Widely respected long-term-care professional Cindi J. Barry, administrator of The Highlands at Brighton since 2005, passed away on Friday, June 14. Barry inspired and directed a transformation of the skilled nursing facility from a long-term destination for residents to a dynamic place that supports residents in realizing their highest levels of functioning and independence.
Throughout her career, Barry frequently chose to manage facilities that were in distress, posed enormous challenges, or – as in the case of The Highlands at Brighton – showed great potential for growth and change. She recognized evolving role of long-term care and envisioned The Highlands at Brighton as a facility of the future, able to meet the needs of patients while assisting them in reaching their personal goals.
Barry’s creativity, intelligence, dedication and drive had a profound impact on The Highlands at Brighton and, subsequently, on health care in the Rochester community. She harnessed the talent and resources necessary to leverage The Highlands at Brighton’s niche and create a transitional care model, the benefits of which ripple through the area’s health care system.
“Cindi was passionate about assuring that every resident cared for at The Highlands at Brighton received exceptional care and achieved their highest level of function and independence. She understood The Highlands’ place in our community – particularly as it serves some of our most vulnerable citizens – and she worked tirelessly toward solutions to address the needs of our senior population, both today and in the future,” said URMC Vice President Steve Goldstein, President and CEO of Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital.
“Cindi Barry was one of most effective and accomplished [nursing home] administrators I have had the pleasure to meet or work with,” said Daniel Mendelson, M.D.,associate professor of Geriatrics at URMC and medical director for The Highlands at Brighton. “She embodied the unique ability to balance patient-centered care, system-based health care, social justice, fiscal responsibilities, and plain common sense. I witnessed Cindi’s creativity and compassion find solutions when others had given up, taking a patient and family from hopeless to happy. She was the absolute right person to lead The Highlands through its transformation, building a fantastic team and shaping the facility in a way that will have a lasting positive impact on our health system and our community. Her sincerity, insight and unique leadership style will be sorely missed.”
The Highlands’ acting administrator Donna Grosstephan, who worked side-by-side with Barry for nine years, shares that sentiment. “When she came to The Highlands at Brighton, Cindi brought with her a fresh perspective and a vision for change. Her enthusiasm and tenacity were contagious and she pulled a team together to work on ways we could improve our care and contribute to our community. While some people make their mark on an organization, Cindi led the way in transforming ours. The Highlands at Brighton – and the community that it serves – is better for that,” said Grosstephan.
Prior to joining The Highlands, Barry served as a health care consultant and held numerous leadership positions with health care facilities in the Buffalo area. She earned an MBA in Health Systems Management from the Graduate School of Management, University of Dallas (Irving), and a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY Empire State College.
Barry is survived by her husband, Scott Barry; children, Christin Harvey, Kathryn (Jacob) Pritchard, Jake (Danielle) Harvey; stepchildren, Timothy (Kassie), Michael, Patrick and Daniel Barry; grandchildren, Alicia, Paige and George; parents, George and Connie Russell; and siblings, Michael (Denise) Russell, Susan (Brian) Bingerman, Shelley (Brian) Schneider.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22 at the Thomas Reddington Funeral Home, 652 Abbott Rd., Buffalo. Details are forthcoming on a celebration of Barry’s life hosted by The Highlands at Brighton.
Memorial tributes may be made to the Residents’ Fund at the Highlands at Brighton, 5901 Lac de Ville Blvd., Rochester, NY, 14618.