Geneva Jacobs Dougal

A woman with shoulder-length auburn hair smiles while wearing a dark blazer over a white blouse. She has light skin and wears a small necklace, perhaps from Jacobs' collection. The background is a plain, dark grey color, adding to the professional ambiance of the portrait.

The grandparents of Geneva Jacobs Dougal, PHR, RCFA, along with elders she cared for at a young age in the Portland community, have helped shape her professional journey as Cedar Sinai Park Human Resources Director. Those early experiences with seniors also motivated Geneva to obtain her Oregon license as an Assisted Living/Residential Care Facility Administrator, which she formally received from the state last week.

“I am always wanting to continue to learn and grow, and I was up for the challenge!” said Geneva.

“The residential care facility administrator training was really interesting, and helped me understand operational and human resources issues at Rose Schnitzer Manor, and how we can better help the administrator and team members,” said Geneva. “I wish I had taken the training sooner!”

“I think the training will help me support the current administrator [Rachael White], and the building and management at Rose Schnitzer Manor Assisted Living. With my training, I can now better help them prepare for survey to ensure we meet all of the constantly changing requirements and the documentation and records needed.

“I gained a better understanding about the roles and expectations of the administrator and her team, which is useful information for human resources. And in a pinch, I could step in as administrator!”

Geneva’s grandfather, Edwin Reed, with whom she lived with as a child, along with her mother, Donna Brown, and grandmother, Alberta Reed, moved to Portland and worked for the Morris Printing Company after World War II. The Morris Printing Company was owned by Morris Ail, and had many Jewish clients, including Robison Jewish Home, the precursor to Cedar Sinai Park. Before Morris Ail died, he sold Morris Printing Company to Geneva’s grandfather in 1953.

“Mr. Ail was like a second father to my grandfather,” said Geneva. “And when my grandfather bought the company, he kept all of the same clients, many of whom remember the printing company, and my uncle, and my mom helped there preparing birth announcements and bar mitzvah invitations.

“While I don’t remember my grandfather coming to Robison, I remember the print shop and I have heard much about his connection to Robison. We also lived just two miles from the Home, just up Beaverton Hillsdale Highway so I was always aware of it.”

Geneva attended Raleigh Park Elementary and Whitford Middle School. As a 17-year-old, she was one of the first certified nursing assistants in Oregon, based at Camelot Care Center in Sherwood.

Out taking vitals one day, Geneva came across two women sharing a hospice room and “one was at peace and the other was agitated,” she said. “The poor woman who was scared: I sat with her as long as I could and tried to comfort her.

“I’m really interested in grief, dying, and death, and how to help elders in those transitions.”

The end-of-life experience struck her deeply, and was another stepping stone in guiding Geneva’s view of senior services and their purpose and need for compassion through the aging process.

Geneva traveled frequently with her grandparents; at one point she lived with family while attending school in Canada. Returning to Oregon, Geneva attended St. Mary’s of the Valley for a year, and finished high school at Sunset.

Geneva began working in the shoe department during the grand opening of the Walker Road Fred Meyer in 1990. For the next 25 years, she worked off and on for Fred Meyer in different departments and different stores, with her last stops in Human Resources and Public Affairs.  During that time, she attended Portland Community College for an associate’s degree, and Linfield for a human resources certificate.

Deciding to returning to school for a bachelor of arts, Geneva cashiered part-time at Fred Meyer while completing her degree at Marylhurst University in interdisciplinary studies, with an emphasis in business, human resources, and psychology.

Out dragon boating one weekend, the wife of former Cedar Sinai Park Chief Executive Officer David Fuks,  DeAnn, encouraged Geneva to consider working   at the Home.

The Robison Jewish Health Center/Harold Schnitzer Center for Living was in the middle of an enormous remodel at the time, and there was no need for a human resources person, so Geneva took a position at OHSU as a human resources coordinator at the School of Nursing. In 2015, she received a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) through the Human Resources Certification Institute.

“And then I was taking the bus up to OHSU, and saw on the human resources network that there was a position at my level open at Cedar Sinai Park,” she said. “When I saw it, I was like … the culture is great, the position is great . . . I’m going to apply.”

Geneva joined Cedar Sinai Park’s human resources department in January 2016 as a generalist. With construction on the nursing home still in the final stages, Geneva was on the human resources team that interviewed and hired all of the certified nursing assistants for the dual-certified skilled nursing facility.

“We hired a ton of people once skilled nursing was fully open,” she said. “One of our new employee orientation meetings had 52 new people!

“It was easier to hire a lot of people at one time than it is now.”

In late 2017, Geneva became senior human resources generalist, and then Human Resources Director in 2020.

Geneva’s interest in end-of-life care remains, and she recently completed her 40-hour end-of-life doula training.

She is married to Matt, and they will celebrate 25 years of marriage in August. Matt’s dad, Ronald, stayed at Robison a few years ago while recuperating from surgery, and then at the Manor for respite.

“That brought me to a whole different experience of the organization,” noted Geneva.

Geneva and Matt like to travel when they can, though she considers herself a homebody. Geneva also enjoys gardening, and flash fiction reading and writing.

“I love the people here and the culture. I think it was all meant to be.”




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