Meet the Management Team of the Abramson Center for Jewish Life

Read below for more information about the Abramson Center management team.

  • Carol A. Irvine, President and CEO

    Carol Irvine 2

    Carol A. Irvine is president and chief executive officer of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Ms. Irvine is responsible for the Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s $53 million budget and more than 650 employees. Since becoming president and CEO in 2008, she has initiated a strategic planning process that has positioned the Abramson Center for leadership in the future of senior care delivery. Her plan has expanded the Center’s services through a number of community-based programs, including short stay rehab, hospice, geriatric care management, home care, renal dialysis, medical adult day services, and a free 24/7 telephonic information and referral service, that enable older adults to age in place in their own homes. The implementation of these programs has increased the number of individuals served by the Center from 700 to over 4,000. During Ms. Irvine’s tenure, continuing advances in quality improvement led to a five-star rating of the Abramson Residence for skilled care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over the past six years, the Center has grown its revenue by more than 40 percent.

    Before joining the Abramson Center, Ms. Irvine worked for over 20 years at the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in a variety of leadership capacities.

    Ms. Irvine holds a master’s degree in gerontology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in English from Muhlenberg College.

    Reach Carol: cirvine

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  • Valerie G. Palmieri, Chief Operating Officer

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    Valerie G. Palmieri, JD, is chief operating officer of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Ms. Palmieri has been the Abramson Center’s COO since 2010. She oversees the daily operation of the Abramson Center’s various business lines, including skilled nursing at the Abramson Residence, personal care and independent living at the Mildred Shor Inn, Abramson Hospice, Abramson Home Care, Birnhak Transitional Care, and Abramson Medical Adult Day Services. Ms. Palmieri has been instrumental in growing the Center’s community services, including guiding the expansion of its short-term rehab program, Birnhak Transitional Care, doubling the size and serving four times the number of patients. She also oversaw the development, renovation, and implementation of the Center’s Medical Adult Day Services program, which provides seniors in Northeast Philadelphia with daytime medical and therapeutic services and recreational programming.

    Ms. Palmieri was the administrator of the Abramson Residence from 2005 until 2010. Prior to joining the Abramson Center, she worked for 15 years at ManorCare Health Services, where she served in a variety of leadership positions.

    Ms. Palmieri holds a law degree from Widener University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Cabrini College. She received her nursing home administrator license in 1996.

    Reach Valerie: vpalmieri

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  • Mark T. Wasserman, Chief Financial Officer

    Mark Wasserman

    Mark T. Wasserman, CPA, is chief financial officer of the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Mr. Wasserman has been the Abramson Center’s chief financial officer since January 2011. His role includes the oversight of the Center’s finance/accounting, investments, information and technology, business intelligence, materials management, and plant operations functions.

    Before joining the Abramson Center, he was vice president of development with Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) where he led various mall redevelopment projects, most notably the recently completed $100 million expansion of the Plymouth Meeting Mall. He joined PREIT in 1999 and served in a wide array of roles during his 12-year tenure, including vice president of asset management, assistant treasurer and vice president, internal audit. Mr. Wasserman established the Internal Audit department at PREIT and led their Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance during the first several years after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted. Mark also served as the Finance Team Leader and Steering Committee member for PREIT’s $1.3 billion dollar merger with Crown American Realty Trust in 2003.

    Prior to joining PREIT, Mr. Wasserman worked for Deloitte, a Big 4 public accounting firm, where he specialized in Forensic Accounting and Litigation Consulting, assisting attorneys in assessing damages/lost profits and investigating fraud.

    Mr. Wasserman has a master’s of business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Penn State University. He is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) and a certified treasury professional (CTP). Mr. Wasserman is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Reach Mark: mwasserman

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  • Robin First Brandies, Vice President of Development

    Robin First Brandies, Esq.

    Robin First Brandies, Esq., is vice president of Development at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Ms. Brandies is responsible for overseeing the Abramson Center's fundraising program, which raises over $4 million annually.

    Before joining the Abramson Center, Ms. Brandies served as senior philanthropic advisor, gift and estate planning at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. During her tenure, she was responsible for raising over $3.7 million, meeting and exceeding portfolio fundraising goals.

    Ms. Brandies has a juris doctor from Duke University School of Law, a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a bachelor's degree from Barnard College.

    Reach Robin: rbrandies

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  • Andrea B. Adelman, Senior Development Advisor

    Ande Adelman

    Andrea B. Adelman is senior development advisor at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.  

    Ms. Adelman is responsible for the Abramson Center’s fundraising program, which raises over $4 million annually. She is also responsible for developing the Center’s planned giving campaign. This campaign resulted in 15 new gifts with a combined future value of $1 million.

