One Man’s Impact on Nursing Home Administration

Harvey Wertlieb was a health care entrepreneur whose companies owned and operated nursing homes, hospital units and other facilities in the Washington area. His positive experiences at The George Washington University as a student and his dedication and success in his career in long term care management inspired him to work with The George Washington University to design long-term care management courses for students in the university’s widely respected MHA program and serve as an adjunct instructor.   In 1996, he and his wife, Linda, established the Wertlieb Educational Institute on Long-Term Care Management at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (now known as the Milken Institute School of Public Health). 

Wertlieb, who lived in Potomac and Boca Raton, Fla., was born in Washington. He graduated from Coolidge High School and George Washington University, where he also received a master’s degree in hospital administration. Mr. Wertlieb was a loyal GW Alumnus and maintained his relationship with The George Washington University.  After he recognized the need to train nursing home administrators at the master’s degree level in the 1980s, he worked with the faculty to design the long term care management courses and for many years was an adjunct professor at GW.

Wertlieb operated University Nursing Home in Silver Spring, and then was a partner in owning and operating Randolph Hills Nursing Home in Wheaton and Circle Manor Nursing Home in Kensington. In 1990, with a group of partners, he became chairman of the board of Global Health Management, which eventually owned and operated eight long-term care facilities, three hospital-based units and a pharmacy. It later became known as Allegis Health Services and was sold to Mariner Health Group in 1996. Shortly after the sale of his companies, with his wife, Linda, also a GW alumna, they gave the initial grant to establish the Wertlieb Educational Institute on Long-Term Care Management at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. At that time their gift was the largest gift to the new school.  There are ten practicing nursing home administrators who received Wertlieb Scholarships.

A former regional vice president of the American Health Care Association and president of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, Wertlieb also served as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission and on the Maryland Nursing Home Administrator Licensing Board. He was a former president of Wheaton Kiwanis, president of the Wheaton-Kensington Chamber of Commerce and president of the Men’s Guild of Holy Cross Hospital. He was a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Council on Aging.

Wertlieb died October 21, 2002 at Suburban Hospital of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  In addition to his wife, Linda, Wertlieb’s family includes three daughters, Sheri Sudhalter of Potomac, Robin Schwartz of Louisville and Marci Danzansky of Boca Raton. His son-in-law Daniel Schwartz is also an alumnus of the MHA program at GW and like his father-in- law served as an adjunct faculty member in long-term care administration at GW.  At the request of his family, a plaque in Harvey Wertlieb’s memory was recently placed in the Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management.

The plaque reads:  "In loving memory of Harvey Wertlieb.  We honor his dedication to serving seniors and championing their quality of life through his passion to attract, educate and develop the best and brightest leaders and generous funding of the Wertlieb Institute.  While he has passed, his vision and mission live on."