Paradigm Founder Retires; Crossroads Names New VP of Business Development

Paradigm Health CEO and founder retires

After nearly a decade at the helm of Paradigm Living Concepts LLC (Paradigm Health), President and CEO Jeff Jarecki is stepping into retirement. Michelle Pickering will take the reins of the Indiana-based hospice and palliative care provider.

Jarecki founded Indiana-based Paradigm Health in 2013. The company cares for more than 300 hospice patients and nearly 300 palliative care patients daily across the Indianapolis metropolitan area and its surrounding counties and rural communities.

Pickering previously served in leadership roles at Bristol Hospice, Dignity Health and Silverado and Health Essentials. She also held board member roles at CareMore Health, a subsidiary of Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and Monarch Healthcare, now Optum Health, subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH).


“Jeff, the Paradigm team and I share a similar mindset that demonstrates our commitment to our team members, patients and the mission of delivering exceptional patient care,” said Pickering in a company announcement. “Our intention is to continue to grow Paradigm, enabling us to provide a superior hospice experience to an even greater number of patients.”

Among the recent growth moves for Paradigm Health came last year when private equity firm Havencrest Capital Management invested in the company for an undisclosed sum. The investment was a move aimed at accelerating the hospice provider’s growth and reach, Jarecki previously told Hospice News.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care names VP of business development

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care has tapped Tracy Simmons as its new vice president of business development. In this role, Simmons will lead a team of 33 staff members in developing strategic business growth plans for the company.


Prior to joining Crossroads, Simmons held hospice care leadership positions at organizations such as Compassus Hospice, Encompass Home Health & Hospice (NYSE: EHC) and VITAS Healthcare, a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHEM).

Crossroads began its hospice program in 1995 and operates locations in Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The company launched a technology platform last year to help reduce social isolation afflicting facility-bound patients during the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Tracy to the Crossroads’ team,” said Crossroads CEO Perry Farmer. “His passion for always improving hospice care with the goal of ensuring that individuals and their families have the highest quality end-of-life care says a lot about Tracy’s character and values.”

Blue Ridge Hospice appoints new chief business development officer

Virginia-based Blue Ridge Hospice has appointed Jason Parsons as its new chief business development officer. In this role, Parsons will lead the company’s strategic planning and implementation.

Parsons previously led public affairs and philanthropy for Capital Caring Health. He’ll now serve as a senior leader for Blue Ridge Hospice, responsible for developing new business and strategic partnerships, identifying and negotiating affiliation and new payor opportunities, overseeing development of products and services, guiding marketing and public relations activities, and leading the organization’s fundraising initiatives.

Blue Ridge Hospice began providing serious illness and end-of-life care more than 40 years ago. The nonprofit cares for more than 1,400 patients daily across eight counties in southern Virginia.

Parsons comes aboard at a critical time for nonprofit hospice providers, according to Blue Ridge President and CEO Cheryl Hamilton Fried.

“Blue Ridge Hospice, and all not-for-profit serious illness providers, are at an inflection point as competition from proprietary hospice chains increases and Medicare continues to make significant changes to hospice regulation and reimbursement,” said Hamilton Fried. “Jason’s breadth of experience is a perfect match to ensure [we] continue to meet the community’s needs.”

Saint Francis Healthcare System expands director role to include palliative care

Saint Francis Healthcare System recently announced the return of Claire Kneer as its director of home health, hospice and palliative care.

Kneer previously served as the director of home health and hospice since 2015 before the role recently expanded to include palliative care. She joined Saint Francis in 2011 as a case manager and later transitioned into its hospice services program manager.

The Missouri-based health care system provides services in that state, as well as Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. During 2019 alone, the health care system provided 6,174 hospice patient visits and nearly 7,000 home health visits..

“We are excited to welcome Claire back to the Saint Francis Family,” said Lisa Newcomer, vice president of regional operations at Saint Francis, in an announcement. “Claire is a catalyst in ensuring care at home is a bridge to the healing process for those who have additional needs. I look forward to all that she will achieve as we continue to serve our region.”

Big Bend Hospice digs into community engagement with new coordinator

Florida-based Big Bend Hospice has named Kara Walker as its new community engagement coordinator. Walker will be charged with recruiting and managing volunteers, along with expanding community awareness and education about hospice.

The nonprofit hospice provider was established in 1983 and currently serves eight counties across the Sunshine State.

Big Bend’s care team in 2020 included nearly 300 volunteers providing upwards of 12,000 hours of service to patients and families.

Before joining Big Bend Hospice, the bulk of Walker’s experience was spent in community engagement work. She also worked in various social work fields that support people who had experienced domestic violence, sexual assault and prison reentry.

“I am thrilled to be serving the Wakulla County area on behalf of Big Bend Hospice,” said Walker in local news. “There is so much that hospice can offer the community, so I want to share some of those services. We are able to help our patients-families find comfort on their toughest days, and that is truly rewarding work.”

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