After 28 years of service, Cortland Acres Administrator, Don Black, has retired. Don Black has been with Cortland Acres Association Inc. since 1985 and has been (and continues to be) a Physical Therapist, Assistant Administrator and Administrator.
The thirty-three acre facility of Cortland consists of a 94 bed facility, Rehabilitation Center, 24 apartments (Pineview), Townhouses (The Pines), and a maintenance building. The property also houses Mountaintop Health Center (Dr. Rader’s office) which Cortland played a large part in the acquisition of the grant money to build.
Don Black was raised in Parker, Pennsylvania and got a BS in Ed from Maryville College in Tennessee, and then a graduate program of Physical Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania- Philadelphia. Don Black’s first “real job” was at a 600 bed teaching hospital in Reading, Pa. several years later he took a job as Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at the Carlisle Hospital in Carlisle, Pa.. It was during this time that his interest in nursing homes and long-term care began. He and his fellow therapist at Carlisle provided rehab services to many nursing homes and ultimately Black developed a rehab agency.
In spite of a successful agency in 1983 Don Black started hearing a “still small voice” leading him in a different direction. He and wife Tena (his college sweetheart) considered mission work, one time even looking into Afghanistan. Nothing seemed to quite fit though until 1985.
No stranger to Tucker County, Don Black and his family had been in the area vacationing back in the 1970’s. Though it wasn’t exactly a banner trip (rained the whole time while they were tent camping) Black felt drawn to this particular job.
After serving as Assistant Administrator, the Cortland Board was discussing the Administrator position and even though Don Black hadn’t officially applied he said: “Hey, I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring here!” He has served in the position for the last twelve years.
As expected over the years, Don Black has seen changes in the industry. He cited the regulations by Federal and State Agencies and their requirements and the onset of more “red-tape” as perhaps the most noticeable.
When asked what he’d miss the most about his job, Black answered: “Walking up and down the halls, seeing and conversing with folks and hearing their “hearts”. You hear tales of older folks and their wisdom, but they’re also fun, funny, and enjoyable. Oh my gosh, they have stories to tell!”
“There’s nothing better than fixing people,” he said.
No rocking chair for this retiree, Don Black is currently involved with programs as ski instructor at Timberline Resort, and currently active on the Preston-Taylor Board of Directors, Rotary Club, Canaan Valley Baptist Church, and the Tucker Community Choir. He (and wife Tena) ride his Kawasaki Classic Motorcycle and if that’s not enough he likes to hunt, fish, camp, bike, woodwork, and weld.
Despite retiring, Don Black will still be seen at Cortland now and then as his mother is a resident there and he will still work when needed as a Physical Therapist. Black intends to keep his credentials current.
Don Black’s successor is Beth Clevenger who served as Cortland’s long-time Assistant Administrator.