Tony Strange, CEO and director at Aveanna Healthcare Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: AVAH), will retire at the close of this year.
COO Jeff Shaner, who has been with the company since its founding in 2017, will succeed Strange effective Jan 1.
“I am looking forward to this new leadership role as CEO and further building on the rock-solid commitment we have to clinical excellence and value creation here at Aveanna,” Shaner said in a statement. “Aveanna will continue with its mission, making a positive impact in the lives of the patients and families that we serve every day.”
Prior to Aveanna, Strange had leadership roles at The Healthfield Group Inc. and Gentiva Health Services. He worked with Aveanna Chairman Rod Windley at Healthfield. The two industry veterans have worked together for years.
“Tony’s leadership was a significant part of Aveanna’s formation and growth since its inception five years ago,” Aveanna Chairman Rod Windley said in a statement. “He leaves an enduring legacy of building one of the nation’s largest home care companies in America during an unprecedented pandemic. Tony’s steady and stable leadership was a welcome gift during troubled waters within our industry. It has been an honor working side by side with Tony at Aveanna and the many other companies during our career together.”
Atlanta-based Aveanna provides home health, hospice and pediatric services across its 33-state footprint. The company initially filed for an IPO in April 2021.
Strange and Windley approached the IPO with high hopes, and among their early moves was repositioning Aveanna to care for seniors as well as its original pediatrics business.
“We’re going to continue to do what we’ve always done — and that is build a very successful home care company, one that is diversified and different from our peers,” Windley told Hospice News’ sister site Home Health Care News at the time, referring to him and Strange. “And one that will be here for years to come. We don’t have our sights set on being a $2 billion company. Our appetite for growth is much, much larger than that, and we think that there’s plenty of runway going forward.”
Launching a publicly traded health care company in the midst of a global pandemic was challenging, and Aveanna has felt the effects. The company’s stock has trended consistently downward.
Aveanna saw consolidated revenue growth in Q3, reaching $440 million, up 7.7% from $411.3 the same period last year. Nevertheless, this fell short of expectations due to home health and hospice headwinds. The company’s private duty business accounted for much of the growth.
“We are not satisfied with our results in Q3 and for that, we take full responsibility,” Strange said in an earnings call. “We will not be defined by a single moment in time. We expect Q4 to be better than Q3, and we expect 2023 to be better than 2022.”
Strange’s optimism is not unfounded. Aveanna’s geographic scale, diverse payer mix and improving recruitment trends could turn the tide in 2023.
“The board and I are confident that under [Shaner’s] leadership, Aveanna will continue its transition into a new era of value-based care,” Windley said. “Jeff’s experience, passion and innovative mindset will serve Aveanna well as we look to the future.”
Aveanna is not the only large company that have seen recent leadership changes.
Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) turned the keys back over to its former CEO, Paul Kusserow. The Pennant Group (Nasdaq: PNTG), meanwhile, is now helmed by Brent Guerisoli after Danny Walker stepped down from its top spot in June.
Home Health Care News Editor Andrew Donlan contributed to this report.