Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

Pioneer Award 2014 - Gerald F. Schroer

Nisi Pozderac Pioneer awards The OHCA Pioneer Award is designed to recognize Ohioans influential in the development and advancement of long-term care programs, education, professionalism or ideals. The Awards honor the commitment of these individuals to excellence in long-term care services.


Gerald F. Schroer began his career in health care and the long-term care community in 1973 with the purchase of Mann Nursing Home, a fifty bed nursing facility located next to Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. With his wife Sue, who was instrumental in the development of the company from the beginning, many of the decisions on the growth and operations of the facilities were made at the kitchen table.

As a Licensed Nursing home Administrator, Jerry oversaw every aspect of the facility, from maintenance to resident care. Encouraged by this experience at the Westerville facility, which eventually was expanded to 165 beds, Country Lawn Nursing Home in Stark county was acquired in 1974 with Jerry moving to the newly acquired facility as administrator. Expansion continued through the years, and Altercare now operates 18 facilities throughout Ohio, with one location in Michigan.

In 1993 the family business expanded, with the development of Absolute Health Ancillary Services and Products to begin providing institutional pharmacy, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health care, nurse aide training and billing. Absolute now serves over 90 facilities including the Altercare nursing facilities.

Avalon Food Service in Canal Fulton, Ohio was acquired in 1994, allowing the company to provide broad line food distribution service to customers in 5 states.

Recognizing the need for specialized care, Jerry developed the idea of providing a facility for those persons who suffer with the conditions of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, , exemplifying that he truly had the pioneer spirit. The first such unit was started in Navarre, Ohio and has been expanded to 8 units within the Altercare facility group. The units are called “Speret Hall” . . . Speret is the Latin word for “hope.”
The staff at Altercare/Absolute/Avalon indicates that Jerry has a total commitment to the goal of delivering quality health care. Described as “visionary,” he is seen as family-oriented, motivational, and determined to find the potential in people and provide them with opportunities to succeed and prosper.

Jerry has spent 41 years in the health care community, with a focus on providing high quality care and services to the patients entrusted to the company’s care and employment opportunities to its staff. The Altercare nursing facilities now provide over 550,000 patient days of services annually, with an work force of over 5,000 employees.

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With Support from OHCA Champion Partners