Pat Giorgio Named Recipient of Jan Thayer Pioneer Award

Iowa independent owner honored for making considerable contributions to the senior care profession


​​WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has named Patricia (Pat) Giorgio, the president of Evergreen Estates, was named the 2016 recipient of the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award. With nearly 25 years of experience owning and operating assisted living communities, Giorgio has served in many leadership positions and championed quality improvement through myriad projects and efforts.
Pat Giorgio
“Pat is the kind of assisted living professional that inspires,” said Chris Mason, NCAL Board Chair. “Her commitment to the residents, to quality, and to advocacy is infectious. She perfectly embodies the term ‘pioneer,’ as she remains steadfast on forging ahead, no matter the challenge.”

“She is one of the rare professionals able to balance the business and human side of this profession with compassion and grace,” wrote nominator Cindy Baddeloo, chief operating officer for the Iowa Health Care Association. “Her efforts to educate, inform, promote quality care, and professional growth have made—and continue to make—an immeasurable difference.”

Since 1993, Giorgio has owned Evergreen Estates, which operates three residential care communities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Under her leadership, the company has grown from 35 employees to 75 and began accepting low income seniors through the state’s Medicaid waiver program. In 2002, the U.S. Small Business Administration—Cedar Rapids District named her “Small Business Person of the Year.”

Giorgio has also held numerous leadership positions in her home state and nationally over the course of her 23-year career. Most recently, she served as the chair of the Board of Directors for NCAL and the assisted living representative on the Board of Governors for the American Health Care Association (2013-2015). Giorgio also served on the Iowa Center for Assisted Living Board of Directors and the Assisted Living Advisory Board for Medline Industries, Chicago.

The Iowan has been an active advocate at the state and federal level, fighting for senior care issues to legislators and regulators. As a result, she was bestowed two prestigious AHCA/NCAL awards: the Steve Chies Future Leader Award (2013) and the Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award (2009). 

Additionally, her expertise on assisted living trends, performance measures, bereavement, hospice and LGBT issues has made her a sought after speaker across the country. Giorgio also collaborated with the University of North Carolina and the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living on two community-based participatory research projects. The first was measuring medication errors in assisted living, and the second was developing a toolkit for person-centeredness in assisted living.

Giorgio has her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and her Master’s in Pastoral Care from Loyola University of New Orleans.

NCAL created the Jan Thayer Pioneer Award in 2015 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. The award is posthumously named after the first Board Chair of NCAL and assisted living owner and operator Jan Thayer. Giorgio will be presented the Pioneer Award during a formal ceremony at the 67th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Nashville, Tenn. this October.

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The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 13,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit or