity. “I love the day-to-day of working in health and retirement communities,” says Baker. “Not only am I highly interested in the operations, but I also enjoy interacting with Residents and their families and making them smile or laugh each day.”
Baker was especially glad to work with SALMON because the family-oriented nature of the organization was a “huge draw.” He adds, “In my time here in Natick so far, SALMON has been very supportive of everything our community does or wants to do.”
Although Whitney Place at Natick is Baker’s first experience managing an assisted living community, he’s thrilled for a new challenge. “While I’m learning different regulations, I love going on the floors and talking with the Residents,” says Baker.
Baker looks forward to getting to know the staff and to leading a team dedicated to helping Residents. “I want to continue moving this community forward in positive ways and to set processes and clear expectations in place to make it the best it can be.”
When reflecting on his decade of experience in long-term care settings, Baker concludes, “As long as I’m helping someone and providing quality care, I’m happy.”
Baker currently lives in Medfield, MA with his wife, two young children, and pet dog. They enjoy hiking, cooking, playing sports, and staying busy!