Debra Simmons, LPN, CMC. Founder, CEO
Debra’s love and compassion for the elderly began at a very young age. At family reunions Debra loved to sit and listen to the stories being told by the elders in her family rather than playing with the other kids at the reunion. Debra is a “home grown” Floridian and has spent most of her professional career assisting seniors on many different levels. When Debra’s father passed away in 1981, Debra began seeking ways to “pay back” the medical community for the caring compassionate care that her father received during his illness. Debra decided to go to nursing school and now has 20 plus years experience providing quality, caring nursing and case management services to her community. She has extensive experience in Medical Case Management and has a broad knowledge of Medicare, Medicaid and HMO’s. She developed and implemented a successful Case Management Program for local HMO. Debra has completed the requirements for the CMC (Care Manager Certified) certification which involves demonstrating she has met academic and direct care qualifications, as well as passed the national certification exam and currently is registered as a Case Manager Certified by the American Institute of Outcomes-Case Management. Debra’s professional associations include membership to the Case Management Society of America where she served as the President of the Tallahassee Chapter for 3 consecutive years.
When Debra’s grandparents became ill, Debra realized her dream. With her family looking to Debra for her medical expertise to guide them through the medical maze, Debra decided to broaden her horizons and set out to make a difference in the community, using her vast knowledge to assist other families just like hers, In 2002 Debra, with her grandparents in tow as her business logo, opened Geriatric Care Management Solutions, Inc. D.B.A. Senior Transitions. GCMS (Senior Transitions) is going into its 7th year, she and her team are still going strong. Debra feels her compassion for older adults, professional experience, and resourcefulness are her best contributions to Senior Transitions and our clients. Debra serves as a strong advocate for families and believes strongly in helping families negotiate the human service and healthcare arenas and providing guidance and professional advice during what can be very emotional situations.
In addition to her nursing and case management experience, Debra completed the State of Florida’s required 40 hour guardianship course and has served in the capacity of a Professional Guardian, which Debra feels gives her another level to assist families who are going through the guardianship process. Working closely with local Elder Law attorneys, Debra has gained knowledge and experience in the legal arena, which Debra relates as “valuable” experience as she can help decipher family issues and legal documents and “point them in the right direction, to the Elder Law attorney”. Debra also serves as a Court appointed Examining Committee member to evaluate alleged incapacitated persons.
Debra had strong visions when she opened GCMS for the first time and she has not forgotten why this is her passion. Debra states that “this is the most rewarding job I have ever had”, and loves becoming part of the professional family caring for her clients.