Rick Banas has nearly 45 years of experience in senior living and health care. He has had the opportunity to work with retirement, assisted living and memory care communities, hospitals and health care systems in urban, suburban and rural areas from Maine to California. His experience encompasses marketing, sales, public relations, development and political advocacy.
He currently serves as Vice President and Development and Positioning for Gardant Management Solutions, Inc. Ranked as the 12th Largest Provider of Assisted Living in the country in Argentum’s 2020 largest provider list, Gardant operates nearly 60 assisted living communities in Illinois, Indiana and the Mid-Atlantic States of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
In 2017, Rick was named a finalist for a WEGO Best in Show award. The award program is designed to recognize exceptional advocates, influencers and experts who make a difference in the lives of patients and caregivers by using their voice to help transform health care across the globe.
The political advocacy program he developed for Gardant was been recognized with an Argentum “Best of the Best” award.
Hanh: [00:04:20] So your current role is VP of development and positioning garden management solutions. So garden has grown to be one of the largest providers of assisted living in the country with a focus on affordability, and that can serve individuals of all income levels. So in your opinion, What sets garden apart from the other senior care companies,
Rick: [00:04:42] what sets us apart from the other senior living companies is our focus on affordable assisted living and the ability to serve older adults of all incomes of so many of the other providers in the senior housing arena.
Hanh: [00:05:26] so how are the actual assisted living communities that garden operates? How are they different from the other assisted living communities?
Rick: [00:05:34] I think when you take a look at the physical plan and interior design and quality of construction, There is virtually no difference. I had the opportunity to work for penny Pritzker and classic residence, Hyatt V at one point in time, back in the late 1990s, early two thousands.
Rick: [00:05:54] And I would say the only difference in terms of physical plant is that our communities are designed more like a nice holiday Inn express or Hampton Inn. As opposed to a country club style environment with all the country club style amenities, residents have their own private apartment studio or one bedroom for plans.
Hanh: [00:10:03] So you have the ability to serve individuals on Medicaid waiver for assisted living. So, what does that whole process entail? How long does it take and what does it involve?
Rick: [00:10:13] Entails assessment. By a independent agency in the state, the state decides who is going to be providing data assessment. And it’s a two fold assessment. One is an assessment for, to determine if the resident qualifies for Medicaid financially, and then a health assessment to determine what the. Residents needs are, and to make sure that the resident and the community can meet those needs.
Hanh: [00:14:59] So you started off talking about the last 40 years of senior living industry. So let’s look into the future right now. What do you think senior living will change in the next, let’s say 40 years.
Rick: [00:15:11] Hopefully there will be. More opportunities to develop more affordable assisted living communities that can serve people on a Medicaid waiver for assisted living, as well as individuals who can afford to pay privately individuals who may be more value conscious. And taking a look at wanting to move into a community where the monthly fees are not the types of monthly fees that you would see in a country club style assisted living community, be able to serve individuals who can afford to pay privately for a period of time.[00:15:46] And then if, and when they run out of their assets to be able to convert to Medicaid, and do it in a very smooth process.
Hanh: [00:17:08] Thank you so much. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?
Rick: [00:17:12] One other thing that we take a look at in terms of our focus, whether it is one of the private pays assisted living communities that we manage. Or one of the affordable assisted living communities that we operate. And that is our focus is on providing residents with the love, the compassion, the dignity that they deserve in addition to the help and assistance that they need.
Hanh: [00:18:48] Thank you so much. I appreciate the time that you’ve made and that we connect us so that we can have this conversation and to share your work and your mission and your company’s growth in Indiana and [00:19:00] Chicago.