The team behind Encore Communities cares deeply about our residents and their caregivers because of our direct and varied professional experience in the assisted living field.
Our Corporate Leadership
Mark Hansen, Co-founder, President and CEO
Mark Hansen is a co-founder of Santé. Mr. Hansen has specialized in senior housing and healthcare since 1995. Mr. Hansen assembled the team, business plan and financial backing for the startup of Santé. Prior to founding Santé in 2008, he developed and completed Medicare and Medicaid strategic financial analyses, feasibility studies, market analyses, strategic facility planning, valuations and development programming for senior housing and healthcare properties for over 15 years. He worked closely with large senior housing and healthcare operators in strategic development and operation initiatives for senior housing and healthcare facilities throughout the United States. At the University of Oregon, Mr. Hansen graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting.
Sterling E. Short, Co-Founder and VP of Strategy
Sterling Short is a co-founder of Santé, a company created by partners who share a vision to revolutionize the senior housing and health care industry through the creation of innovative services and facilities that focus on the dignity and improved quality of life for seniors.
As the Vice President of Strategic Planning, Sterling oversees the tactical business plan for Santé from the creation of new state-of-the-art facilities to creation of a complete post-acute care delivery networks under Santé Care Connect in all of the markets we serve. Under his leadership and business plan, Santé became an Awardee Convenor under the Bundled Payment Care Improvement Model 3 Program administered by the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services. This program continues to propel Santé as an industry leader in post-acute care providing Santé a substantial competitive advantage over its competitors as well as securing Santé’s future in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Sterling has specialized in senior housing and healthcare since 1993. As a principal of Tellatin, Short & Hansen, Inc., a leading valuation and consulting firm specializing in seniors housing and healthcare since 1984, he provided consulting services on more than 1,500 market study, feasibility and valuation assignments throughout United States. Mr. Short is designated as an MAI by the Appraisal Institute.
In 1987, Mr. Short earned his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and English, from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
Debra Wertzberger, Chief Operating Officer
Debra brings over twenty-five years of healthcare experience leading nationally publicly traded, privately held and international companies. Prior to relocating to Arizona, she served as the President & Chief Operations Officer with a healthcare management company and national ACO specializing in physician practice networks. While there she focused on partnerships and alignment of innovative post-acute care delivery models including community-based programs to support keeping patients out of the hospital and in their home. With combined degrees in health law, nursing and business. Debra is a proven executive thought leader on the forefront of emerging issues/trends including, shared risk and value-based models, Chronic Disease Management, Transitional Care Program and Integrated Healthcare delivery models. She is passionate about clinical, operational excellence and in achieving evidence-based outcomes in order to achieve the quadruple AIM, while strengthening the company’s financial health. Most notably is her work on an Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) collaborative that led to a reduction in hospital readmissions, for CHF patients, of greater than 30% in multiple locations in a 10-month period.
Debra received her Master of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Her Bachelor of Science degree from combined studies at University of Utah and Kaplan University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She attained her Certification in Gerontology Physical Assessment, at University of Utah School of Nursing and her Nurse Practitioner, C.N.P. in Women’s Health from U.C.L.A. Harbor Women’s Nurse Practitioner Program. Debra’s roots come from Kentucky where she earned her Nursing degree from the University of Kentucky.
Jacob Schaefer, Chief Financial Officer
Jacob Schaefer was the first employee at Santé when it was founded in 2008. As Chief Financial Officer, Jacob provides the company with financial guidance, manages debt and equity relationships, and is integral in looking at new opportunities for company growth. He has a thorough understanding of real estate financial analysis, discounted cash flow analysis, market analysis, and a variety of financing programs (including HUD). Jacob’s knowledge and hard work coupled with his drive to uphold Santé’s goal of providing seniors with access to the highest quality care has contributed strongly to placing Santé as a leader in the seniors housing and healthcare industry.
Our Staff Members to Contact
We view our communities as inclusive and dynamic “cocoons.” Every resident feels safe, supported and at home.