C-Suite Shake Ups at Pennant Group; Financial, Legal Leadership Moves at Choice Health at Home, Hosparus

Pennant Group reorganizes its executive team

The Pennant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNTG) recently began the hunt to fill CFO and chief investment officer roles.

This follows the recent announcement that Derek Bunker has resigned as Pennant’s chief investment officer, executive vice president and corporate secretary, effective Dec. 31, 2022.

“On behalf of the Pennant team, I thank Derek for his significant contributions to the Pennant story,” CEO Brent Guerisoli said in a statement. “We wish Derek all the best in his next chapter.”


As the company actively seeks to fill the chief investment officer role, it also announced launching a search for a new CFO, citing growth as a main impetus.

Current Pennant CFO Jennifer Freeman will serve in an interim capacity until the new role is filled. The company intends for Freeman to play “an important” and “critical” leadership role on its finance team as Pennant moves forward on future growth plans, according to Guerisoli.

Guerisoli took the helm of The Pennant Group earlier this year in June after previous CEO Daniel Walker retired from the role.


“As Pennant’s first CFO, Jenn has played a critical role in executing the spin-off transaction, building a strong finance team and supporting the development of our Service Center,” Guerisoli said. “We are grateful to Jenn for her partnership and deep commitment to Pennant, our core values, and future growth. We look forward to her continued success as a leader in the organization.”

The Pennant Group is a holding company of independently operated subsidiaries that provide home health, hospice and senior living care services. The company has 94 hospice and home health locations and 49 senior living communities across 14 states, each operated by a separate, independent subsidiary with its own management, staff and assets.

Pennant’s home health and hospice segment brought in $85.5 million in net service revenue during the third quarter, an 8.6% rise from Q3 2021. This represented a large bulk of the company’s $118.4 million in consolidated revenue that quarter.

The company has been aggressive on acquisitions for the past two years but paused in early 2022 to integrate its most recently acquired assets and accumulate capital. But executives indicated that they would be back on the hunt during the second half of 2022 and into 2023.

The second quarter of this year brought the company’s purchase of California-based Ardent Hospice and Palliative Care in the San Diego area for an undisclosed amount.

“As we accelerate growth in our home health and hospice segment and continue to build operational momentum in our senior living segment, we continue to strengthen our leadership infrastructure through disciplined investment,” Pennant President John Gochnour said. “Our entire leadership team will continue to be laser focused on operational excellence and adherence to the unique operating model that has driven our success over the last decade.”

Choice Health at Home appoints new chief financial officer

Jeffrey Kreger recently became the new CFO of ​​Texas-headquartered Choice Health at Home.

Kreger will oversee the company’s growth and operating performance. He previously served as CFO of the Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE) subsidiary VITAS Healthcare. Prior to that, Kreger held the same role at Aegis Therapies, BioScrip and LHC Group Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG).

Choice engaged executive staffing firm Chartwell Partners to help fill the leadership role.

“Few roles are as important as the chief financial officer at most companies,” the staffing firm indicated in an announcement.

Choice offers home health, hospice and rehabilitation services and operates 60 locations across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The company is backed by the private equity firms Coltala Holdings and Trive Capital Management.

Earlier this year Choice secured a $190 million credit facility led by Oxford Finance, a global specialty financial firm focused on life sciences and health care investments. In conjunction with this infusion of capital, Choice purchased Kindful Hospice and Amed Home for undisclosed sums.

Hosparus Health’s appoints new legal leadership

Louisville-based Hosparus Health has hired Lynn Fieldhouse as its new chief legal officer following the retirement of Julie DeMunbrun in early November.

Fieldhouse will oversee the nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider’s legal activities including corporate transactions, governance and litigation. She will also assist with regulatory matters such as compliance initiatives and enterprise risk prevention and mitigation.

Fieldhouse previously served as general counsel and chief litigation-risk officer at Signature HealthCARE. Her experience includes strategic clinical compliance risk management, health care policy and legislation development, and guidance in organizational acquisitions and divestitures.

Fieldhouse will work closely with Hosparus President and CEO David Cook on all government relations efforts, according to the company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lynn and her legal expertise to the Hosparus Health team,” Cook said in a company blog. “Her background in clinical quality and compliance makes her the ideal choice to lead our efforts. Lynn’s experience will help us address industry challenges while allowing us to grow our mission to serve individuals in our community who need advanced illness and end-of-life care.”

