Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

Pioneer Award 2005 - John S. Austin

John S. Austin 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.


Beginning his career in long-term care as a caseworker for the Cuyahoga County Welfare Department, John Austin became one of the highest profile practitioners serving the developmentally disabled in Ohio. John worked his way to the nursing home placement division in the department, and after completing his MBA in 1972, began working as a nursing home administrator in Madison, Ohio.

In the late 70s John’s career path took its ultimate turn toward service to the developmentally disabled when he began working as the administrator at an ICF/MR facility in Geneva. In 1980, he purchased Stewart Lodge, an ICF/MR located in Madison.

In 1974, John became deeply involved in the Peer Review Committee at OHCA, serving as a team member, captain and later as Committee Chairman. He served as a member of the OHCA Board of Trustees beginning in 1983, participated on many of OHCA’s committees and the Association’s ICF/MR Conference. He was elected as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President by the Board of Trustees, and served as President from 1989 – 1991, during some of the most tumultuous times facing the Association and its members.

John continued his involvement in OHCA for several years following his presidency, including a stint as Chairman of the ICF/MR Conference, during which time he also served as a member of the Board of Trustees. He now lives in Madison, and in Sebring, Florida with his wife Ruthie. Two sons, John and Joe, continue the Austin family’s long-term care tradition.

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With Support from OHCA Champion Partners