- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 5, 2004

Kristina Hughes is the first non-pastor to lead operations at the National Lutheran Home of the Aged, a Lutheran-based nursing home in Rockville.

Mrs. Hughes, 35, will succeed the Rev. Richard Reichard, who is retiring effective next year, as executive director. She joined the nursing home, which also runs an independent living facility for the elderly, in 1995.

She serves as the assistant executive director, overseeing the home’s regulation compliance, general administration, special projects and department supervision.

The home, founded in the District in 1890 and relocated to Rockville in 1980, has 300 beds and 129 independent-living units that surround the facility. All residents are 65 or older, with most in the lower income brackets.

Mrs. Hughes said she feels ready for the transition, adding that she has taken over Mr. Reichard’s role numerous times in the past few years.

But there is a lot of work that goes into the upkeep of the nursing home and its 320-member staff, she said.

“There is so much to goes on a day-to-day basis. … But I think my main goal is to carry on the tradition of leading the institution in its mission and ministry in Christ’s name,” she said.

Prior to joining the nursing home, Mrs. Hughes served a fellowship and internship at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

“The most important thing is to strive to make this facility a second home for our residents and our staff their second family,” she said.

Mr. Reichard, who has been the sixth executive director in the home’s history, said he felt confident leaving the organization in Mrs. Hughes’ control.

“The residents all know her and love her. That should help for a smooth transition,” Mr. Reichard said.

Although all of the previous executive directors were pastors, Mr. Reichard said, it was easier to promote Mrs. Hughes, a lay member who has the necessary license to run a nursing facility in Maryland.

“Times change. Its takes a lot of credentials to run a home these days and it was certainly more efficient to have Kristina come into the position,” he said.

Mrs. Hughes lives in Germantown with her husband, Raymond.

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