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October 23, 2021
October 25, 2021

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New CEO at Duncaster Announced as Kelly Smith Papa, National Aging Services Leader.

Effective Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, Kelly Smith Papa of Avon is the new President and CEO of Duncaster, Connecticut’s first LifePlan Community established in 1984.

With 25 years of clinical and executive experience in senior living, Papa most recently served as Duncaster’s interim CEO and is an author of eight books on long-term care. Papa’s extensive work resume also includes time as a Director of Nursing, a clinical educator, a national consultant in building dementia care programs and facilitator of leadership development programs.  

Kelly earned her Master of Science in Nursing/Clinical Nurse Specialist from University of St. Joseph and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Anselm’s College. 

Prior to joining Duncaster in 2019 as Vice President of Strategy and Community Life, Papa was the Corporate Director of Learning at Masonicare where she developed the Masonicare University. She also served as the Director of Education and Consulting at the Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Plantsville and spent four years in nursing leadership at McLean in Simsbury, CT.

Kelly has presented at national conferences on staff development; person-centered care; dementia care and coached for the National LeadingAge Leadership Academy. She was a member of the first class of Fellows in the LeadingAge Leadership Academy.  

Locally, Kelly serves on the Connecticut League for Nursing and the Connecticut Center for Nursing Workforce boards and has been a Facilitator for Connecticut’s LeadingAge Leadership Academy for the past eight years.

“We are pleased to have someone with Kelly’s standing in the field of aging services at the helm of the Duncaster leadership team,” says John Shulansky, Chair of the Duncaster Board of Directors. “She has made substantial contributions to the successful operations of Duncaster including our successful COVID-19 response and is playing a critical role in strategic plan development to fulfill our mission to support the evolving needs of an aging population.”

“Kelly has been a dynamic and transformational leader nationally through her work with LeadingAge,” says Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge.

She has brought a deep commitment to mission, a passion for older adults, authentic leadership and vision to her work in Connecticut and nationally. I look forward to how the future unfolds for Duncaster under Kelly’s leadership.” 

Kelly added, “I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with the long, successful legacy Duncaster has built. Our residents and staff are the bedrock of that legacy and have helped to establish Duncaster’s reputation as a leading LifePlan Community in Connecticut and nationally. Together the future is exceedingly bright.”

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