Agape Care’s New M&A VP, New CEO Takes Helm at Community Hospice

Agape Care Group Appoints M&A VP

Alex Ferguson has stepped into the role of senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Agape Care Group.

The South Carolina-based hospice and palliative care provider is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners.

In his new role, Ferguson will assess and prioritize M&A opportunities that align with the company’s strategic growth plans.


“I am thrilled to be joining Agape Care during this time of growth and expansion,” said Ferguson in an announcement. “There is tremendous opportunity in the hospice and palliative care landscape to add great organizations to the Agape Care portfolio, merging resources to enhance providers and reach more patients.”

Ferguson has held corporate and strategic development roles in a number of health care organizations since 2004, including his most recent position as vice president of business development at Guardian Pharmacy. He also served as director at CHMG Capital, LLC.

Agape employs a staff of 1,450 employees that provide end-of-life and serious illness care to roughly 3,600 patients in South and North Carolina, as well as in Georgia.


Agape has been working to stretch its footprint across the Southeast.

It most recently acquired GHC Hospice in a move that expanded its reach in Georgia and South Carolina markets. This followed other 2022 acquisitions of Georgia-based Lanier Hospice in January and Hospice of the Carolina Foothills in May.

Ferguson will be key to the company’s continued expansion on the horizon, according to Agape CEO Troy Yarborough.

“We are excited to have Alex join the team, enhancing our expertise in attracting and integrating great health care companies,” said Yarborough. “He will play a crucial role in the expansion of the Agape family as we continue our mission of being the premier provider of care in the Southeast.”

New CEO Takes Helm at Community Hospice

Alisa Bettis has taken the reins of California-based Community Hospice, Inc. as its president and CEO.

Previously, Bettis was the associate director for the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency in California. There she managed a $60 million annual budget, 500 employees, and oversaw 55,000 patient visits annual. Bettis also has held leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente and Bloss Memorial Healthcare District and Castle Family Health Centers.

“I am very excited to join Community Hospice and its excellent team,” said Bettis in the announcement. “For more than 40 years, Community Hospice has grown from an inspired idea by two registered nurses to a respected and leading provider of vital service for those with serious and life-limiting illness in the Central Valley area. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with the dedicated Community Hospice and Foundation Boards, volunteers and incredibly talented health care professionals and staff.”

Community Hospice is a community-based hospice provider that serves the Central Valley area in California. The nonprofit was established in 1979 and now cares for more than 2,000 patients in their homes, at skilled nursing facilities, and at its 16-bed inpatient Alexander Cohen Hospice House.

Bettis replaces interim President and CEO John Renner, Community Hospice’s director of logistics and operations, who stepped into the role after DeSha McLeod resigned last October after eight years.

“We are thrilled to have Alisa join Community Hospice, and feel she is a perfect complement to our leadership team and Community Hospice family,” said Renner in a company announcement. “Her invaluable background and experiences will support our staff and most importantly, help us better serve our patients and their families.”

Mission Healthcare Make Clinical Leadership Moves

San Diego-based Mission Healthcare recently appointed Meg VanOosten as its new chief clinical officer.

VanOOsten is a registered nurse who previously served as president and chief clinical officer at Iowa-based UnityPoint at Home. There, she oversaw its operations and the strategic direction of all its service lines, managing a $280 million annual budget for 26 locations.

VanOosten will now lead Mission Healthcare’s clinical operations and direct the clinical practice of its programs and services that include home health, hospice and palliative care services.

“I am really excited about the strong sense of culture and pride in the care that Mission provides,” said VanOosten in an announcement.

Mission Healthcare, a portfolio company of the private equity firm the Vistria Group, was founded in 2009 and provides care to roughly 5,000 patients daily across its home state in California, as well as in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The company in July 2021 purchased three hospice and home health agencies as part of its multi-state expansion plans. Assets acquired in the deal included Tender Care Home Health & Hospice and Sun Tree Hospice in Utah, as well as Hands of Hope Home Care & Hospice in Idaho.

That year Mission Healthcare also acquired Health Living Network, which provides home health care across several states, and bought Silverado Hospice locations in Ventura and San Mateo, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

“We are honored to welcome Mag to our executive team,” said Mission Healthcare CEO Paul VerHoeve in the announcement. “Her clinical background, passion for clinical excellence, and proven leadership make her the right person to support our team, integrate services across the organization, and advance our clinical quality initiatives. Mag brings a level of thought leadership and innovation that will further enhance our reputation of excellence in patient care.”

Trustbridge Names New Hospice CMO

Florida-based Trustbridge has named Dr. Katherine Brazzale as its new chief medical officer of hospice services.

Brazzale was the first physician to be selected for Trustbridge’s fellowship program when it launched in 2008 and has stuck with the nonprofit hospice provider ever since. She previously served as its associate medical director following her fellowship, then moved on to become its director of pediatrics before ascending to her current leadership position.

“It was during my fellowship with Trustbridge that I recognized my calling in bringing relief to patients and their families in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Brazzale in a statement. “I look forward to engaging our talented medical staff to lead the industry in providing end-of-life care.”

As director of pediatrics, Brazzale provided 24/7 supportive care in the home to seriously ill children and their families, and also developed educational materials for clinical staff. Trustbridge has been seeing the number of pediatric patients served rise four-to six-fold annually.

“The organization has undergone a lot of evolution, [and] we’ve grown tremendously,” Brazzale previously told Hospice News. “The care is pretty unique for those people younger than 18. What we’ve done is develop course work and training programs to help nurses become more comfortable with certain procedures.”

In her new role, she’ll oversee Trustbridge’s medical staff providing home- and facility-based hospice care.

Trustbridge was born in 2014 through the merger of Hospice of Palm Beach County, Hospice of Broward County and Hospice by the Sea.

Headquartered in Palm Beach, Florida, Trustbridge operates seven inpatient hospice care centers, along with nine regional offices in the state’s southern region.

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana Appoints Medical Director

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana and Palliative Care has announced that Dr. Leigh Anderson will be its new medical director.

Anderson is charged with overseeing Our Hospice’s team of clinicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers, as well as building relationships with referral sources.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to care for the people in Southern Indiana,” said Anderson in a recent social media post. “I truly believe hospice and palliative care are under-utilized, and my goal is to ensure high-quality care is available to all those who need it. Hospice and palliative care is my passion, and I’m excited to be leading the medical care at Our Hospice as we strive to, ‘make every moment count.”

Our Hospice is part of the Indiana-based Columbus Regional Health system. Established in 1978, the nonprofit offers community-based adult and pediatric hospice, home health and palliative care across a 16-county service region in South Central Indiana.

Our Hospice also offers inpatient hospice services through its 14-bed facility in Columbus, Indiana. Its other locations include Home Services & Inpatient Facility, Our Hospice of Decatur/Shelby, and Our Hospice of Jennings County.

Anderson is an Indiana native who both received a doctor of medicine and completed her hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

She replaces Dr. Roy Goode, who has twice served as Our Hospice’s interim medical director, most recently since 2019. Goode will continue to care for patients on a part-time basis.

Anderson steps into the leadership role during a pivotal time of growth for the hospice and palliative care provider, according to Our Hospice President Laura Leonard.

“Dr. Anderson joins Our Hospice and Palliative Care at a time when both service lines are experiencing significant growth as the number of patients that require specialized care and symptom management over the course of a serious illness has resulted in an increase of patients being cared for by our teams,” said Leonard in the announcement. “Our entire staff, patients and families have already been impressed by the leadership and expertise that Dr. Anderson has brought to our organization and we are excited to introduce her to our community.”

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