Executive Shifts at Amedisys, AMOREM, VITAS; Compassus, Hospice of the Chesapeake Appoint New Clinical Leaders

Amedisys’ New Chief Accounting Officer

The forthcoming acquisition of Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) subsidiary Optum has sparked executive shifts.

The home health and hospice provider recently announced the leadership changes in a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

Allyson Guidroz was recently appointed as its chief accounting officer and principal accounting officer for purposes of the rules and regulations of the SEC, according to Amedisys President and CEO Richard Ashwort. Scott Ginn held the role since November 2022 prior to Guidroz’s ascension.


“In connection with Ms. Guidroz’s appointment, Scott G. Ginn will continue in his role as acting chief operating officer, executive vice president and chief financial officer and principal financial officer and will no longer serve as the company’s principal accounting officer,” Ashwort stated in the filing. “In connection with her appointment, Scott Ginn will no longer serve as the company’s principal accounting officer.”

Ginn began leading financial teams at Amedisys in 2007, while Guidroz previously served as senior vice president of accounting at Amedisys since June 2018. Ginn served in that same role before being promoted to CFO in 2017 and executive vice president in 2021.

The news comes as Amedisys inches closer towards acquisition integration with Optum. The company in June announced plans to acquire the massive home health and hospice provider Amedisys for $3.3 billion.


CEO Switches at AMOREM

DeSha McLeod has become CEO of North-Carolina based AMOREM.

She replaces Cathy Swanson, who has led the nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider since 2021 when it rebranded as AMOREM following the merger of Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care.

“The mission of AMOREM was one of the primary things that drew me in,” McLeod told local news. “I admire the courage that it took to merge two long-standing non-profit hospice and palliative care agencies in an act to build sustainability and ensure our residents throughout our 12-county service area have access to quality serious illness and end of life care services. The people, the basic principles and the strong foundation that had been laid down are impressive.”

AMOREM has locations across 12 counties in northwest North Carolina, which include four inpatient care units.

McLeod was most recently a health care consultant at CD&M Consulting. Prior to that, she held president and CEO roles at California-based Community Hospice and at Hospice Austin and Central Texas Palliative Care Associates.

She also served as COO of Camellia Healthcare’s hospice division before leaving the organization in 2013. McLeod helped to launch the division, which included opening 14 offices and widening its geographic reach “exponentially,” she told local news.

VITAS Names New VP of Hospice

Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE) subsidiary VITAS Healthcare has tapped Joseph Brickner as its new vice president of hospice operations.

Brickner takes the helm of VITAS’ hospice locations in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as across Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

He joined the hospice provider in 2015 as director of market development before moving up the ranks to general manager in 2018 and senior general manager in 2022. Brickner is also a veteran of the U.S. army.

“Building a team of change agents, focusing on consistent growth and providing quality care are at the core of my leadership philosophy,” Brickner in a statement. “We aim to create positive change in the marketplace with a strong emphasis on service, quality and putting patients and families first.”

In addition to hospice, VITAS offers palliative care and home medical equipment services. The company employs roughly 10,000 health care professionals across its service regions.

VITAS has locations across 14 states, including Texas and Kansas.

Key priorities for Brickner in the new role include developing strong leaders in these two states, as well as driving business growth and ensuring a high level of patient satisfaction, according to Craig Tidwell, VITAS senior vice president of operations.

“Joe’s relentless commitment to quality care, compliance and patient satisfaction has been evident throughout his tenure,” Tidwell said. “His remarkable dedication and leadership skills have propelled his career within the organization, and I’m excited to see where his passion continues to lead us in this new role.”

Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Nursing, Clinical Advocacy Director Aims to Improve Access

Hospice of the Chesapeake has named Dr. Rachel Sherman as its new director of nursing and clinical advocacy.

She has additionally become a supportive care nurse at the Maryland-based hospice and palliative care organization.

Sherman leads a team of more than 200 nursing professionals at Hospice of the Chesapeake while also serving as a community advocate for the “evolution” of more equitable access to advanced illness care, the organization recently indicated.

“Appreciating that the landscape of nursing and hospice and palliative care are ever-changing, Dr. Sherman will make nursing innovation a priority in her new role,” the organization stated in an announcement. “Dr. Sherman will seek to create new partnerships with community healthcare organizations and to further strengthen the support the organization currently provides to those who need supportive and hospice care.”

Sherman is the co-founder of We the People of PG County, a community advocacy organization that seeks to address discrimination and substandard business practices in Maryland’s Prince George county.

She has held previous clinical and leadership positions at Hospice of the Chesapeake since joining the organization in 2020, including hospice and palliative care nurse practitioner and director of medical services. She held similar roles at UnitedHealth Group from 2018 to 2021, as well as at Hospice of the Chesapeake’s affiliate, Calvert Hospice.

Hospice of the Chesapeake provides services in four west coast Maryland counties. Calvert Hospice and Hospice of Charles County unified under the organization’s main brand in April in a strive towards greater consistency across communities within its service region, according to the hospice provider.

Prior to Hospice of the Chesapeake, Sherman in 2018 launched Maryland Concierge Primary Care LLC, an adult primary care and medical weight management company.

Sherman has been in a swath of patient care delivery roles in the last decade at organizations such as Hospice of Charles County, Palliative Medicine of Southern Maryland, George Washington University Hospital, GWU Medical Faculty Associates and Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Compassus Appoints Regional Medical Director

Compassus has appointed Dr. David Cluff, as medical director of two counties in its service region across central Arizona.

Tennessee-based Compassus provides home health, home infusion, hospice and palliative care across 200 locations in 30 states. The post-acute provider is a portfolio company of the private equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners and the health system Ascension Health.

Cluff oversees clinical teams at Compassus Payson Hospice, which serves two counties in central Arizona. The rural region is roughly 90 miles from metropolitan areas in Phoenix and includes areas of plateaus, forests and lakes.

“I hope to be able to help more people through this critical time in their lives so that patients can experience a death with dignity,” Cluff stated in an announcement.

Cluff rejoins Compassus after recently retiring as a physician at Banner Health. He has more than 25 years of health care experience, including a role as assistant medical director at Compassus from 2010 to 2017.

His background in providing quality end-of-life care made Cluff an attractive candidate to “create positive change” for hospice patients in the community, according to Kammy Heuett, Compassus area executive of clinical operations

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cluff back to Compassus,” Heuett said. “His commitment to patient-centered care aligns perfectly with our organization’s mission. We look forward to continuing to raise the bar for end-of-life care in Payson and the surrounding area.”

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