Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

Pioneer Award 2003 - Gene P. King

Gene P. King 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.


Gene P. King became the first Executive Director of the Ohio Nursing Home Association in 1964. Hired by then President L. Bruce Levering, King’s management firm served ONHA under five different Presidents through 1972.

The 60’s were a volatile time for long term care. Landmark Medicare/Medicaid legislation was passed in 1965. During King’s tenure, ONHA made Ohio’s Public Assistance program a major concern. The Association indicated that it could “no longer stand idly by while Ohio fails to live up to its responsibility.”

In 1967, the Ohio Department of Public Welfare increased per diem reimbursement to $7 for average and $8.25 for maximum nursing care.In recognition of a growing need for education in the profession, ONHA became more active in promoting seminars and educational programs. A 30 hour program of professional nursing home administrative training was offered, as well as seminars on labor law, custodial care and utilization review. A one-day administrator licensure seminar attracted 500 people in November of 1969, and administrator licensure became a requirement in 1970.

Aggressive leadership let to a 40 percent increase in Medicaid rates in 1970, and the Association has been recognized for its expertise in reimbursement ever since.

King is now Senior Associate with the CraigKing Management Group in Columbus, serving as a consultant to professional and trade associations.

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With Support from OHCA Champion Partners