Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
President and CEO of Jewish Home LifeCare
Part of Adelphi History: I celebrated the first Earth Day held on campus in 1970.
Indelible Moment at Adelphi: The first day of spring on the quad.
Advice for Adelphi Students Interested in Entering Public Health: Get exposure to all aspects of public health; this will help you when it comes time to specialize. Become involved in community organizations and projects to get actual experience. Pursue a dual degree in business administration and public health.
Growing up, Audrey Weiner had dreams of becoming a medical doctor, but the prevailing notion of the time—that medicine wasn’t for women—prevented her from entering the field. Thanks to the guidance of Adelphi Professor, Stanley Windwer, however, she was still able to embark on a career dedicated to providing care and promoting health and wellness.
Today, as president and CEO of Jewish Home Lifecare, Dr. Weiner leads New York’s oldest and largest not-for-profit long-term care and rehabilitation provider. With campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester, Jewish Home Lifecare serves the needs of more than 10,000 elders annually.
At Adelphi, instead of studying pre-med, Dr. Weiner declared chemistry as her major: “I loved understanding how things worked together,” she recalls. As graduation approached, however, she was unsure of what she wanted to do with her degree. Organic chemistry Professor Windwer suggested she look into public health. “He thought I would find it interesting,” she recalls.
Following his advice, she went on to graduate with her master’s degree in public health from Yale University. One of the highlights of her time at Yale was completing a thesis focusing on the rights of the nonsmoker, which was used by the New Haven Lung Association in their efforts to stop the sale of cigarettes in hospital gift shops. From there she went on to work for the American Heart Association, before moving to Florida for a position at the Miami Jewish Home & Hospital for the Aged.
Upon returning to New York, she began her climb to higher executive positions in the field of public health care. As medical administrator at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York, she gained experience in the many facets of a budget, from reading one, to constructing and administering one. This knowledge would become valuable in her future career roles.
After being advised by another woman in her field that if she wanted to be taken seriously she would need her doctoral degree, Dr. Weiner returned to school. She earned her doctorate in social welfare administration from Hunter College while working full time.
Prepared to take the next step in her career, Dr. Weiner joined the Jewish Home LifeCare system as senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Sarah Neuman Center/Westchester Lifecare Community Services. Within five years she had made her mark. She was promoted to chief operating officer and several years later to president and CEO of Jewish Home Lifecare – the first woman to hold this position since the Jewish Home and Hospital was established in 1848 by founder Hannah Leo.
In this role, Dr. Weiner recognizes the importance of having a socially conscious and skilled staff, today and tomorrow. Under her leadership, Jewish Home LifeCare has established a three year-program for high-school students to learn about geriatric issues and health care careers in the nursing home setting. “We are feeding the pipeline,” she says. “It is our dream that these students become certified nurse technicians, go to college, and go on to get jobs in this field. We are beginning to see this happen.”
Above all, Dr. Weiner stresses that it takes a person with a special passion for caring to be in this line of work. “Everyone wants to be respected and treated with dignity. It’s important that members of our staff understand that what they’re doing is more than a job,” says Dr. Weiner, who sees every interaction her employees have with residents as an opportunity to make an impact on their lives.
“There is nothing more rewarding than receiving a letter from a family member of one of the elders after they pass away, thanking me for enabling their 95-year-old mother to live with dignity in her last days,” she says.
When it came time to choose a college, Adelphi was the perfect fit for Dr. Weiner’s strong interest in science. “The University’s science building had just opened,” she recalls, “and Adelphi offered an attractive chemistry program.”
Dr. Weiner is the founding editor of The Journal of Social Work in Long Term Care. She is on the Board of American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and is the organization’s chair elect. She is also a founding officer and past chair of Continuing Care Leadership Coalition.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, going to the theater, cooking and travelling; she has recently hiked at Machu Picchu in Peru.