To celebrate the Alabama Nursing Home Association’s 65th anniversary, we’re highlighting unique individuals and their commitment to long-term care and our organization. In this article, we spotlight Katrina Magdon, ANHA’s longest serving staff member.

By Missy Burchart

To say that Katrina Magdon is dedicated to her work would be an understatement. Currently the Director of Professional Development and Regulatory Affairs, Magdon has worked for the Alabama Nursing Home Association for 29 of the organization’s 65 years of operation. That makes her the longest tenured employee in ANHA’s history.

An early 1990s ANHA legislative reception. From the left, Amanda Jones Buttonshaw, Nancy Thomas and Katrina Magdon.

An early 1990s ANHA legislative reception. From the left, Amanda Jones Buttonshaw, Nancy Thomas and Katrina Magdon.

Her tenure isn’t the only proof point of her dedication to ANHA and its work to provide excellence and quality care for individuals living in Alabama’s skilled nursing care centers. Magdon also serves as the executive secretary of the Alabama Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators. Additionally, she serves as the staff liaison for the Defense Lawyers Association, Facility Standards/Quality Assurance Committee, Payment for Services Committee, Legal Committee, Life Safety and Physical Plant Committee and the Assisted Living/Certification Committee. In addition to her committee work, Magdon is the current chairman of the National Association of Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators (NAB) Professional Practice Exam Resources Task Force and has been an item writer for the National Nursing Home Administrators Examination for the past 19 years.

Her experience and credentials are impressive. But it’s only when you talk with Magdon about why she chose this path that you truly understand the depth of her dedication.

“I grew up working in this field,” Magdon said. “I started working in the state Medicaid office when I graduated from high school and through college. When I started pursuing a Masters in Public Administration, I was approached about a job at ANHA. I’ve been here ever since.”

Leadership at ANHA recognized Magdon’s talent early in her career. A wide variety of skills attained during her tenure with the Alabama Medicaid Agency, her willingness to work hard and take on any task she was given drew their attention. Her peers regarded Magdon as a young woman who wanted to make a difference. That desire remains.

Katrina Magdon is recognized for 25 years of service to ANHA by 2012 ANHA Vice-President Richard Brockman, left, and President Eddie Jackson.

Katrina Magdon is recognized for 25 years of service to ANHA by 2012 ANHA Vice-President Richard Brockman, left, and President Eddie Jackson.

“Katrina has been dedicated since day one,” says ANHA President & CEO Bill O’Connor. “Everyone will tell you that she takes great pride in her work. Making a difference to someone in some way is the ultimate goal in every professional task she takes on.”

Magdon has seen many changes in long-term care during her career; changes she says only serve to make her industry better. She says that today’s nursing homes are focused on providing individualized care for each and every resident. The concentration of her work is dedicated to ensuring that those who are providing specialized care have all of the resources they need, whether it’s educating nursing home administrators and staff about the latest technologies, providing up to date information about new medications or dissecting and communicating new regulations. She knows this is her way of making a difference.

While talking about her role with ANHA, Magdon said, “My job is to support the people who provide care for our most vulnerable citizens. Their needs are wide and varied, and I want to do everything I can do to help them meet those needs in order to provide the highest level of care.”

Katrina Magdon speaks at an ANHA educational seminar in March 2016.

Katrina Magdon speaks at an ANHA educational seminar in March 2016.

In this day and age, longevity in the workplace is rare. What made Magdon stay with ANHA? She’ll tell that it’s a multitude of reasons. She’ll tell you every day is different and there are always challenges and new issues to tackle. Ethics and integrity are important to Magdon and it is ultimately those shared values that have kept her at ANHA.

“Over the years I’ve been offered other opportunities with more money or a move up the management chain,” says Magdon. “That wasn’t what was important to me. The work we do, the difference we make in the lives of long-term care residents made me want to stay. Plus, everyone here has been good to me personally and professionally.”

Magdon will also tell you she’s made life-long friends through ANHA. Peers, association members and current and past board members are counted among her closest friends.

“I am blessed with these friendships,” says Magdon. “These are people who have always been there for me. You can’t put a value on that; so why would I want to go anywhere else? This is my home.”

Magdon holds a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in health care management and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University.

Editor’s Note: Missy Burchart, APR, is a freelance writer based in Birmingham.