Looking back over her career, Denise Swords knows now that she’s been on a path that was meant to bring her to this place and time, as Founding Partner of Camellia Place. She realizes that all of her mentors, career choices and life experiences along the way have prepared her for this and given her the passion and skills she would need to bring Camellia Place to life.
When her mother required a higher level of assistance, Denise and her sister began a journey in search of assisted living. That experience inspired Denise to create what she was looking for. It was in loving honor and memory of her mother that her passion for designing something different was born. She aims to create a place for living, at a precious time in life, and to gain an extended sense of life’s possibilities. Camellia Place in Woodstock, Ga., is designed to be that place, a simple change of address, not a change of lifestyle.
With over 30 years of experience in healthcare — leading strategy, operations and service lines for large integrated health systems, Denise is a values-based leader with a proven ability to guide highly knowledgeable and diverse teams in achieving successful, aggressive results. As a senior vice president with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) for eight years, she provided corporate oversight in operations and strategy. An additional seven years guiding clinical business development for CHOA required valuable and relevant skills that are now benefitting Camellia Place.
Denise combines her passion about people with a sharp focus on creating a caring culture through an unwavering commitment to values and mission. An entrepreneurial spirit, she blends her early career as a nurse with her education and experience in health and business administration to leverage relationships, resources and systems that foster continuous growth and improvement.
When she’s not working to create Camellia Place, Denise continues her mother’s traditional family dinners at the old homestead (her parents’ home). As hostess of dinners for a large family, it’s no easy task, but she would want it no other way. To Denise, family is everything. She believes that the best prediction of your future is a clear understanding of where you come from. Her roots in family and in the community run strong and deep.
Denise looks forward to seeing her dreams become reality for residents at Camellia Place. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity and the courage to pursue it. In reflection, Denise is amazed how the right people cross your path at just the right time. “It’s a God thing,” she said. “Lauren and I believed in our dream and felt in our hearts that if it was meant to be, then it would happen.”
Camellia Place is meant to be.