Marsha Sensat

Marsha Sensat is chief nursing officer at St. John’s Medical Center. Sensat said it's important to her to help the hospital’s nurses build careers. “I really want our staff to love what they do and have opportunities within these walls,” she said.

Marsha Sensat now has two jobs. 

The chief nursing officer at St. John's Health will take over as interim administrator of senior living services Friday, following the resignation of Executive Director Malenda Hoelscher.

“I expect that this transition will be very smooth,” CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre said in a press release, “based not only on Marsha’s impressive capabilities, but also on the depth of leadership and nursing experience of our amazing staff at the Living Center."

Holescher's is moving to South Dakota, Beaupre reported at the Aug. 27 hospital board meeting when he announced her resignation. He praised her tenure at the helm of the Living Center.

"Malenda stepped in and has breathed new life into the institution and done a wonderful job," he said.

The press release Monday lauded more of her accomplishments, citing the Living Center being named a U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Home and her addition of an on-site nurse practitioner, which the hospital said reduced emergency department visits and medication use.

Sensat takes over at a crucial time for St. John's. Next summer, the Living Center is set to be replaced by Sage Living, a modern senior living facility that will be able to care for a wider variety of patients. Beaupre said during the August meeting that construction was still on schedule.

The capital construction project has been coupled with the coronavirus outbreak, which put pressure on nursing homes around the world. Outbreaks in such facilities have produced mass-casualty events, but the safety protocols put in place at the Living Center have so far kept residents safe.

In the hospital's press release, Hoelscher said she is looking forward to the move and appreciated the work she has done for St. John's.

“I’m looking forward to being in South Dakota and welcoming my first grandbaby there in November," she said. "However, I will always think of the team at the Living Center as second to none, and I know that the ability to lead such a great team and be part of the strategic and design work for Sage Living was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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