Debra received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in 1992. She has spent more than 20 years serving older adults and their families as a health care administrator in senior living communities, hospices, and through the Atlanta Area Agency on Aging. She moved to Asheville in 2005 to serve as the Executive Director of a NC licensed CCRC in Arden. In addition she has served on the board of Four Seasons Compassion for Life and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. Debra enjoys yoga and time with her husband and two young sons.

First impressions are important and as much as we were impressed by Debra, we wanted to know how Deerfield has impressed her: “The operations at Deerfield run like a well-oiled machine. It has all the makings of a small town and all of the services and amenities one could hope for. At any given hour there are likely hundreds of details being tended to throughout the community to serve the residents of this small town. For decades there has been stellar leadership creating a culture that attracts residents from across the country and attracts staff who truly don’t want to leave. It is these staff who keep things humming day-in and day-out. Ask any employee how long they’ve been here and you will most likely hear, “8 years” or “10 years” or “16 years” or “20 years!” (or even longer). This is not your typical place to live, or your typical place to work.

In this New Year I am thrilled to join the leadership team of Deerfield as the Director of Operations. I will serve and support the areas of dining, housekeeping, resident life, and the spa. I like to think of myself as the bridge between those who live here and those who work here – always balancing the expectations, desires, and aspirations of each. As Deerfield has grown over the years and explores future growth, my position reflects that growth. Matt Sharpe, who has been at Deerfield since 2004 and most recently served as the Director of Operations, has been promoted to Executive Director. So the good news is that nobody has left the team – the team is just expanding.”

We are delighted to welcome Debra to the Deerfield family!

The art program at Deerfield is going strong, offering many opportunities for people to get involved, whether a seasoned artist or just exploring their creative side. Deerfield’s active art community centers around its three art studios consisting of:
• A Fiber Art Studio with two active art meet-up groups that bring projects to work on and bring show and tell. The studio offers equipment and supplies for completing projects. Some of the activities that take place are Fiber Art Mixed Media, Book Making, Basketry, Knitting, Crocheting, weaving, Rug Hooking, Collage, Dyeing, Paper Arts, Quilting.
• The Paper Canvas Art Studio features workspace for Oil, Watercolor and Acrylic artists to pursue their art. Asheville area art instructors teach monthly workshops. There is also an active paper canvas meet-up group that offers a social opportunity for resident artists to give and get feedback and affirmations from other resident artists.
• The Pottery Studio is fully equipped to create functional and sculptural ceramics. A full complement of tools, glazes and a variety of clays are available to create hand built or wheel thrown pottery. The studio also features a full size kiln for bisque and glaze ring. Asheville area pottery instructors teach beginner and intermediate workshops for a small fee.
For more information on the Art Program at Deerfield, contact Michelle Kievet, Resident Life Associate & Deerfield’s Art Program Coordinator at 210-4585 or

Falling leaves are such a good reminder that time passes, seasons end, and beautiful new things are on the horizon. That holds true for philanthropy at Deerfield! 2019 will bring with it the new Deerfield Charitable Foundation and Deerfield Cares: Directed Outreach.

This new endeavor will allow us to be more strategic, transparent, and community-minded. Some things won’t change: we will continue supporting the Deerfield funds and programs we love (Residents Assistance, Danny Boone Scholarship, Healthcare Fund, etc.). And we will continue supporting outside organizations. Giving is only getting better and every day Deerfield residents’ gifts make a difference in the world!

Deerfield's 19th Annual Holiday Egg Nog Party will be held in the Blue Ridge Room on Tuesday, December 4th from 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm.

Happy Holidays from the Deerfield Marketing Team!

Kathy, Debbie, Deborah & Dianne

Cindy has been working in long-term care for 23 years and is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Her awards also include Nursing Preceptorship and Development: Circle of Excellence. She serves as Mountain Regional Director for the North Carolina NADONA Chapter and is on the Nursing Advisory Board for South College in Asheville, NC.

Michael Pane was awarded the 2018 “Distinguished Educator of the Year” Award through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. This is a national recognition for his “dedication, passion and transcendent delivery of the NCCDP Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Curriculum.” We are tremendously proud of Michael for this accomplishment and his continued efforts to better the lives of our residents though education.

As AB Tech undertakes the restoration and renovation of the historic Ivy building on its Victoria Road campus, alumni and friends of St. Genevieve/ Gibbons Hall are seeking to honor their longtime teacher and headmaster Joseph M.Lalley, now a resident of Deerfield with his wife Nancy.

