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(401) 654-5259

101 Highland Ave. Providence, RI 02906

Meet Our Staff

Karen Van Gorden, CDP, Executive Director

Karen brings a youthful vitality and enthusiasm, along with maturity and a dedicated sense of purpose, to her position as Executive Director.

Karen’s dedication to the growth of our team, families, and most importantly our residents has proven true in her 23 years of experience in Assisted Living. In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration from Quinnipiac, Karen brings extensive expertise regarding Sales and Marketing as well as working closely with families to ensure the best possible outcome for their loved ones.
In her most recent role of eight years as the Director of Community Relations at the Highlands, Karen has learned a great wealth of knowledge for not only Assisted Living but Memory Care as well.

Born and raised in Smithfield, RI, Karen is the mother of two active sons, 11 and 16 years of age. Whenever she’s not assisting families with the important details and considerations of quality senior living, she can be found at an ice rink or traveling with her family for a hockey tournament. She also enjoys her time as the President, raising money for Smithfield High School Hockey Booster Club. 

Pamela Tetreault, Business Office Manager

Pamela joined the Highlands team in June 2021.  Although new to our team, we couldn’t have asked for a better fit. Residents and staff alike have welcomed Pamela with open arms. She has extensive experience in a geriatric setting. Starting at the age of eighteen, Pamela began working in various office roles in nursing communities and knew right away, this was her passion.  Her expertise ranges from Accounts Payable/Receivable, to Human Resources and everything in between.
Born and raised in Rhode Island, Pamela lives in Rumford, raising two teenagers. She is currently learning the joys of teaching them both to drive. She is family oriented and loves spending time with her children. When not at work you can find Pamela by the water, a good fire pit, taking day trips, and enjoying a show at PPAC.


Chloe Mete, Director of Marketing

A familiar face in our Community, Chloé is always eager to assist, ask how someone is doing, and do whatever she can to brighten our resident’s days. She is passionate about helping others and supporting the individual needs of each resident to their satisfaction. Coming from a Hospitality Management background, she places a strong emphasis on teamwork, personal development, and positivity. She is enthusiastic and passionate about her career here at Highlands, where residents and staff become family.
Growing up with four siblings has taught Chloé the true values of spending time with with loved ones and honoring traditions. This has contributed immensely to her successes in her role here at the Highlands on the East Side.
Outside of the Community, Chloé explores a more creative side. She and her twin sister own their own wood sign and rustic décor business and paint everything by hand. From local vendor events to teaching paint classes for Charity, Chloé enjoys staying busy and giving back to her community. When she is not covered in paint, you can find her chasing a rainbow or full moon, photographing nature. Aside from these hobbies, she also enjoys antiquing with her sisters and tackling home renovation projects.

Ernie Parfitt, Director of Maintenance

Ernie was born and raised in Pawtucket, RI. He was influenced at a very young age to respect his elders and admire their accomplishments. His beloved grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease when he was eight, so Ernie feels especially close to the mission here at The Highlands.

He has fond memories of visiting his grandfather on weekends, first at home and, eventually, in a nursing home. Like his father and father before him, Ernie is a hands-on, can-do kind of man. Ernie can fix just about anything and enjoys doing so!

Ernie worked in the maintenance department for HallKeen Management for over four years when he jumped at the opportunity to transfer to The Highlands. His skills, knowledge and dedication to our residents are invaluable. If your television remote is not working, Ernie will fix it. If you need a picture hung, Ernie will hang it. In short, he can do it all and is happy to do it.

Nigel Orr, Food Service Director

Nigel joined the Highlands team with over fourteen years of culinary experience. He brings a sense of professionalism, skills and passion to the team. Nigel strives to create a positive experience and a dynamic dining experience for the residents.

At the age of seven, Nigel fell in love with cooking and he never strayed far from his profession. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu with a degree in Culinary Management, he later went on to pursue his culinary career. Nigel says that food is love and it shows whenever he presents his dishes. 

When not working, Nigel enjoys spending time with his family and creating new recipes for his recipe book. 

Highlands Vaccinated Employees: 100%

last updated 12.17.2021