Back row (left to right): Jessica Ross, Debra Nerys, LaChelle Barton, Mathew Gillette, Debra Graham-Williams, William Scott, Faye Douthat, Angie Hanson
Front row (left to right): Theresa Jackson, Marianne Danks, Kendall Thomas, Susan Pettis
Meet our Leadership Team
Susan Pettis, Administrator
Susan earned her degree from Western Michigan University in Social Work, Sociology and Gerontology and began her career working with seniors; she loves working with older adults. For over fifteen years she managed community-based health and wellness, direct assistance and recreation services for the elderly in Kalamazoo. In 2002, she moved to Ann Arbor and began working in long-term care. Shortly after the move, her Mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed and family could no longer meet her needs at home. Suddenly Susan found herself on both sides of care: as a professional in the workplace and a family member advocating for her Mom; dementia care became her passion. She studied as much as she could on Alzheimer’s and dementia and became a licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator. She spent lots of time with her Mom; experiencing her journey and learning from her. Her mother was her greatest teacher. Susan’s personal journey and professional experience with dementia care provides her a unique skill set to help others.
Faye Douthat, Clinical Manager
Faye’s background includes working ten years with geriatrics as part of the St. Joseph Mercy Health System. Her years with Senior Health Services prepared her for her role at Huron Woods. She worked closely with patients and families with dementia. Being the Clinical Nurse Manager at Huron Woods for the past seven years has allowed her to be more involved in the direct care that people receive in a home-like facility. She strives to impact the care the residents receive by working with the staff to consider on an individual basis how best to meet their social, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Faye began her nursing career after receiving her Bachelor’s in Nursing from Michigan State University. Since then she has held a variety of jobs throughout her career in the hospital, pediatrics, community health, mammography and educational positions before finding her niche in working with the elderly.
Debie Graham-Williams, Staff Development/Assistant Clinical Manager
Debie Graham-Williams was born and raised in the Ypsilanti area. She has been a nurse for twelve years and been employed at Huron Woods for the last fifteen and a half years. She began at Huron Woods as a Resident Care Assistant (RCA), studied and became a licensed RN. She continued to advance in positions at Huron Woods and is now the Staff Development/Assistant Clinical Manager. Debie is also a Certified Assisted Living Director. Her passion has always been working with the elderly. She lost her grandparents early and has always gravitated toward older persons and enjoys hearing their life-stories and experiences, which have shaped the world we live in today.
William Scott, Marketing/Admissions Director
William is the director of marketing and admissions at Huron Woods. He has been blessed to work at Huron Woods for over eighteen years. As Huron Woods has grown from 12 beds in 1991 to 73 beds today he has also grown. William started with the program in 1992 as a student intern. In 1993 he was recruited to be a RCA. In 1996 after completing his education at EMU he was promoted to the Director of Social Services. Over the years he has also helped manage the activities department and dining services. As the Marketing and Admissions Director he helps families walk through the difficult process of placement and progressive memory loss. He has a great love, dedication and passion for the residents and families we care for here at Huron Woods. He tells families “If we are blessed to take care of your loved one, you will find we talk the talk and walk the walk.”
Debra Nerys - Social Worker
Debra has worked in the field of aging for many years. Her desire to work with older adults, particularly those with dementia-related memory challenges and their families, led her to earn her Master’s degree in Social Work, along with Certification as a Specialist in Aging. As a student intern she worked on an Alzheimer’s/Memory Loss unit, and upon completing her degree she was hired to be the Director of that unit. She has worked as a Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW) with older adults and their families facing the challenges of dementia in many different settings. Debra has worked on a Geriatric Unit in a large hospital, provided counseling services in Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Independent Living settings, and worked in an Adult Day Health program. Since her return to Michigan, Debra has provided contract social work services on a 102-bed Alzheimer’s/Memory Loss unit, in Skilled Nursing, and in short term, Sub-Acute Rehabilitation. She was thrilled for the opportunity to transfer to Huron Woods, where she is allowed the privilege of building relationships with these special residents and their families in a warm home-like environment.
Marianne Danks - Chaplain
“The Spirit is alive at Huron Woods and I love ministering with residents and families of diverse faiths and spiritualities.” Chaplain Dr. Marianne Danks has been in ministry 20 years, ten of those years at Huron Woods. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit; a Master of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; and a Master of Theology from Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN. Marianne’s doctoral study project was done at Huron Woods and her thesis was entitled “Liturgy and Well-Being for Persons with Dementia.” The project studied the relationship between worship services (with a familiar order of service, prayers, and hymns), and the sense of belonging, peace and hope that this communal experience can provide for persons with dementia.
Jessica Ross – Life Enrichment Manager
Jessica Ross is the Life Enrichment and Volunteer Manager for Huron Woods. She has a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Central Michigan University and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist. Jessica has worked with older adults in both skilled nursing and assisted living settings. Seniors have always had a special place in her heart and she is very happy to plan activities that will get our residents thinking, moving, and smiling!
Theresa Jackson - Afternoon Supervisor
Theresa Jackson brings to Huron Woods over 30 years of advanced nursing knowledge. She provides clinical care to our residents and helps educate direct caregivers entering the health care field. During her tenure as a nurse she has received advanced training in Geriatric Care specializing in Dementia/Alzheimer care. Theresa is a student (she embraces life-long learning), teacher, consultant, and a caregiver as well as part of the administrative team. Theresa is glad to contribute as part of the “team everyone" approach. She especially appreciates the warm family atmosphere Huron Woods provides to our residents and enjoys interacting with the residents and their families.
Angie Hanson - Business Manager
Angie has been a part of the Huron Woods team for seven years starting in life enrichment and is now the Business Manager. She is responsible for scheduling, billing, human resources and payroll. Angie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and is a Certified Assisted Living Director. She truly enjoys working at Huron Woods because of the home-like environment between staff, residents, family members and friends. The best part of her work is being able to share memories and build relationships with so many wonderful people.