Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

Pioneer Award 2010 - Burton J. Rubens

Burton J. Rubens 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.


Burton J. Rubens served his community as head of Lima Community Welfare Council and President of the Lima Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, which led to his appointment in 1967 to the Commission on Aging in Ohio by Governor James A. Rhodes. This assignment showed Burt the critical need for state-of-the-art nursing care facilities in the Midwest.

The Board of Directors met in the Rubens’ living room to form the company. The plan was to buy or build a model in a small town that would provide safe, caring nursing supervised by the board to insure the goals set by the board. One home led to another and HCF was formed in 1968 under his leadership, and has since grown to serve the needs of 25 communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

During his 26 years as President of HCF, he served on the Boards of both the Ohio and Pennsylvania Health Care Associations, and on the Legislative Committee of the American Health Care Association. Burt provided direction and leadership to both HCF and the long-term care community through his involvement in the legislative process, his belief in providing educational opportunities to employees and others involved in caregiving. He actively lived his belief that “every man in business is a trustee of his community’s and his nation’s health and well-being.”

Early in Rubens’ Presidency, HCF became the first of Ohio’s providers to offer LPN and RN nursing scholarships. In the ensuing years, the company provided career building scholarships for employees in every department, indicating HCFs belief that the well-being of residents is best measured by the commitment, excellence and training of its staff. HCF employees also enjoy comprehensive benefit programs. He worked diligently to create a positive work environment, to establish a strategic direction affording excellence in operations, and to build HCF’s strong and committed team of corporate managers.

He was an honoree life member of the Rotary Club, where he served as President and as the Governor of Rotary District 6600. He was a member of Lima Memorial Hospital and the Central Ohio Parkinson’s Society, a U.S. Army Veteran and a graduate of the University of Michigan. Burton J. Rubens retired as President of HCF, Inc. in 1994, and remained actively involved in the long-term care profession and as Vice Chairman and Secretary of HCF’s Board of Directors until he passed away in 2001.

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With Support from OHCA Champion Partners