Let Us At Big Elm Be A Part Of Your Journey!

About us

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What Separates Us From the Rest?

We are a family-owned facility where you will actually be able to see and talk with the owner of the facility.  We also have the smallest skilled nursing facility in the area that allows us to closely monitor our residents with good staffing ratios and shorter hallways, that makes for a safe and quaint enviroment.  Our therapy department allows for many of our residents to go back home after a short stay.

Both of our facilities provide 24 hour nursing supervision and daily activities.  We have flexible visiting hours ensuring that no matter your work schedule you can have time to spend with your loved one. Come take a tour and see why you should let us be a part of our journey!

Dedication to Those We Serve.

Big Elm Rehabilitation and Living Centers are located on the border of Concord and Kannapolis and just minutes away from CMC North East Medical center and your local physician’s office. We strive to be the facility of choice for area seniors and are committed to caring for our residents and providing excellence in services.

Big Elm is unique in that it offers a full continuum of care. The campus is comprised of an 80-bed Independent Assisted Living Center and a 50-bed Skilled Nursing Center. Having both facilites on one campus allows us to ensure a smooth transition for your loved one if changes in care needs ever arise.  The facility offers extensive rehabilitation services for individuals thats allow for residents who need therapy to be cared for in or near their own neighborhood, making it easier for visitors and family to be participants in their loved one’s care.

Our Team

Thomas E Gatewood President

Thomas E Gatewood



Thomas E. Gatewood, III –   Executive Director

Tom is a native of North Carolina growing up in Winston-Salem, NC where he attended R.J. Reynolds High School. In 1996 he graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Campbell University and following graduation began the administrator training program becoming a licensed nursing home administrator. Tom has been the Executive Director of Big Elm since 2005 and has practiced in long term care administration for over 23 years. Tom has served Cabarrus and Rowan Counties for all of those years through his work as Administrator for Five Oaks from 1998-2005 and as Executive Director for Big Elm from 2005 to present.

Tom’s management philosophy is simple… he wants to run facilities that he would entrust the care of his own family. “Long term care is all about the community and the people who we are caring for now built this community. Long term care is all about people and that is why Big Elm is such a special place. Our partnerships with Big Elm Ministry and the outreach provided by our nursing and assisted living facilities are all integral in this community.”

Aside from operating healthcare facilities, Tom has two boys, Tee and Greaves ages 1 and 8 respectively, a wonderful and supportive wife of over 16 years Page, two dogs (Amos and Rosie), a cat (Poppy-Snowflake), two hermit crabs, and a frog. He used to like to play golf however with the aforementioned has done damage to the time necessary to play!

Izabela Gignac, Administrator

Izabela Gignac



Izabela Gignac – Administrator

My name is Izabela Gignac and I am the Administrator at Big Elm Rehabilitation and Living Centers. For the past three and half years I have had the privilege of working at Big Elm.

I have a background of healthcare and long term care as I have been a nurse for over 20 years. I chose long term care to enrich my life while making a genuine difference in senior’s lives. I come from a family of nurses as both my mother and grandmother were nurses.

My main focus for Big Elm is being able to provide compassionate, superior care to our residents while developing meaningful relationships with our residents, their loved ones and staff.

Loda Trzebuniak Director of Clinical Services

Loda Trzebuniak

Director of Nursing


Loda Trzebuniak – Director of Nursing

I have been working as a Director of Nursing for over 25 years. Prior to my DON position I worked in a variety of health care settings and nursing positions, as well as a MDS Coordinator and corporate position as Director of Prospective Payment Systems. I enjoy my job very much and being able to help not only but also their families. It is extremely satisfying to walk through the resident’s facility and see residents’ happy faces. It makes my day if I can ask a resident how they are and their response is a positive one. When transferring to long term care from the acute setting I never imagined that Long term care is my calling but soon after starting I knew that “This is IT”! Working with an excellent and professional team I am always trying to accomplish more for our residents while continuing to provide outstanding care for them.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of my residents’ lives and care for them. Thank you!

We Are Here

At Big Elm Rehabiliation & Living Centers we understand the difficult process of placing loved ones in the care of others.  We are dedicated to working in partnership with our families to make the transition to both our facility and back home as easy as possible. If you have any questions regarding admission or would like to come check out the facility please contact us!

Jacqueline Hall, Social Services Coord.

Jacqueline “Jackie” M. Hall

Social Services Director


Jacqueline “Jackie” M. Hall – Social Services Director

Jackie, a self-proclaimed old fashioned country girl, is a Concord, NC native where she graduated from Concord High School in 1983. Following graduation she received her certified nursing assistant certification and worked as a nursing assistant for over 20 years. Jackie has received special training on working with dementia in the elderly population. Jackie found her calling for long term care first by being raised by her grandparents whom she later had to care for before their passing. Following she began working in long term care and continues.

In her career she has obtained experience in several areas. Jackie has worked as a Med-Tech, Activity Director for a Dementia Unit, Supervisor in Charge in an assisted living, staffing coordinator, Living Center Supervisor and has recently been promoted to Social Services Director.

Jackie enjoys working at Big Elm as she enjoys being part of a family oriented facility that has allowed her to grow in her profession. She enjoys the team work atmosphere and working together for the patient’s needs. Jackie enjoys a little smile and laughter and making a difference in someone’s life.


Debbie Fesperman

Director of Admissions


Debbie Fesperman – Director of Admissions


Julie Thompson

Business Office Manager


Julie Thompson – Business Office Manager

Clipboard with  laptop, stethoscope

We Care

Our vision is to Revolutionize Rehabilitation through state-of-the-art medical technology, evidence based clinical programs and advanced therapist training.  The ACP advantage allows us to treat a broader patient population and improve quality of life.  When you are as passionate about patient care as we are, great things happen!

Desiree Botello, Infection Preventionist

Desiree Botello

Infection Control/Staff Development


Desiree Botello– Infection Control/Staff Development

Desiree was born in West Islip (Long Island), NY. She moved to Charlotte with her family in 1990. There she graduated high school and later became a Certified Nurse Assistant. She worked as a CNA/Med Tech for many years before returning back to school. In 2016, she graduated from Stanly Community College with an Associate Degree in Nursing.

Desiree is responsible for Infection Control/Prevention and Staff Development at Big Elm. She enjoys interacting and educating both staff and residents. Her main focus is making a difference in peoples’ lives whether it is stopping to say hello to one of the residents or encouraging a staff member to further their education.

In her spare time, Desiree enjoys spending time with her family. She lives to be outdoors camping, boating, kayaking, off-roading and gardening.

Santricia Mabry, Unit Manager

Santricia Mabry

Skilled Nursing Supervisor


Santricia Mabry – Skilled Nursing Supervisor

Santricia is from South Hill, VA which is a small town near Richmond. She attended nursing school through the MCV/VCU hospital in Richmond and received her associate degree in Licensed Practical Nursing. Following she worked for the hospital but her heart was in long term care following her experience with caring for her grandfather for over 8 years. Santricia went into long term care where she worked as a unit nurse for a nursing home. She gained experience with tracheotomy, TPN, post cardiac surgeries, and soon was promoted to shift supervisor. Santricia moved to North Carolina following the birth of her son to be closer to family and took a job at Big Elm and is responsible for managing the skilled nursing facility under the direction and in coordination with the director of nursing.

Santricia says she feels at home at Big Elm and the staff here is like a second family. “I’ve grown to respect and love the staff. Residents and I respect them so much.” Santricia is appreciative for the opportunity to serve in an environment that gives her the necessary resources and an opportunity to grow and feels supported by her administration. “Big Elm is an all-around great place to work!”

Cindy Coble

Cindy O. Coble

MDS Coordinator


Cindy O. Coble, BSN/RN-  Minimum Data Set (MDS)/Care Plan Coordinator

A native of China Grove, NC, Cindy has provided healthcare in the Rowan County community for over 35 years. Cindy has lived in Rowan County for over 58 years having attended South Rowan High School where she graduated in 1981. Soon after she attended UNCC where she received her Bachelor in nursing degree in 1985. Cindy worked in labor and delivery unity for the hospital for 5 years followed by working in home health for over 12 years. In 2000 Cindy took a job in long-term facility as a unit manager and has worked in long term care ever since.

Cindy is responsible for completing resident plans of care and she is responsible for a comprehensive patient assessment called a Minimum Data Set (MDS). Cindy reviews patient’s plans of care and updates them quite frequently when there is a change or specific patient need. She often meets with our residents and family to review care needs of their respective loved one.

Cindy says, “I love working with the elderly, they are great teachers. I learn something new every day. A word of encouragement, a hug, and a smile can make a huge difference in a resident’s day and life which makes a difference in my life! The bottom line is we are here for all the residents. They deserve a happy life and often we are their family!” Cindy enjoys working at Big Elm as it is a smaller and family-oriented facility.

At Big Elm Rehabiliation & Living Centers we understand the difficult process of placing loved ones in the care of others.  We are dedicated to working in partnership with our families to make the transition to both our facility and back home as easy as possible. If you have any questions regarding admission or would like to come check out the facility please contact us!

Lindsay Hankins, Therapy Director

Lindsey Hankins

Occupational Therapy Assistant/Director of Rehabilitation

Lindsey Hankins –  Occupational Therapy Assistant/Director of Rehabilitation


Lindsey, a North Carolina native, has spent most of her life locally in Concord.  Lindsey attended college to study Occupational Therapy and always expressed interest in working in skilled nursing and with the aging population.

She has spent 13 years in skilled nursing facilities providing occupational therapy services and became a Rehab Director in 2019.

In her free time Lindsey enjoys spending time with family, volunteering, going to the beach and listening to music.


Kelly has worked in a variety of clinical settings such as acute inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, and a mobile medical clinic specializing in Modified Barium Swallow studies. She is passionate about working with the geriatric population to help her residents “age gracefully” and enjoy their “Golden Years”.  She has been at Big Elm Nursing Center for over two years and enjoys the family atmosphere between the staff and residents.

Tiffany Head, Director of Activities

Tiffany Head

Activity Director


Tiffany Head – Activity Director


Tiffany grew up in Long Island, New York and moved to North Carolina in 2010.

Tiffany graduated from Sun Valley high school in Monroe, NC in 2014 and attended college in Lakeland, Florida where she has her undergraduate degree in human services.

Before being employed at Big Elm as their Activities Director Tiffany was a substance abuse technician as well a group home counselor for over 4 years.

After becoming pregnant with her first child Tiffany chose to pursue a career in long term care. Tiffany enjoys working with the elder population. “They teach me something new each day, and working with this population really makes me value life overall, time is truly a precious gift and growing older is beautiful.”

Tiffany in her free time enjoys being with her daughter Savannah and her fiancé Jeremy. You can always find Tiffany with a cup of coffee and a smile. “The residents and the staff at big elm have become like a second family to me and I love getting to make a difference each day.”


Michael Wood

Dietary Manager


Michael Wood – Dietary Manager


Michael grew up in San Diego, CA and has been in North Carolina since 1999. He has three children and one grandchild. Michael proudly served in the United States Coast Guard as a boarding team member and a food service specialist stationed in Long Beach, CA aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Chase.

While in the US Coast Guard, he sailed the seven seas and was able to visit 12 different countries. Upon completion of his military service obligation he moved to Asheville, NC where he attended Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College and earned a degree in Culinary Technology.

Michael has a passion for both cooking and people and realized upon graduation that senior care was his true calling. Michael has over 20 years experience as a Chef and Dietary Manager. He believes strongly in and embraces the VA (I.C.A.R.E)  Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellent core values as a private citizen and veteran.

Michael works tirelessly to ensure residents are offered temperature appropriate meals that provide maximum nutritional value, taste and visual appeal.

Sean McGuire, Maintenance Director

Sean McGuire

Maintenance Director


Sean McGuire – Maintenance Director


With over 12 years of maintenance experience, Sean strives to make everyone’s stay with us as comfortable and safe as possible.

Sean is very safety oriented with a background in Emergency Services as well as certifications such as EMT, CPR and Firefighter I and II

In his free time, Sean enjoys flying drones and photography.