Private equity-backed St. Croix Hospice has appointed Stephen Phenneger as president and chief financial officer. He has been serving as interim CFO since March 2020 and has been actively involved in the hospice’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phenneger was acting CFO during the sale of St. Croix to the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital by previous owner the Vistria Group, a Chicago- based investment firm. He will work alongside St. Croix Hospice CEO Heath Bartness.
“Stephen brings an incredibly diverse background in health care finance and operations to St. Croix Hospice,” Bartness said. “He understands and appreciates the value St. Croix Hospice brings to the patients, families and communities we serve. Stephen’s knowledge and expertise make him a valuable addition and we’re happy to welcome him to our executive team.”
Phenneger is experienced in working with private equity. Prior to joining St. Croix, he was an operating partner with Cressey & Company, a health care-focused private equity firm. After Cressey, he served as executive vice president and CFO of Enclara Healthcare, a hospice pharmacy benefit management company.
Minnesota-headquartered St. Croix has a substantial Midwestern footprint that extends across six states and has been on a strong growth trajectory in recent years, completing a number of acquisitions of its own during 2019 and 2020. The company also added five de novo locations during 2020, as well as several others the prior year.
In March of last year, St. Croix entered the Missouri market through the acquisition of Serenity Care Hospice in Harrison, Mo., for an undisclosed amount. Last August, St. Croix also purchased Brookfield, Wis.-based Hometown Hospice & Homecare, which consists of three hospice and home health operations in eastern Wisconsin. The company has plans for future expansion with a focus on Midwestern markets.
“I am thrilled to join the St. Croix Hospice family,” says Phenneger. “St. Croix Hospice is poised for continued growth as it fulfills its mission of providing the best hospice care in the Midwest, and I look forward to being part of its continued success.”