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Sacramento, CA – The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) announced today that Lauren Powell, Community Operations Director for Merrill Gardens LLC, is the recipient of a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California’s (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

Powell says, “We are at a pivotal point in the senior living field. The senior population is growing rapidly and I want to be on the frontlines of research and technology to make an impact in people’s lives. This scholarship will give me the opportunity to learn more about research-based programs that will meet the ever-growing needs of seniors.”

Powell’s experience in the senior living field dates back to her childhood when she would volunteer at nursing homes with her mother. She began her professional career as a wellness director in a Northern California community. Since then, she has held positions in sales and marketing, operations, and leadership training. As Community Operations Director, she provides operational support to Merrill Gardens communities throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona.

USC extended this exclusive scholarship opportunity to CALA members for the sixth year in a row. CALA President Sally Michael says, “We’re thrilled that USC has made a commitment to support CALA members in their ongoing pursuit of providing excellent care and service to the residents of California’s Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. We congratulate Lauren on receiving this prestigious scholarship. The knowledge she will gain as a graduate student in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology will benefit her future career and the residents she serves.”

One scholarship a year is offered to a qualified CALA member selected by USC’s Leonard Davis School. The scholarship covers tuition costs for one of five graduate degree programs which complement members’ current work experience and give them the opportunity to advance in their long-term care careers.

About CALA
With more than 650 provider members, CALA is the only association solely representing the state’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, which encompass Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. CALA provides leadership through advocacy efforts and education to support providers in their efforts to offer the highest quality programs and services to their residents.


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