Employee Focus

Employee Focus


Cheryl Gumlaw
Director, Life Enrichment, Leavitt Family Jewish Home

Cheryl has been with JGS for 12 years, six of which she spent in the dementia unit before being promoted to director of Life Enrichment at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. She is also a Green House educator and guide for our Sosin Center for Rehabilitation.

Cheryl grew up in Springfield and has a husband, three daughters and one grandson (Paxton, pictured with her), with another on the way. She enjoys baking, cooking and spending time with family. Her passion is finding a cure for breast cancer and she serves on the Rays of Hope Steering Committee as the Volunteer Food Co-Chair.


Lori Payson
Director, Community Relations

Lori brings a wealth of experience working in eldercare facilities in western Massachusetts. Her passion and enthusiasm for our commitment to changing our eldercare culture from an institutional care model to one that is person-centered and celebrates each individual helps us deliver the highest quality of care and as we redefine aging.

With over 15 years of experience working with skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, as well as a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Elms College, Lori, a resident of Longmeadow, is also a Dementia Friend Champion and a member of Western Massachusetts Elder Care Professionals.


Christina Tuohey
Director, Development

Christina brings over 10 years of fundraising and volunteer management experience to her role at JGS Lifecare. She has a Master’s in nonprofit management and philanthropy from Bay Path University and is passionate about enriching our community. She previously served as director of annual giving and alumni relations at Springfield Technical Community College, as fundraising coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and as a membership development specialist/volunteer support specialist for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western MA.

Despite a full-time job and being a busy and engaged mother to three young children, Christina is the past communication chair for the Board of Women in Philanthropy, and the current hospitality chair. In addition, she has been a “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for over three years. She lives in Longmeadow with her husband Sean and their children. In her free time, she enjoys photography, jogging and learning to cook new types of food.

Karen Petruccelli, RN
Vice President of Quality Improvement

Karen is laser focused on quality improvement for all of JGS Lifecare including the resident/patient experience, risk management, and regulatory affairs. She brings more than 20 years of post-acute nursing experience to her role. Previously, she served as director of clinical services for Athena Healthcare Systems where she was responsible for the nursing clinical management of multiple nursing and rehabilitation centers in several states. Prior to that, she was as a nursing consultant for various skilled nursing facilities.

Karen has a wealth of administrative experience in clinical sub-acute settings. Her skills and expertise are critical assets as we undertake the challenge to elevate our standard of care, and  continually improve the skilled nursing care we provide throughout JGS Lifecare. Under her leadership, we are making great strides in the creation of a culture of excellence.

Nursing Home Employee Testimonial Icon Photo - JGS Lifecare

Rabbi Devorah Jacobson
Director of Spiritual Life

Named to the Jewish Daily Forward’s 2016 list of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis, Rabbi Jacobson leads our spiritual services. She is trained as a multi-faith chaplain and certified by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). This indicates that she demonstrates outstanding abilities in the area of multi-faith pastoral care and meets the established standards of professional competence set by the NAJC. This is the highest professional standard in the chaplaincy field, providing specialized training in the area of health care chaplaincy.

Rabbi Jacobson commits herself fully to everyone her life touches, whether in times of joy or difficulty. Her capacity for empathy, along with her wise counsel, sets an example of exemplary care and helps fulfill our overall mission to provide both physical and spiritual care.  In addition , she is also part of the faculty for the Florence Melton School in both Springfield and Northampton programs.