January 14, 2021

Meet Robert Whitten, Executive Director of Leavitt Family Jewish Home

Rob Whitten and his family

Shannon Wesson, Director of Nursing at Leavitt, Rob Whitten, Casey Christensen, Assistant Director of Nursing at LeavittRob Whitten fully concedes that he likes to fix things. In fact, when a repair is needed at his home in Suffield, Connecticut, he inevitably tries to fix the problem himself. Yet he is the first to admit it “doesn’t always work out so well.”

Rob Whitten with Ed Mack Housekeeping Manager JNH at Superhero Kick OffFortunately, his day job as Executive Director of Leavitt Family Jewish Home keeps him busy and fulfilled. Although it has been a tumultuous period since COVID-19 hit in March, Rob has been tremendously impressed with his residents, families, and employees. “The JNH staff remained incredibly committed and dedicated during the entire pandemic,” said Whitten. “It was scary that the virus impacted us early on, but day after day, our employees worked tirelessly to keep our residents safe.”

A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Rob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. He also attended the University of Connecticut  School of Business Long-Term Health Care Management Program. Rob is licensed in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.

It was a summer job that ultimately led Rob to a career in the long-term healthcare field. After his sophomore year at college, he was hired as maintenance technician and spent the summer primarily painting door frames in the buildings of a memory care unit. Rob became close with several residents, who would often spend their day traveling from doorway to doorway with him. This experience fueled his passion for taking care of seniors.

Rob and his wife Jennifer have been married for 11 years and are the proud parents of Gavin (9) and McKenna (11). Rob, who played baseball in both high school and college, relishes coaching his children’s baseball and basketball teams. “Athletics have always played an integral role in my life for me and I truly enjoy sharing my love of sports with my kids,” said Rob. “He added, “Truthfully, they’re much better than I was at their age!”

Rob Whitten and Shannon Wesson, Director of Nursing at Leavitt Jewish Family HomeAs Executive Director at Leavitt Family Jewish Home for the last three years, Rob has found the culture to be exceptional. “The relationship between staff, families, residents and volunteers is extremely unique,” said Whitten. “There is a strong feeling of togetherness that is not usually found in a skilled nursing residence. I am so proud to be a part of this team.”

In terms of the future, Rob believes the vaccination is the key to keeping residents, staff, families, and the community healthy. Without  a doubt, the pandemic has humbled him. “I have watched our employees put our residents and their families above everything else,” said Rob. “It is truly the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen.”