Fieldhouse will lead Hosparus’ strategic operations aimed at increasing access to care for seriously ill patients and their families across its 41-county service region in Kentucky and Indiana.

Cook took the helm at Hosparus last year, indicating that a top priority for the nonprofit would be to expand the scope of its services beyond hospice to better meet community needs.

“I think we’re seeing programs like Hosparus — nonprofit programs that need to broaden their scope — they need to look at opportunities to serve individuals who are facing serious illness beyond hospice care. We will be looking for opportunities to enhance what we do,” Cook previously told Hospice News.

AMOREM appoints new board officers

North Carolina-based AMOREM recently moved forward with a series of new board appointments.

The officer appointments include Jordan Greene as board chair, Dr. Gregory Jones as vice chair, Peg Broyhill as secretary and Rob Hinman as treasurer.

Greene is a partner and financial advisor at Black and Associates, LLC. Jones is a physician in radiation oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute Blue Ridge.

Broyhill retired from her role as an investment broker at Wells Fargo Investments. Hinman serves as senior pastor at Lenoir Presbyterian Church.

“I am honored to be selected as the Board Chairman for AMOREM,” Greene said in local news. “I am excited to assist our incredible staff and board members through the ever-changing health care landscape. Our goals of the highest quality patient support will continue to be the primary focus while we grow through our service areas.”

AMOREM originated last year in May with the merger of Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, both based in North Carolina. The nonprofit community-based hospice and palliative provider rebranded as AMOREM, with board members from each legacy organization forming its current board of directors.

Marc Carpenter served as AMOREM’s first board chairperson, holding the same role for nine years at Caldwell prior to the integration.

“I consider my time spent on the AMOREM, and previously the Caldwell Hospice board, as one of the highest honors of my life. Working with the other dedicated board members and the outstanding AMOREM CEO and staff has been very rewarding and educational,” Carpenter told local news. “ I am excited to continue to serve on the board with the current slate of officers who I think will assist in leading AMOREM to greater expansion of services in the future.”

The company in March received a $1.5 million grant towards construction of a new seven-bed inpatient unit from the SECU Foundation. The 9,000-square-foot facility will be named the AMOREM SECU Patient Care Unit of the High Country and provide services across three of the 12 counties in its North Carolina service region.

The company aims to open three similar hospice inpatient care units in the High Country area. AMOREM has thus far raised roughly $3 million in a capital campaign to finance these efforts, aiming for a total of $8 million, said Kerri McFalls, vice president of community engagement, in a statement earlier this year.

Trella Health hires VP to head new strategic consulting service

Atlanta-based Trella Health has named Kara Justis as vice president of its newly launched strategic consulting service line. Prior to joining the company, she was the VP of growth solutions at Amedisys (NASDAQ: AMED).

Trella Health provides market intelligence to post-acute care providers and some adjacent institutions, including direct contracting entities and accountable care organizations. The company recently rolled out a new strategic consulting service that will offer providers’ customized sales and market analysis ways to boost their referral streams.

Justis will head Trella Health’s new service line as VP of strategic consulting. Prior to joining the company, she was the VP of growth solutions at Amedisys.

“I am so excited to join the Trella team and work with post-acute care customers to understand their markets and uncover opportunities to improve performance,” Justis said in an announcement. “I look forward to working closely with each organization to identify their unique business needs and challenges and customize our services to help them achieve their specific goals.”

Justis will lead Trella’s new consulting team, which will focus on four key areas including a referral-growth strategy, along with sales planning, execution and support. The consulting service is aimed at helping post-acute providers uncover untapped areas of referral opportunities, as well as data-based growth drivers.

“We are so excited to have Kara join our team as we continue to invest in the success of our customers,” said Andy Powell, senior vice president of customer experience at Trella Health. “Kara’s proven expertise in post-acute growth creates additional opportunities for Trella to partner with customers on their business development strategy and execution.”

Trella in November 2021 announced plans to double in size by the end of this year after receiving what the company described as a “significant” investment from Cressey & Company and Panoramic Ventures, formerly BIP Capital.

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