The Ivy was designed and built in 1936 as an auditorium/ gymnasium for the St. Genevieve schools that thrived on Victoria Road from 1908 - 1987. In 1987, AB Tech bought the property and utilized campus buildings for several years. Now, after the Ivy has stood in disuse for a number of years, AB Tech has received a state grant to finance part of the refurbishing; additional funds are being raised through contributions from alumni and friends of the schools. The building will serve as a site for meetings, lectures, and receptions and will house offices of the AB Tech Foundation.

St. Genevieve/ Gibbons Hall graduates Andrew ’76, Leonard ’78, and Robert ’81 Blum have announced a dollar-for dollar $50,000 challenge gift to name the main floor of the restored building in honor of Joe. As Leonard has noted, “We all recall that Joe took great pride in and nurtured not only the school but also each individual student. Joe cared deeply about the students and faculty as the lifeblood and mission of SG/GH. He also did everything the school needed to survive and thrive. Whenever there was a need, he was teacher, coach, bus driver, in addition to fulfilling a greater-than-full-time role as headmaster and fundraiser.”

For the 34 years of Joe Lalley’s association with the St. Genevieve schools, he taught math and coached virtually every sport, served as assistant head and headmaster of Gibbons Hall (1957-69), and as headmaster of both Gibbons Hall and St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines Academy (1969-71) and of the merged SG/GH (1971-84).

Under his leadership, the schools underwent significant changes as the Academy closed in 1971 and St. Genevieve/Gibbons Hall opened as an independent, non-sectarian, coeducational day school for students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Those who were part of the merged school family throughout its existence recognize that Joe’s dedicated and unflagging commitment to the school was critical; without his intense faith, unstinting energy, and perseverance to maintain high standards, SG/GH could not have survived.

The Ivy was the center of the schools that thrived on the Victoria Road campus from 1908 – 87. “The building now serves as a symbol of those schools,” notes Stuart Camblos SGP ’66 and co-chair of the Ivy Renovation Project Steering Committee. “The restoration of the ‘Ivy Building’ will continue providing opportunities for current and future A-B Tech students and the community, while weaving the important history of St. Genevieve’s and Gibbons Hall into Asheville’s tapestry.”

For more information on the Ivy building restoration project visit:

Our residents love to participate in United Way’s School Supply Drive each year because it’s such a practical way to support local students. We filled 150 backpacks last year with supplies that would help 150 students start their year off the right way. Now in their third year participating, Deerfield residents are already looking forward to this opportunity to give back to local students in need.
“We choose to collect money, buying the supplies and backpacks ourselves,” shares Michelle Wooley, Director of Philanthropy. “We then hold a packing party and with each completed backpack we know that we are impacting student success. Coming together as a community reminds us what is possible when you work towards a common goal and we can’t wait to see how many students we can bring some love to in 2018!”
For the full story from United Way, click here:


Although Americans are living longer today than ever, that quantity of years can be higher in quality. People who live in the so-called Blue Zones– which researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world and include Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – have several “secrets” to their longevity. They move their bodies a lot, they have strong social circles, and they are committed to their families and communities.

The Blue Zone centenarians’ diets often look like this:
• They stop eating when their stomach is 80 percent full to avoid weight gain.
• They eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.
• They eat mostly plants, especially beans, and eat meat rarely (only a handful of times per month), in small portions.
• They drink alcohol moderately and regularly–approximately 1-2 glasses per day.

The saying goes, “You are what you eat.” So are you ready to make some simple changes to your diet in order to increase your odds of making it to 100? Here are few of the common foods (which are available at American mainstream grocery stores) that were popular among the centenarians in the Blue Zones:
• Legumes (especially chick peas, lentils, and fava beans)
• Eggs
• Goat and sheep milk and cheese
• Almonds
• A variety of fruits and vegetables
• Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal
• Small amounts of fish or other lean meats
• Herbs and spices like turmeric, fennel, and garlic
• Green tea, soy milk, and red wine

With delicious foods like these, the “Blue Zone diet” is one that just about anyone can follow! Improved nutrition and eating habits can reduce the incidence of preventable, obesity related conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Deerfield’s Health & Wellness Center is an integral part of life in our community. Making fitness a way of life is an attainable goal with our spacious aerobics room, weight room, a café/deli with healthful, delicious food choices, and the Riverwalk Spa. Our state-of-the-art, 20,000 square-foot glass-enclosed Aquatic Center provides beneficial year-round therapy and relaxation.

Here at Deerfield you’ll find your place to thrive, and incorporating some of the Blue Zone residents’ secrets to longevity can contribute to your overall health and well being in body, mind and spirit.

This article was written by Brad Breeding of and is legally licensed for use.