Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home CEO Announces Retirement

BCH & JBR CEO Nils Gunnersen

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home CEO Nils Gunnersen announced he will be stepping down from his leadership role by the end of 2022.

“Nils has served as CEO of Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home since December 2008 and has provided visionary leadership to our campus throughout his tenure,” said Gary Eppolito, President of the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital Board of Directors. “His guidance has not only preserved but has grown services and certainly fulfilled our organizational mission of Keeping Healthcare Local.”

Under Gunnersen’s leadership, BCH has made great strides at advancing local healthcare. Some of these many accomplishments include the creation of BCH Primary Care, BCH Heart Center, and the BCH Surgical Centers, modernization of the imaging department, and strengthening the partnerships with Keystone Healthcare and Mercy EMS / Mercy Flight.

“We will miss Nils’ experience as a health leader, we will miss his thoughtful leadership, but we will especially miss the great sense of humor he shared with us, even during unprecedented and stressful times for the healthcare industry,” said Johanna Healy,  Chair of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee. 

Recently, Gunnersen was instrumental in the completion of the construction of the Bertrand Chaffee Health Center, recruitment of new providers for the Primary Care Center, and establishment of the Bertrand Chaffee Orthopaedic Surgery Center. Notably, Gunnersen has been responsible for making strategic investments to our campus while recruiting and retaining a multitude of new providers and staff to BCH and JBR, as well as strengthening BCH’s position of independence as organization. 

“It has been my pleasure to serve Springville and the surrounding communities over the last 14 years,” shared Gunnersen. “I am proud of what we, as a team, have accomplished together to strengthen local healthcare services. My utmost gratitude and appreciation goes out to the BCH and Foundation Boards, volunteers, physicians, and staff. We could not have accomplished our many achievements without the commitment and tireless work of these great people.  It has been my privilege to be a part of this dedicated team. A special thank you for the tremendous support Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home receives from our community. We are so honored to serve and take care of you.” “The Board has formed a Committee to begin the important work of identifying Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home’s next leader,” stated Eppolito. “We are committed to a transition by the end of the calendar year.”

JBR becomes a Regional Test Center for the Certification Exam for Nursing Assistants

Photo included: Pictured are graduates from our June 2022 Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program. Pictured L-R JBR Nursing Home Administrator Carole Francis, Elizabeth Dimpfl, Leah Seltzer, Laura Esposito, JBR Assistant Director of Nursing Samantha Vecchio, and JBR Director of Nursing Renna Thaine.

Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home is proud to announce a collaborative agreement with Prometric to become a regional test site for the New York State Nurse Aide Certification Exam. Prometric is a leading provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions to many of the world’s most recognized licensing and certification organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies. They support more than seven million test takers annually at their testing locations in more than 180 countries around the world.

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has contracted with Prometric to develop and administer the New York State (NYS) Nursing Home Nurse Aide Competency Examination and manage the NYS Nursing Home Nurse Aide Registry (NAR). All individuals performing nurse aide duties in a nursing home on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis must meet minimum training and competency requirements in accordance with state and federal regulations and be listed in good standing on the NAR.  The majority of nurse aides on the registry become certified by successfully completing a NYS-approved nursing home nurse aide training program and passing the Competency Examination. The exam consists of two parts: 1) a Clinical Skills exam (practical portion); and 2) a Written (oral) exam.

In early December of 2021, Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home received notification that it was approved for a New York State Nurse Aide Training Program and began to offer training classes in January 2022. Since then, they have had two graduating classes. A challenge the nurse aide candidates was the distance traveling to and from area regional testing sites – some candidates were asked to test 4 hours away. The administration team at Jennie B. felt this limited the chances of candidates passing the exam and as a result, entered into discussions with Prometric to develop a testing area here on the Bertrand Chaffee campus. A computer lab area was created for the written part of the exam and a laboratory area to test clinical skills. “This was no small undertaking as we needed funds to create the computer and simulation laboratories,” reports Carole Francis, Nursing Home Administrator for Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home. “We saw an opportunity to develop and train new and current staff caring for our residents,” commented Renna S. Thaine, Director of Nursing for Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home. “This will allow us to develop candidates’ skill sets so that our residents receive the highest quality of care possible. This is our commitment to them and the communities we deliver care in.”

Training coursework is held regularly throughout the year and paid for by the organization. The next CNA training course will begin on August 1; applications are due by July 25. To learn more about the CNA training program or to apply, please email