Community Leadership

Advena Living on Tenth celebrates the importance of ethics, compassion and commitment in the healthcare profession as we honor our nurses, volunteers and staff, who demonstrate such passion and dedication to our community members every day.

Our staff works side-by-side with families and physicians to ensure our community members are in the most appropriate care setting, customized for their needs and preferences. Our licensed professionals are available to answer questions and address any concerns you or your family may have.

We have a special relationship with the Veterans Administration of Northeast Kansas, and we welcome questions and discussions about our care for those who have served.

Please feel free to contact our key staff members about our services:

Jessie Bird, Administrator

I have always enjoyed being around seniors. I grew up in Dover, Kan., and some of my best memories are going down to our Dover Deli and playing cards with the seniors. While finishing my bachelor’s degree from Washburn, I took a job as an Activity Director and fell in love with working with seniors. After graduation, I took my first leadership role in long-term care, and fast-forward 15 years later, I still love what I do every day. I believe that my calling is to bring purpose, strength and belonging into the lives of seniors that I have the honor to work with and be around. Along with my fulfilling career, I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children.

Jeremy Rougeau, Maintenance Director

I am from Vineland, N.J., and I have worked in maintenance since 1996. I graduated from Missouri Western State University with a degree in aviation technology. I was in the Air Force during 1996-2016 as an aircraft mechanic. I relocated to St. Joseph, Mo., where I spent four years in industrial maintenance, then moved to Topeka in August 2020 when I began working at Advena Living on Tenth. I love to spend my free time with my kids, I enjoy volunteering at the animal shelter, and I have the occasional craft beer while watching the Philadelphia Eagles. 


Corina Keeling, Business Office Manager

I have worked at Advena Living on Tenth for more than 10 years. I love that I can learn new business qualities and grow with the company. I have enjoyed working with our Veterans, PTSD patients and mental health clients. I received my CNA license when I was 15 years old and have been working in nursing homes my entire career. I have three children and absolutely love the days that I can bring them to work with me and allow them the opportunity to learn about the elderly. I am a very competitive person, and when I am not at work, I am either playing sports (volleyball, basketball and softball are my favorites) or taking my kids to sports activities. 

Brandy Decou,  Activities Director

After falling in love with working with the senior population, I have served as an activity director for the past three years in skilled nursing, memory care and assisted living. I’m very excited about my career journey with Advena on Tenth. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, watching movies, photography, reading, and playing video games.

Abby Maskarina, SSD, Social Services and Admission Director

I am from Mason City, Iowa, and have lived in Topeka since 2015. I attended KCKCC and have my AAS in Mortuary Sciences. After starting at Advena on Tenth in 2018 as the Marketing Director, I transitioned to the Social Services Director and am working on getting my adult care home operator’s license. I have enjoyed working at Advena on Tenth, and I love the community members and families I serve. I am engaged and I have one son, who I take on as many adventures as possible. I visit my family in Iowa as much as possible, and I enjoy traveling when I am able. I also love watching the Minnesota Twins and Iowa Hawkeyes!

Tina Leeper, RN, BSN, Director of Nursing

When I was in middle school, our class volunteered as candy stripers at our local nursing home. This is when I knew healthcare was my calling. Over 30 years later, I still love serving others who need help and I enjoy being a mentor to new healthcare staff.

Donna Pantoja, LPN, Asst. Director of Nursing

I grew up helping my grandmother take care of children she used to babysit – 14 in all – and my great-grandparents. I loved the stories my great-grandparents and grandparents would tell me about how they were raised and what worked for them in life. In high school, I earned my CNA and started working in a long-term care facility – then went on to receive my LPN. I have experienced many different settings as a nurse, but I seem to always gravitate back to long-term care and skilled nursing facilities. This is where I feel the most comfortable. I have many years of experience as a Health and Wellness Director and ADON. I like the challenges of this position in caring for our community members.

Melony Cook, CDM, Dietary Director

I started in long-term care in 1997, in the kitchen of my hometown nursing home. After a few months there, I got my CNA because I wanted to work more directly with our community members. I have been with Advena on Tenth for almost eight years in several positions. Every day is a new challenge, but seeing the faces light up of the seniors I serve makes all the hard work worth it!

Marissa Gilliland, CMA/CNA, Medical Records Director

I got my CNA when I was 16, then my CMA when I was 21. I have been around long-term care facilities since I was 9 years old. My mom would bring me to work with her and do activities with residents at the nursing homes where she worked. I knew at a young age that working withthe elderly was my calling. To hear them say they are glad to see me, or just to get a smile when I walk by, is what I strive for every day. Working in medical records gives me knowledge and experience that I use daily.  

Ternanglia Jackson, CNA, Transportation Director

I have been a CNA since August 2005 and have worked at Advena Living on Tenth since January 2018. I became the transportation director in July 2021. I am the contact for all community member appointments and transportation needs. I have three kids, and I enjoy listening to music, spending time with my family, and traveling when I am not working. I enjoy working at Advena Living on Tenth because we are like family. In the future, I would like to possibly move into social services or marketing and admissions.