Meet the Team! The Hearth’s Executive Director Shares Her 20+ Year Journey of Compassionate Care

Executive Director of The Hearth at Drexel, Dana O’Donnell, has been ensuring compassionate care for over 20 years. Having extensive experience in the healthcare industry, Dana knew from the moment she entered nursing school that working with older adults in senior living communities was where she belonged.

“I’ve always known I wanted to work with this population. I knew from the very beginning this is what I wanted for my career,” Dana recalls. Achieving just that, upon finishing school and earning her Registered Nursing degree, Dana became a nurse in a continuing care retirement community. After working there for a number of years, Dana decided to enter the non-profit industry. Beginning her career with Liberty Lutheran in 2001, Dana admired the organization’s mission to uplift the health and well-being of older adults and whose work has impacted more than 10,000 residents, members, and clients in their later years.

Dana began serving as Director of Nursing at Artman, a member of the Liberty Lutheran family of services. As her career continued, she later joined Liberty at Home in 2008. Serving as a leader in more than one of Liberty’s communities, Dana joined The Hearth at Drexel as Executive Director in 2018.  

The Hearth at Drexel: A Close-Knit Community Where Residents and Staff are Family

Since beginning her work at The Hearth at Drexel, Dana has seen first-hand how the community’s spirit of togetherness and camaraderie between residents and staff continue to impact the lives of those who call this community home.  

As Executive Director, Dana is responsible for operations of the entire community including assisted living, memory care, and respite care. Collaborating with various departments from maintenance to community life, Dana wears many hats, and developing relationships with residents continues to be one of her favorites.

“I enjoy making a difference in the lives of residents. Seeing their smiles, and bringing them happiness is extremely rewarding for me,” Dana reflects. Ensuring happiness for residents throughout the community, Dana says part of what makes The Hearth so special is their outstanding team of staff who demonstrates their commitment to compassionate care each and every day.

Where Compassion and Comfort Meets Luxury

As The Hearth’s staff care for residents like family in assisted living and memory care, residents enjoy a worry-free lifestyle in the community’s luxurious accommodations. “The Hearth is an aging in place community. Residents and their families know that even if the needs of their care increase, we can provide that for them and they can stay in the place they know as home with the caregivers who know and love them,” Dana explains.

Finding comfort in knowing that The Hearth will provide residents’ compassionate care throughout their lifetime, the community’s beautiful amenities and numerous opportunities for engagement are equally enjoyable. Whether residents are participating in jewelry-making classes, listening to professional lectures, or creating their own garden terrariums, The Hearth’s community life staff create programs centered around each residents’ unique interests.

Ensuring Safety and Security

At The Hearth residents are comforted by the safety and security of their community. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, The Hearth continues to communicate and follow guidelines created by the Centers for Disease Control, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Taking proactive safety precautions like limited capacity for certain activities, universal face masking, and proper social distancing, residents feel comfort in safely engaging with friends in their community.

With certainty in compassionate care, The Hearth’s commitment to ensuring residents’ well-being remains strong. “This isn’t our job. It’s our passion. What I enjoy most about the work that we do is making an impact on our residents’ lives. Listening to their stories, seeing them smile, that’s what motivates me every day,” Dana affirms.