For this month’s Board Member Spotlight, we caught up with Renee Krul, Stein Hospice Board President. Having been with the organization for the past 16 years, Renee’s connection to the Wilf Campus is one that goes beyond professional duties.
A resident of Elizabeth, NJ, Renee is a registered nurse with a strong background in healthcare compliance. With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field, Renee has obtained certifications as a Clinical Documentation Specialist and Care Manager. In recognition of her contributions and dedication to the field, she has also been the recipient of multiple national awards. These include the Spina Bifida Association of America’s national award for innovative nursing practice, Nursing Spectrum’s Tri State Region Nurse of the Year, and the Case Management Society of America’s Case Manager of the Year.
Currently, Renee uses her skills to operate her own company, DRG Claims Management. The company works to audit Diagnosis-Related Group payments and clinically related Medicare reimbursement for hospitals and other organizations.
A heartfelt connection
Now entering her 16th year on the board, Renee shares a number of interesting connections to the Wilf Campus and Stein Hospice. She first became familiar with the campus through her involvement with what is now the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Through relationships formed there she met current board member, Gerry Staffin, who’s late wife was on the Wilf Campus’ allocations committee. Gerry later invited Renee to join the Board of Trustees.
However, before Renee formally joined the campus, life’s events led to her first forming a personal relationship with its agencies. Some years ago, after her mother-in-law fell ill, Renee worked closely with the nursing staff and former Director of the Wilf Campus (then the Central New Jersey Jewish Home for the Aged) to handle her care. What came out of this effort was what Renee refers to as a “de-facto” hospice experience. This is because the current agency, Stein Hospice, had yet to exist. Touched by the experience and care that was provided in her family’s time of need, the surprises for Renee did not end there. Several years later, her father-in-law was cared for by Stein Hospice. “I will never forget the soothing sound of the Director of Nursing softly singing his favorite Hebrew songs to him in his last hours,” Renee recalled.
In addition to these experiences, Renee one day found that a distant relative had unexpectedly fallen under her guidance. Met with this responsibility, she once again turned to the then Central Jersey Jewish Home for her family member’s care. Lastly and most recently, after Renee’s appointment as Stein Hospice Board president, her own late mother chose Stein Assisted Living as her home. “My mother was greatly involved at Stein Assisted Living; both in the many activities and as a part of the resident council. I can’t say enough how much I felt that it was the right place for her. It would have been three years that she’d lived there this coming November. I’m definitely grateful for her time there,” Renee shared.
Vision for Stein Hospice
Renee has been present for the growth of Stein Hospice from the ground up. “The leadership at Stein Hospice is really taking it into the next century. I’ve seen them grow proportionately in both numbers and in responding robustly to the ever-increasing challenges of regulatory mandates,” Renee says. The organization has taken their commitment to compliance standards to new heights over time by incorporating the highest quality indicators of excellent patient care into their practice. As for Renee’s own goals for the agency, she is excited to see an active growth plan which includes expansion into community-based palliative care. “The goal is to ease the burden of certain medical conditions on the community. We’re really focusing on how we can improve people’s lives whether it be pain management or other aspects of enhanced quality of life, giving a tremendous service to those who need it most.”
“As much as I enjoy my family and career, I really have to say that the second highlight of my life is my time with Stein Hospice and the Wilf Campus for Senior Living,” Renee shared.
Outside of her work with the Wilf Campus, Renee describes herself as a family woman; a wife of 42 years, mother of three and grandmother of eight! Her children and family carry their Jewish values into their work lives; her son is a Rabbi and Hospice Social worker, and one of her daughters teaches at a Yeshiva school in Cleveland, Ohio.
“My family is very proud of my role on the Stein Hospice Board. I’m excited to see the agency move on to its next level. The Wilf Campus has found its way into my life time and time again, becoming very important to me. It may not have been a geographic path that led me here, but it’s clearly a path of heart and soul.” – Renee Krul
The Wilf Campus for Senior Living is proud to have had Renee on board for the past 16 years. We’d like to extend our thanks for her efforts and dedication to our mission to serve the elderly and disabled members of our community; providing high-quality care along the way.