Healthy To A Hundred: Stephanie Haley-Andrews of Atria Senior Living On 5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine
Published in
6 min readSep 30, 2022


I truly think unplugging from technology and spending time outside in nature is one of the best things people can do for themselves. For me, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer in our mountains has kept me physically healthy, and it’s where I’ve done some of my most innovative thinking.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Haley-Andrews.

Stephanie Haley-Andrews, RN is the Senior Vice President of Care for Atria Senior Living, Inc. She is responsible for all care operations for Atria’s more than 400 communities across 43 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces. She began her career in healthcare more than 20 years ago as a Registered Nurse, and since then has developed, led and scaled nursing and operational initiatives.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I am a career registered nurse who has worked in the top 10 Level I trauma and medical centers, both adult and pediatric, before entering senior living. I’ve worked in the Burn ICU, Emergency Departments, and trauma programs. I’m married to a Homicide Detective, and we are double-black diamond skiers. We have an amazing son who is a sophomore in college, and a mini schnauzer who thinks she runs the house.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaway you learned from that?

My time working in the Emergency Department at a regional Children’s Hospital forever impacted me. We provided emergent care and stabilization of victims of child abuse. It made me a fierce advocate for vulnerable populations, which is what has guided me to serve older adults and my career at Atria Senior Living. It’s our mission to support older adults in living full, vibrant lives.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Dr. Denis D. Bensard, Chief of Pediatric Trauma at Denver Health Medical Center. He took a chance on hiring me, and it was the best thing to ever happen in my career. The trauma and acute care surgeons and emergency medicine physicians at Denver Health have been some of my greatest mentors. Last but never least, I learned so much about truly outstanding leadership from Mike Longfellow, President of Spectrum Acquisition Partners.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  1. Always be open to new ideas and opportunities. Be willing to pivot in your career — it could be the very best thing to happen to you.
  2. Be humble and a champion of the underdog.
  3. Listening is as important, if not more, as communicating.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

As a career nurse and a Colorado native, I’ve had the privilege of living in a beautiful state that offers numerous outdoor activities that keep the body and mind in shape. My most unique contribution to the world of wellness for older adults is how I take principles from population health and apply them in senior living. Acute care in academic trauma and medical centers has been focused on outcomes for decades. Acute care uses data to make sure the best patient outcomes are achieved, and the care is safe, efficient, and equitable. The same principles apply to assisted living and memory care. I want to take the very best possible care of Atria’s residents and do all I can to ensure they are living their best lives.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

I truly think unplugging from technology and spending time outside in nature is one of the best things people can do for themselves. For me, skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer in our mountains has kept me physically healthy, and it’s where I’ve done some of my most innovative thinking.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

  1. Always keep moving. Daily walks are extremely beneficial for the body and mind.
  2. Build relationships — stay connected to people.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate small successes.

Those are my pieces of advice for a long, healthy life. I find myself also inspired every day by the older adults at Atria who have a century of wisdom.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

Stay connected to people. At Atria, we firmly believe people belong together. In fact, research proves that those who live in a social environment with support live longer, happier and healthier lives. I’m reminded of the many ways Atria residents enjoy coming together, from donating 400,000 wooden children’s toys to taking on a walking challenge to starting a music group or learning a new form of art. Enjoying a meal or reaching for a big goal is that much sweeter when doing so with friends and a support system.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

I believe it’s a combination of both. Research has proven that some people are at higher risk of some diseases, however, we can do multiple things to mitigate the disease or disease process. It’s best for people to participate in preventative care and wellness activities and follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

I was extremely sick after the birth of our son. It was awful feeling physically ill with a newborn, and not feeling like I was being the best mom because I was ill. It was a very challenging time, but because I was so connected to people, I had a critical support system who helped me make it through.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Start living your best life today — don’t wait.” As a nurse who has seen so much working in the hospitals, I realize life is precious, and very short for some people. Enjoy what life has to offer every day.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

While I know there are some companies and organizations who are already doing this, I’d love to see a much grander scale the reduction of food waste and access to healthy food for people who are financially struggling, especially our vulnerable populations…children and seniors.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.



Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), Journalist, Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor