Anthony Manzo worked from the office for the final time on Tuesday, retiring as president and CEO of the Philadelphia Protestant Home.
“I feel very fortunate to have been part of this organization going back to 1995,” he said.
Manzo’s successor is John Dubyk, who has been PPH’s chief financial officer since 2017.
“He’s the right choice,” Manzo said. “He’s so excited. He’s got the experience, the personality and, most importantly, the intestinal fortitude to deal with the job. It’s a difficult job.”
Manzo, 65, will work from home for a while and use up some time before officially leaving PPH on Sept. 1. He could return at some point as a volunteer.
“You never know,” he said. “I feel good.”
Manzo grew up in Bristol Borough, graduating from Bristol High School in 1972. He earned an accounting degree from Rider in 1977 and began his career with the Delaware Valley Medical Center.
“I worked in healthcare for over 42 years,” he said. “I grew to really love it.”
Manzo, who would go on to receive a nursing administrator’s license from Temple, also worked for the Holy Redeemer Health System before becoming PPH’s healthcare administrator. He was promoted to vice president of healthcare and executive vice president before leaving PPH in 2001 to be the president and CEO of Chandler Hall, a residential living and care facility for senior citizens in Newtown.
“I missed PPH. Ron Dyson and I had lunch once a month,” he said of the Protestant Home’s then-president and CEO.
By 2003, he was back at PPH, 6401 Martins Mill Road. And, on Jan. 1, 2005, he became president and CEO of the all-in-one senior living facility.
Manzo, who lives in Langhorne, was the first non-clergyman to head PPH and the first non-Quaker to oversee Chandler Hall.
“It’s been an interesting journey,” he said. “It’s worked out well. I have no regrets. I’ve been very fortunate.”
Manzo’s final few months have been trying. He experienced a lot of sleepless nights due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As nursing homes go, PPH fared well, with only four deaths, all in the early stages of the pandemic.
“Right now, we have no residents infected. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and saying a lot of prayers,” said Manzo, saying all nursing home residents and staff have been tested. “We have a terrific team here. We’ve weathered the storm.”
Overall, Manzo said PPH has a lot to offer, with nice-looking grounds and frequent work on the interior and exterior of the property. As the buildings are generally old, a lot of money has to be dedicated to upkeep.
In all, there are about 500 residents and more than 500 employees.
The mission has remained the same, to provide care that leads to the highest possible quality of life. PPH also works to help residents enhance their spiritual lives.
“God and the angels are watching over us,” he said. “This place is really blessed.”
Manzo points to the new dining room area as one of many amenities, adding that PPH is relatively affordable. A charitable fund assists the needy.
“If you run out of money and live to 105, we make up for that through our benevolent fund,” he said. “We pick up the difference. Nobody has to leave.”
PPH has long opened its doors to the community for meetings, programs, concerts and more.
“We’re very proud to be one of the neighbors,” Manzo said. “We employ a lot of folks who walk to work. We’re proud to be part of the Lawncrest community.”
Manzo looks forward to spending more time with his family: wife Karen; daughters Jessica and Christie (and her husband, Brandon); granddaughter Avery Marie; and grandson Ryan, who is expected to be born in August.
Manzo will also be spending a lot of time cleaning out areas of his house. He’d like to travel to Italy and to see some U.S. national parks. And he’ll try to exercise more, perhaps by joining an over-60 softball league. ••