Assisted Living Leader Howard Groff First Recipient of Jan Thayer Pioneer Award

New NCAL award honors individuals who make considerable contributions to the senior care profession


Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – At its fourth annual Spring Conference, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) announced a new accolade by the association, the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award. The award is posthumously named after the first Board Chair of NCAL and assisted living owner and operator Jan Thayer.

Howard Groff, President of Tealwood Senior Living, was named the first recipient of the award at the conference’s luncheon today. With over 30 years of experience in health care, Groff was recognized for championing high-quality, long term care through continuous improvement efforts.

“Even with a vast amount of knowledge, Howie never ceases to learn new practices or look for new opportunities to improve the lives of his residents,” said Pat Giorgio, NCAL Board Chair. “He remains focused on understanding and anticipating the needs of consumers, which is critical in the evolving world of long term care.”

Groff formed Tealwood Care Centers, now known as Tealwood Senior Living, in 1989.  As president, Howard has overall responsibility for Tealwood’s financial and operational objectives, as well as developing growth strategy and establishing company policy. Under Groff’s leadership, Tealwood has helped pilot many projects, including partnering with Bluestone Physician Services, a primary care practice delivering on-site care to patients living in assisted living and to people with disabilities in both residential and community settings.

A former Chair of NCAL, Groff remains active within the association and its parent organization, the American Health Care Association (AHCA). He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Cabinet, which helps to oversee the organization’s national Quality Initiative.

NCAL created the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award to recognize individuals who have moved the senior care profession forward, positively affecting the lives of those served and those who serve. Recipients must demonstrate dedication, leadership and considerable contributions to the senior care profession.