    Prior to joining the Abramson Center, Ms. Adelman was senior vice president of Development at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the chief community development officer. While there, she helped re-organize their annual campaign, increasing the number of donations received. She also was responsible for raising $13 million for the Israel Emergency Fund and a $10 million naming gift for Federation’s Schwartz Campus in Radnor.

    Ms. Adelman also held numerous key volunteer roles at Federation, which culminated in three years as board chair. In recognition of her outstanding leadership and service, Federation honored her with its Mrs. Isidore Kohn’s Young Leadership Award in 1984 and its Community Award for Outstanding Service in 2004. She was also honored by Women’s American ORT in 1990.
    Ms. Adelman holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Reach Ande: aadelman


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  • Brenda Decker, Vice President of Residential Care

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    Brenda Decker, MSW, NHA, is vice president of Residential Care at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Ms. Decker joined the Abramson Center in 2017. She is responsible for providing leadership in the coordination of clinical and operational functions of the Abramson Residence and Mildred Shor Inn, ensuring appropriate services are received, regulatory compliance, and the day-to-day operation of the Abramson Residence.

    Prior to joining the Abramson Center, Ms. Decker was administrator for the Germantown Home in Philadelphia. She guided the organization through a transition, reducing the number of deficiencies and improving the Medicare and Medicaid Star rating from two to five stars.

    Ms. Decker holds a master’s degree in social work from Marywood College.

    Reach Brenda: bdecker 

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  • Joy Beller Shore, Vice President Care Management Programs

    Joy Shore

    Joy Beller Shore is vice president of Care Management Programs at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    At the Abramson Center, Ms. Shore is responsible for the comprehensive oversight of Abramson Care Advisors, including supervising staff, measuring progress, program development and identification of consumer need.

    Ms. Shore has more than 20 years of experience in long-term care including operations, administration, community relations and marketing.

    She has a master's degree in healthy policy and management from New York University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Dickinson College.

    Reach Joy: jshore

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  • Sean Gregson, Vice President of Home Care and Hospice

    Sean Gregson

    Sean Gregson is vice president of Home Care and Hospice at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Mr. Gregson oversees the day to day operations of the Center's home care and hospice businesses.

    Before joining the Abramson Center, Mr. Gregson was regional operations director at Epic Health Services. He led the successful acquisition of a multi-site home health agency, requiring the integration and transition of 400 employees and a budget of over $25 million.

    Mr. Gregson has a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University.

    Reach Sean: sgregson

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  • Karen Baldwin, Vice President of Human Resources

    Karen Baldwin

    Karen Baldwin, RN, MBA/HMSA is vice president of Human Resources at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life.

    Ms. Baldwin has been responsible for the hiring, compensation and retention of the Abramson Center for Jewish Life’s 650 employees since 2007.

    Karen Baldwin has more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources management. She has held vice president positions in nursing administration, operations, and human resources in healthcare related organizations.

    Ms. Baldwin holds a master’s degree in business administration from Widener University, a bachelor of arts degree from Neumann College, and an associate degree in nursing from Mayfair College


    Reach Karen: kbaldwin

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  • David G. Kelble, Vice President of Information Technology

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    David G. Kelble is vice president of Information Technology at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life. Mr. Kelble is responsible for planning and coordinating the activities of the Information Technology Department, and for developing and implementing new initiatives to support the expansion of the Abramson Center’s services. Most recently, he oversaw the research and implementation of an electronic medical records system that is integrated across the Center’s multiple lines of businesses.  

    Mr. Kelble has over 30 years of experience in information technology. Before joining the Center, he was vice president of Information Technology for MobilexUSA, where he led the IT function during a period of rapid growth for the company.                        

    Mr. Kelble is an adjunct instructor for the College of Science and Technology at Temple University. He is also active with several industry and charitable organizations, including as a board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Information Management, treasurer of the Philadelphia Philanthropic Society for Information Technology Foundation, Inc. (PHISIM), and serves on the CIO Advisory Board for Tech Impact.

    He has a master’s degree in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s of business administration and information systems from Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in business from LaSalle University.

    Reach Dave: dkelble

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  • Susan Barker, RN, Director of Nursing

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    Susan Barker, RN, is the director of Nursing for the Abramson Residence and Birnhak Transitional Care Program.

    Ms. Barker joined the Abramson Center management team in 2004. Her responsibilities include the daily operations of clinical assessments and delivery of care. Ms. Barker oversees all levels of nursing staff at the Abramson Center.

    Ms. Barker received a bachelor of science degree in nursing and education from the University of Delaware and an associate's degree in nursing from Wilmington Medical Center.

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  • Robert H. Gordon, M.D., Chief Medical Director

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    Robert H. Gordon, M.D., is chief medical director of the Abramson Center for Jewish Life. Dr. Gordon has been medical director at the Abramson Center since 2003. He is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology with added qualifications in geriatric medicine.

    Dr. Gordon received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and his bachelor's degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

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