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Matt Lewis steps down; Simon Abrahms named interim CEO of Village Shalom

It is with appreciation and respect for his long-tenured leadership that the Village Shalom Board of Directors announces that Matt Lewis has made the decision to step down from his position as CEO to spend well-deserved time with his family and to pursue opportunities outside the organization.

The board acknowledges Matt’s dedicated service and the profound impact he has made on the community. “Throughout his 23 years of service as CFO and then CEO, Matt has been instrumental in transforming Village Shalom’s Helzberg Campus into a thriving and vibrant community, fostering an environment of compassion, care, and joyful living,” said Bob Gershon, Chair of the Board of Directors. “His unwavering commitment to the residents, their families and the organization’s incredible staff has played a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life of countless residents.”

During Lewis’s tenure at Village Shalom, the community received numerous awards of excellence from state and national organizations. Lewis was twice invited to the White House to speak on management in the aftermath of the domestic terrorist attack at the campus in 2014. Lewis also managed the campus expansion and repositioning project that included the new independent living apartment community, memory care building, and renovated short-term rehabilitation center with expanded therapy space. Lewis’s commitment to the community also included administration of the Village Shalom Financial Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to the 1 in 4 healthcare residents who have exhausted their financial resources. Lewis hopes that the community’s support for the program and of those in need continues for years to come.

Reflecting on his decision, Lewis expressed deep gratitude for the privilege of serving as the CEO of Village Shalom. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this exceptional community. I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished together and the lives we have touched,” said Lewis. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure, but I am confident in the leadership of our board and the capable hands of Village Shalom’s dedicated staff to carry our vision forward. I’m looking forward to spending time with my nine children and ten grandchildren. It’s bittersweet for me because of all the close relationships I have developed over the years with staff, families, and residents. I will miss everyone dearly, but I’m looking forward to my next chapter.”

The board’s executive search committee, which will be chaired by board member Stewart Stein, will launch a search for Village Shalom’s new CEO over the next few weeks. In the interim, we are pleased to announce that fellow board member and current Treasurer and Finance Committee chair, Simon Abrahms, will step down from the board in order to serve as Interim CEO while the search for a permanent successor is conducted nationally. Abrahms is a senior health care executive with thirty years of experience in formulating and driving strategic direction and operational excellence.

Prior to moving into the dental industry in 2011, Abrahms served in leadership roles with the HCA Midwest Health System and as the Chief Strategy Officer of Saint Louis University Hospital. He has extensive professional history in healthcare consulting, including positions with three of the country’s largest consulting firms – Deloitte & Touche LLP, William M. Mercer, Inc., and Accenture. Abrahms also served as a nursing home administrator for a regional provider in Cleveland, Ohio. “While the board conducts its search for a permanent successor, I am honored to work with our dedicated, caring and compassionate management team and staff,” said Abrahms. “Their dedication to providing the highest quality of resident care and programming is an inspiration and ensures that Village Shalom will continue to flourish in the years to come.”

Village Shalom Board Chair, Bob Gershon, adds “Our future is bright. As we continue to enjoy and celebrate our recent campus expansion, ongoing robust resident programming, and most importantly, excellence in resident care, we look to this new chapter in Village Shalom leadership as an opportunity to usher in yet further innovations at our truly special continuing care community. We are grateful for Matt’s service and wish him all the best.”