David Dunn, Veteran of the United States Air Force, Creates His Own Path into Long Term Care

As we celebrate Veterans Day as a nation and as an organization, we are proud to share how David Dunn, Executive Director at Rochester East Health Services created his own path in long-term care. Davis is a veteran of the United States Air Force. David retired from the Air Force as a security specialist after 16 years of active duty. After leaving the Air Force he was a substitute teacher and sold manufactured homes for a short time. He knew these weren’t the careers for him. A family member was Director of Nursing at a skilled nursing facility in Arizona and reached out to David to see if he was interested in a position as an admissions marketing director. With his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing/Management, he flew out to interview and got hired the same day. 

After eight months in this position, his Administrator, Dennis Graff, encouraged David to get his NHA. Dennis served as David’s preceptor and he received his Arizona NHA after six months. David stayed in Arizona for the following five years. From there, David moved to Minnesota to run another SNF until he was recruited to become the administrator for 3 family practice clinics in rural towns. Those clinics were eventually purchased by a hospital, so David’s role went from clinic administrator to hospital COO. After spending about 8 years away from long-term care, the downsizing of his current organization led David back to skilled nursing. David found himself running a 66 bed SNF with an attached 54-unit ALF in Sleepy Eye, MN. This work reminded him that his heart has always been in long-term care because, as David puts it, “Long-term care is an opportunity to get to know your residents and hear stories about themselves and the kind of life experiences they went through.”

David joined North Shore in June of 2018 as the Executive Director for Rochester West Health Services. Additionally, a year later he took over at Rochester East Health Services as well, filling in for just under a year until a permanent administrator was hired.

Speaking of a career as a nursing home administrator, David says, “Have passion for what this job entails. This is not an easy job and it is very demanding, but I challenge anyone to find a profession that is as rewarding as this. Not a day goes by that I am not touched by a resident or family member, and I can go home every night hoping that I had some small part in touching the live(s) of residents that we are entrusted to care for.”

North Shore Healthcare is proud to have David as a leader in the organization, and thank him for his service to his residents and to his country.