The Senior Transitions team is a multi-disciplinary team focused on the whole picture of care your aging loved one needs. We keep up with current care technology and know how to manage any crisis. We use professional software and technology in our business so that we can easily track all care information and communicate with your family. We know policies and benefits, and you can count on us to help with hospital stays, dementia care, and working through the medical system.
Debra Simmons, LPN, CMC – Founder & Aging Life Care Specialist™
“For me, this work is all about love and respect. Our seniors have so much to offer and being part of their lives, during one of the most difficult times in their and their family’s life is immeasurable. I am honored to be able to work on their behalf.”
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 compassionate care her father received during his illness. Debra chose nursing school and has 30 plus years experience providing quality, caring nursing and case management services in our community.
She specializes in Medical Case Management and has deep knowledge of Medicare, Medicaid and HMO’s. She developed and implemented a successful Case Management Program for a local HMO and earned the CMC (Care Manager Certified) certification which verifies she has met academic and direct care qualifications. Additionally, she passed the national certification exam and is registered as a Case Manager Certified by the American Institute of Outcomes-Case Management. Debra is a member of CMSA (Case Management Society of America) where she served as the President of the Tallahassee Chapter for 3 consecutive years and she is an Associate level member of ALCA (Aging Life Care Association).
When Debra’s grandparents became ill, she aided her entire family by guiding them through the medical maze. In 2002, Debra decided to realize her dream and start her own geriatric care business, Geriatric Care Management Solutions, Inc. D.B.A. Senior Transitions. GCMS (Senior Transitions) is now in our 15th year and the team continues to serve the community.
Debra’s compassion for older adults, professional experience, and resourcefulness are her best contributions to Senior Transitions and their clients. Debra serves as a strong advocate for families, helping them negotiate the human service and healthcare arenas and providing professional guidance during what can be very emotional and challenging situations.
Debra also completed the State of Florida’s required 40-hour guardianship course and has served in the capacity of a Professional Guardian, giving her another way to assist families who must work through the guardianship process. Working closely with local Elder Law attorneys, Debra has learned and gained valuable experience so she can help decipher family issues and legal documents and help them find the right Elder Law Attorney for their needs. Debra also serves as a Court-appointed Examining Committee Member to evaluate alleged incapacitated persons. Debra had strong visions when she started GCMS (Senior Transitions) for the first time and she has not lost her passion. Debra states that “this is the most rewarding job I have ever had,” and she loves becoming part of the professional family caring for her clients.
Tabitha Whitten – Director of Clinical Services
“I have held many positions in the healthcare arena, but none have given me the same level of personal satisfaction as I feel at Senior Transitions. In my position here, we are able to become entrenched in the daily lives of our clients and make their lives better. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on a patients face just because you are there.”
Tabitha Whitten was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Her love of the seniors in her community has always shone through. From singing in nursing homes, while in the church choir, during grade school, to volunteering to walk dogs for the elderly in her neighborhood, during high school, she has always had a deep respect for, and a desire to help, the elderly.
Tabitha graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with a Bachelors of Science degree in 1992. Since that time, she has worked with seniors in both Lee and Leon Counties. After graduating from USF, Tabitha worked in management, for nine years, at Springwood Court, a Marriott Assisted Living Community, in Fort Myers, Florida. Tabitha, her husband Mark, and her young son Jacob moved to Tallahassee in 2002. After having her second son, Justin, she continued her commitment to seniors by working as a Lead Case Manager for a local not for profit agency serving aging persons. For 6 years, she helped hundreds of seniors arrange necessary services so that they could remain independent in their own homes.
Tabitha joined the Senior Transitions team in 2010 and has been an integral part of helping seniors and their families navigate the ever-changing health care arena in Leon County. Whether our clients are able to be helped at home, with just a little support, or transitioned into a facility, the care and compassion that Tabitha provides is able to win over even the most resistant of seniors.
Geno Santopadre – Director of Business Development & Care Manager
“When you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!”
Geno Santopadre is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved to Tallahassee in 2008. He is happily married with two young daughters and two puppies. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. He is also a state certified trainer for Alzheimer’s and Dementia related Diseases, and was recognized by the Governor for his work with the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative and later Task force. This program is now used statewide to help train communities to be more dementia aware. His nonprofit experience includes service as President of the Parkinson’s Outreach Association. While working at the Alzheimer’s Project he coordinated and facilitated the rural support groups and helped establish two respite rooms. It was this time spent working so closely with families of and loved ones living with dementia that he says instilled his drive and passion for speaking up for those who can’t. He loves what he does!
Vycki Boone, LPN – Care Manager
Vycki Lynn Boone, was born and raised a true Tallahassee Lassie. Happily married for over 30 years she now resides in Wakulla County. She is a proud mother of two married sons, who are both Eagle Scouts. She has the cutest best friend ever, Daisie, a Lhasa-Poo, an English Bulldog named Groot, three Sugar Gliders and two grand-puppies. Vycki loves the Georgia Bulldogs (Football). She has volunteered with The Boy Scouts of America, The Wakulla Elementary School, The Wakulla Middle School Football and Wrestling Team and The Wakulla High School Band Program.
She has held an active Nursing License for over 31 years. Vycki received her AA at TCC, her License Practical Nurse at Lively Vocational and supporting nursing classes at TCC and at Gulf Coast Community College. She has had courses in child birth education, preceptor for Medical Surgical Nursing and has passed the CORE training along with taking the required refresher course. She has practiced in rehabilitation, OB/GYN, Family Practice, Hospice, Home Health, Geriatrics, MDS, Assistant to RAL Coordinator, Interim RAL Coordinator and Case Manager. She has taken courses dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s. She enjoys helping others, being there for families who need assistance caring for their loved ones, and she uses her voice for those who are not able to speak effectively for themselves. She is
passionate about and cares deeply for her people.
We serve the Big Bend area of Florida, including Tallahassee, located in Leon County, along with Wakulla, Jefferson and Gadsden counties in a 50 mile radius.