Meet our leadership team

Ascension Living is nonprofit and vision-driven to provide high-quality, compassionate, personalized care with dignity, especially to those in our communities who are most in need. Get to know the people who serve as our leaders.

Jesse Jantzen, President and Chief Executive Officer

Jesse joined Ascension Living in March 2015 and is leading the effort to further elevate Ascension Healthcare’s national integrated senior living system, which currently ranks among the largest not-for-profit senior living systems in the United States. As a subsidiary of Ascension Healthcare, Ascension Living delivers a wide array of services and care settings, ranging from independent living through post-acute care and Program-of-All-Inclusive-Care for the Elderly (PACE) programs, and it also is a key contributor to Ascension’s developing clinically integrated systems of care strategy. Jesse is a highly regarded, inspirational leader in senior living who brings unique and distinguishing characteristics to faith-based leadership. Shaped by childhood experiences growing up in a missionary family in the jungle of Colombia, South America, his passion for people is evident in his work in the field of aging.

He began his work in senior living as a skilled nursing home administrator, and held leadership positions in the senior living field for more than two decades. His career spanned operations of skilled nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities, development of continuing care retirement communities and responsibility for provider systems. His ability to assemble and empower high-performing teams propelled his organizations to achieve extraordinary operational and clinical results, combined with high resident satisfaction and employee retention. He earned a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A. at Texas Tech University.

Daniel Stricker, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development

Danny’s experience in the senior living industry provides our organization with a wide range of knowledge and expertise. Danny began his healthcare career in college as a caregiver in a residential behavioral health home. After college graduation, he entered the senior care industry in St. Louis as a Director of Business Development with Cincinnati-based Communicare Health Services and eventually became a licensed nursing home administrator at their North St. Louis skilled nursing and assisted living facility. He then joined the Alexian Brothers Health System, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., and currently known as AMITA, to reposition one of their skilled nursing facilities in St. Louis. He was promoted to regional chief executive officer for Ascension Healthcare’s Carondelet Long-Term Care Facilities in Kansas City and upon the formation of Ascension Living in 2014, he served as the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, where he led key, strategic initiatives for the organization.


He possesses in-depth knowledge of the strategic and operational aspects of the industry, as well as the interconnectivity of senior living to the broader healthcare ecosystem, with a focus on personalized and quality care. In 2016, Danny was recognized as one of the Catholic Health Association’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders,” a prestigious recognition in Catholic healthcare.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management from William Jewell College, and a master’s degree in health administration from Lindenwood University.

Nick Harshfield, Chief Financial Officer

Nick brings 30 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting in a wide range of industries, including publicly traded and privately held for-profit and non-profit companies.


His work spans several industries, including the airline and manufacturing industries, and he has served more than 18 years in health and human services organizations. He oversees our organization’s financial strategy, planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting and accounting operations. He previously held similar roles with Exceptional Living Centers and Christian Care Communities. He received the CFO of the Year Award for Large Non-Profit Organizations from Business First of Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration-accounting from the University of Louisville, and is a certified management accountant as well as being certified in financial management.

Timm serves Ascension as Senior Vice President, Mission Integration for its Healthcare Division.


In this role, Timm provides for the spiritual, strategic and collaborative leadership required for the deepening integration of the Mission, Vision, Values and Catholic Identity of Ascension throughout all sponsored ministries and partnerships. He works closely with leadership at the System, Ministry Market and local levels in defining creative ways to express Ascension’s Catholic Identity within the ever-changing healthcare environment and collaborating to support our Ministry Market Executives in their role as leaders in a ministry of the church. 

Kevin O'neil M.D., FACP, CMD

Dr. O’Neil sets the clinical and quality strategy and goals of Ascension Living. With more than 30 years of experience in the field, he is a recognized leader in the senior living and geriatric medicine fields, having most recently served as vice president and chief medical officer for Brookdale Senior Living. He also is a clinical professor in the Department of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida, where he practiced internal medicine and geriatrics until 2005. He also served as the medical advisor for the Institute for Optimal Aging. His initiatives focus on improving clinical quality and outcomes, establishing evidence-based practice standards, and enhancing resident and provider experiences by delivering a better and more affordable health experience. He is responsible for the implementation of initiatives that measure, assess and improve the quality and consistency of care delivered to all residents. He works with community executive directors and directors of nursing to support and guide medical directors in service delivery and engagement in their local community.

Lori is a nursing leader in clinical management, reimbursement, oversight, training and evaluation to meet and exceed clinical, regulatory and compliance standards in skilled nursing facilities. Serving as our Chief Nursing Officer, Smith leads clinical teams in each community to ensure quality and compassionate care for all our residents. A United States Army Reservist and a graduate of Chamberlain College of Nursing, Smith bring more than 20 years of nursing experience to Ascension Living.

Kelly oversees the strategy, implementation and evaluation of all sales and marketing functions, while positioning communities to be leaders in senior living. She previously served as regional director of sales and marketing for Lifespace Communities, which includes serving 12 communities and 4,300 residents. She also was director of sales and marketing at the Masonic Village at Sewickley, Pa., and director of sales and marketing at Sunrise Senior Living in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Reed earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Jen brings more than 12 years healthcare marketing and communications to Ascension Senior Living. Earning a master’s degree in health communications from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Louis University, Jen has led communications initiatives both large and small - from implementing a letter-writing campaign for state CON regulations to creating and launching one of the largest single fundraising initiatives for a large, Midwest healthcare system. She is adept at finding national opportunities with local appeal to keep her organization top-of-mind for consumers. She is called on frequently to speak at national and local conferences on a variety of health communication topics including issue management, fundraising and cause marketing, and employee engagement.

Helen provides leadership support with operational and strategic human resources outcomes. As a member of the senior leadership team, she collaborates to develop and implement integrated and aligned organizational strategies to achieve operating goals and objectives. She brings more than 20 years of experience in directing HR teams, providing guidance to senior managers and coaching and developing HR staff in various disciplines. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Saint Louis University and completed the Ascension Management Formation program.

Sneha  joined Ascension Information Services (AIS) as chief information officer for Ascension Senior Living in May 2017. Prior to joining ASL, Sneha Patel worked as the Chief Information Officer for Covenant Retirement Communities for 15 years and also has over 15 years of consulting experiences in various roles at EDS, Platinum Technologies and Computer Associates. She is dynamic hands on leader with proven success record on delivering projects with a balanced approach to achieve the highest level of functional success with targeted time frames. She is a change agent, problem solver and strategic thinker with a passion for technology and a track record of deploying creative solutions to improve operational process improvement.

Tim Gorman, Legal Counsel

Tim brings a broad range of skills to his role supporting Ascension Living, such as advising and assisting clients on an array of transactional and operational business, regulatory and legal issues. He has been a partner at the Lowenbaum Law Firm, focusing his legal work in business, health care and corporate law. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri.